Thanks to the disruptions and subsequent lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people found themselves at home more often and looking for things to fill their time. One of the best things they found was video gaming, which surpassed all of its previous records and became the most lucrative form of entertainment over the course of the year.
For those looking for some titles to sink more of their time into, here are four of the best timeless video games you should play to relive some classic feelings of nostalgia.
Simpsons: Hit and Run
Simpsons games don’t exactly have a reputation for being, well, good, however in Hit and Run gamers still have a title that is both faithful to the universe of Homer, Bart and co., as well as being a fun experience to sit down and sink a good few hours into.
Released all the way back in 2003, Simpsons: Hit and Run features all members of the Simpsons family (plus Apu!) taking on the evil Kang and Kudos and their attempt to improve the ratings of their own humanity reality television show. The game features vibrant open worlds that players are able to drive or run around in, and there are countless gags, references and inclusions that go to show just how faithful the developers were in bringing what is still the most authentic port of the Simpsons world into the world of gaming.
League of Legends
Perhaps the leading light in the world of competitive gaming, League of Legends was developed by Riot Games about a decade ago now, but has only grown from strength to strength following the splash it initially made in the community following its release.
Helping to turn the world of Esports into the billion dollar industry it is today, League of Legends is played by over 250 million players actively, has hundreds of thousands worth of viewing hours invested into it on online streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv, and houses a richly stacked competitive calendar with tournaments such as its annual Worlds series carrying prize purses worth thousands upon thousands of dollars.
League of Legends is a game with a huge skill ceiling and requires dozens upon dozens of hours of playtime to become a pro at. Its huge popularity and the birth of the Esports sector has meant it is one of the best examples of how you can make money playing video games in 2021.
World of Warcraft
One of the most famous video games of all time, World of Warcraft was released by Blizzard Entertainment all the way back in 2004, and still stands as one of the most influential moments in gaming history through its revolutionary way of bringing online multiplayer into the mainstream. Every single time you launch up a role-playing online multiplayer title, you owe at least a little bit of gratitude to WoW for helping to kickstart it all.
The universe and lore behind the worlds, characters, raids and thousands of unique items makes this also one of the most immersive titles going. Everyone has played Legion, Wrath of the Lich King or Cataclysm during their time, with the likes of Lilian Storm rage, King Arhus or Death wing all becoming some of the most legendary villains in gaming history.
The game is still going strong to this day, so why not get your party back together and begin raiding away again in 2021?
Star Wars Battlefront II
Love or hate the Star Wars prequels, they did manage to bring them some really good video games. The LEGO Star Wars games were released to coincide with Episode II and Episode III initially, however it was with the 2004 and 2005 Battlefront games that Star Wars really made the commercial leap into the mainstream.
Letting players immerse themselves in the worlds of Republic, Separatist, Rebel Alliance and Empire through adrenaline-pumping space combats and gritty battlefields on planets’ surfaces, the series was hugely successful thanks to its smooth gameplay, impressive mechanics and faithfulness to the lore.
The series was relaunched by EA to coincide with the release of the Disney trilogy, however it wasn’t until the release of Star Wars Battlefront II in 2017 that the company were able to find that same level of faithfulness and recreation. Battlefront II is still the best Star Wars game of its time and, if you can sit through the long loading times, offers gamers the best chance of recapturing the same feeling of nostalgia they might have if they played through the originals all over again.