9 Retro Games Everyone Should Play At Least Once

There’s a certain charm in revisiting the classics. Back in the day, gaming was way simpler, with fewer confusing mechanics. It was all about the core elements that made a game great. But you know what? That wasn’t a bad thing at all. A lot of us were younger when we first dove into the games on this list, and the magic was in the pure, uncomplicated fun.

Who doesn’t love a trip down memory lane now and then, right? Whether it’s to relive the good times or to feel the excitement of those early gaming days, going back is always a treat. That’s why we’re taking this little journey into the past.

Blackjack for Atari 2600 (1977)

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Back in ’77, Atari dropped a cool game called Blackjack, one of the first nine titles you could snag when the Atari 2600 hit the scene. Imagine this: a video version of the classic blackjack card game. 

You know the drill – beat the dealer’s card total, but don’t overshoot 21, or you’re out. Here’s the cool part: you could square off against the computer dealer with one to three players in on the action. Good times for any Gamble Genius!

Resident Evil (1996)

resident evil 1996 retro gameplay

Whether you’re rocking a modern PC or dusting off your old PlayStation, the Resident Evil series doesn’t just have deep roots in cinema – the games are classics too. It’s a cult favorite, and if you’re on the hunt for a vintage game to dive into, this one’s a true throwback.

Grab the reins as Chris or Jill and dive into the experience. Even though the game is from a bygone era, the developers did a solid job ensuring the gameplay stands the test of time. Survival takes center stage, and your strategic thinking comes into play because resources can dry up faster than you’d expect.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (2000)

tony hawk s pro skater 2 gameplay

Play it on your old PlayStation or your new PC, or check out the remakes on modern consoles. Who could forget this old gem? Most folks remember playing it for hours. And that soundtrack – let’s not even get into it. They don’t make ’em like this anymore. Enjoy some Rage Against The Machine or Naughty By Nature tunes while you shred.

The new remakes are awesome, but let’s give a shout-out to where it all began. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is like one of the OG skateboarding games, maybe even the one that started it all.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (1992)

sonic the hedgedog 2 gameplay

No need to mess with downloads – you can just hop online and play this game! The controls? Easy, but that’s what makes it a blast. If you’re in the mood for a hefty dose of nostalgia, you’ve got to kick it old school with Sonic The Hedgehog.

The graphics and background art? They’re up there with the later games in the series, still looking cool. And let’s chat about the background music – it’s so darn catchy, it’s like a cheat code for good vibes in the gaming world.

Mortal Kombat (1992)

mortal kombat gameplay

Remember the good old days of hitting up the arcade, just looking for whatever game could give you a good time? If you’re in the mood for a throwback, give Mortal Kombat a shot, especially if you haven’t before. Back in the day, it was one of the coolest fighting games around. You could pick iconic characters like Sonya or Sub-zero and duke it out.

It was one of the first fighting games that didn’t shy away from a little extra flair, as you might have heard – the series is kind of infamous for its intense action.

Soulcalibur (1999)

soul calibur gameplay

Wanna jump into Soulcalibur? Well, you can do it on Xbox 360, iOS, or Android. Back in ’99, this game rocked the scene, totally shaking up what folks thought a fighting game could be. It’s a 3D brawler that kicked things up a notch in difficulty compared to old favorites like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat.

Why’s it so cool to revisit? Picture this: it’s a ’90s legend. Soulcalibur makes you think on your feet with longer character recovery times and the freedom to move in, like, eight different ways. And guess what? It still looks darn good today.

Crash Bandicoot (1996)

crash bandicoot gameplay

Remember Crash Bandicoot? Classic PlayStation vibes right there. This game was all about your jumping skills, simple and awesome. The visuals, the levels, the characters – everything meshed in this ’90s explosion of color.

Crash, a guy on a mission to save his girlfriend, was impossible not to love. The levels kept things interesting, taking you to temples, villages, even the sky.

Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior (1991)

chun li in street fighter ii world warrior

Street Fighter had its humble start, but this classic fighting game left a mark in the hearts of many, gamers and non-gamers alike, when they were kids. It was a true global sensation, a big deal in both arcades and home consoles.

For the Street Fighter fans diving into the newest releases, why not take a trip down memory lane with the older versions? Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior is a gem among them.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

the legend of zelda ocarina of time gameplay

If you’re on Nintendo Switch, you can still enjoy this ’90s treasure with the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack service. Zelda has never had a bad year, it seems. Even the ’98 version is something special that stands strong over time. Ocarina of Time is a classic that deserves a playthrough, whether you’re a Zelda enthusiast or just a fan of good video games.

Sure, the graphics aren’t cutting-edge like Tears of The Kingdom, but it brings top-notch gameplay, storytelling, level design, and memorable characters. And hey, there’s a snazzier version on 3DS if that floats your boat.

Want to dive into a world where Link strums tunes on a magical instrument, bonds with his trusty horse Epona, and explores the kingdom to some amazing soundtracks? Playing Ocarina of Time, even if it’s a bit older, guarantees an adventure you won’t regret. Old school, but still kicks butt.

Himangi is passionate about keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of technology. In her free time, she indulges her interests in neuroscience and art.


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