Due to the rapid rate of which [[VideoGame Video Games]] are always technically evolving (especially compared to other older media like {{Film}}, {{Music}}, or {{Television}}), video games are often affected by the SeinfeldIsUnfunny trope quite frequently.
* [[RolePlayingGame Console RPGs]]. The plots of many early ones seem to a modern audience like textbook cliché storms, or at best StrictlyFormula. By now, [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI quests to save the]] {{Cosmic Keystone}}s, [[WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld children stumbling into]] [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIII quests far bigger than themselves]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV and ]] [[DefectorFromDecadence turncoats against]] TheEmpire are all old hat. Some of the best known examples come from the ''FinalFantasy'' series.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' in particular tends to suffer from this. At the time of its release, it was regarded as a revolutionary milestone and hailed as one of the greatest games of all time. Having a troubled protagonist (who may have IdentityAmnesia) chase around a [[TheUnfettered Unfettered]] OmnicidalManiac might seem played out, but at the time you would've been hard-pressed to find many [=RPG=]s with that formula. While earlier ''FinalFantasy'' games had troubled heroes, ''Final Fantasy VII'' was the first with a hero who turns out to be an UnreliableNarrator questioning his existence. Also, on a technical level, the first few seconds of the opening sequence, with the camera panning out slowly from a classic piece of shiny magic rock to a dark futuristic city, were initially meant to be ''shocking'' - and they were. Finally, the PlotlineDeath of Aerith was originally a huge shock felt across the gaming industry, but is today perhaps ''the'' video-game example of ItWasHisSled. It was not the first to [[KilledOffForReal kill off a party member for real]] (''FinalFantasyII'' beat it to the punch), but it was the first to try to portray such a death with a feeling of loss rather than it being an intense, dramatic moment.
*** It's also hard for newer gamers to appreciate (in any sense of the word) the [[DysfunctionJunction thoroughly screwed-up nature of the cast]], even though ''FFVII'' was released long before Creator/BioWare made collections of tortured individuals ''de rigueur'' for Western [=RPG=]s. It even beat ''PlanescapeTorment'' by two years, a game in which the thoroughly screwed-up nature of the cast is a major plot point.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''. Getting rid of the Crystals, which were a key staple of ''Final Fantasy'' before this game, was highly controversial at the time, and the game paved the way for the AnachronismStew and SchizoTech that the series is most widely known for. The exclusion of the Crystals is lost on most modern fans, and a common criticism is that the cast is shallow and unexplored and the gameplay is easy and simple. The game's BigBad Kefka is frequently written off as a goofy [[SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker Joker]] knock-off, but prior to Kefka, ''Final Fantasy'' villains fit the generic TinTyrant / EvilOverlord mold, and Kefka's insane wisecracks and clown-like appearance were a huge departure. Similarly, rather than turning into a generic monster as the FinalBoss, Kefka became a PhysicalGod, and the final battle had many parallels to ''TheDivineComedy''. These days, [=JRPGs=] including ''Final Fantasy'' frequently have angelic and divine final bosses, and FauxSymbolism is par for the course, ''especially'' with ''Final Fantasy''.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' was revolutionary during its time because the game introduced a more developed storyline and had CharacterDevelopment; characters actually think about what they have done and what they must do to have a better future for themselves and the story itself still has the "save the world" plot, but it also has much more behind it so that the story isn't ''just'' about world saving. Nowadays, people snub the game for having characters being predictable and the story being too simplistic, even though said people forget that the game using those concepts back when it was new was mind blowing at that time.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''. At the time, the idea of compromising a traditional "save the world" plot for one that was more focused on character development was practically unheard of in video games.
* ''DragonQuest'' created many of the tropes still used by [=JRPGs=] today, to the point where the older games are often labelled "archaic" or "outdated".
** The series has been doomed to almost-niche status abroad due to the following: long localization holdups with the 8-bit generation games rendering them either obsolete or in competition with the new 16-bit generation, the temporary folding of Enix's American wing, and last but definitely not least, the game to break the genre in the West and define it, ''Final Fantasy VII'', stood in stark contrast, being more about outrageous battle systems and cinematic spectacle.
** While a few recent games have gotten some pretty good remakes, going back to the original ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' can be a bit hard. Even at the time it was released in NorthAmerica (2001) it looked a bit dated. The game was originally made for the 64DD in 1996, moved to the PlayStation in 1997, and spent a few years in DevelopmentHell. It showed, especially with successor systems within a few months or even ''weeks''.
* ''BokosukaWars'', originally released for {{Sharp X1}} and {{MSX}} computers in 1983, was seen as a revolutionary game in {{Japan}}, where it helped to lay the foundations for the {{tactical RPG}} sub-genre. Its {{NES}} console port, however, significantly toned down the StrategyGame elements, instead making it look like a badly-designed ActionAdventure. When the inferior NES port was discovered in North America, ''Bokosuka Wars'' was rubbished by retro gamers, and is even seen as a joke, especially its GameOver screen with the {{Engrish}} phrase "[[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs Wow! You Lose!]]"
* ''VideoGame/{{Hydlide}}'', originally released in 1984 for the {{PC-88}} computer in Japan, was one of the first {{Action RPG}}s ever (along with ''VideoGame/DragonSlayer'' from the same year), but by 1989, when the {{NES}} port was first released in North America, it was much more primitive than similar games, especially ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' and ''VideoGame/{{Ys}}'' series. As a matter of fact, both of those series were influenced by ''Hydlide'' in the first place, so much so that after ''Hydlide'' released in North America in 1989, it was wrongly accused of being a ''Zelda'' clone. Despite its negative reception in North America, ''Hydlide'' had a mostly positive reception in Japan, where it was seen as a revolutionary game (and not mistaken for being a ''Zelda'' rip-off, since ''Zelda'' didn't exist yet).
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' has a hatedom that has pretty much attacked the game for being a "generic GameBoyAdvance RPG" - without realizing that there wasn't really that much else available on the GameBoyAdvance at the time (''maybe'' in Japan). Considering that the Game Boy Advance was a new format in ''itself'', ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' still had some rather detailed environments and perhaps the best use of the Game Boy Advance sound systems for ''a while'' -- it was perhaps one of the first games released ''on'' the format to actually ''use'' a lot of the potential technology it had, other than a few others like ''VideoGame/{{Bomberman}}'', ''AdvanceWars'', and maybe ''VideoGame/MarioKart'', amongst a slew of remakes (like ''BreathOfFire'' and ''SuperMarioBros'') and [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames licensed games]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Adventure}}'' for the {{Atari 2600}} makes this OlderThanTheNES. Old codgers and video game historians recognize the game as revolutionary. Your character is graphically represented on screen. He can pick up graphical representations of items. The items can be left anywhere in the game world and the game will "remember" where they are. Graphically represented enemies with AI that changes based on the environment. And the game has an actual goal and ''ends'' when you complete the goal, [[EndlessGame instead of going on forever]].
** This applies for most Atari games. As WebVideo/TheAngryVideoGameNerd pointed out, the majority of Atari games suffered from bad sound effects and repetitive gameplay (CopyAndPasteEnvironments for instance), but still were revolutionary for the time.
** Or, for that matter, the Atari 2600 itself, which was [[TropeCodifier the first commercially successful]] home console to store games on interchangeable cartridges.
*** There are however atari 2600 games [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVpMBx8BF6c that]] are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRqCbifUaD0 an exception]] to this trope.
* With modern processing technology, it can be hard to believe that ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' was once one of [[SceneryPorn the most beautiful games on the market]]. The graphics aren't the only thing that haven't aged well.
* ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life|1}}'', being the first modern, highly scripted first person shooter with adaptive AI, now seems somewhat typical after being endlessly copied, ripped off and modified by just about every FPS that came after it (for a concrete example, see [[http://www.mobygames.com/forums/dga,2/dgb,8/dgm,166220/ this forum thread]]).
** Half-Life also popularized the seemingly-simple concept of placing weapons in realistic locations (weapon lockers, dead security guards, enemy drops) rather than the floating weapons of Doom or Quake. {{SiN}} did this too, and was released slightly earlier, but didn't enjoy the same level of popularity.
** [[VideoGame/{{Half-Life2}} Its sequel]], while absolutely revolutionary in 2004, now seems cliched when just about every single other FPS game now contains the level of physics, graphics, vehicles and what-have-you that made it such a hit at the time.
*** Though interestingly, what most if not nearly all shooters ''didn't'' really do was crib its design choices as opposed its tech, especially newer shooters which are more content to either rip off CallOfDuty, Halo, or if they're feeling rebellious, even older shooters from the {{Doom}}/{{Quake}} era. The way Half-Life 2 handles narrative, pacing, puzzles (physics are old hat now, but physics puzzles are rarely seen in action games of outside of this series) and level design is still rarely seen, making it a unique experience even today, and why a good number of PC gamers consider it to be ''the'' best FPS of all time.
