What makes a game a “classic”? Most of us tend to think age has something to do with it and, in many ways, that notion isn’t wrong.
But what about those amazing games that we play and know, right away, that it is going to go down in history as one of the best ever?
Should we just wait around for its tenth anniversary to call it a classic or should we just call it like we see it.
Tending towards the latter, there is a certain magic about these kinds of titles that never leaves us and it is a sentiment that needs to be shared with others. That’s why we think it is best to just call it like we see it and that’s why there is little doubt that Minecraft is a classic game.
Yet, upon consideration, it is also one of those transcendental games that could go beyond mere “classic” and become foundational, even timeless.
That’s why this review of Minecraft is going to compare it and its essence to the likes of another title that has survived throughout the console generations and will continue to do so for generations to come: Tetris.
In nearly every regard, Minecraft is the closest thing to Tetris’ timeless gameplay that we have ever seen in perhaps the past 20 years. Not only do we think people will still be playing Minecraft a decade from now but also we think that it will largely resemble, in its basic elements, the core game as it arrived in 2011.
True, the title has changed a lot since then, but its core elements are the same and, if reduced down to just that, would remain one of the best games ever made. Like Tetris, Minecraft is somewhat endless.
Unlike Tetris, the sky is the limit when it comes to how you approach Minecraft. You can build, explore, role play, and even construct in-game computers. Minecraft is a game that truly embodies the spirit and imagination of video games and play.
Just when you think you’ve done all there is to do you quickly discover that, not only is there more to do, but also that you really don’t have a full comprehension of what you can do in Minecraft.
When Microsoft bought it for a billion something dollars, most people were amazed but those of us that realized that Minecraft was a new kind of Tetris it made the move one of the savviest on Microsoft’s part in some time.
A truly multi-console, pan-generational game, Minecraft has explored other aspects of its core game and even promises a robust AR experience that could use Microsoft’s holo lens.
All of that is well and good but the essential game is what will endure for years to come.
We could dribble on about graphics, the rather intuitive but spartan UI, and the initial awkwardness of it all, but those roads are well worn (out) and uninteresting.
That’s why we here at Studio 35 simply ask that you consider what it means to say that Minecraft is a game unlike others in that it is timeless like Tetris.
We often consider touchstone games, like the first Super Mario Bros. on the NES, but we rarely consider the timeless gameplay mechanics that transcend every superficial aspect of a game and allow for the gamer to discover their own game in the process.
It’s a rare game, but it is something that Minecraft embodies to the fullest extent.
Kehl Bayern is our staff video game news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, he is also the author of science fiction thriller Animus Proxy. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.