Why am I playing old games?

Just a simple philosophical question.
With all the new games that have come out in the past few years, why is most of my gaming time playing old games? Sure I have played a few newer games for a while, but over all, why is most of my gaming time dedicated older titles?

What is it about newer titles that just do not hold my interest?
Does anyone else feel the same?

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You want the bright colours and joyous sounds of youth. We all do.

The older games I am playing may not be that old. The ones from my youth are really, really old and most of those will not even run on a modern os.

Well I think we need a little more context about the old games you are playing. 16 bit console games? Old PC RTS games?

I think the highs in older games are much higher than in newer titles. Also better balance and design overall, at least in the genres I play.

For example, I am playing grim dawn, no mans sky, KOTOR 2, skyrim, total warhammer2 opposed to things from 2019 and 2020.

Old games potentially give you the 2x the satisfaction of being able to get nostalgic while also enjoying the game on its own merits. I also think there’s something to the lack/flattening of the learning curve due to familarity

With the exception of KOTOR 2, all of those are designed so that you will never want to stop playing them. To the extent that any of them have a story mode with an actual end point, that part of the game is either a tutorial, or just another bread crumb trail to follow.

A few reasons:

Less bugs, more available mods, less breaking save game changes (as opposed to newer games that are being more regularly updated), and generally higher fps on less modern hardware.

I’m not sure I’d even consider No Man’s Sky old with all the major updates it keeps getting.

So why are not newer games fitting the bill? Am I the only one like this or does anyone else here mostly play just newer titles?

My theory is that game design, in general, has changed in some way that doesn’t hold my interest with newer games.

total warhammer2 just got new DLC this year too

It takes time to learn new games, and that time investment often doesn’t pay off. It’s easier to go to a game that you already know will be satisfying.

That may be a problem if newer games are not actually better than older games. I do see new ARPGs which seem to come out in droves, but then I think, “What is special about this? Does it do anything that other ARPGs don’t do? Is it just different content and thats the only big difference?”

Its also not like the older games are super engaging. For example, I am considering a new character in Skyrim. Its not because I am particularly excited about it. Its more like, it is something to pass the time and I can’t think of a better game thats out to scratch that itch. Its just that it seems that newer games come out, and my overall feeling is ‘meh’ or the game has some major flaws and doesn’t hold my interest long. I dunno.

Maybe I am just getting old and I have seen it all before and “new” games are not really new, just a re-skin on old concepts.

So I think your premise is flawed. Two of the games you listed I would consider current, No Man’s Sky and Total Warhammer2 are still actively supported from the developer in 2020, even if they launched originally a few years ago, I wouldn’t classify these as old. Skyrim is an evergreen game and still has mod support, so it’s old but…eh. Furthermore 2020 has been relatively dry release wise compared to years prior for this timeframe with a lot of things getting delayed. So that really kind of leaves 2019 releases.

From 2019, did you play Outer Worlds, Disco Elysium, or AC: Odyssey?

Also, with older games it’s generally easier to tell which are good, because they’re been played extensively, whereas newer games haven’t had as long to “bake” (in either the public consciousness or purely in terms of patches and balance). Like how the average movie from the 50’s that we still watch is better than the average movie from 2019, just because we’ve got a better filter.

I’ve been playing some rickety ancient side and vertical shooter games so I was nodding my head to this thread title, but Total Warhammer 2 “old”? Sensible chuckle.

It’s not that there are no new games coming out anymore that were good.
Quite a few of them, actually, especially indie-wise.

But the majority of AAA titles - and thus the titles mostly covered by mainstream media - are just crushingly mediocre gameplay in polished, shiny graphics.
I’m not blaming devs here, btw, this kind of “lowest common denominator” gameplay combined with fancy graphics is what rakes in the cash.

Back then, polished, shiny graphics weren’t really possible, devs had to make do with what was possible. And IMO that limitation enabled them to seek “selling points” in other areas.
But, again, the ease of development nowadays enables new people to seek gameplay improvements first and foremost, too.

So while I fully understand why someone plays more old titles than new ones, I’d encourage them to look outside of mainstream media in niche sites & communities. That’s where you will find the true gems of these times.

Or take a wild ride through Steam suggestions, but that might end either way.

All the games on your list didn’t come from the same era. They are spread out over a decent amount of time. Those are the games that just “clicked” for you. And as someone said earlier, most of those games are designed to play forever. Over time we all find those games that just click, and tend to go back to them time and time again. For me, those games are also usually sandboxes with limitless replay-ability. i.e. Kerbal, Skyrim, Minecraft, etc. But for everyone those core games are different.

I will often play a brand-new title for a few hours and then for whatever reason deep-dive into something older. Last time around it was Doom Eternal and then Prey 2017. It’s happened often enough to feel like a pattern. And to make me think pre-ordering stuff is a bad idea, but that was mostly using up the last of my GCU on future releases.