The cold gives video game fans everywhere excuses to lock themselves indoors and play some quality video games. While there’s plenty of promising titles on the horizon like Anthem, Jump Force, and Far Cry New Dawn, it’s always great to save money and enjoy software that’s already on the market. The titles below are worthy of playthroughs given how each is celebrating a major game anniversary in February 2019. It helps that they have withstood the test of time and managed to establish a legacy that’s still celebrated today.
Game anniversaries in February 2019 – Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (5th anniversary)
The Plants vs. Zombies franchise revitalized itself when it debuted its spin-off series, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, on February 25, 2014 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. This third-person, multiplayer-focused tower defense game allows players to control both forces in an attempt to win in a variety of familiar cooperative and competitive modes like “Team Vanquish” (the series’ form of team deathmatch) and “Taco Bandits” (a capture the flag variant). It’s a fun title that can picked up by people who don’t usually play video games. Today, Plants vs. Warfare: Garden Warfare can still be experienced on Microsoft’s aforementioned consoles as well as PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Game anniversaries in February 2019 – Street Fighter 4 (10th anniversary)
Street Fighter 4 is still being played in gaming communities often, even with its sequel on the market for some time now. Since its launch on February 12, 2009 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Japan, the title has managed to sell nearly 10 million units worldwide, which is no easy task for such a niche genre. Its mechanics are considered difficult to master, though a variety of characters are available to help introduce curious players to the genre. It has undoubtedly served as the foundation for so many fanatics today and will continually be referenced whenever a new Street Fighter entry debuts.
Game anniversaries in February 2019 – Flower (10th anniversary)
Flower is a brief artistic experience that doesn’t fit into the mold of a traditional video game. It has players control the wind to guide a flower’s petals across meadows and other lush landscapes. The game certainly doesn’t contain much variety as far as gameplay is concerned, nor does it have any dramatic twists or turns that keep fans hooked.
It does, however, manage to produce a relaxing experience that few other titles can offer. Flower is best experienced alone after a stressful workweek. It may just be the perfect form of meditation for video game fans. It released on February 12, 2009 for PlayStation 3 in North America and can be played on PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and iOS devices today.
Game anniversaries in February 2019 – Halo Wars (10th anniversary)
Halo Wars marked a departure from the Halo franchise’s signature first-person shooter gameplay when it debuted on February 26, 2009 for Xbox 360 in Australia. This real-time strategy game set 21 years before the original title is tailored well for players who aren’t very familiar with the genre.
Controls are easy to get used to and controlling groups of units is relatively straightforward. Halo Wars offers die-hard fans a lot of interesting lore to digest with its narrative, too, and multiplayer can entertain players for hours. People can experience a refined version of the game via Halo Wars: Definitive Edition on Xbox One and PC, or play its sequel.
Game anniversaries in February 2019 – Killzone 2 (10th anniversary)
Killzone 2 was announced four years before its debut at Sony’s E3 press conference. The trailer for the title managed to drum up a lot of anticipation for the company’s upcoming system, the PlayStation 3, given the wonderful visuals shown off and seamless gameplay transitions. Though it did release a bit later than expected, it did manage to deliver on its promise when it launched on February 27, 2009 in North America.
Killzone 2 was praised by critics and fans alike for its presentation, intense action, and surprisingly robust multiplayer modes (keep in mind that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released during this time frame). The game continues to serve as a prime example of a sequel done right.
Game anniversaries in February 2019 – Metroid: Zero Mission (15th anniversary)
Metroid: Zero Mission is a modernized retelling of Samus’ original adventure. Released on February 9, 2004 for the Game Boy Advance in North America, the game fleshes out more of the bounty hunter’s past in order to offer fans a more compelling narrative-driven adventure. A lot of emphasis is placed on exploration, as tons of new areas, items, and mini-bosses are introduced to further immerse players in the dangerous planet Zebes. Zero Mission is a neat title to play on the go, so long as one has a Game Boy Advance still in their possession. Here’s hoping Nintendo offers this classic on Switch sooner rather than later.
Game anniversaries in February 2019 – Final Fantasy 8 (20th anniversary)
Perhaps the most underrated Final Fantasy game released so far is Final Fantasy 8. This JRPG debuted on February 11, 1999 for the original PlayStation in Japan, hoping to find the same success that Cloud and his friends enjoyed a few years prior. Though the game didn’t quite live up to the title before it, it did manage to attract a dedicated following thanks to its intricate battle system, relatable characters, and great use of 3D graphics and pre-rendered backgrounds.
Though the game stumbles in some areas, most notably in its narrative, Final Fantasy 8 is successful in leaving a lasting impression on fans. It’s a mystery why Square Enix hasn’t shown as much love for the title as it has for other entries, especially considering how its sold over 9 million copies since its release. In addition to Sony’s aforementioned console, the game is playable on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and PC.
JRPGs, first-person shooters, and even flower-simulation games are what make the industry a joy to be a part of. The imagination found in the titles above is representative of the variety of experiences that gaming provides players of every background. Though some genres haven’t changed for years, their content and themes continue to evolve as the medium becomes more sophisticated and widely accepted. No one can tell what lies for fans next, but the possibilities remain exciting.