10 Iconic Games That Still Hold Up (’90s & 00s)

These 10 games from the 90s and 00s are certainly old, but they are absolutely gold, and these are the reasons why. No matter how old these games get, they will forever be timeless and remind you why you liked them in the first place. You will probably remember the many fond memories and experiences with these games if you haven't played them in a while.

10 Iconic Games That Still Hold Up ('90s & 00s)

Video games have been around for a very long time. With that mentioned, the industry is also constantly evolving due to the advancement of technology. On top of that, game design is also something that developers need to figure out how to nail down to win its appeal towards their audience. These 10 games certainly had a lot of care in that department to make them hold up well in today’s times.

For this article, it’s going to cover the many iconic video game titles from the ‘90s to early 2000s that still hold up well in this day and age. Thanks to its great design or maybe the game itself was just ahead of its time and there was nothing quite like it. Some of these games you probably grew up playing, and it’s time to take a trip down to memory lane and realize that these games are still just as good as you remember them.


Without a doubt, Starcraft is simply one of the most iconic names in the real time strategy world. The game was ahead of its time for putting a massive emphasis on making every faction play differently and have certain advantages and disadvantages. This was one of the appealing things about the Starcraft series. The first one and its expansion, Brood War, is simply a ‘90s staple game. It was also known for being a highly competitive game which makes it one of the earliest esport titles at the time. You might not play as well like Flash, but there’s always a mode for you to stomp the computer or you can simply enjoy the campaign missions which it does have its fans also.

StarCraft Remastered Announcement

Diablo II

It’s only right we go to another beloved Blizzard title. Diablo II is without a doubt the most influential action role playing game there is. Games like Path of Exile or Grim Dawn wouldn’t be able to exist if Diablo II wasn’t as massively successful like it was back in the early 2000s. It’s also a game that can easily addict you due to how satisfying it is to find loot because of its excellent itemization and its massive build diversity that allows you to play the game to your own personal likings. If you are patient enough and managed to craft yourself one of those high end runewords, you will turn your character into a living god which is something Diablo II has always done a sublime job at; rewarding your character the more you play it.

Diablo 2 Cinematic Trailer - E3 1998

Video credit: Diablo3Inc


Out of all the games on this list, Doom is simply the oldest one. It came out in December 10, 1993, and what that means is it will eventually be 30 years old in this year. Despite the old age, Doom is forever timeless due to how fun it is to move fast and kill demons with its satisfying weapons. The game’s level design was certainly one of its greatest features due to how nonlinear it was which allows players to play it in multiple ways or hunt down for valuable secrets which added depth to its combat loop.

Not only that, the game to this day is backed up a community of devoted fans which have provided many free user generated levels for players to play. The Bethesda’s classic Doom port has also supported various user made levels where console owners can have access to this sort of content.

DOOM, DOOM II, and DOOM 3 Re-Release Trailer

Beyond Good & Evil

The original Beyond Good & Evil might’ve not been a massive seller back in its heyday, but it still is a quality experience in the year of 2023. Players will be taking themselves on an epic journey. It’s a game that embodies of what a classic styled action adventure is supposed to be. Going through different areas of its world, exploration, tackling puzzles, and getting engaged in combat.

The series has confirmed a prequel at E3 2017 and it’s not going too well as far as the development goes. Time will tell whether Beyond Good & Evil II will live up to its original title, but for now on, there’s always the original game that will certainly be great to play no matter what year you play it.

Beyond Good & Evil HD: Launch Trailer

Duke Nukem 3D

When it comes to having a good time and kicking ass at the same time, Duke Nukem 3D is the epitome of that. Just like the original Doom, it’s a game that centers the player of being a one man army against hordes of lethal aliens that just wants to kill you for the sake of killing you. For the time, the game did have some revolutionary weapons like the Shrinker or Devastator. Duke Nukem, the character you play as, was a key feature that the game memorable.

