Pac-Man and Tetris are still my favourite all time games. Doom 2 is still my favourite FPS. Soulcalibur on the Dreamcast is still my favourite beat em up. System Shock 2 is still my favourite survival horror. All of these games were released > 20 years ago (30+ in some cases).
I still love good old 2D RPG. May be making 3D RPG is easier or cheaper so no one is making 2D anymore. But i still love 2D. Even in pixelated form. Good Old Zelda, Sword of Mana, Chrono Trigger
In fact even old Championship Manager ( now called Football manager ) was lots of fun. And Pro Evolution Soccer ( or Winning Eleven ) during Playstation Era.
Some of the fun part are lost in modern gaming. I reckon they introduce too much complexity and Real Life simulation into it. Or may be they care WAY too much about graphics, and not enough about Game play dynamics and Story telling ( Apart from Nintendo ).
I also find that if I want a quick blast to clear my head, then a five minute game of Defender, R-Type, or a round of Bomberman does the trick far better than contemporary so-called casual games, which for reasons I can't explain, often give me unpleasant mental sensations.
Then again I am a strange person. If something from the past was meaningful to me, then it is still the same when I revisit it. I sort of live in a "long present", accumulating things of meaning and only setting them down when I'm finally done with them, whatever the vagaries of fashion.
(As an aside, if the author of the article wants a better Amiga racing game that hasn't been ported to DOS, then check out Super Skidmarks. I used to carry my Amiga and TV set to my friends house to play this over a null modem link; its an amazing party game)
Contemporary as in "of that era" or "current times"?
If the latter, I'd have to argue this is because modern games have become very, very good at being blatantly addictive and shamelessly peddling in-game purchases that it becomes obvious the purpose of the game is not entertainment, but to engage your eyeballs.
That may be true for you, but I've played through games like Quake 1, SMB3, and Super Mario Land II this year. I love retro games and enjoy them more as an adult than when I was a kid. Plenty of us play retro games legitimately and not just as a 5 minute nostalgia hit. Modern games are not necessarily better or worse than older ones
Some game have proven timeless though. I'm currently hooked on Super Mario Bros. 35 and since it launched have been playing it exclusively. Mind you it does have a few quality of life improvements compared to the original, and the online competitive component makes it extremely fun.
Which is true for any artistic medium.
It does seem funny, tho, that this kind of article spends so much time on ‘planning to play games’. And this sentence seemed goofy:
> I do not play games a lot, but when I do I make sure that they are the right and best ones.
I have tried some of newer games but often were very disappointed.
I have tried to play what Bethesda made as 'Fallout 3' but I really do not like it. Its just not Fallout and they should have chosen different name. I really like Fallout 1 and 2. I always disliked Fallout Tactics for what they have done to battle mechanics in 'turn based' mode (they broken it generally) but recently I even got to finish it and even started to like it a little, but not to the point to play it again.
I have similar thoughts with Heroes of Might and Magic III (especially with new Horn of the Abyss addon). I have tried Heroes IV and Heroes V but VERY disliked them. I still like Heroes IV music a lot but the mechanics of play are terrible.
From more modern games I really enjoyed playing Shadowrun Returns series.
I also plan to play these some day (in no particular order):
- Art of Rally (as Colin McRae Rally 2.0 replacement)
- Wasteland 2
- Wasteland 3
- Pillars of Eternity (all of them I and II)
- Expeditions: Viking
- Pathfinder: Kingmaker
- Disco Elysium
- Into the Breach
- Opus Magnum
- Metro Exodus
- Invisible Inc.
You should check out Dirt Rally 1 and 2 (not Dirt 1 and 2, they're different) if you liked the older Colin McCrae Rally games but hated the transformation into Monster Energy sponsored arcade racers when they dropped the Colin McCrae branding - they're a return back to the semi realistic simcade style and are actually really good.
I also highly recommend everything made by Zachtronics games (the dev of Opus Magnum) - also try Shenzhen IO if you want to go further into the "it's just programming with more concrete goals" style of puzzle game, or Infinifactory if you want something that still has the same design optimization feel but feels a bit less like your day job.
I don't know if you ever played the Age of Wonders series back in the day, but I recommend those as something along the lines of HOMM, for the more recent titles Age of Wonders 3 seems to be well received, but the sci fi spinoff Planetfall has less positive reception.
I also don't know if you were ever in to business sim games, but Cities Skylines, Planet Zoo and Planet Coaster are all worthy successors to Sim City, Zoo Tycoon and Rollercoaster Tycoon respectively. Transport Fever is also a good Railroad Tycoon esque game, although if you were heavily into the latter I don't know if it will quite feel the same.
I find this third party steam search tool very useful for finding games: https://www.lorenzostanco.com/lab/steam/store/ - type in a mix of genre tags you're interested in, specify > about 50 user reviews, sort by user rating. If the results look a bit too low budget to you bump the minimum user rating.
EDIT: Oh and I forgot Factorio. Although maybe stay away from that one if you value your free time... it might suck you in hard.
I have seen Dirt Rally 1/2 gameplay on YouTube and I really liked it. Unfortunately it will probably not run on FreeBSD ... and even if then my graphics card would not like it that much :)
I also read some good things about Divinity Original Sin, thanks for adding another small part to making me finally play this game sometime.
I will check other Zachtronics games as per your recommendation.
I played Age of Wonders about 17-18 years ago and I liked some of their concepts, I also liked Disciples 1 and 2 games. Also quite similar to Heroes of Might and Magic.
From the 'Tycoons' I played Transport Tycoon and Airline Tycoon. Also liked the first Theme Part and Theme Hospital.
Also first Portal was really nice.
And no problem :)
(I am talking solely of the PC market of course. Mobile games have way more widespread crap, and all the app stores have discoverability issues that result in all the good games basically being impossible to find unless you find out about them from somewhere else (yes there are actually good, non microtransaction based mobile games too)).
I linked this steam search tool in another reply - I like to specify a minimum number of user reviews and sort by user review score after adding some genre tags I'm interested in. I find the steam community doesn't look particularly favourably on microtransaction/loot box gambling heavy games (at least ones where the microtransactions make you more powerful, as opposed to just being extra single player content a la expansion packs or whatever.) So generally you end up with some good recommendations.
Setting the minimum user review score higher or lower tends to filter out/let in lower budget/more niche indie titles depending on your preferences.
Also just avoiding the major AAA publishers is a good strategy - EA and Activision are by far the worst. I don't really want to say to stay away from Ubisoft because they put out some great games (check out the Anno series) and almost always don't employ the same tactics as EA and Activision, just be aware that some of the most recent Assassins Creed games do have some weird microtransaction stuff, although you can completely ignore it and still see all the content.
It sounds like it’s riffing on The Worlds Most Interesting Man 
Trek was fun, I'd worked on analogous games on CP/M hosts.
mostly, for me, it was the idea of having games which kept it fun. Even the manual pages had jokes. make love; cat 'tin of catfood' &c &c
- Prince of Persia
- The Lost Vikings
- The Incredible Machine
- Commander Keen series
- Magic carpet
- SimCity 2000
- Tyrian 2000
- Pool of Radiance
- Civilization I & II
- Age of Empires II & III
FreeCiv and FreeCol are closer to the original games than their modern succesors.
I grew up with an Amiga 500, and had hundreds of floppy disks, but it's slow, error prone, noisy, cant freeze arbitrary state or fast forward ... I find the emulator is better in every way