Watch Dogs screenshot
Watch Dogs screenshot

Quantum Break has been delayed! As tears fall from the eyes of children the world over, it's good to remind ourselves that these minor stumbling blocks aren't necessarily a bad thing. This week's Watch Dogs, for example, is officially* the most-delayed game in history, a record that dated back to 1892 before Ubisoft finally made the dream a reality.

Despite that, though, Aiden Pearce's open-world folly has received largely positive reviews and sold more copies in its first 24 hours than any other game put out by the publisher.

So, in true internet fashion, here's some other games that prove time truly can make the heart grow fonder.

Grand Theft Auto 5
Original Release Date: Spring 2013
Actual Release Date: 17 September 2013
VideoGamer Score: 10

Grand Theft Auto 5 screenshot

It seems stupid to heap any more praise on the shoulders of GTA 5. It received so much, and deservedly so, at the end of 2013 that you could build a castle out of it. If castles could be built out of complimentary words…

Known for never releasing a product before it's deemed ready, Rockstar is the poster child for why delaying a game is always the sensible path to take. Be it GTA or Red Dead Redemption, the finished experience is exceptionally polished. And as Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto once said: "You'll never take our freedom!".

No. Wait. "A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever..."

We may have had to wait a few more months, but GTA 5 was pretty damn good.

Half-Life 2
Original Release Date: September 2003
Actual Release Date: 16 November 2004
VideoGamer Score: 10

Half-Life 2 screenshot

'Waaah. Where's Half-Life 3. I've been waiting ages!' So. Does Valve owe you Half-Life 3? Did you sign a contract with Valve? Are you Valve!? We're pretty sure the answer to this is 'no', so stop moaning and focus on what was good: Half-Life 2.

Held back for over a year because of hacking or something, when it finally blasted off from its secret moon base – which oddly wasn't on the moon – and crash-landed here on planet Earth, the gaming community went utterly bonkers for it. Taking shooters in a whole new direction and, in many ways, redefining the genre entirely, it remains one of those games that makes journalists scream 'SHOULD'VE BEEN MORE LIKE HALF-LIFE 2'.

Alright. Calm down.

South Park: The Stick Of Truth
Original Release Date: March 2013
Actual Release Date: 7 March 2014
VideoGamer Score: 6

South Park: The Stick of Truth screenshot

Read this piece of obnoxious opinion before we go any further. Okay - onwards we march.

While not entirely to blame, South Park: The Stick Of Truth got caught up in the unfortunate demise of THQ and subsequently saw its release date batted around like no one gave a shit. With rumours abound that it may be cancelled altogether, thousands of people held a vigil in Paris – outside newly appointed publishers of the game, Ubisoft – to ensure this didn't happen.

It was a success, and a year after its proposed released The Stick Of Truth arrived, and was the first South Park game in history that didn't suck and blow at the same time.

Duke Nukem Forever
Original Release Date: 1997
Actual Release Date: 14 June 2011
VideoGamer Score: 4

Duke Nukem Forever screenshot

Duke Nukem Forever is the most misunderstood game of the 21st century. With beautiful visuals, a gorgeous art-style and charm to boot, one's adoration for Duke's long-awaited return can only be measured in how big your heart is.

It has personality, too, with the visceral Nukem often staggering the player, such is the gravitas in which its world is presented. Iconic, mesmerising and definitive, this is the Citizen Kane of video games. VERISIMILITUDE.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Original Release Date: November 2005
Actual Release Date: 8 December 2006
VideoGamer Score: 9

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess screenshot

Nintendo got well confused when it came to Twilight Princess. Originally intended to be a loving last goodbye to the GameCube – that had a handle – Iwata and co. decided to wait over a year before releasing it… so it could throw the next Zelda onto the upcoming Wii and give it motion controls.

Of course, it couldn't just ignore its last console, so it simply came out for both. The difference being in one you pressed a button and in the other you waggled. Whichever path you chose resulted in yet another excellent Link adventure, though, and one that still stands up today. And that's not a joke.

Halo: Combat Evolved
Original Release Date: Undetermined
Actual Release Date: 15 November 2001
VideoGamer Score: 10

halo combat evolved -

At one point its life, Halo was a RTS game headed to the PC. And the Mac. Because Bungie loves Mac… What we ended up getting was Combat Evolved, the first entry in the now stupidly big Halo franchise that Microsoft still owes a debt too - without it, who knows if the Xbox would've been as successful as it is today.

It was the game that proved to everyone first-person shooters weren't the sole ownership of the PC master race, a community who that very year had actively declared war against the universe. With Halo, it became apparent that such an attack was futile, and that we could all live in harmony once more.

Considering that it changed genres, launch windows and platforms does go to show that a delay can mean absolutely nothing. Aside from sadness. And Twitter bitching.

Dragon Age: Origins
Original Release Date: Early 2009
Actual Release Date: 6 November 2009
VideoGamer Score: 8

Dragon Age: Origins screenshot

Dragon Age: Origins was awesome. It may've taken BioWare seven lifetimes to actually get the damned thing out the door, but that didn't stop it from being one of the best RPGs in recent memory. Be it the narrative, choices, cast of characters, or sense of progression, it remains the best in the series with relative ease.

It wasn't an easy path to such success, though. Originally announced at E3 2004, it missed its intended drop date of early 2009 by a good few months. Given how long it had already taken, a few eyebrows were raised as the worst was assumed.

But it was all worth it. Dragon Age (or KOTOR: Not In Space) proved that BioWare's brand of role-playing still had plenty to give. Admittedly that was kinda screwed up with the sequel, but Inquisition, yeah?

*There is no official information to indicate that this is true.

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grovberg's Avatar

grovberg@ KamSage

I feel almost certain the HL2 one was written by Simon. I was halfway through reading that opening paragraph before I realized it had morphed into Simon's voice in my head.
Posted 17:42 on 02 June 2014


Steve wrote this didn't he? Who else would compare anything to Citizen Kane but the film buff?
Apart from that obvious joke, 6 out of the 7 examples are still good.
Posted 17:03 on 29 May 2014

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