23 October, 2020

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25 Years of Online Casino: Which Games Are Now Considered Classics?

There has been a lot of buzz recently celebrating the 25th anniversary of the PlayStation. And, whenever such milestones are hit, the media tends to get all nostalgic, looking at, for example, the best games in the history of the console.

But at the same time that Sony was rolling out the console that would change video games forever, the first online casinos were appearing online. Developers like Microgaming and Cryptologic started working on the necessary software in the mid-90s, and by 1995 we had the basis of the first online casinos as they are recognised today. 

In light of that, we are going to look at some of the games that have become classics during the last 25 years (there is some debate over whether the first games were launched in 1994, 1995 or 1996). Nevertheless, there have been several releases that have stood the test of time, and are adored by passionate casino players. Here’s some of the best:

Mega Moolah (Microgaming, 2006)

Probably the most famous jackpot game in the history of the casino industry, Mega Moolah is still going strong after 14 years. Its popularity is based on a simple premise – offer the biggest jackpot in the world. Mega Moolah’s top payout has even made an entry into Guinness World Records.

Desert Treasure (Playtech, 2005)

Possibly eclipsed by its sequel, which you can see here by clicking www.casino.com/nz/slots/desert-treasure-2/, Desert Treasure gained some popularity among some discerning players because it has one of the most generous rates of return of all major online casino slots, clocking in at 97.15%.

Starburst (NetEnt, 2012)

A game which has claims of being the most popular online casino game in the world. Starburst helped launch NetEnt from being a small-time Swedish developer to being a global player in the iGaming industry. Starburst is incredibly easy to play, and the developers caught lightning in a bottle, prompting countless casinos to promote it as their number one slot.

Book of Dead (Play N’ Go, 2014)

An interesting one here, as Book of Dead basically gave rise to a popular genre of casino games not well known outside of the casino industry. So-called “Book” slots tend to have a special feature where symbols can expand to fill the reels. They can be very, very lucrative, but also somewhat volatile. This game, which has the longer name of Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead, has a theme of Egyptian adventure, but it influenced lots of similar games. The original is still the best in most players’ eyes, though.

Bonanza (Big Time Gaming, 2017)

Bonanza is just a few years old, but it could be argued that it is as influential as any game on this list. In a nutshell, the game popularised the Megaways system, which offers players the chance to play with over 100,000 winning lines per game. It feels really revolutionary, and Big Time Gaming licensed the technology to several rivals, allowing dozens of Megaways games to hit the market.

Lara Croft Slot (Microgaming, 2004)

Video game fans will, of course, recognise the iconic Lara Croft character. However, this game from Microgaming was important for two reasons. First, it was the first branded online casino game, and we now have titles ranging from Game of Thrones to Guns N’ Roses slots. Secondly, it showed that slot games could mimic video games in graphics and, crucially, gameplay. It’s a bit dated today, but still very popular.

Monopoly Live (Evolution Gaming, 2019)

The latest release on this list, but perhaps this is the game that hints at the future the most. Monopoly Live is an online game streamed from a studio. Players are invited to spin a wheel for a chance to play out the bonus game on a 3D AR Monopoly board. It’s an incredible achievement by Evolution Gaming, which was recognised by the Casino Game of the Year award in 2019

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