12 Big Video Game Anniversaries in 2023 to Make You Feel Old

Celebrating the anniversaries of our favorite gaming franchises is very satisfying. They’re a reminder to stop and look back to see how far games have come in just a few decades.

In 2023, we will be celebrating major milestone anniversaries for several major gaming franchises, as well as a handful of individual games that have had a significant impact on the industry. In particular, many of our favorites will be turning 10, 25, 35, and even 45 in 2023. It sure hurts our bones, and it hurts you too.

Here are 12 big video game anniversaries happening in 2023 to make you feel old.

The Last of Us (10 years)

the last of us
Image source: Naughty Dog

The conversation surrounding The Last of Us never really gets a chance to slow down, and with good reason. Since its release ten years ago in 2013, the game has stayed relevant through DLC, a sequel, two remasters and now a brand new HBO series.

It’s no surprise that The Last of Us has stayed in the spotlight for the past decade, given the game’s critical acclaim for its story, gameplay, graphics, and more. This first entry starring Joel and Ellie in what would later be a major media franchise won multiple Game of the Year awards, sold over 17 million copies and is still considered one of the best video games of all time.

Grand Theft Auto V (10 years)

Grand Theft Auto V
Image Source: Rockstar

2023 marks 10 years since the release of the last main entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. The game has managed to remain at the top of bestseller lists every year since its launch; it is now the second best-selling video game of all time.

We already know that Grand Theft Auto VI is in development and has some big shoes to fill. It will still be some time before it releases, but maybe Rockstar will decide to tease a little to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their biggest game.

Call of Duty (20 years)

call of Duty
Image source: Activision

The very first Call of Duty game was released 20 years ago, in 2003, and sparked one of the biggest first-person shooter franchises in the world. It launched at a time when there were many other hit FPS games like DOOM, Quake, and Medal of Honor, but what sets Call of Duty apart is that it places more emphasis on squad-based gameplay than its predecessors.

This first installment simulated World War II warfare, and subsequent entries in the franchise have focused on other wars in modern history. Call of Duty has received critical acclaim and the series has sold over 400 million games in total.

There has been a main series Call of Duty game every year since the very first (with the exception of 2004, the year after the franchise debuted), so it would be unusual if there weren’t a new title in 2023. We’ll have to wait and see if anything special is planned for the 20th anniversary.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (25 years)

ocarina of time
Image source: Nintendo

Any Zelda fan who lived through the 1990s will remember turning on their Nintendo 64 and seeing Link’s metamorphosis in 3D for the first time. Ocarina of Time was a milestone for the Legend of Zelda franchise, and this year the game turns 25 years old.

Today, the original version of Ocarina of Time can be played via the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service, where fans can relive the nostalgia or perhaps play this classic for the first time. However, it’s unlikely that Nintendo will do anything too exciting to celebrate the game’s 25th anniversary as Tears of the Kingdom is slated for release this May.

Half-life (25 years)

Image Source: Valve

Valve’s very first game, Half-Life, also turns 25 in 2023. Their debut game combined first-person combat with exploration, storytelling, and puzzle-solving to create one of the most innovative FPS games of its time.

Hailed by critics and fans alike for its gameplay and scripted sequential narrative, Half-Life is now recognized as one of the greatest games of all time. Valve built on its success with a sequel in 2004, and though fans never got the much-anticipated Half-Life 3, a virtual reality game called Half-Life: Alyx served as the story, set between the first two games.

Metal Gear Solid (25 years)

metal gears tight
Image source: Konami

Solid Snake made a grand return to the Metal Gear franchise with Metal Gear Solid, the third main series in the franchise. The series was already hugely popular as one of the pioneers of the stealth genre, and Metal Gear Solid helped, um, solidify this reputation.

The game was also highly praised for its cinematic cutscenes and state-of-the-art voice acting for its time. Like many of the other games on this list, Metal Gear Solid is considered one of the most important video games of all time, and its success has allowed sequels, spin-offs, and other related media to become possible over the years.

