Nowadays, we are as spoiled for choice as we have ever been for video games. We are genuinely living through a golden age for the industry, and the plethora of games being released almost daily are certain to cater to the tastes of most anyone.
With that being said, it is can still be difficult not to yearn for the simple pleasures afforded by retro video games. The arcade era was another significant period in game development when many classic and revolutionary offerings were brought to market. These games stoked interest among many avid gamers nowadays, and many of them still hold their own today. Read on for some of the best retro games ever made.
Super Mario Bros. 3
First released back in 1993 on the legendary NES, this title represented a revolution to the classic platforming genre of video games. Platform games were pretty much invented by Nintendo in the first place, but they brought the style to new heights with Super Mario Bros. 3.
This game is inarguably one of the greatest side-scrolling games ever produced. It will undoubtedly trigger significant feelings of nostalgia in older gamers and give younger players a great glimpse into the origins of the games they play today.
This classic first came to market in 1989 on the wildly popular Nintendo Gameboy. The fact that this game is still present in various formats in modern gaming and pop culture is a testament to the cultural phenomenon that was Tetris.
While it might seem strange that simply rotating blocks and fitting them into neat rows could be so entertaining, it remains one of the most enjoyable gaming experiences to this day. Despite its remarkable simplicity, Alexei Pajitnov’s classic video game remains popular to this day.
Street Fighter II Turbo
Street Fighter is a title that is almost synonymous with the arcades of the 1990s. It is no exaggeration to say that Street Fighter revolutionised gaming experiences for many kids during the arcade era. No gaming hall was complete without a Street Fighter machine, and Street Fighter II Turbo represents one of the best installations in the series.
The memories of teaching your friends to perform the dragon punch motion or finally getting the victory over an older sibling by using Blanka’s electric attacks cannot be replicated by any other game. Ultimately, for the perfect retro beat ‘em up experience, Street Fighter II Turbo provides the best combination of nostalgia and gameplay.
Super Mario Kart
The Mario Kart game series is one of the most successful in the history of game development, and for a good reason. These games represent the perfect blend of arcade fun and skill. Sure, you might be the best driver among your friends, but that cannot help you when you get blue-shelled inches from the finish line.
Super Mario Kart was the first iteration of the franchise and was released on the SNES in 1992. While your favourite version of the game is undoubtedly tied to the one you played the most when growing up, very few people would argue the claim that this may be the best Kart game ever created. Super Mario Kart has aged fantastically over the years, and the difficulty of earning a victory only reinforces the sense of accomplishment when you win a race.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
Sega is another legendary games developer that shaped video gaming history during the 90s. One of their most well-known and best games was Sonic the Hedgehog 2, released on the Mega Drive back in 1992.
This release truly cemented Sega’s speedy protagonist as a viable competitor to Mario. The game is filled with excellent environmental tricks, loops, and corkscrews, which helped put a new spin on the Nintendo popularised platformers. The co-op features available made the game a perfect choice to explore with someone else, as they could take control of Sonic’s partner, Tails. Ultimately, this is one of the best games made during the 16-bit era.
The games mentioned above represent a brief summary of some of the greatest retro games created before the modern era of gaming. Modern games are a fantastic advert for the progression of technology and offer immersive storytelling combined with pristine graphics. However, it is important to remember where this all came from. These retro games might not have a 60+ hour campaign or competitive online services, but they are a callback to a simpler time.
Ultimately, while these games might not stack up to the latest releases in many ways, the feeling of nostalgia when playing a classic from your childhood is unmatchable. So whether you grew up in arcades playing Street Fighter or are a younger gamer looking to explore the history of video games, check out the titles on this list.
Image credit: Pixels