Okay, maybe I could have worked out a better title. But over the past several years I’ve noticed that modern games, regardless of platform or genre, seem to be much less satisfying than games from previous generations (1980-2005). Yes, some of them are very exiting for the first 2-5 hours. However, beyond this point the fun factor of many of the newer titles seem to diminish greatly. Two examples I’ve chosen are Rage and TES: Skyrim. Rage has to be one of the most polished games I’ve played in recent memory. For me, it’s the nearest thing to a proper shooter that I’ve played in many, many years (on a console). But once you get past the first few hours of play, the game becomes completely vapid. Skyrim is a similar story. Off the start, the game is simply amazing. In fact, it is amazing for a good 10-20 hours out of the box. However, after completing the main quest line everything in the game becomes very mundane. This is in sharp contrast to the plethora “classics” that still manage to retain their fun factor in spite of years or decades of aging. For instance, Contra is still fun. Golden Eye and Perfect Dark are still fun. Final Fantasy 10, EarthBound, TES: Morrowind and the early Resident Evil games are still fun, and so on. In essence, games that are all technically inferior to modern titles seem to have immense longevity while the prettier, more sophisticated titles of recent memory seem to be completely ephemeral in their entertainment potential. So, the question is this: Have modern games lost something that older games, and even older libraries, seem to possess? Has an emphasis on graphical immersion and the promise of complexity (multiple game paths, terrific AIs, etc.) shifted focus away from the core elements that used to make games endlessly fun? Or is it a product of years of gaming experience that inevitably leads to perpetual dissatisfaction with modern games? I’m curious to know what the consensus is on this matter. I think it’s the result of a combination of low-risk game production (copycating and/or repackaging) and years experience.