At this point in video game history, there are a lot of titles to choose from, both old and new. The problem that some people run into with older games is how archaic they feel to play. Controls may be strange, graphics can be hard to stomach, and some modern conveniences are left out of a lot of retro games. However, there is a subsect of games from back in the day that were simply ahead of its time, and those video game titles are still fun to play today. We’re going to run down the list of retro games that still hold up to this day to give you some classics to chew on if you need something different to play.
It’s important to remember that something one person might consider retro might not be retro to another. While all the games on this list are certainly from a past era of video games, you may not necessarily consider them retro depending on when you started playing. The most important thing is that these games are great no matter what decade you play them.
The continuing adventure of the space bounty hunter Samus Aran is considered by many people to be an incredible game that lives far past when it was first released. With extremely responsive controls, a unique graphical look, and constantly rewarding gameplay, Super Metroid is one of those games that can impress anybody, no matter when they start playing it. It certainly has the difficulty that people come to expect from retro games, but that only adds to its overall charms.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To the Past
What some gamers consider to be the epitome of classic Legend of Zelda games, A Link To the Past is one retro game you can’t afford to miss out on. The sense of exploration that the developers managed to cram into a tiny (compared to modern games) world is a feat to see firsthand. A Link to the Past takes what was great about the original Legend of Zelda and improves it with a larger story, a more vibrant world, and memorable characters to get attached to.
With all the Japanese roleplaying games released regularly today, Chrono Trigger can easily get lost among them because of its age. However, it should stay on people’s radars as one of the best JRPGs ever made. It was one of the first games to have multiple endings, a cast of characters that are well-fleshed out, and an entirely new take on turn-based combat—all of these things make Chrono Trigger one of those games that you just have to try out for yourself to understand the hype surrounding it. Even today, the game has a passionate fanbase that cries out for a remake or sequel to this excellent game.
Super Mario World
A list of retro games that still hold up to this day wouldn’t be complete without everyone’s favorite plumber. While almost all the classic Mario games could be on this list, we’ve chosen Super Mario World for a few reasons. It iterates on the near-perfect platforming from the original game by bringing in some new mechanics, but it also takes away some of the punishing difficulty of the very first game. Mario games are still considered some of the best around, so it’s important to know where he came from too.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Improving on the original game with some fun, new mechanics, many fans consider Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to be the best the franchise ever got. Say what you like about modern Sonic video games, but the retro Sonic games give you that sense of speed and fluidity you want in a game. This was also the game that introduced Tails, a fan-favorite character, and gave Sonic some of his more iconic moves.
Mega Man X
While Mega Man X is far from the first game in its series, it does mark an important reboot of the series into something arguably even better than the originals. Mega Man X gives the titular Mega Man a lot of great new ways to interact with his environment, as well as a ton of new weapons to play around with. Going all the way back to the original Mega Man can be a bit of a slog if you’re not used to games from that time period, but Mega Man X is one you can hop right into.
Pokémon Red and Blue
The great thing about the Pokémon series is that the core gameplay has actually changed very little over the years. The fun, intuitive, turn-based combat is still there whether you play the newest games or the oldest ones. Pokémon Red and Blue are exactly what you want in a Pokémon game. While the art style has changed over the years, the classic sprites still look good, and it’s easy to get into no matter what your experience level with Pokémon is.
Now we get to a couple games that almost everyone considers retro at this point in time. Pac-Man is an absolute classic, one of the first games to really make its way into the mainstream early on. There are lots of Pac-Man games to choose from nowadays, but the great thing about them all is that even the earliest iterations have a fun gameplay loop that’s hard to put down. It’s no wonder the little guy is still known far and wide today when you play the original game.
A game that will be forever famous, Tetris makes this list of retro games with ease. This is another example of a game that has been improved upon and changed over the years, yet the original still holds up to this day. As one of the original puzzle games, Tetris isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. There’s a reason you always see it brought to new platforms whenever they get released. It’s a fantastic game to learn, yet also has a high skill ceiling to allow for masters to play as well.
We just gave you a lot of classic games that you’ll want to pick up either again or for the first time. To make your playing experience the best it can be, check out Glassy Eyewear’s video game glasses. Our specially designed glasses allow you to play to your heart’s content while protecting yourself from harmful blue light from your screen. Pick up a pair today and forget about those long gaming session headaches.