* Bungie's ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' series, or ''PathwaysIntoDarkness''. They were among the first [=FPS=] games to feature a complex storyline that drove the gameplay, alternate fire, and the ability for computer players to move the mouse in order to rotate their character's view (including the ability to look up and down ''and'' side to side without restrictions). By today's standards, though, it's hard to believe that these games were once revolutionary.
* ''JurassicPark Trespasser'', granted, part of the reason it was hard to get into was the fact that it was an ObviousBeta. But at the time, a game like that was actually ''highly'' ambitious.
* The first ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' game definitely fits this trope, especially if you've played even the second and third games (considered the best with the fifth and sixth often competing). It was released in 2001, when the Game Boy Advance was still a very new format. Nowadays, it can practically pass for a Touch-screen telephone game with how bare-bones it is compared to even the second, which introduced style changes for replay, the third which added customization outside of and in addition to style changes, and so on and so on until you get the SurprisinglyImprovedSequel of the fifth and sixth. It can only compare to the terrible fourth game. It practically seems like an ObviousBeta when you play it, nowadays (very few wood chips, HP gets recovered, bosses top out at a thousand HP, game just gets disgustingly easy).
* ''Franchise/{{Atelier}} Iris''. In an odd combination of SeinfeldIsUnfunny and NoExportForYou, when it ''finally'' came over to the U.S. in 2005. "So it's a standard [=JRPG=] with "alchemy crafting"?" While the "standard [=JRPG=]" bit is, well, [[ClicheStorm not exactly false]] for ''Iris'', what a lot of Western consumers fail to understand in shrugging off the crafting system is that the progenitor of the ''Atelier'' series, ''Atelier Marie'', was the first [=JRPG=] to not only feature a very robust (in the case of ''Marie'', absurdly robust) crafting system, but was the first [=JRPG=] to feature alchemy heavily. After ''Marie'' and its sequel sold a quarter million copies each, you suddenly had alchemy coming out of the woodwork in Japanese pop culture and nearly every [=JRPG=] in the wake of ''Marie'' has featured some kind of crafting system. The problem is, due to some [[ScrewedByTheNetwork poor business decisions]] on the part of multiple parties, practically '''everything else''' that was influenced by ''Atelier'' crossed the Pacific before it did, and the original games never came over at all. So the ''Atelier'' series is regarded as punctuation in the story of [=RPG=] history in the West, when in fact it seems to have had nearly as much influence on game design in Japan as other staple series.
* ''[[VideoGame/GoldenEye1997 GoldenEye 007]]'', one of the first VideoGames based on movies [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames that didn't suck]] (in some ways, it was better than the movie), now suffers from this. At the time, the game was basically the first console FirstPersonShooter done right and is, in many ways, the reason why the genre became so popular on consoles (before, it was almost entirely PC based). But by today's standards, its lack of online play (not its fault, since it was on the {{Nintendo 64}}), crude aiming system, heavy dose of {{Escort Mission}}s, lack of voice acting (again, not its fault, it was on the Nintendo 64 and was an early game on the console to boot), large amount of linearity (which is ironic, since at the time ''[=GoldenEye=]'' was possibly the least linear game on the market) and dated graphics. Ironically, there was another Film/JamesBond FPS for the N64 that ''vastly'' improved graphics, control, missions, and plot, but it's not nearly as well-remembered as ''[=GoldenEye=]''.
** ''[=GoldenEye=]'' was the first time many, if not most, gamers of the day ever had something like a sniper rifle to play with. Today, it's hard to realize how cool it was to take your buddy out from 300 yards away in ANY FPS, not just a console game.
** Also, while ''[=GoldenEye=]'' wasn't [[VideoGame/SystemShock the first FPS to deviate from the "shoot everything that moves while collecting the occasional keycard" style of gameplay]], it was the first such game to have significant mainstream appeal. While things like actual mission objectives (beyond just flipping switches and collecting keycards) and allies/hostages you don't (or shouldn't) shoot seem pretty standard now, they were actually quite revolutionary in 1997. The latter being a concept that would later be expanded upon in the aforementioned ''Half-Life''.
** Ironically, ''[=GoldenEye=]'' was also largely responsible for ''instigating'' this trope with a game released just a few months prior: ''VideoGame/{{Turok}}: Dinosaur Hunter''. Upon release, ''Turok'' was among the most critically acclaimed games on the Nintendo 64, widely praised for its impressive weapons arsenal and lush/detailed jungle landscapes. Unfortunately, once ''[=GoldenEye=]'' was released and blew everybody away with all the traits mentioned above, Turok's flaws (namely its bizarre and unconfigurable control scheme and over-emphasis on item collecting) became much more noticeable. While ''Turok 2: Seeds of Evil'' was also highly regarded upon release (due in no small part to its at-the-time mindblowing graphics), subsequent Turok games garnered less enthusiastic responses, with ''Turok Evolution'' often being credited as one of several games that [[CreatorKiller bankrupted Acclaim Entertainment]]. After the 2008 ''Turok'' reboot garnered a lukewarm response from both critics and gamers alike, it's pretty safe to say that the series is now DeaderThanDisco.
* Among the PC gaming crowd, ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' itself may count as well. Most shooters nowadays have RegeneratingHealth [[note]]Halo is one of the few that accounts for regenerating shields in its story; health is depleted separately in the first game, ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'' and ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' and does not replenish on its own[[/note]], let you carry only two weapons at once, use the weapon you're holding as a melee weapon instead of using a separate weapon that you have to switch to (e.g., a [[VideoGame/{{Half-Life}} crowbar]]), allow you to throw grenades without making you switch to them first, have enemies drop their weapons and equipment when they die instead of just having weapons pre-placed on the stage, etc. All of these elements were around before ''Halo'', but never all in the same game. ''Halo'' was all that in one game, ''and'' on a console. It was also the first console game to include networked multiplayer, which soon gave birth to online multiplayer.
** For the console players, it was the ''first'' time ever being allowed to multiplay through local network, up to 16 players at a time; by hooking up tv sets and systems; network play over the internet was available since ''Doom'', but it was considerably harder to set up properly; Quake 3 Arena and Counterstrike predate true online multiplayer for PC by a couple of years; in fact, what really constitutes a seinfield is unfunny option is the SERVER BROWSER, it is unthinkable today to ship a multiplayer game without a server browser or online match up making system on consoles; but there was a time where you had to manually search for games; and in that regard Halo was indeed the FIRST FPS on console to feature a robust match making system.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}''. ASpaceMarineIsYou, demons, [[ForebodingArchitecture Foreboding]], [[BenevolentArchitecture Benevolent]] and MalevolentArchitecture, futuristic techbases... we've seen it already.
** With the level of detail and fancy graphics in most modern [[GameMod mapsets]], it can be quite jarring to come back to the original official ''Doom'' levels and find them looking downright primitive in comparison.
** Ironically, given the sorts of design directions that FPS games have taken since the turn of the millennium, ''DOOM'' has become VindicatedByHistory in that its simple, fast-paced gameplay and free-form level design is considered by many as a welcome alternative to the slower and more "realistic" style of later games within the genre.
*** And we have mods that incorporate best of both worlds: the simple, fast paced action with highly detailed, organic level design.
* ''VideoGame/{{Elite}}''. David Braben and Ian Bell's game was completely groundbreaking when it was published in the mid '80s with its open-ended trading and shooting gameplay, and massive universe of stars and planets. It's still talked about with fondness by those who spent hours at a time playing it back then. To many who didn't play it in the '80s it's hard to see what all the fuss is about.
** The immediate successors, however, either due to slightly improved interface (or perspective shift), customization, or storyline, did not suffer so terribly. Chalk most of it up to youngsters these days being untrained to deal with vector graphics and unable to gauge depth properly. It is still a commonly used and cherished game mechanic, since it's tough to mass-produce this sort of thing to the point of disgust without sinking a company. ''VideoGame/StarFlight'' and ''VideoGame/{{Privateer}}'' to name just a pair of the oldest.
* The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' series has been around in a while, but licensing issues have ensured that [[NoExportForYou a Western player is more-or-less forced to emulate if he or she wants to experience them directly]]. To date, the newest and best game in the series that has been fully translated is ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsJudgment''. However, playing it first is an excellent way to ruin all the other games currently available in English, including ''Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden'' and the localized ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' games, as all three make use of much more primitive interfaces, mechanics, and overall presentation than ''Judgment'', and have a much less fair difficulty curve.