While other first-person shooters preferred silent protagonists at the time, Duke Nukem was the opposite of that. Pulling one liners when things goes his way and isn’t afraid to express what’s on his mind. Other than that, the game does have a lot of the great features that made Doom so appealing to play, and it is also a game that stands the test of time too. It’s safe to say that both Doom and Duke Nukem 3D are easily some of the best retro first-person shooters at the time and it can still holds its own against the newer retro shooters like Turbo Overkill.

Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour Official Launch Trailer

Jet Set Radio

Jet Set Radio was definitely stylish experience and a convincing reason of why you wanted a Dreamcast back when the game was first released in 2000. It’s for those who enjoy platforming and sports games at the same time, but with some edge to it due to the fact that the game wanted you to paint graffiti as a goal to progress towards the game.

Even to this day, there’s not anything like quite like it and that’s what makes the game deserve to be on this list. There is an Xbox 360 port that you can acquire if you want a more convenient way of playing the game. There have been rumors that a brand new Jet Set Radio can happen in some time, so let’s hope that’s true.

Jet Set Radio Trailer

Halo: Combat Evolved

The game that defined the Xbox brand! It’s also the game that really helped push first-person shooters to be more as an acceptable genre for home consoles. The first game still holds up due to many of its memorable levels like The Silent Cartographer or 343 Guilty Spark. Also, the AI of its time was easily one of the best aspects of its combat loop and it still is something to be impressed in the year of 2023.

If you preferred the multiplayer, it’s also a lot of fun and at the time, Halo was rather different compared to other popular multiplayer shooters. It was an alternative to the big PC multiplayer shooters like Counter-Strike or Unreal Tournament and it was easily the console shooter to play friends with. Thanks to the Halo: The Master Chief Collection, players can easily play the original game’s multiplayer without needing to set a LAN party or playing split screen like the old days.

Halo Combat Evolved Trailer

Video credit: taitai907

Unreal Tournament

For the people who were into first-person shooters in the late ‘90s, the original Unreal Tournament was probably one of the games you’ve played extensively. It was definitely one of the defining multiplayer games at the time, and is known to be a blazingly fast paced and skill based shooter. Players are going to have to learn every weapon advantages and disadvantages to survive the arena, but there’s also learning the map and having good movement at the same time.

Unreal Tournament was simply a multiplayer follow up to the original Unreal which had a playable campaign and was praised for it. Even to this day, there is something you can appreciate the original Unreal Tournament because the game was that good and still is fun to frag like it’s 1999.

Unreal Tournament - Official Trailer - 1999(?)

Video credit: Moritz Ernst Jacob

Age of Empires II

For anyone who was a big PC gamer in the late ‘90s to early 2000s, Age of Empires II was a name you might’ve recognized. It was a sequel to the original Age of Empires that was released in 1997, but two years later, the sequel is simply the one to play if you want to get your hands on this beloved real time strategy series.

With many different civilizations which are basically the factions that all have their own minor advantages and uniqueness, it’s a game that’s designed for players to brainstorm and figure out how to play the game to its fullest extent. It’s one of those games that simply get better the more hours you put into it. Also, there have been an HD remaster version called Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition and is still providing content updates to this day.

Age of Empires II: HD Edition Trailer

Super Smash Brothers Melee

Super Smash Brothers Melee is the definitive Super Smash Brothers title for the avid fans of this series. It was definitely one of the games that would convince players to get a Nintendo GameCube, and is also a demanding title to play due to the steep learning curve. To this day, there are still tournaments going on due to the many love and support from the fans of this particular Smash title. With many different characters to choose and master, it is simply a game that’s designed for those that are avid players of fighting games.

Super Smash Bros Melee Trailer

Video credit: Wiisley92

There are the 10 games that still hold up in the year of 2023. They are still worth playing in today’s times, so if you’re suddenly getting nostalgic for some of these games, then you should go back and play them and relive some fond memories. With that mentioned, what are some of your favorite games from the ’90s or 00s that you grew up on?

1 Comment

  1. Avatar photo

    That’s the worst possible list I could imagine. Where’s Planescape, Baldur’s Gate, Thief, System Shock, Civ 2, Ultima 7, Ultima Underworld, and countless others? Age of Empires 2 and Smash Brothers? Are you for real? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of 90’s games worth playing today and you picked some of the worst.


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