Debate of the Day: Were Older Video Games ACTUALLY Better?

So I’ve read Nattyb’s post today about how he yearns for the days of NES and Atari, and it echoes a sentiment I hear a lot that “video games used to be more fun.” Even if I’m of a different generation, I can still think back and say the most fun I’ve had playing video games was as a child with Mortal Kombat on Genesis,Goldeneye 64 and so on.

But is this correct? I propose an alternate theory. Video games used to be more fun because…you were a kid, and back then, everything’s more fun.

Imagine trying to play with action figures now. You could feign punching and kicking for a minute or two, but soon it would feel boring or stupid. But remember doing that when you were a kid? You could have epic battles between superheroes and Ninja Turtles that would last hours, and you did this for YEARS.

The fact is, everything is cooler when you’re a kid, and that’s definitely true of video games. You didn’t have to worry about balancing them with work or a girlfriend, you could just play, and the activity was inherently more relaxing.

But the flipside of this today is that the culture has changed, now with online play, you have to worry about ranking up, so all your other Xbox Live friends think you’re cool, and also trash talking and being trash talked by total strangers who with their ignorance make any game M-rated, so I can see a counterargument there. Simpler can be better.

Though I do think Halo is inherently a “better” game than Pong. It just is. Ask any kid to play a modern title compared with something on Atari, and they will pick the former. Even if it’s their first experience with games, new titles are simple better by definition as the medium has evolved.

The clouds of nostalgia can often cloud our minds, and though we had fun with these systems as a kid , it doesn’t mean things can’t progress. The same is true of movies and TV shows. Try to go back and watch Ren and Stimpy or Rugrats. It’s pure idiocy, and adults back then were shaking their heads at us for watching it, just like we don’t understand our kids’ obsession with Spongebob. But it was cool to us because we were kids, and unfortunately for us, we’ve just grown up and are constantly reminded we’re not supposed to have as much fun anymore.


  1. Sam December 28, 2010
  2. Schiapu December 28, 2010
  3. Cartman86 December 28, 2010
  4. NY not NYC December 28, 2010
  5. rutkowskilives December 28, 2010
  6. theButterFly December 28, 2010
  7. Gill December 28, 2010
  8. xXburekXx December 28, 2010
  9. William O'Brien December 28, 2010
  10. Buiff December 28, 2010
  11. Drester December 28, 2010
  12. brian December 28, 2010
  13. tissmekyle December 29, 2010
  14. terrysilver December 29, 2010
  15. Mike December 30, 2010
  16. Kyle February 7, 2011
  17. Kyle February 7, 2011
  18. Kyle February 7, 2011
  19. Percy March 27, 2011
  20. thatotherdude July 14, 2011
    • baxtus June 12, 2016
  21. Nytekreepr July 22, 2011
  22. James January 10, 2012
  23. Travis January 23, 2013
  24. embercoral January 23, 2013
  25. baxtus June 12, 2016

Add Comment