October has always been one of the biggest months of the year for gaming. After all, Demon’s Souls, Borderlands, Bayonetta, Killer Instinct, and Prince of Persia all released to critical acclaim during the month and have spawned massive franchises since their debut. Industry veterans have probably played more than a few games on our list of major October 2019 gaming anniversaries or, at the very least, have heard of most of them.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Super Smash Bros. for 3DS (5th Anniversary)
When Super Smash Bros. for 3DS released on October 3, 2014, it marked the first time the popular brawler franchise was available on a handheld. Though characters like the Ice Climbers didn’t make the final roster due to the 3DS’ technical limitations, Masahiro Sakurai and his team at Bandai Namco Studios did manage to include an array of newcomers like Mega Man and Pac-Man. That’s not to mention the addition of totally unexpected DLC characters like Final Fantasy 7‘s Cloud, Street Fighter‘s Ryu, and Bayonetta. It’s still hard to believe that players can duke it out as any one of these mascots without inserting a separate cartridge.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Demon’s Souls (10th Anniversary)
It’s hard to believe that Demon’s Souls, the first game in the Souls franchise, was met with lukewarm reception in Japan when it released in the country in early 2009, as the title garnered a massive following among North American PlayStation 3 users when it released in the region on October 7, 2009. Many continue to praise the title for its challenge, as it’s impossible to beat without learning from one’s mistakes. While Demon’s Souls pays homage to the unforgiving levels of yesteryear, it doesn’t forget to offer fans a unique, twisted fantasy to get lost in.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (10th Anniversary)
Naughty Dog was already a respected developer, but Uncharted 2: Among Thieves put the studio on the map in a new way when it released for the PlayStation 3 on October 13, 2009. Like an interactive Hollywood blockbuster, the game has players hop across skyscrapers, scale speeding trains, and blast away convoys in an attempt to find the mythical city of Shambhala. A robust multiplayer component offered many more hours of entertainment thanks to traditional competitive modes like Deathmatch, Plunder, and Elimination and cooperative modes like Objective and Arena. While players today may not to able to revisit Uncharted 2‘s multiplayer, as it servers shut down last month, Uncharted 4‘s multiplayer is a worthwhile substitute even if it doesn’t quite have the simplicity of its storied predecessor.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Borderlands (10th Anniversary)
It’s fitting that Borderlands 3 launched last month, as the very first game in the franchise released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 10 years ago on October 20, 2009. The title has players explore a cartoon world called Pandora in order to reach a mysterious vault filled with cool alien technology. Along the way, fans are able to outfit one of four characters with skills, guns, and special abilities — all of which come in handy when up against the game’s psycho hordes. The star of the title is its procedural content creation system, which gifts players with randomly generated weapons and items every time they open a storage chest. These all vary in terms of firepower, rate of fire, and elemental effects, making each playthrough unique.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Bayonetta (10th Anniversary)
Bayonetta may be highly reminiscent of Devil May Cry given its flashy hack and slash gameplay and over-the-top protagonist, but that doesn’t take away from its charm. Stringing combos as the titular witch on moving stages is just as fun to watch as it is to play, especially when one triggers Torture Attacks that transform the character’s suit into gigantic chainsaws and iron maidens. Witch Time is also impressive, as it slows down time to a crawl and allows fans to pull off some of their best Matrix moves. The franchise is also celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, as it released for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 29, 2009.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (15th Anniversary)
When Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came out for PlayStation 2 on October 26, 2004, it was immediately praised as one of the best Grand Theft Auto games of all time. It’s not hard to see why, as the title offers players three distinct cities to explore within the state of San Andreas: Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas. While there’s a lot for players to do in the title’s vast open world, they may find themselves entertained by its campaign alone, as it stars an ex-gangbanger looking for answers to his mother’s murder. References to real-life events like the crack epidemic and the 1992 Los Angeles can be found everywhere, offering fans a degree of realism they may not expect when they pick up a video game controller.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Killer Instinct (25th Anniversary)
The first Killer Instinct game released in arcades on October 28, 1994. Though it didn’t completely reinvent the fighting game genre, it did introduce a slew of features that fans may take for granted today. These include double health bars, automatic combos, and combo breakers. The title’s cast is just as noteworthy, as it comprises of a velociraptor-human raptor, a sword-wielding skeleton, and a werewolf. Fans who have yet to discover the popular franchise’s origins can try it right now via the Microsoft Store.
October 2019 Gaming Anniversaries | Prince of Persia (30th Anniversary)
When Prince of Persia released for the Apple 2 on October 3, 1989, it revolutionized the medium with its fluid animation. Designer Jordan Mechner used rotoscoping to capture stunts performed by real-life actors, thus making every sprint, leap, and sword fight seem incredibly realistic. The game isn’t just pretty to look at, as freeing the Persian sultan’s daughter from the clutches of an evil wizard requires that players carefully time every move they make in the game. It isn’t easy, especially considering how the title must be beaten within 60 minutes.
This upcoming month may have just as many worthwhile games to play as October 2009, as Ghost Recon Breakpoint, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, The Outer Worlds, and Luigi’s Mansion 3 are all set to debut within the next 30 days. We may look back at each title fondly in the future, just as we admire all of the games on the list above today.