How old is it, really? 15 years old, currently. In game-years, that has it coming up for middle age.
So why is it still so damn perky? An endlessly explorable, immaculately coded gameplay model, and a decade and a half of community input. Despite its age, Quake III is one of the most open-ended, experimentation-friendly competitive shooters around. The robust physics underpinning the lightning-fast, high-flying combat are malleable enough for endless invention, yet sturdy enough to accommodate anything players throw at them. That, coupled to iD’s open design philosophy and John Carmack’s warlock-level programming skills, has seen the game evolve ever since its release. Rocket jumps, grenade hops, plasma-fuelled wall runs, strafe-jumping, and vast, extravagant combinations of all of the above continue to make QIII an inventive, spectacular experience, both in normal gameplay and the thriving exhibition stunt scene. As for the visuals, eclectic fan mods have kept it looking fresh since ’99.