** Also, ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars'' hasn't aged particularly well compared to other older SRW games. It doesn't help that the pilot and robot roster is relatively small compared to [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWars4 4th]], and it doesn't have much at all in the way of new seishins, skills, or unique features. In comparison to modern SRW games, Shin might be a boring experience.
* Point-and-click adventure games. Mostly due to a combination of GuideDangIt, YouCantGetYeFlask, and [=GUIs=] becoming popular (and easier to program), it can be a little hard for even some fans of these to pick up old Sierra adventure games such as ''VideoGame/LauraBow'', ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'', ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest'' and ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'', text games like ''VideoGame/{{Zork}}'', and more.
** And it isn't just the ancient parser adventures - even the most advanced of InteractiveFiction games get overlooked now, because who wants to ''type'' their commands in, after years of YouCantGetYeFlask leaving a bad taste in peoples' mouths?
** Even more popular graphic-point and click adventure games. ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' has thankfully aged well (In part because of a fan remake) but one would notice that the fan remake actually removes over half the commands due to redundancy. (Course, ''VideoGame/DayOfTheTentacle'' also did that.) Perhaps the hardest hit by this phenomenon is ''VideoGame/ZakMcKrackenAndTheAlienMindbenders''. Compared to ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'', the game was ''very'' linear, full of UnwinnableByDesign and UnwinnableByMistake moments, despite being ''much'' longer than ''Maniac Mansion''. (This was before they started their famous "No dying" and "Can't mess up" policies.) This was actually pretty standard design philosophy at the time, but playing it nowadays would get one calling it the "Black Sheep" of Lucas Arts's games.
** ''ReturnToZork'', a "revolutionary" example of a text adventure going graphical, has not aged well. The digitized actors and voice acting is pretty laughable nowadays with how stiff and pixelated the movements are, and how...distorted the voices sound. Not to mention, it's pretty needlessly obtuse with loads of commands that're redundant (But hey, it ''is'' Zork, after all.) The sheer amounts of GuideDangIt moments can be enough to alienate a lot of new players.
* ''StarOcean''. This happened primarily to the first two games when they were each given an EnhancedRemake. The first ''Star Ocean'' game was actually, for the most part, ''drastically'' different in story than most other [=RPG=]s (with a few exceptions like ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' and a couple ''ShinMegamiTensei'' games who often used elements of sci-fi) and the fact that this game was actually credited as the one that pushed the SNES's technology to the limit. People often criticized it as "There isn't enough sci-fi, there's magic so it's not sci-fi", "ItsShortSoItSucks", or "TheyChangedItNowItSucks" regarding the changes to their PSP versions. The plot for the first ''Star Ocean'' game is ''very'' similar to an episode of ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'', and the plot for the second one (called a ClicheStorm by some reviewers who had played the PSP remake) was actually ''far'' more original for the time than it seems now. The entire skill system (which was actually pretty in-depth and thorough) is often ignored, and the amount of recruitable characters and somewhat complex recruitment branches (giving some more replay value than the typical "you get these eight characters but can use only three or four at a time"-RPG) is considered just one part of a cliché storm. Let's also not forget that it was one of the first games that featured optional "Private Actions" to develop characters since the plot was written with only the required characters needing to be involved.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia''. This was a complaint when it had ''finally'' been localized. The first two ''Tales'' games (''Phantasia'' and ''Destiny'') may also be somewhat hard to get into with how their battle systems (which was actually a rather major change in what {{RPG}} gamers have been accustomed to since the days of DungeonsAndDragons and what was just showing up in action games like ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' and ''VideoGame/SecretOfEvermore'') are much slower and simplistic than in the more recent games in the series like ''Vesperia'' and ''Dawn of the New World''. You were restricted to just a 2D plane, there wasn't a lot of comboing, and the action froze to display spells & Special attacks. Also added was the fact that in Japan, ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'' was called "The game that sings" for having a theme song, unlike most other games at the time. Nowadays everyone more or less ''expects'' the games to be fast-paced action or else they don't fulfill the Action Quota produced in part ''by'' ''Phantasia'' and ''Destiny''. And having a theme song? Psssh... nearly every game's got one of those now.
** Some of these were subverted by the {{Enhanced Remake}}s the two had. (the PlayStation version of ''Phantasia'' is considered the best version of ''Phantasia'').
** For that mater, play many of the early TalesSeries games. Many of them don't exactly age well, with ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny II'' being hit the hardest - it wasn't until after this game that they decided to start becoming a DeconstructorFleet, so it can be a bit jarring to see how blatantly MarySue-like that Kyle and Reala are without any form of deconstruction. The Playstation version of ''VideoGame/TalesOfDestiny'' also falls right into the valley...in part because the EnhancedRemake was just ''that much better''.
* ''DragonsLair''. When new technology opened up new potential doors for media for the video games' storytelling, it can be rather hard to appreciate some of the early attempts at adding voice and cutscenes to games beyond this game's rather simplistic gameplay. Especially games like ''VideoGame/BegasBattle'', ''VideoGame/KingsQuestV'' and ''[[VideoGame/KingsQuestVI VI]]'', or the first two ''{{Lunar}}'' games. ''King's Quest V'' was a rather early example of adventure games and [=RPG=]s using more media to spread information and the story. Nowadays people will probably view the cutscenes on Website/YouTube and just laugh at the stiff animation, the voice acting, or the syncing (Usually a fault of the software used to put the file on Website/YouTube), often praising games like ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIDaggerfall Daggerfall]]'' for "doing the [[FullMotionVideo FMVs]] right" without acknowledging that even the most recent of those games (''EternalBlue'') was made at least two years before ''Daggerfall'' was even finished. (And even then, ''Daggerfall'''s videos could all be counted on one-hand.) Despite how rather laughable the cutscenes and voice acting is nowadays, one may have to consider that with the exception of ''VideoGame/LunarEternalBlue'' (which was made in 1994), all of those games were released within the range of 1990-92, and even then, the technology was rather new for the time. (''King's Quest V'', for example, showed a lot of people the potential of using CD-based games as opposed constantly switching out floppy discs.)
** Another funny example are the people saying that Ghaleon is just another silver-haired pretty villain who is a result of developers trying to create another Sephiroth. Now take one look at the release dates mentioned above and try reading that again with a straight face... By the time people watched Sephiroth burn down Nibelheim, the exploits of the Magic Emperor Ghaleon were already five years old. And when he returned for round two? Three years old... and don't even get some of these people ''started'' on the rather effeminate looking Zophar (who really isn't that effeminate looking on the Sega CD until he absorbs the power of Althena) who is also considered another Sephiroth ripoff... despite trying to take over the universe of ''{{Lunar}}'' at least three years before Sephiroth did.
* Full motion video. Many early attempts in the '90s are seen today as really, really corny (Morgan Webb of ''Series/XPlay'' said on one episode that there was once a time in which community theatre actors could find work in games). Heck, the [=FMV=] games nowadays have this really "grainy" appearance, while the old attempts at CGI now look like everything is made out of plastic and rubber. It can be hard to appreciate some games like ''VideoGame/TheSeventhGuest'', which was one of the first games period to even use the ''CD format'', let alone combine live-actors acting out scenes and pre-rendered CG-I. (Of course, the game in question may be hard to get into for [[SolveTheSoupCans other]] [[GuideDangIt reasons]] beyond how dated it is.)
** ''VideoGame/RebelAssault II'' was released two years before ''[[VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight]]'', and was the first piece of ''StarWars'' media to use live-action footage since ''ReturnOfTheJedi''. It was a huge deal at the time, and brought Lucasarts a giant surge of popularity (to the point that it had several compilation packages based around its inclusion). Today, it's hard to look at the footage from ''II'' (especially compared to the aforementioned ''Knight'', which has actual actors and actually feels like a legitimate entry into the canon, rather than just a GaidenGame) and not laugh at the stilted dialogue, cheap props and bad effects, even though it was ''the'' KillerApp for the company.
* Voice acting. Many classic games from the late '90s such as ''VideoGame/SilentHill1'', ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'', and to a lesser extent, ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' have some pretty {{narm}}y voice acting by modern standards, but at the time, they were considered revolutions in video game story telling. Indeed most of the best remembered video games of the PlayStation era were hits because of the then fresh and exciting "3D graphics, voice acting, movie inspired plots" formula.
** The inverse is also true in ''Metal Gear Solid'', as it was one of the first video games to take voice acting seriously in order to deliver a compelling story, which is now the norm these days.
* This was actually what one of the criticisms when the Sega Saturn version of ''MagicKnightRayearth'' came out. The reviewer found no problems with the game itself, he considered the localization of a game that was 3 years old already a wasted effort.
