There’s a lot of temptation in getting the top hip-hop trendy game that the kids have just bought the weekend it came out. All of your mates are talking about it, the gaming media and individuals are talking about it. Heck, even your parents are talking about it if it’s Red Dead Redemption II.

Fortunately, if it’s a Battle-Royale game, it’s probably free. If not, it’s going to be a huge chunk of money to get the game on launch day. Likely £50 or $60, or more if you live down-under. What’s more, is you’ll need the spare time to blast through the game to listen to people’s opinions without seeing any spoilers before it’s too late.

original xbox logo

On the other hand, not participating in the zeitgeist can be advantageous in more ways than one. In other words, I have found it extremely convenient to play old games rather than brand new ones while I finish nailing my back catalogue. A feat which is (unbelievably) nearly done.

Playing old games, for one, means that buying them will be a lot cheaper. Though, depending on how old the game is, and how rare it is, will decide on whether the game is expensive or not for what it is. Old physical Original Xbox and NES games, for instance, can be very pricey if they’re in good condition. For the most part however, dated Xbox 360 and Xbox One games will be a quarter of the price compared to when they were first released.

And because we now have access to online marketplaces, there are sales for digital games every week. So, if you can’t find it cheap in the store, you’ll likely find it at a bargain price via the likes of the Xbox Deals With Gold Sale sometime in the future.

Furthermore, old games will now be more accessible and in better condition than they ever were before: they now play better than ever and look better than they did when they were released. One of the reasons for this is because of Xbox backwards compatability on not just Xbox 360 games but on Original Xbox games as well. That in itself is a feat which would have been laughable a few years ago. Playing through Knights of the Old Republic and Republic Commando on Xbox One decades after they first released makes the graphics clearer, and the load times quicker, than ever before.

These sorts of improvements are of course available to almost every game on PC due to the variations in PC hardware, but still, (the original) Battlefront II looks great and plays great on the Xbox One. Meaning that if you never played it, you can not only play it on Xbox One, but you can play with the best visuals possible, as well as way shorter load times, on a platform with many more facilities available. Such as listening to Spotify, or speaking to friends in party chat. Of course, the game may have just been remastered and brought to a newer platform which is a bonus, but that version may just be a bit more expensive than the original game, though likely cheaper still than when the game first launched.

A factor which is more applicable to the day and age of day one patches and games being broken/made after they’ve been officially released/finished, is the fact that when you’re playing through Assassin’s Creed: Origins in 2019, instead of 2017 when it first came out, there are no patches waiting to fix minimal, yet critical, issues.

Everything has already been patched, all the major issues fixed. What’s more is all of the DLC has been released, and if you’re lucky, a ‘complete’ edition will be available – again cheaper than the game was at launch – including all of the DLC. So if you’re enjoying the game, you don’t have to wait for the DLC to be released months after you completed it, where you may or may not have to learn the controls all over again.

Things are looking pretty good right? The game will be cheaper, patched, include DLC, and be on the most updated platform if it’s on the backwards compatible program or has a remastered version. Does the goodness end there? Absolutely not, as there is yet one more benefit – albeit a much more vague one. See, since the game has been out for years at this point, you’ve either heard spoilers, or you haven’t. And if you haven’t at this point, it is highly unlikely you’ll see any because the game isn’t in the public conscious when you’re playing through it.

This is no more true than when putting my current example into play; I still don’t know the main story beats and gameplay aspects for Middle-Earth: Shadow of War even though I’ve just started playing it for the first time. Because you see, since it’s been out for nearly two years, it’s very improbable that I’ll be strolling through my Twitter feed and someone will meme a spoiler about it, mainly because it’s old now. I can experience it at my own pace without feeling the need to rush through or to have that trending cultural conversation.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is that you can see the effect that the game has had in the gaming space. What I mean by this is that it is hard to measure the cultural impact the night after a film comes out, or the first weekend of a game being released. The impact is felt weeks and months after release: when the experience hasn’t just rubbed against the surface but dissipated into the skin and into your core. When you’ve had time to think about the story you were told, the characters you met and the enjoyment you had playing through it.

I’m not sure people truly understood the importance of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when it first came out. Obviously people knew it was a great game instantly, perhaps even an excellent game. But I’m not sure we all realised that it was possibly one of the best games ever made until we tasted Blood and Wine and felt the impact of Hearts of Stone, letting the experience settle in our minds while we played through other games over the next few years.

Now, I can safely tell you the best games I’ve played over the past few years and the ones that have left a lasting impression. Leaving this impression can give you the ability to inform others about the games in a better way, tempting them in to a title which you loved the most. That’s why playing old games is great – because you can pick the experiences which you’ll likely love.

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