Columns & Blogs

During gaming lull, enjoy the oldies

The gaming industry has seen a quick spike in interest with the recent releases of “Killzone 2” and “Resident Evil 5.”

Publishing company Capcom recently announced that it had shipped 4 million copies of “Resident Evil 5,” making the game an early contender for best-selling game of the year.

But prior to the release of these two games, it has been a slow first quarter for gaming. You should savor these games now, because the release schedule for the next few months looks equally bleak save for “Guitar Hero: Metallica” and “The Godfather II.”

But if you don’t want to shell out money for the new games, you probably already have games in your closet that can offer nearly the same enjoyment as any new one. Or you can drop less than $20 on some of these recent classics and dust off your old consoles. Here are four games I found stored away that would be as good if not better than any new one, and a quick check on shows you could get all four together for less than $20.

I spend most of my gaming time playing sports games. They have more replay value than any other genre, in my opinion, because there is so much variety in the games.

But one game took up almost as much time of my life as any sports game. “Gran Turismo 3” was the best racing game ever released when it came out in 2001, and it might still hold the honor. The game was more focused than its ambitious predecessor and offered a streamlined experience that was tailored toward racing. Even though you couldn’t choose from the 600-plus amount of cars that you could in the other games in the series, the actual racing was the best in the series, and that is all you can ask for from a racing game.

When it released “God of War,” Sony discovered it had a massive breakout hit. So the company went much bigger for the sequel “God of War II.” Sony released the last great PlayStation 2 game in 2007 just before debuting the PlayStation 3. The game showcased the complete power of the console, with impressive results. Seeing the game made me excited for this year’s release of “God of War III.”

By no means would I consider “Black” a great game. But the 2006 release gave gamers their first taste of destructible environments. For the first time, you could alter the actual landscape of the game. The game, which can be downloaded on Xbox Live, didn’t invent the first-person shooter, but it did make it chaotic and fun.

One of the first games I played for the Nintendo 64 was “Perfect Dark.” It was from the makers of “GoldenEye 007,” so I knew it would be good. But “Perfect Dark” had all the great multiplayer modes that made the James Bond game great and added a compelling story as well.

It wasn’t as strong overall as “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,” but “Perfect Dark” was the most fun game released for the Nintendo 64.