Spyro the dragon (25 years)

Spyro the dragon
Image source: Sony

25 years ago, the lovable Spyro and his sidekick Sparx made their debut. Spyro the Dragon became one of the main platform mascots on the PlayStation to compete with its popular rivals on the Nintendo 64. Its charge attacks and fire-breathing attacks, as well as its ability to glide through the air, made the game fun for all ages, but especially children.

Over the years, the development and publishing teams for the Spyro series have changed many times. The franchise was shelved for nearly a decade until Activision and Toys for Bob revived it with Spyro Reignited Trilogy, remasters of the first three games.

There wasn’t much on the horizon for a Spyro the Dragon 25th anniversary celebration, though the current developer Toys for Bob recently announced plans for 2023 with a tiny image of Spyro flying in the corner of a picture. We’ll have to see if this is a tease for a new game, a guest appearance in another franchise, or maybe nothing at all.

sinking (30 years)

Image source: id Software

DOOM is another first-person shooter that helped revolutionize the genre 30 years ago. In 1993 we were introduced to Doomguy, the Space Marine fighting hordes of demons on various levels of Hell. It became influential due to its 3D perspective graphics, multiplayer via an online network, and intense gameplay.

It’s been three years since the last game in the DOOM series, and Developer ID Software hasn’t shared what it’s currently working on. It would be great recognition for fans to get a new game announcement to celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary in 2023.

Star fox (30 years)

star fox
Image source: Nintendo

The Star Fox franchise also turns 30 this year; This on-rail shooter starring Fox McCloud started way back on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and used the impressive Super FX chip to simulate a 3D effect. Regions outside of North America may know this game as Starwing.

The game was a hit and Star Fox became a flagship series for Nintendo, with several other titles in the series over the years. Nintendo even released its canceled direct sequel for the SNES, Star Fox 2, in 2017.

It’s been some time since the last new Star Fox game was released. In fact, it’s been seven years since the last game. Star Fox’s 30th anniversary would be the perfect time to bring the series back to the Nintendo Switch with a new title.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (35 years)

Super Mario Bros 3
Image source: Nintendo

All Mario fans know that Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the most popular games in the franchise. It was bundled with many NES consoles, so millions of people grew up with it as their very first Mario game. It would become the 3rd best NES game.

Super Mario Bros. 3 has been praised for its addictive gameplay, wealth of hidden secrets, and challenging levels. Who could forget the Super Hand that gave Mario the appearance of a raccoon and allowed him to levitate in the air?

Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the many NES games that can be played on Nintendo Switch Online. It’s unlikely Nintendo will do much to celebrate its 35th anniversary, especially after the entire Super Mario franchise recently had an anniversary celebration, but we did are due for a new Mario game in general.

Mario Bros. (40 years)

Mario brothers
Image source: Nintendo

Speaking of Mario, did you know that our favorite plumber was in arcades before he made it big on the TV screen? The arcade game Mario Bros. turns 40 this year.

This game was a bit different than the Super Mario Bros. series that would come after it; Mario and Luigi had to run around a screen flipping enemies upside down to defeat them, rather than on a side-scrolling platform setting.

Mario Bros. has had an enduring legacy over the past 40 years (apart from the apparent ignition of the Super Mario Bros. series); It appeared as a bonus title in many other games, from Super Mario Bros. 3 to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga and even Animal Crossing.

Space Invaders (45 years)

space invaders
Image source: Taito

Space Invaders is among the oldest video games, particularly one that has had a major impact on many of those games since then. This arcade game from 1978 was the very first fixed shooter and served as a template for the shoot ’em up genre.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Space Invaders is one of the most influential games of all time; It inspired hundreds of games that followed, particularly during the “golden age” of arcades. Who knows what gaming would be without today?

If you remember playing Space Invaders in arcades 45 years ago, you helped make gaming history. You certainly deserve to brag about it.

https://twinfinite.net/2023/01/12-big-video-game-anniversaries-in-2023-to-make-you-feel-old/ 12 Big Video Game Anniversaries in 2023 to Make You Feel Old

Isaiah Colbert

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