C++ is the closest language besides... C, Machine Code, and Assembler (Why has nobody mentioned this O_o). Plenty of people use C++ for real applications. (They're barely any games that dont use C++) Lots of security software's use C++. Java is more of a porting language, its like C or C++, its not as close to the computer, and its noticably slower. BASIC and other languages have their points, its really all opinion.
That said, you're unlikely to use it in real life these days (of course it has its place, but not in the majority of applications), but I'm still thankful I started with C++ than a language like Basic.