* ''HydroThunder'' has fallen victim to this. It's very hard to imagine how it was innovative when pretty much every aspect of it (outside of the boat racing) has been immitated (mostly very poorly) and used. Mention it to anyone who wasn't around or into the arcade scene in the late '90s and you'll be bound to hear a bunch of groans complaining how they've seen it all before.
* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}''. SamusIsAGirl. So what's the big deal? It's quite forgotten that the original was released at a time when female protagonists (or any female fitting [[FlatCharacter any trope besides]] DamselInDistress) in video games were essentially unheard of, even the trend of required token females in fighting games hadn't started yet. A rather dull twist today was one hell of a shocker at the time.
* ''MortalKombat''. The violence of the first game, and its depiction of digitized characters mutilating, decapitating, and just plain murdering each other with their Fatalities caused quite a stir during the [[TheNineties early 1990s]] with both players and parents. Nintendo caved in to the MoralGuardians when it came to "their" version of the game for the [[SuperNintendoEntertainmentSystem Super NES]], which had all the blood removed and some of the [[strike:Fatalities]] [[NeverSayDie Finishing Moves]] changed, resulting in significantly less units sold than its uncensored SegaGenesis counterpart. Arguably, ''Mortal Kombat'' could be cited as the game that single-handedly created the ESRB. Nowadays, the violence of the ''Mortal Kombat'' series seems cartoony and tame compared to some of the more disturbing games released since the rating system has been established, such as ''{{Manhunt}}'' and ''Silent Hill''.
** Not to mention the game seems almost like a gimmick nowadays, what its graphic violence and intriguing atmosphere/storyline hiding an otherwise primitive fighting system, both of which can now be found in more complex games.
** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat4'' specially suffers from this. While the game was nothing special in the gore department, the use of swift good-looking 3D graphics made it a successful game. If you check the reviews of the time, it usually got pretty decent scores (6.5/10 to 8.5/10). Most people nowadays consider it a horrible game, forgetting that it was the first 3D ''Mortal Kombat'' game not to hit the PolygonCeiling.
** Admittedly, ''Mortal Kombat'' did drift from its harsher origins over the course of the series. Fatalities in later titles were less about the raw violence and more about the spectacle. Kano went from ripping people's hearts out in the first game to using his EyeBeams to blow up his enemies by the third. It's still a finishing move, but the extremeness of the ''[=MK3=]'' fatality just lacked the cold-bloodedness and disturbing vibe the first game had.
* ''NightTrap'' also helped cause the ESRB to be formed, or was one of the prime motivators. Seeing it now, it's amazing to think of how it was supposed to be so offensive on the Sega CD. Of course, even then, there wasn't any actual violence (implied, not actually shown), and many of the things that were shown were so fantastical people couldn't ''possibly'' replicate it. (As it was filmed) However, the sex... oh boy... a girl in a nightgown that looked like something in the '50s (however, the game's biggest criticizers at the time were people who [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch hadn't actually seen it]]).
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar''. A lot of the tropes of [=JRPG=]s in general come from this series, including the mash-up of sci-fi and fantasy elements, customizing party lineups by swapping out party members, and the emotionally shocking but dramatically effective storyline deaths of important protagonists[[note]] Technically, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' had protagonists meet their demise over the course of the story but they were the fourth party member and not any of the main three[[/note]]. Now it's all par for the course. In addition, while the ''VideoGame/PhantasyStar'' games were generally DarkerAndEdgier than the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games of their day, ever since ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', the majority of [=RPGs=] have been at least as grim as anything in the quadrilogy.
** It does technically hold onto one claim to fame, though it is unfortunately [[BrokenBase at home in the 'Dark Horse' of the original quadrilogy]]. And that is a branching storyline caused by marital succession. Granted, such a thing is probably a massive pain in the arse to script then implement, so it is no surprise few others have a constantly refreshing cast of characters.
** Most of the early Western [=RPG=]s (such as ''HeavyOnTheMagick'' on the European 8-bit computers, or ''VideoGame/DungeonMaster'' on the Amiga and Atari ST) had little plot intrusion in the game with much of that sort of thing being in the "The story so far..." section of the instruction manual. Nowadays, while there are still segments of the gaming population that prefer games to have as little story as possible, even a story-lite game like ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' still has a main plot thrown into the game with a few token cinematics.
** Amusingly, early {{RPG}}s copied each other so much there was little effective difference between them: ''[[DragonQuest Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest]]'' and ''Final Fantasy'' were, if not the same, at least very similar thematically. Now, due to the proliferation of the RPG format, there are any number of different RPG genres. Which sort of makes it the reverse of SeinfeldIsUnfunny: earlier {{RPG}}s copied shamelessly, newer {{RPG}}s are much more diverse. Sort of.
*** Early Western [=RPGs=] were so mechanically similar that you could frequently import parties developed in other games. You could play ''BardsTale 2'' with your ''VideoGame/{{Wizardry}}'' party.
** A more straight example: ''ShinMegamiTenseiI'' was one of the first major [=RPGs=] (another was ''VideoGame/{{Makai Toshi SaGa}}'', also known as ''Final Fantasy Legend'') to include heavy Christian imagery and [[GodIsEvil cast God as a villain]]. It predates ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' by three years, ''FinalFantasyTactics'' by five years and ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' by six. It also focuses heavily on story (a rarity at the time), includes a [[WideOpenSandbox free-roaming environment]], has MultipleEndings and gives you the option of [[VillainProtagonist choosing what kind of morality you want to follow]] [[KarmaMeter based on the actions you take in the game]], which significantly changes the story. [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt One of the villains destroys the world]] partway through the game [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI two years before Kefka did it]]. And most importantly, in a genre filled with Cliché Storms at the time, this was an UrbanFantasy set in the real world that quickly shifts into AfterTheEnd. This isn't even mentioning the ultimate twist, which rarely leaves its series '''''to this day''''' - you only had two party members, while the four other spots were filled with MonsterAllies. Of course, since all of these controversial themes [[NoExportForYou kept it inside Japan for over a decade]], most fans don't even realize it was a trendsetter because they just never had an opportunity to play them and by the time they did come over, the themes that are frequent fodder for the franchise had already become commonplace.
* Speaking of ''Makai Toshi [=SaGa=]'', its leveling system was an improvement of the one in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', and was subsequently improved in the following games, making the original look rather old by comparison.
* ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}''. The original game was an immense hit in its day due to its technological innovations. But its once-shocking 3D graphics now look... underwhelming, due to low polygon counts and lack of texture filtering. Though the overall atmosphere and art design still hold up quite well despite the limitations.
** Even ''VideoGame/{{Quake}}'''s other claim to fame, that is, being the first widespread online FPS is relatively unimpressive to today's gamers. In a day and age of gaming networks like Steam, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live, Quake's lack of a server-browser, let alone a gaming network (excluding early 3rd party networks like [=MPlayer=] and MSN Zone) seems downright primitive. Still, considering today's gaming dominated by multiplayer FPS's, Quake's popularization of online gameplay makes it one of the most important technical feats to this day.
* ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark1992''. That game was probably the TropeCodifier (along with ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil'') for most SurvivalHorror tropes. Yet the animations for it and some of the voice acting come off as narmy and act as [[NightmareRetardant nightmare retadants]]. The game itself [[NonIndicativeName doesn't look very dark]] either, and lacks the sorts of graphical elements that make more modern games actually scary. The game's tech ''does'' give an UncannyValley feel to it that can be quite {{Nightmare Fuel}}ish in its own right.
* [[SequelDisplacement The original]] ''[[{{VideoGame/StreetFighterI}} Street Fighter]]''. Back then, arcade games were almost universally simple affairs. Punch, kick, jump, shoot, duck, defend on occasion, maybe if it got ''really'' wild, you had an alternate weapon. Large sprites, one-on-one gameplay, a pair of ''analog'' buttons which produced a variety of strikes (later replaced by the now-standard six-button grid), holding back to block, super-lethal attacks unleashed by ''secret joystick movements'', and unique opponents with a variety of styles and attacks... all of these were ''amazing'' innovations. Especially for Capcom, which at the time had almost nothing but platformers and various {{Shoot Em Up}}s. It was a huge success, better than anyone could've imagined. Today, good luck finding someone who remembers that this game ''existed'', much less will admit to liking it.
** ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' accidentally introduced animation cancelling, and as a result, the entire concept of combos in fighting games. This glitch single-handedly extended the life of video arcades for a decade. Today, the system seems clunky and sometimes unresponsive, and overpowered to boot[[note]]The basic Ryu/Ken combo of jumping roundhouse, crouching forward canceled into fireball originally did over 45% damage and instantly dizzied the opponent[[/note]]; then again, it was a glitch, and not an integrated component of the game engine.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMario64''. A lot of people complain that it is unwieldy and unimaginative, unaware that, outside of a couple crappy (even for their time) games, there really didn't exist 3D platformers in 1996.
** Or, hell, even the original ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'' for the NES. With it's abundance of repeated level [[VideoGameSettings styles]], there's some people who don't realize that this game kickstarted Nintendo's juggernaut of a series. Back in the 1985, 32 side-scrolling levels (with many secret areas) was simply immense for a game world (at the time of TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983, many games made do with only a few static screens), and Mario's GoombaStomp and forgiving JumpPhysics made for much livelier gameplay than most earlier platformers, where characters couldn't jump high and often needed a powerup to have any chance of defeating enemies.
** ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBrothers3'' for the NES was considered groundbreaking back in its release of 1988 (1990 in North America and 1991 in the PAL regions) with its expanded power-ups, more variety in the worlds, bigger back-story, and just more depth in general. However, younger gamers who did not grow up with the NES will wonder why older gamers find the game to be amazing today and younger gamers will just think of it as a standard Mario platformer.
** ''VideoGame/{{Spelunker}}'', with its pixel-perfect jumps and [[FallingDamage death for falling a quarter of the screen height]], is seen by many retro gamers as some sort of sick joke. These infuriating characteristics were shared by many early {{Platform Game}}s on 8-bit computers.
** ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', in its day, was the ArcadeGame that Nintendo couldn't manufacture enough copies of to satisfy worldwide demand. Players who grew up in an age when only the most amateurish PlatformGame would have only four screens might wonder why it became so phenomenally popular.
* ''VideoGame/ApeEscape''. Nowadays, the game is plagued by DamnYouMuscleMemory and what is now considered terrible camera controls (in part because a standardized control scheme is "Right analog stick for camera, left analog stick for movement".) However, at the time, ''Ape Escape'' was a huge experiment in 3D control... as well as for the PlayStation in general. For one, it was the first game to ''require'' the [=DualShock=] controller.
* ''VideoGame/TombRaider''. Before this game, most women in video games were [[DistressedDamsel only there to be rescued]] or [[TheSmurfettePrinciple be sidekicks]] (sometimes both). In other cases where you could actually control a female character, she would only be an option to the main, heroic male lead character. Lara Croft started a trend of women becoming the sole [[ActionGirl protagonist in action games]]. The game was also praised for its detailed, realistic interactive 3D environment and use of set pieces, which was groundbreaking at the time. Nowadays, the original game rarely gets the respect it deserves, and even then, it's mostly remembered for the {{Fanservice}} (she has [[BuxomIsBetter big boobs]], therefore the game is sexist and [[AccentuateTheNegative completely cancels out every other positive aspect of Lara's characterization]]) that is mentioned rather than the many other things it did and the major part it played in establishing the 3D ActionAdventure genre in general.
** Lara Croft herself was also the first female protagonist who gained a lot of her attention due to her "assets". Back in the mid 90s, a female character made for sex appeal was controversial. Nowadays, no one bats an eye.
* The ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' games, ''SystemShock2'' in particular. Despite being one of the most undersold games ever, never really moving beyond CultClassic, ''System Shock 2'' was a very well put together and innovative PC game. It was so good it has at least two [[SpiritualSuccessor Spiritual Successors]]. Both ''Franchise/{{BioShock}}'' and ''Franchise/DeadSpace'' copy its sold blend of SurvivalHorror/shooter in a SciFi environment with vending machines, upgrade stations allowing for a good deal of customization, and special powers (often used in puzzle solving), and a plot where everyone's turned into monsters and the only normal people are either on the other end of the radio, die five seconds after you meet them, or are the villains. However, improved graphics and gameplay, combined with the fact that not as many people played ''VideoGame/SystemShock'' create such moments as ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'' being described as "like ''Franchise/{{BioShock}}'', but [[RecycledInSpace on a spaceship]]."
* The ''TokimekiMemorial'' series as a whole, [[FollowTheLeader being the series which made non-H Dating Sims and Otome Games popular]], and [[TropeCodifier having created or popularized]] a number of Romance and HaremSeries tropes along the way, suffers from this nowadays. Especially notable in the case of ''Tokimeki Memorial 4'', the latest game in the series: it's generally accepted that it's on par, if not superior to the best episode in the series, the back-then groundbreaking and extremely popular ''[[EvenBetterSequel Tokimeki Memorial 2]]''; but it's mostly shrugged off by critics and gamers alike as "so [[TheNineties Nineties]]" and "so old-school", being used by games such as ''VideoGame/TheIdolmaster'' and ''LovePlus''.
* ''{{Ultima}}''. [[Creator/BenCroshaw Yahtzee]] once described the series as "needlessly obtuse", which would make sense if there was anything better available at the time the games were released (which is only true for ''UltimaIX'' and perhaps ''UltimaVIII'').
** The early ''{{Ultima}}'' games were often described as "[=RPG=]/adventure hybrids" at the time, because they brought into [=RPG=]s such revolutionary elements as ''[[RPGsEqualCombat talking to [=NPCs=]]]'' and ''[[RPGsEqualCombat solving puzzles]]'' beyond "use key on door".
** It also was pretty much the first source of a [[KarmaMeter morality system]] in an RPG, in ''UltimaIV''.
** The ''UltimaUnderworld'' games, along with ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsArena'', revolutionized [=RPGs=] with 360 degrees of 3 dimensional freedom, before the term FPS had even been coined. It looks less impressive compared to today's RPG hack-n-slashers.
* The first ''VirtuaFighter'' is horribly bland if you've played any 3D fighting game that came later (let alone, later entries in the series), yet words fail to describe how innovative and astonishing it was when it came out. Of course, the very name indicates that it was made to demonstrate something new at the time.
* ''WelcomeToPiaCarrot''. The first game was made in 1995. Like many other [[HGame adult games]] and {{dating sim}}s, it lingered in NoExportForYou territory. By the time a FanTranslation of the PC-FX port was made in 2009, the art style looked quite old on the other hand, only a few other similar games in English in 2009 had simulation-style gameplay).
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'', compared to the newer games, would look like it's missing a lot of the elements that are staples of the series (such as towns full of [=NPCs=], traveling by way of a horse or vehicle, and lots of dialogue and cutscenes) but at the time, it was an epic adventure the likes of which was almost completely unheard of in a console game, just because you had a more free-range environment, a whole arsenal of inventory items and needed a save feature just to finish it (this was an early NES game, and most of those games at the time were the kind you could finish in a single sitting (at least [[NintendoHard in principle]]), or used a [[PasswordSave password system]]).
** For that matter, [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime the]] {{Nintendo 64}} [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask games]]. They were a ''spectacular'' VideoGame3DLeap at the time, and are the base for every third-person game that exists now, having introduced features such as the now ubiquitous CameraLockOn. However, just like ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', the low-poly graphics and mostly square environments don't look nearly as good today, especially when compared to [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker newer]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess games]].
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' evokes this in two ways: firstly, the speed which the eponymous Blue Blur ran through the levels in the first game in the series really seemed quite blistering to gamers of the day, even if nobody would think twice about it now. Also, in order to truly see the heavily promoted "edginess" of the character, you really need to be aware that when Sonic first appeared in 1991, the vast majority of platform heroes were promoted as squeaky-clean [[TheEveryman everymen]]. [[MascotWithAttitude A teenage hedgehog with a spiky hairstyle and a self-confident smirk was enough to seem uber-cool by comparison]].
** ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', has often been noted to not have aged well compared to later 3D games, due to having many gameplay styles you have to play to complete the game and feeling rather slow compared to later games, which may contribute to the low critical scores that the HD rerelease garnered.
* Logistics and diplomacy in a wargame. From the west came Virgin Interactive with ''Overlord'' with trade, military pacts, and planetary bombardment, and from the east came Koei, with ''NobunagasAmbition''. Both were the first in their genres to combine obsessive resource management with the trappings of a standard setpiece wargame. How much your troops had trained and with what. How much food you had. The market of the food itself. The market behind your weaponry. Spying. Assassinations. Treaties. Aid pacts. Black markets. Taxation. Dividends. And in ''Nobunaga'''s case, even marriage was accounted for, as an alternative option to uniting your empire with another's. The information overload was staggering for its time, possibly even for some now. This was not merely there to bolster the wargame part ala ''Total War'' either. It was vitally important to do all these things at once lest you fall behind and face unexpected defeat in the coming battle.
