Gaming

Video games peaked in the Xbox 360 era and it was all downhill from there – Reader’s Feature


Was the Xbox 360 really pinnacle of gaming? (Microsoft)

A reader is convinced that the Xbox 360 and PS3 era was the pinnacle for gaming and that publishers should’ve realised it at the time.

Nostalgia is, as they say, a hell of a drug. It hits everyone eventually and seems to destroy all sense of perspective and reason. I am fully aware of this and that there’s probably nothing you can do about it. Knowing all that I have become fully convinced that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 was the pinnacle of gaming and even though last gen was good I think it’s clear now that it was laying the foundation for the mess we find ourselves in now.

I am, of course, referring to all the layoffs and the fact that games are so expensive and time-consuming to make now. These are problems that were obvious in the Xbox 360 era and before, as it gets worse every generation, but publishers have done absolutely nothing to try and stop it or slow it down.

We all know that now but looking back at my Xbox 360 game collection, what strikes me is how many current franchises started in that era and how many different genres, that you don’t see today, were still going strong. Even things like arcade racers are rare now, but back then you used to get big budget stealth games, puzzle games, space combat simulators, 3D platformers, strategy games, and lots more besides.

It’s not that those games aren’t being made today, but they’re either indie games or low budget efforts that most ordinary people don’t even know exist. Back then, these games were all mainstream, or at least things that you would see in shops and casual gamers could be exposed to and tempted into buying – especially if they were on sale or being sold second-hand.

That’s all gone nowadays and the only games that exist are free-to-play games that want to take over your life or bloated single-player epics that want to do the same. Back in the Xbox 360 days the average story campaign lasted 12 hours tops and that was absolutely fine. Nothing outstayed its welcome and everything was finite, so you complete it and then moved onto something different.

Many people will say last generation was great and in many ways it was, but that was when the bloat and the live service games started. It also saw the number of new IP being released drastically decrease, until you get to today where there’s virtually no new franchises being made. Just endless sequels, reboots, and remakes.

In my opinion, the Xbox 360 was the sweet spot where games looked good, we had proper online features, and games were cheap enough to make and buy that both gamers and publishers could afford to take chances now and again.

Everyone wants great graphics but it’s like eating too much and not exercising, it tastes great at the time but you know it’s not sustainable and it’s going to do damage in the long run.

Saying things were better in the old days sounds like such an old man thing but in this case I can’t see how I’m wrong. Ideally publishers would’ve realised the truth of it at the time and then cooled down the race to have better graphics, so they only gradually improved every generation (or maybe generations lasted much longer, so people were spending money on new games, not boring hardware).

I’m sure there’s a hundred different ways they could’ve approached the problem but instead they did nothing and pretended there was no problem. For once the good old days really were better.

By reader Gatorater

Sony’s best or worst console? (Sony)

The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. Just contact us at gamecentral@metro.co.uk or use our Submit Stuff page and you won’t need to send an email.


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