With so many impressive titles hitting the market this year, it’s easy to take them all for granted. Of course, gaming wouldn’t be what it is today without its history of technological innovation. The Super Metroids and Pokemon Snaps of yesteryear laid the groundwork for 2019’s massive interactive experiences. Level design, gameplay mechanics, sound quality, and more are constants that the medium has constantly iterated on in the few decades it has existed. The following list of March 2019’s major game anniversaries celebrates the titles that make the industry such a joy to be a part of as it continues its captivating legacy.
Game anniversaries in March 2019 | South Park: The Stick of Truth (5th Anniversary)
South Park: The Stick of Truth is considered one of the most faithful video game adaptations ever made. Filled with inside jokes, obscure references, and all manner of offensive humor, the game’ script was written by series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and draws from nearly two decades of material. Players feel as if they’re walking on the animated set of the show, and the game’s RPG elements are accessible by those who haven’t played a Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest title before.
Though seasoned veterans of the genre may find The Stick of Truth to be too easy, they’ll stay for Cartman, Butters, Kyle, Stan, and Princess Kenny’s hilarious antics. The game released on March 4, 2014 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. It can also be enjoyed today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
Game anniversaries in March 2019 | Titanfall (5th Anniversary)
Titanfall released on March 11, 2014 for Xbox One and PC with ambitions to revolutionize multiplayer shooters. While it didn’t quite achieve the popularity that developer Respawn had hoped for, it did successfully establish a new IP that continues to survive via the battle royale title Apex Legends.
For those curious to find out how the franchise began, Titanfall allows players in control pilots and their Titans in six-on-six matches. Fighting is characterized as fast-paced and frantic, as players are either running across walls to catch up with opponents or fleeing into buildings to avoid a mech’s wrath. The game’s sequel is just as fun as the original and even boasts a single-player mode. Fans may not get Titanfall 3 soon, but at least they have three other Titanfall titles to keep themselves occupied.
Game anniversaries in March 2019 | Resident Evil 5 (10th Anniversary)
Despite the criticism that Resident Evil 5 gets from fans, the title did sell 11 million units by December 2018. Perhaps what makes the game so popular is its accessibility, as it breaks away from the franchise’s horror roots and incorporates more action-heavy gameplay. It also includes a two-player cooperative multiplayer mode that can be enjoyed with a friend locally or with someone online.
Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar’s quest to uncover a terrorist threat is quite intriguing too, as familiar faces like Albert Wesker and Jill Valentine make an appearance. Resident Evil 5 released on March 5, 2009 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but can also be enjoyed today on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for those who want to punch boulders on the newer systems.
Game anniversaries in March 2019 | Far Cry (15th Anniversary)
Crytek’s original first-person shooter sensation, Far Cry, originally released on March 23, 2004 for PC. It was highly praised at the time of its launch for its impressive visuals and sweeping level design. Though players aren’t granted the freedom they used to experiencing in today’s open-world games, it’s clear that Far Cry is a precursor of the phenomenon. While the game hasn’t aged well from a visual perspective, it’s worth a playthrough to understand the principles that many developers have gained inspiration from. Its gameplay is also quite fun, as is the case in almost every Far Cry entry so far. Today, the game can also be played on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Game anniversaries in March 2019 | EverQuest (20th Anniversary)
One of the most influential MMORPGs of all time, EverQuest, released on March 16, 1999 for PC. Praised by critics at the time of its launch for its addictive gameplay and immersive virtual world, the title encourages players to interact with one another as opposed to the environment, thus giving off the impression of an actual lived-in community.
It’s accessible with low-end graphics cards, allowing people the chance to go on quests and communicate with anyone from around the world. It doesn’t hold a candle to the visuals of Final Fantasy 14 and its contemporaries, but should still be celebrated for its constantly evolving world. Case in point, the game’s latest expansion, The Burning Lands, launched on December 11, 2018.
Game anniversaries in March 2019 | Pokémon Snap (20th Anniversary)
Pokemon Snap is arguably one of Pokemon‘s best console-based entries. This Nintendo 64 classic released on March 21, 1999 in Japan and features 3D versions of the series’ most iconic pocket monsters. Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, and more can be photographed using protagonist Todd Snap’s trusty camera. At the end of each on-rails section, fans are graded on how well they managed to capture each of the title’s creatures. Afterwords, they could even bring their cartridges to Blockbuster to have their photos printed on stickers. Good luck doing that today though.
The desire to photograph Pokemon in different poses and angles adds a certain replayability that few games have successfully replicated. Today, Pokemon Snap can be played on Wii and Wii U. Though Blockbuster isn’t as popular as it once was, users can send their photos to friends via the Wii Message Board.
Game anniversaries in March 2019 | Super Metroid (25th Anniversary)
Super Metroid is credited for establishing the Metroidvania genre that so many games align themselves with today. Originally released on March 19, 1994 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan, the title’s influence on the industry as a whole cannot be understated, as elements like atmosphere, music, and physics all coalesce to form a remarkable, haunting experience. It successfully conveys the feeling of being isolated in space and manages to establish this without the use of 3D graphics. There’s a reason why many seasoned video game fans find themselves revisiting Super Metroid decades after its release. There’s just nothing else quite like it despite all the games it inspired.
Fans who have considered the incredible amount of work that goes into crafting video games may find the above titles indicative of how far we’ve come since the early 1970s. Though imperfect, each is worth a playthrough today to gain a new perspective on how mechanical elements have improved in recent years. By nature, video games will never truly be flawless. Despite this, it’s important to appreciate each new innovation that’s been introduced to the medium so far, lest we bicker about frame rates and resolutions forever.