It’s an overarching fact that everything old eventually becomes new again, whether that’s the resurgence of side-scrolling video games, Hollywood’s addiction to movie re-makes or even your favourite chocolate bar being brought back into the world. Just because these games are set in the past doesn’t mean they are stuck there, each providing some of the most immersive, detailed and finely tuned video game experiences out there.

Spanning all genres, decades and art styles, here are our 10 best video games set in the past:

  1. GTA Vice City


A tour de force of 1980’s awesomeness, GTA Vice City fully commits to its retro throwback setting by letting players explore the detailed district of Vice City which itself riffs off of popular Miami hotspots. Evoking elements from films such as Scarface and other 80’s mafia crime movies Vice City sees Tommy Vercetti rise from lowly criminal to a mansion-owning gangland boss that wouldn’t feel too out of place in a Bond movie.

Complete with an equally authentic soundtrack that delivers everything from classic Michael Jackson to Frankie Goes to Hollywood, you’ll always feel fully engrossed in the decade of spandex, Hawaiian shirts and neon lights as you gun down your latest hit. Vice City, one of Rockstar’s best for sure!

  1. Call of Duty: World at War


Dark, visceral and downright gritty, World at War may have had the hard task of succeeding Infinity Ward’s critically acclaimed Modern Warfare, but it absolutely succeeded in delivering one of the harshest and truest depictions of war that we’d seen in any other historical first person shooter by that point.

Whether it’s crawling through dead bodies in the aftermath of Stalingrad or storming the shores of Peleliu beach, World at war successfully proves that whilst ideas are peaceful, history is violent. Just don’t torture yourself by playing it on Veteran, its Nazi closets galore!

  1. Assassin’s Creed II


Assassins Creed II would go on to set the template for all future Assassin’s Creed titles to come, Assassin’s Creed II allowed players to take to the heights of 15th century renaissance Italy, letting us explore a true part of history in the way only a video game can allow.

As famed series protagonist Ezio Auditorie Da Firenze, Assassin’s Creed II was a reminder that the past is rich and full of stories to tell, even if they are a little bit fictionalised. A game of fisty cuffs with the pope anyone?

  1. Star Wars Battlefront (2004)


Blasters, Spaceships and clone armies? Have we gone mad? 2004’s original version of Star Wars Battlefront took us back to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away by letting us experience the various battles sprinkled throughout the Sci-Fi saga first hand from Episode’s I to VI.

Star Wars battlefront is absolutely one of the best pieces of entertainment to have spawned out of the prequel series, feeling epic, meaning full and simply a blast to play especially with friends. Whilst DICE’s 2015 reboot looks gorgeous and detailed, there’s nothing quite like the journey presented in the original Star Wars Battlefront.

  1. Wolfenstein: The New Order


Slightly cheeky due to the fact that this depiction of the past is an alternative take, Wolfenstein: The New Order is a solid and memorable historical first person shooter like no other, allowing you battle mechanised Panzerhounds, robot Hitlers and anything else the ruthless Nazis have the potential of cooking up in their lab.

Wolfenstein is a series with plenty of ground covered in this setting, but its 2014 incarnation is by far the best. Presenting players with just the right amount of zany concepts and ideas, The New Order still manages to deliver an epic and original tale set in an alternative WWII.

1 2