** Similarly, ''{{VideoGame/MULE}}'' was all about managing and developing your resources on a newly-founded colony world.
* The original ''VideoGame/BattleArenaToshinden'' was in its time a revolutionary 3D fighting game and one of the most highly-rated games for the original PlayStation when it originally came out. It was one of the most advertised launch titles for the platform in North America and Europe, as well as the third game to ever get a score of 98% from ''Game Players'' magazine (the other two being the SNES port of ''Super Street Fighter II'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''). ''Toshinden'' was credited for taking the fighting genre into "true 3D" with its introduction of the sidestep maneuver, and it was also the first 3D fighting game with weapon-based combat. However, the sequels got progressively worse reviews (the fourth one wasn't even released in North America), and the release of the superior weapon-based 3D fighter ''SoulEdge'' (itself influenced by ''Toshinden'') eventually rendered ''Toshinden'' obsolete. Many today now compare the game unfavourably to the ''SoulCalibur'' series (or later ''{{Tekken}}'' and ''VirtuaFighter'' games), without realizing just how revolutionary ''Toshinden'' was for its time.
* The ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty: ModernWarfare'' series is a microcosm of this trope. When the Marine player character in the first game [[spoiler: is permanently killed by the nuke]] in "Aftermath", it was a huge break from other FPS games of the era. The fact that you [[spoiler:controlled a dying character in the middle of a nuclear blast zone (and had no say over whether he lived or died), and that all your efforts in the American campaign were for naught]] was a ''huge'' deal then, and flew in the face of conventional video game tropes. The sequel, however, does the same thing [[spoiler:3]] separate times, and for players who played ''[=MW2=]'' before the original, the effect of the "Aftermath" level is lost.
* The ''BaldursGate'' games are considered WesternRPG landmarks. Try telling that to BioWare fans who got on board circa ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 if]] [[Franchise/DragonAge not]] [[VideoGame/MassEffect2 later]], when the developer had started going more for the cinematic angle.
** To a minor extent, the bonus merchants in the ''Baldur's Gate 2'' Collector's Edition. At the time the game was released, having these two merchants was a ''huge'' deal, as they not only were highly-exclusive bonuses that were only limited to a comparative handful of game owners, but the equipment they sold was [[DiscOneNuke much better than anything else at the beginning of the game]]. Fast forward through a generation of PreOrderBonus and CE content offers, and its hard to see what the big deal is.
* The ''[[VideoGame/SOCOMUSNavySeals SOCOM]]'' series, full stop. During the PS2 days, ''SOCOM'' blended the best aspects of PC tactical shooters (mainly ''VideoGame/{{Counter-Strike}}'', ''DeltaForce'' and ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'') and made the gameplay palatable for console gamers. Combine this with the ultra-popular PS2 and the result? [[http://therealsocom.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=1068 Six million total sales between the first two games]]. However, ''SOCOM''[='=]s relevance was symbiotic with Sony's problematic online gaming support, which suffered from the PS2's lack of a built-in hard drive (making patching impossible and dropped games were common). Then ''{{Halo 2}}'' was released, and Xbox Live's popularity exploded. And then, the worst combination for the series: PS3's lackluster launch handicapped the console, developer Zipper did not make another ''SOCOM'' game for years, and many different tactical shooters flooded the console market (e.g., the "Creator/TomClancy's" line of shooters, ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}'' variants, and especially ''Call of Duty''). By the time ''SOCOM 4'' was released, only longtime fans remained interested. Worse, ''SOCOM 4'''s attempts to convert new fans was a failure, and the remaining fans are [[BrokenBase caught into a bitter civil war with the franchise]]. Now that developer Zipper [[http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/03/30/sony-closes-zipper-interactive.aspx has shut down on March 2012]], the franchise looks to be a footnote of the PS2 days, and little else.
* GenreSavvy people are predicting this to happen to the original ''DefenseOfTheAncients'' because it was released on an engine considered "outdated". A lot of other early [[MultiplayerOnlineBattleArena MOBA]] games in general after other games like ''VideoGame/{{Demigod}}'', ''HeroesOfNewerth'', ''LeagueOfLegends'' and ''[=DotA=] 2'' improved and played with the formula a bit more.
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Persona}}'' game. It was made in 1996, and... quite honestly hasn't aged very well. It kicked off a series, and ''was'' a cult hit, but the sequels (even the second games, which followed the original formula, not the madly popular dating sim) polished the franchise so much better the first game is much, ''much'' harder to just pick up and play than the later installments. This is one of those games where you spend either a couple hours poking around constantly finding the items... or five minutes with a guide.
** If you think that the LiteralSplitPersonality or the escapism are cliché, it's worth noting that you'd be hard pressed to find any more of that back in 1996.
* A couple of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' [[GameMod hacks]] have actually fallen into this category as well.
** ''VideoGame/TheSecondRealityProject'' was one of the first major ''Super Mario World'' hacks. Completed in 2002 (around Lunar Magic's really early years), the game just had level edits and nothing else. But the creator did do a remake incorporating newer graphics, levels and other things.
** Heck, [[http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=showhack&id=1163 Rob-Omb's Quest]] probably looks lousy today compared to other ''Super Mario World'' hacks, but around the time it came out, (many) people were impressed by the custom ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' music, overworld and level ideas.
*** Even the ''[=SMB3=]'' music seems bland compared to the custom music that can be inserted into a ''SMW'' ROM hack now.
** [=ExGFX=]? Well, although some people still like playing [[http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=showhack&id=1040 Super Demo World: The Legend Continues]], it still doesn't have all the ASM and custom music that newer ''SMW'' hacks nowadays have. It's still a great hack to play though.
** The first hack that demonstrated what ASM editing can do? [[http://www.smwcentral.net/?p=showhack&id=1012 Brutal Mario]] was pretty famous for the custom bosses, sprites and other features, but had bad level design. Nowadays, there are many other hacks that incorporate ASM.
** ''KaizoMarioWorld''. Remember that at the time, all those cruel tricks were actually original, and even things like the KaizoTrap or invisible coin blocks were used sparingly and in a clever way. And things like invisible/underwater Bowser, that Big Boo boss in the second, the final Reznor fight and many of the levels were actually fairly well designed, it's just the imitators that came since copied so much of it that the game itself is old hat.
** Other hacks have issues with this too. Ore World 1 and 2 were extremely old examples of Mario hacks with lots of ASM in the form of custom bosses and sprites, and were actually kind of impressive back in the olden days. Nowadays though, the fact their custom sprites/bosses are extremely basic and somewhat poorly designed, along with the fact everything but the ASM was generally low quality has meant that the games have practically been forgotten. Another example is the Super Mario World Returns hacks by KT. They were notable about a decade ago for being the first ever hacks to have custom sprites in levels, having enemies from other Mario games as basic mooks you could fight throughout the adventure. Now of course, with sprite tool actually existing and many more interesting examples of custom sprites being made, their design is just coming across as dated to anyone who plays them.
* ''BreathOfFireII'', for the Super NES. Compared to today's games, its mild swearing (a single "damn" and "hell"), explicit references to death, and religious themes (including a CorruptChurch and explicit references to gods) may seem tame; nonetheless, it was definitely DarkerAndEdgier than anything ever before seen on a Nintendo system.
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' did for video games what ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead'' did for movies. Zombies. Used to be, zombies were about as common or less likely for one to encounter as the old 1980s stand-by enemies, the robot and the ninja. Then ''Resident Evil'' came along. Nowadays, zombies are almost as ubiquitous in games as [[CrateExpectations crates]]. Not to mention the entire shift in what a SurvivalHorror title even ''is''. These days, the genre is more focused on action, with combat being quicker and more frantic and story and level progression more fast-paced. This is a far cry from the "tank/turret-style" controls and complex puzzle-oriented gameplay of the first Survival Horror titles.
* ''Renegade'' was the first "belt-scrolling" BeatEmUp and pioneered such features as throwing enemies. The Japanese version launched the ''KunioKun'' series, and the Westernized version was popular enough to get its own line of sequels. Even as a BeatEmUp it gets little respect nowadays, likely in part because even the arcade version lacks the CoOpMultiplayer that became a staple of the genre. {{Seanbaby}}, describing the NES port as one of the "Top 20 Worst NES Games," claimed sarcastically that "there just weren't any other games involving guys walking around and fighting bad guys on the street." To a large extent, there ''weren't'': it came before such better-remembered games as ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFight''.
