New video games are fun and sometimes the sheer announcement or teaser of a new game is enough to get fans excited, but classic games can be just as entertaining despite being so out of date. 2017 is set to mark important anniversaries for a number of popular titles. Perhaps hitting such a big number is enough to bring us some sort of revival or sequel, but we’ll probably have to wait months before hearing anything. This list will help make you feel old as well as possibly tease what is yet to come. Take a look at some iconic games celebrating big in the new year.
Pong- 45 years old (November 29, 1972)
Arcade cabinets have been a source of entertainment for decades, some versions have even been around for centuries (not necessarily video games, but still). Pong turns 45 in 2017 which is half way over the hill. While it has been lauded as an iconic title, an innovation, and of course, a historic invention. Pong starting out in arcades meant there was a future to be had for the industry and over time was the catalyst for a boom in business. A few years ago a mobile game was released for Pong‘s 40th anniversary but we need something different now. Of course, arcades haven’t been as popular as they used to be, so there must somehow be another way to reintroduce the classic to new and old audiences. While there may not be anything on the horizon, as far as we know, we can always take this time to celebrate the first mainstream video game.
Dig Dug- 35 years old (April 19, 1982)
Now, we come to another entry from way back in the day, the arcade version of Dig Dug. In this classic game, players must make their way through various levels of the earthy terrain defeating enemies and earning points around the board. It has a simple concept, very friendly aesthetics and made a killing at the arcade. In the time since, Dig Dug has popped up in cameo roles and received various remastered editions on new consoles. Perhaps with it turning 35 this year, we will get to see a first-person perspective in a sort of Minecraft style. Who knows at this time, but it is worthy of getting a reboot or at least an honorary award in some capacity.
Maniac Mansion- 30 years old (October 5, 1987)
Click around some fun and spooky areas on a mission to save your girlfriend in Maniac Mansion. The game was developed Lucasfilm under the direction of Ron Gilbert. It was praised for comedic storytelling, advanced graphics, and use of cutscenes. It certainly holds up to this day as one of the most influential adventure titles. Seeing the characters venture through new areas in high definition would be something fans could really get behind. There have been and are fan remakes of the game being worked on. A full 3D rendering of the game is actually set to release in 2017 during the 30th year celebration. It may not be from the original team but could certainly shoot for the same amount of success. Another Lucasfilm title, Day of the Tentacle, received a remastered edition a few months ago, so that means Maniac Mansion can too!
Mega Man- 30 years old (December 17, 1987)
The Blue Bomber himself, Mega Man, celebrates the big 3-0 this year. He has accomplished a lot over the years, starring in numerous titles on the NES, making the transition to new roles and continuing to stand out as a legendary character. A new title would be a great way to make 2017 totally worth it. The next Mega Man game should capitalize on the critical failure its spiritual successor attempted to emulate. And with a sleek redesign to star in the latest Super Smash Bros. game, he definitely looks ready for a new adventure. If Capcom can possibly revisit the formula that made it so fun in the first place, it will definitely be worth the wait. Mega Man turning 30 needs to let its fans know the series is still going strong.
Kirby’s Dream Land- 25 years old (April 27, 1992)
The lovable, squishy, hungry Nintendo mascot, Kirby, is celebrating a huge birthday. The protagonist of Kirby’s Dream Land which marks his first appearance, is turning 25. In just a couple of years the title sold over a million copies to give the character and series a huge boost toward the future. However, as good as it was, it was missing Kirby’s signature ability of gaining enemy powers which wouldn’t show up until a later title. So, perhaps in the coming year a new Kirby game will feature him traversing Dream Land in an attempt to regain his lost skills. With the Nintendo Switch also on the way, it would make a great home for one of the company’s icons. Sure Kirby: Planet Robobot came out in 2016 but we can always hope for more!
Turok: Dinosaur Hunter- 20 years old (March 4, 1997)
Hunting down dinosaurs and alien enemies always sounds like a fun time, and no game pulled it off better back in the day than Turok: Dinosaur Hunter. It was sort of a mixture of different games such as Doom and Quake. The shooting action was fun enough to earn critical praise and turn into a commercial success which spawned various sequels. Perhaps 2017 will see a remastered or entirely new version of the Nintendo 64 version. With recent games like Evolve, ARK: Survival Evolved and No Man’s Sky, there could be a way for Turok to take time travel, multiplayer, dinosaur genres to the next level. Even though the latest installment of the series came out in 2008, we are definitely overdue for some kind of upgraded adventure.
Diddy Kong Racing- 20 years old (November 21, 1997)
Surprisingly, one of the greatest Nintendo 64 titles was Diddy Kong Racing. It went on to sell nearly 10 million copies worldwide. The game stars Diddy, Donkey Kong’s energetic little pal, and a number of friends including Banjo and Conker who went on to star in their own video games. The Nintendo Switch is set to come out next year and bringing back Diddy for another race around the track could be a great way to show off a slick new racing title. A new Diddy Kong Racing entry will be able to give some of those characters much more background and emphasis, perhaps allowing them to branch out in the video game world. It is unlikely we will get to see some of them back in the race but it still would be fun. Maybe Yooka-Laylee can show up, they’re a bit related.
Monster Rancher- 20 years old (November 30, 1997)
Monsters rule with the 20th anniversary of Tecmo’s Monster Rancher. The first game in the series featured a genius way to integrate compact disc technology. Take any CD you own, scan it in the game and out comes a new and unique monster. Train them, battle, and raise your rank all the way to the top. It received pretty high scores and served as the basis for successful sequels, spin-offs, and an animated series. Now, the series actually hasn’t had a new game in over a decade! It’s total blasphemy and 2017 needs to be the year Monster Rancher makes a triumphant comeback. Luckily, discs are still used to create games which means its featured gimmick can keep going!
SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs- 15 years old (August 27, 2002)
There always has been and always will be war games to play. Socom: U.S. Navy SEALs took some of gameplay to new levels by becoming one of the first to implement online multiplayer modes. The team-based shooter provided a highly militarized campaign and was received well by critics. However, the meat of Socom came with various online missions and modes to play with friends and strangers. Its success spawned even more successful sequels that could honestly probably hold up to some current games. As Socom turns 15 years old, we can assume a new title would be an excellent addition to PS4, Xbox One, and PC libraries as well as next generation systems. The most recent game in the series came out in 2011 and much has happened in the world that could be turned into a mission for the Navy SEALs.
Animal Crossing- 15 years old (September 22, 2002)
Believe it or not, the very first Animal Crossing title arrived in North America 15 years ago. It might be tough for you to wrap your head around it since dropping a few Bells to buy the game and the Nintendo GameCube. This town simulation-like game was a massive hit for the company as it was a vital member of the console’s line-up. Animal Crossing dealt with trading, selling, collecting, interior design, paying off loans, making friends with animal folk, making your town beautiful and so much more. The cute exterior and addictive gameplay made it fun for gamers of all ages. While Animal Crossing has had some recent titles and updates come out for handhelds, the Nintendo Switch coming in 2017 could mean an Animal Crossing game will do wonders for sales as well as implementing some interesting features.