The gaming industry is now a powerhouse of the entertainment sector. In fact, global revenue is now at an estimated $250bn while the community boasts over three billion active players. While we certainly love the latest blockbuster games and ill be eagerly awaiting GTA VI, there are times when going back to basics is the answer. 

While thousands of classics have been confined to the archives, some continue to show great popularity. Likewise, hundreds of casual games and simple titles are released each month. They tap into the joys of simple yet addictive gameplay. Frankly, it makes a nice break from the modern focus on in-game microtransactions. And games that require hundreds of hours of dedicated play.

So, what are the classic style games that can still be enjoyed at the end of 2023? Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Free Casino Games

Anyone that has ever played a casino game can relate to the adrenaline rush that it brings. However, you do not have to risk your wages to experience the buzz. With games like free slots, it is possible to enjoy the fun without the vulnerabilities. Better still, it can be seen as a form of practice ahead of your next real casino visit, which may give you a slight edge.


Even if it doesn’t, free slot machines are the perfect way to take a step back and freshen your mindset. Crucially, you can quite happily play for a few minutes before getting back to work or other daily activities. Aside from slots, you could enjoy a few spins of roulette or hands of blackjack for a similar buzz.

Poker games may take slightly longer, especially if you join a tournament. However, it is a game of skill. So, even when playing for fun rather than money, the buzz gained from winning hands is incredible.

Brain Teaser Games

Logic-based puzzle games boast a long history of keeping gamers entertained for hours. It is a genre that has seen thousands of new titles released over the years. Meanwhile, the combo of simple yet attractive graphics and easy gameplay make them very accessible. Even your nan who has terrible hand-eye coordination and reflexes can play.

This genre of game works exceptionally well on smartphone apps too, not least because they can be enjoyed during short breaks in the day. This could include commuting. Games like Blockudoku are particularly impressive. It brings a fresh take to the brain teasing puzzle genre. The daily challenges and seasonal challenges are great fun too.

A whole host of other brain teasing games, from quizzes to crosswords, will also help keep you mentally sharp. When you win, it does feel like a significant success too, which is something many modern games lack.

Word Games

There are many things to look for in video games. However, the social element and competitive edge are two aspects that are often overlooked. The modern gaming industry encourages this in terms of facing off against strangers from around the globe. For the best results, though, competing against friends is the answer. Word games let you do this.

It’s great to beat your friends on EAFC or COD. Nonetheless, winning a battle of the mind will yield an even greater level of satisfaction. There are plenty of games that are easy to learn and allow you to connect through tech. Words With Friends continues to stand out as one of the best. It’s always worth having on your home screen.

Will you play it daily? Maybe not. Still, the games against your friends are a great way to kill the boredom and keep your mind fresh. Better still, there is no need to commit yourself to long and distracting gaming sessions. 

Side-Scrolling Platformers

Platform games are just one of many genres to witness significant advancements. Modern tech has allowed our favourite characters like Sonic and Mario to do things that were once unfathomable. However, there is a beauty in the side-scrolling platformers of yesteryear. And they are making a comeback.

Retro games like TMNT have enjoyed success in recent years while Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a winner too. It combines the simplicity of the classic 2D games with modern graphics and the potential to enjoy multiplayer gaming. It is one of the best console games of 2023, working great in handheld mode or on the TV.

Plenty of additional side-scrolling platformers are available. Whether it’s rediscovering a rebuilt version of an old classic or an indie title is up to you. Either way, there’s a reason their simplicity has impressed gamers for generations. 

Old Arcade Games

The old arcade games may be a little primitive in terms of graphics and complexity of features. However, they have a timelessly addictive element to them. It’s because in just a few minutes, you have the potential to beat your top score or better the scores posted by friends. The best games are still available to download or play on browsers today.

When considering the best arcade games of past decades, a select few stand out. Pacman, Space Invaders, Tetris, and Snake are four that gamers from virtually all generations have played at some stage. Meanwhile, web-based pinball games are another option. They remind you of being in an arcade, and playing the classic video pinball titles of the 90s and 00s.

All of these games leave you in the mindset of “just one more go”. Once you step away, though, you will not struggle to get back to being productive. This makes the genre ideal for modern gamers. 

The Sims

The Sims series launched in 2000, with the SimCity series launching 11 years prior to that. Since then, it has sold over 200 million units. While the graphics have evolved over the years, the heartbeat is in the gameplay. Building a simulated life and taking care of the virtual family is a wonderful thing. Not least because you can dip in and out.

While The Sims 4 was released a decade ago, expansion packs are still regularly released with Horse Ranch becoming the 14th in 2023. There is also a mobile version, meaning you can find the classic game on whatever model suits you. For millennials, falling back in love with the game will offer a lot of nostalgia.

Even if you’re new to the series, though, it’s a lot of fun. Better still, you can build your save and stay loyal to it for years if desired. If the current concept of short lifespans but intense focus for a few months doesn’t appeal, this is a great alternative.