* Similar to ''KaizoMarioWorld'', Fire Emblem ROM-Hacks. Mageknight404 mentions that in his Blitz Tactics Universe series, the hack is really dated, but at the time was probably the best rom-hacks of ''FireEmblemElibe''. It was actually one of the first games to do stuff like change around the event data, so that the characters were not actually just cutting the lines from a ''FireEmblemElibe'' game and replacing them with their own. However, playing it now, you'll notice that the characters are ''obviously'' splices or edits, while some of the custom faces fall right into the UncannyValley. In addition, the custom music will seem out of place, the events will seem weird, there are glitches (Such as ''brigands'' with ''sword'' ranks) amongst other things. However, it -was- merely a beta, after all, and recently the game was revamped and re-released, given a name change to The Last Promise, and is generally a vast step up from the original version.
** The idea of a main character who was a [[CrutchCharacter Jeigan]] was also a rather novel concept.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' was both revolutionary and hugely controversial when it came out in 2001. While games like ''VideoGame/{{Driver}}'' and ''VideoGame/BodyHarvest''[[note]]The latter of which, incidentally, was made by DMA Design, the same studio that made ''GTA III'' and later became Rockstar North.[[/note]] had done WideOpenSandbox gameplay before, none came close to the scope and production values of ''GTA III''. The game had respected Hollywood actors voicing characters both major and minor, and combined driving, exploration, and combat in a way that had no rival at the time. Players could run around an open world, steal cars and run down pedestrians with them, kill anybody they saw (including cops) with a wide array of weapons, and pick up prostitutes to get health (and then kill them to [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything get their money back]]), earning it the award of "Most Offensive Game of the Year" from [=GameSpy=] and other publications.\\
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Nowadays, with many WideOpenSandbox games that have built upon ''GTA III''[='=]s gameplay foundation (including later installments in the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' series itself), things like the clunky shooting mechanics, the ExcusePlot, and the long load times between areas of the city stand out more. The presence of Hollywood celebrities voicing characters isn't that impressive when nearly every AAA game released nowadays has big-name voice talent. Lastly, the edgy content seems tame in comparison to ''VideoGame/{{Manhunt}}'', ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'', ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', and the "No Russian" mission in ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2'' (the F-word isn't even used in the game).
** ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'' was also revolutionary in that it was one of the first mass-market games ever made to feature a soundtrack made up almost entirely of well-known, licensed music tracks from more than one artist. Typically, a game either used in-house music (which tended to be fairly simplistic) or had a single artist or band (more often than not a fairly obscure one) produce the music. The fact that ''Vice City'' had nothing but licensed music from many of the most famous artists of TheEighties, across multiple genres, blew the minds of both reviewers and the public at large, and is credited as being a big part of the game's '80s vibe. Now days, licensed music tracks tend to be the rule rather than the exception in many WideOpenSandbox games and even some non-sandbox games.
* On a similar note, the original ''TonyHawksProSkater'' was probably the first mainstream game to use an extensive licensed soundtrack. While most of the bands (except maybe ''Music/{{Primus}}'') were pretty obscure outside the Punk community, it was quite impressive at the time to hear such a wide range (ie. more than just one or two) of different bands in a video game. ''Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2'', meanwhile, perfected this formula by offering a wider range of musical styles (basically anything from Punk to Rap to Metal) and larger assortment of mainstream bands. Just about every game with licensed music thereafter has owed a lot to the first two Tony Hawk games.
** Before THPS, ''RoadRash'' for the 3DO pioneered the fully licensed soundtrack with bands like Soundgarden, Monster Magnet, and Paw.
* When ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' was released in early 1996, just hearing the word "Damn!" uttered at the very beginning was pretty hardcore, let alone being able to do things like dance with (or kill) strippers. Today, with far more brutal and foul-mouthed games having been released ever since, it's hard to look at this game as little more than a standard mid-'90s FPS with a cheesy 80's action movie gimmick, as the reception for VideoGame/DukeNukemForever demonstrates.
** Beyond that, the gameplay was an immense leap forward from the ''DOOM'' era only three years beforehand. The environments represented multiple realistic buildings with destructible environments, scripted cinematic events like missile launches, interactive items like light switches and playable billiards, working mirrors and remote security cameras, and incredible use of verticality with the jetpack and underwater segments. Just being able to look up and down was a technical achievement and is now of course taken for granted.
** Not to mention such trivial things like the electrical sockets shocking you if you use them. There were a lot more nuances planned, but didn't make it into the full game. Like the tripmines laser reflecting off mirrors.
* ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor: Allied Assault'' was the first FPS that deliberately set out to be "cinematic". The endless imitators that followed, ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' series most prominent of all[[note]]though COD ''was'' made by former MOH producers[[/note]], have led to [[http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/06/27/medal-of-honor-the-game-that-defined-the-modern-fps?utm_source=Thursday%20newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=6.28%20Dynamic%20Newsletter_5460_256563_256622&utm_content=19994177 its 10th anniversary and impact going nearly forgotten.]]
* Connected with the previous one is, well... the WWII era of ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty''. While there certainly had been FPS games before where you fought alongside groups (including the Omaha Beach level of the aforementioned ''Allied Assault''), the idea that you could ''constantly'' be having a squad (or larger!) of men fighting alongside you for basically the entire game, with at least a few of them having something of a personality, was such a leap forward that the marketing slogan for the first game was "Nobody Fights Alone." Nowadays, that's standard operating procedure in basically every military FPS. Ironically, while the WWII ''Call Of Duty'' games were among the best-selling FPS of their day, they are now more of a footnote compared to the more modern setting games.
** Hell, ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' has suffered from this badly in general. ''Call Of Duty 4'''s multiplayer was viewed as pretty advanced for the time, with class customisation and smooth multiplayer, and reasonable graphics. However, the problem seems to be that the series has become too formulaic, with a lack of general change until the announcement of ''Black Ops 2''.
* The original ''VideoGame/CoolBoarders'' was the [[KillerApp first major snowboarding game]] on the market. It set the bar for an entire generation of snowboarding franchises like ''Amped'', ''VideoGame/{{SSX}}'' and ''Shaun White's Snowboarding''. Yet, ''Cool Boarders'' had a [[SarcasmMode whopping]] five tracks, two characters, a handful of boards, an incredibly slow top speed and absolutely no competitive mode to speak of. It looks like a glorified demo in comparison to later snowboarding games, especially within its own series (to the point that ''Cool Boarders 2'' in 1997 is considered to be the "true" start of the franchise). Later franchises reused ''Boarders''' Competition mode, trend of qualifying jumps, unlockable characters and boards. However, all those franchises wouldn't have succeeded (or would have been drastically different) if ''Cool Boarders'' hadn't started the trend.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xevious}}'' was one of the earliest and most influential {{Vertical Scrolling Shooter}}s, but nowadays reviews aren't so good for an EndlessGame with bland 8-bit graphics, boring enemy designs, an annoying soundtrack and a total lack of power-ups.
* The original Sierra games like ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' were revolutionary at the time, and the American games industry would not be the same if Sierra adventure games had not existed, yet, even a relatively short time after the originals came out, everyone with a computer and their dog could program a game like that. It was when they [[GrowingTheBeard grew the beard]] with ''VideoGame/KingsQuestIII'' and onward, introducing such things as evolving plots, characters that functioned as people rather than just obstacles, varying flesh-out environments and graphics that actually looked liked there was an actual artist on board rather than a 5-year old with a paint program that they began to stand out as legitimate products rather than just simple high school projects. In fact, ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'' was often used to train new programmers, and while it shows with one and two, take a look at three or even four that look ''far'' more polished.
* Video game vocal tracks, in the '90s, were actually a pretty big deal. Mind you, certain songs (such as the [[VideoGame/DonkeyKong64 DK Rap]]) were panned even then. But JRPG vocal tracks in particular, such as [[LunarSilverStarStoryComplete "Wings"]] and [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII "Eyes on Me"]], were highly regarded at the time. Today, with fully-licensed music being the norm in video games and Western [=RPGs=] like ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' and ''Franchise/MassEffect'' having overtaken the JRPG's spot in terms of popularity nearly a decade ago, modern gamers see these songs as sort of overdone and kind of show-offy attempts at depicting emotional scenes, utilizing the PS1's CD format.
* ''VideoGame/PaRappaTheRapper'' was a major innovation back in 1997, because no one else had seen a RhythmGame before (this was before even ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution''), and the PaperPeople graphics was considered revolutionary for a game back then. Years later, ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' would re-revolutionize Paper People graphics, and further rhythm games would re-revolutionize the rhythm game genre. Parappa's simplistic rhythm mechanic is considered completely obsolete, as every rhythm game after it uses a better system than "Press a certain button at basically random times". On top of that, ''[=PaRappa=]'' and each of its sequels would feel [[ItsShortSoItSucks unforgivably short]], as no game in the series has ever had more than 8 songs (all of which were made in-house for the games, compared to most rhythm games now having a licensed soundtrack or at least record industry people making the music), meaning you could finish any [=PaRappa=] game within an hour even at a low skill level. Compare that with modern rhythm games, which have at least 30 songs, with best-selling franchises having hundreds per game.
