What's an old game you've come back to years later?

(Image credit: Valve)

Left 4 Dead 2 has a new campaign called The Last Stand. RuneScape is coming to Steam. Crysis has been remastered. The early Metal Gears have been rereleased. Old games refuse to die, and keep crawling back into the light to distract us from our backlog of new games. 

What's an old game you've come back to years later? One that you've returned to, perhaps because of an update. How did it compare to your memories?

Here are our answers, plus a few from our forum.

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Alan Dexter: WoW has been around since 2004, and I've played it fairly religiously since release (bar a six month break at the beginning, because... well... I was levelling a warrior and it was hell). I've recently found myself hitting the resubscribe button after more than a year's break, purely to clear out my bags before Shadowlands drops. That was the plan at least. It sucked me straight back in of course, and I'm doing daily quests, running dungeons and raids, and generally chasing the purple gear monster down endless rabbit holes as if I'd never been away.

Tyler Wilde: It's not that old, but what makes Tribes: Ascend an interesting game to return to is that many assume it's dead and gone. Not so: You can still play Tribes: Ascend, even though it's delisted from Steam. It won't show up in searches, but the Steam page is still there and you can add it to your library and download it. Ignore the error message at launch and log in with a Hi-Rez account (the one I used back in 2011 still worked) and you're good to go. There aren't many people in the servers, but managed to get a half-full game of capture the flag going. It's just as fun as I remembered, if bloated with weapons. (I have no recollection of when throwing knives were added, but I spent 10 minutes chasing a friend around with them.)

(Image credit: Pixel Games)

Chris Livingston: I just started playing California Games, the classic Epyx sports game from way back in 1988, which is now on Steam but I originally played on my Apple II when I was in high school. It sorta works, mostly, with an Xbox controller plugged in, kinda. There's the half-pipe, BMX biking, surfing, roller skating, flying disc, and of course, "footbag," which I assume they called it because Hacky Sack is a brand name.

I spent $5 and I played it once, and honestly I'll probably play it a total of once more, because nostalgia will only carry you so far. Though the flying disc, or frisbee as everyone else calls it, is still pretty fun.

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Andy Chalk: I very rarely replay anything—I don't have enough time to keep up with new games, much less revisit old stuff I've already been through—but one exception is FEAR. It's an astoundingly good close-quarters shooter, with enemy AI that remains unsurpassed and one of the best shotguns in all of videogames. 

But what really does it for me is the absolutely off-the-hook visual chaos of its gunfights: There's smoke and dust and broken glass and little bits of crapola flying everywhere while the guns blast and the lights flash and I can't see a damn thing, so I just keep hosing the hallway and hope that whatever's at the other end is dead by the time I run out of bullets.

It's great. I've been through it three times already, and now I'm feeling the urge to do it again.

Jody Macgregor: I'm replaying Epic 40,000: Final Liberation right now, a turn-based strategy game from 1997 that's still plenty of fun, whether you're commanding battalions of Imperial Guard and stompy titans, or watching its gloriously cheesy FMV cutscenes.

From our forum

ZedClampet: What is "old"? It's kind of weird, but I guess due to the constant advance of technology I tend to consider games just a few years old to be "old", but I have different standards for music, movies, etc. But Half Life 2 is my answer. My son and I just played it recently using the co-op mod. We had a great time even though it was pretty much a cakewalk with two players. Every now and then I'll go medieval and play something from Atari Vault.

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Mazer: There are certain games that seem to draw me back every few years, Daggerfall and Darklands being two good examples that are also pretty aged by now.

I also used to have a tradition of playing Flashback on Sega megadrive to completion about once a year, its been a while now so maybe I'm due. Then again, I've also been tempted to make a quartet of Swedish mercenaries in Darklands named after the members of ABBA. Might make a decent Let's Play.

badman: Oh my...this is an easy one. Since I'm such a nostalgic person I visit the oldies from time to time. I'm talking 1992 oldies and last year-oldies. I can give you a list, but that would just overwhelm you. We're talking Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Descent, X-Wing,... Yeah, I still play them today and most of them are enjoyable, but it's not like in the old days where you could play them for hours after hours. Most of the time it's just a quick visit. Like a lot of people, time is short and gamingtime is precious. There is something about these times what makes playing these old games, most of them have a 'slow' paste, hard. Now it's got to be fast with virtual no learning curve. But still, they were gems back in those days, and some of them hold magic, even in 2020.

Myst VR

(Image credit: Cyan)

SWard: Did I hear a rumour somewhere that they are bringing back Myst in VR? I would totally end up lost in VR in there for hours if it returned!

Drakgneel: For me will be command and conquer red alert saga the first ones, nothing like a good old rts.

Frindis: I would have to say Morrowind. Not because it is the lastest old game I have been playing, but because it is the one I have played several times over the last two decades. The world is such a great place for exploring and I always look forward to that first trip from Seyda Neen and up to Balmorra, preferably only with a small torch and with darkness surrounding every corner.

OsaX Nymloth: There's couple of classic (or should I say, Classics?) titles that I come back every year or so. One year it may be Baldur's Gate, other Fallout, sometimes even Icewind Dale. Games I spent unholy amounts of hours with, that shaped my taste in gaming and are absolutely great even to this day without looking at them through nostalgia tainted glasses.

(Image credit: Gearbox)

Oussebon: Borderlands 2. I think I last played in 2014. Got the DLCs a while ago but never got around to them.

After a Borderlands 3 free weekend I decided 2 things: 1) Borderlands 3 ruins itself through excessive visual effects on the screen making it impossible to enjoyably play the game 2) Borderlands 2 was a lot more playable and it was time to get stuck in again.

So - a fresh coop campaign, this time with the DLCs, played in order. Assault on Dragon Keep, as it turns out, is awesome. Currently on the Commander Lilith DLC.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.