* ''Joe Montana II Sports Talk Football'' released back in 1991 was the first football video game to actually have continous commentary.
* ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 1''. When it came out, reviews lauded the first game for its fast action and deep gameplay; today many players who try it find it kind of slow, clunky and limited (not to mention the infamous [[DamnYouMuscleMemory triangle jump]]). It has the right to be, since it basically set all the foundations of the modern Beat 'em All genre, four years before ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' and Itagaki's ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden''.
* Even edutainment titles are not immune. Any young one who was raised on games like that from the mid-[=90s=] to the late [=2000s=] probably played an interactive book of some sort -- the type where you can choose to have the story read to you, or have it read first and then being able to click on everything in the page and have it come to life. Some of these included the Disney Animated Storybooks and GT Interactive's games based on the ''Literature/LittleCritter'' stories. They filled the edutainment market so much that it becomes easy to forget VideoGame/LivingBooks started the whole trend. Back when they did it, it was unlike anything that had been done before. It's not as glaring as some other examples since very few of the clones were able to live up to the standards Living Books set, but it's definitely part of the reason Living Books didn't last forever.
* In Japan, the best-loved ''FireEmblem'' games are Marth's, having [[FirstInstallmentWins been the originals]] and with a lot of fans citing a love for the cast/world. For [[NoExportForYou fans outside of Japan]], though, the series effectively started [[FireEmblemElibe seven games later]], with all the advancements made since then (including the [[TacticalRockPaperScissors weapon triangle]], the [[RelationshipValues Support system]] and [[AntiFrustrationFeatures the ability to see a unit's movement and attack range at the touch of a button]] rather than having to check their Move stat and counting spaces). Thus, international fans weren't impressed when the [[VideoGameRemake remake]] of the first game eschewed many of the newer features in favor of staying faithful to the original. The lack of the Support system (which gave the casts of the later games much of their characterization) is a particular sore spot.
* Anyone who counts the post Playstation 2 era as the main base of their video game experience will be extremely unlikely to appreciate just how revolutionary ''VideoGame/{{Shenmue}}'' was to the WideOpenSandbox genre. It was one of the first truly interactive city environments that actually felt like a living breathing world: NPC's were at work or home depending on the time of day, real time weather effects that could actually be set to mimic the actual day to day weather of 1986/1987 Japan, arcades that featured classic arcade games such as Space Harrier, the range of dialogue was extensive even if it did constantly loop itself and, most importantly, invented the QuickTimeEvent. Today however it has been copied and surpassed by so many internationally famous franchises such as ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'' all it is most likely remembered for by modern gamers is its infamously bad voice acting that admittedly even at the time was outdated when you consider the original Metal Gear Solid came out a year beforehand and pretty much set the trend for all vocal performances to come.
** The note here about Quick Time Events needs to be expanded because unlike its overshadowed contributions to sandbox games; QTE's are now more or less in every genre of modern game imaginable from third person shooters to RPG's. They are now in fact so widespread that some reviewers today are so sick of them they even ''downgrade'' their ratings just on the basis of their presence. Yet as hard as it may be to accept now, back in 2000 the concept of having such interactivity in a cut scene on a console game was unheard of. The closest we had were basic things like the odd text box popping up with a simplistic ''right or left'' style choice.
* These days it is nearly impossible to play a game of ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' in the arcade without passersby calling it "''VideoGame/GuitarHero'' for your feet," despite the former predating the latter by seven years.
** Amongst DDR fans, the older games tend to look primitive, due to the slower framerate, lack of gameplay modifiers, and more distracting graphics.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}''. The ultimate example of this trope. Whilst not the first ever video game as is widely believed, it is the first game to truly make the medium ''popular'' which is far more important in establishing whether something will become commercially viable or not. Indeed this sheer popularity is most likely the reason ''why'' essentially no one today can name what came before it without the aid of Google. Pity therefore, that even gamers who grew up with it probably think of it as nothing more than two lines and a dot on a hazy monochrome screen.
* VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}: It's hard to believe that, in the late-90's, this game [[NoExportForYou almost didn't see an American release]] because of its religious overtones. Compared to what a lot of more recent games get away with in terms of religious content, it's hard to believe that the game's [[ShownTheirWork surprisingly reverent]] treatment of the topic was met with so much controversy.
** Even stranger: FinalFantasyTactics, released almost one year earlier, had much stronger and harsher religious overtones. But there were no qualms about giving that game a US release. And let's not even get started on the [[HollywoodSatanism satanic overtones]] of ID Software's mid-90's games.
* ''VideoGame/FrontMission'', the series was ''BandOfBrothers'' with giant robots with a bit of ''Series/TwentyFour'' mixed in. However, Square thinking that westerners wouldn't appreciate such a story and had created a route meant to cater to the American Public with a more traditional anime inspired plot and another which is very similar to previous titles. Too bad they didn't realize that nowadays, moral greyness and protagonists with complex personalities are the norm as seen with Front Mission Evolved.
* Multiplayer gaming in general. Before online play became the norm, nearly all forms of multiplayer were done on the same console in the same room. Back in the day, multiplayer was considered to be extremely engaging and the bar was set higher when the Nintendo 64 made 4 player multiplayer popular. Gamers who didn't grow up in the time where multiplayer gaming was new think games that didn't have online play were boring.
** PC multiplayer was pretty much birthed around Doom. It coined terms like deathmatch, frag, or clans!
** Before the NES, multiplayer pretty much didn't exist outside of arcades. Video game systems were treated as something like specialized computers, and since it's impractical to have two people hunched over next to each other at a computer, multiplayer gaming at home was not considered something people would like until the NES and its two controller ports. Even then, it took some time for multiplayer to be truly head-to-head, a la ''VideoGame/StreetFighter'', and not simply "play until character dies, then let the next player try."
* Save points. The ability to save your game at a predetermined point was considered revolutionary and sometimes challenging during its heyday. Today's games now mostly have auto saving and/or checkpoints, which makes dying very trivial, and people today don't see SaveGameLimits as a good thing.
* VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay has fallen victim to this, but not in the way you might think it has. Rather, it was among the first video games to use context-sensitive gameplay, meaning that you were given unique abilities based on the situation at hand. How? By stepping on a Context Sensitivity Pad, where you were granted otherwise impossible abilities until stepping off. Compared to the context-sensitive gameplay of later games like VideoGame/GodOfWar, Conker's seems very clumsy and limited. On the other hand, the game's liberal use of VulgarHumor is still pretty unique, and probably the only reason one would be likely to choose it over a more recent platformer like VideoGame/RatchetAndClank or VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy.
* If you're used to modern iterations of ''VideoGame/{{Tetris}}'', the slower piece movements and the stricter engine (pieces lock into place once they touch the floor or object, rather than being allowed to slide for a few frames) of older entries, such as the ones released for the NES and the Game Boy, can feel like poor quality and FakeDifficulty in hindsight.
* Older ShootEmUp games, especially compared to more modern games that specialize in pretty visuals and BulletHell. Show ''VideoGame/{{Raiden}}'' or ''[[VideoGame/NineteenFortyTwo 1943]]'' to someone who got into the genre through ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' or Creator/{{CAVE}} games and you'll probably get some negative remarks about dull visuals and boring patterns.
* ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'' is pretty much the TropeCodifier (Along with ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'') for the WideOpenSandbox. However, games like ''VideoGame/{{Furcadia}}'', ''VideoGame/SecondLife'', and the GameMod for ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' Garry's Mod accomplished many of these ''long'' before Minecraft was even in alpha. Players of games like ''VideoGame/{{Terraria}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Starbound}}'' may find these three games to be shallow. Others may find ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' to be "dated".
* The first ''VideoGame/{{Valis}}'' game, as originally made for the PC88, is practically unplayable by modern standards, with its choppy framerate, stiff controls and grinding for health. Even the cinematic cutscenes (predating ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' by two years) are barely even animated. Yet this Japanese PC game was popular enough to spawn a series that went on to greater glory, despite the original development team going (temporarily) independent and the commercial failure of the Famicom version that frustrated players in its own way.
* Coming up on the 15th anniversary of ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney'', a modern-day gamer might be surprised to find that back in the day, this game was rated "M" - perhaps the only reason it was rated so was the innuendos between April and Flipper, as well as a part where you have to drop aphrodisiac into somebody's coffee.
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