The golden age of video gaming is NOW and it is sweeping us off our feet in a hi-tech virtual avalanche. Even as a series of hyper-realistic games throng the gaming arena, there is always the nostalgia and love attached to an old video game how much ever ‘out-dated’ it would seem. Some of those once-addictive vintage video games that we grew up playing, and often, lived by, have faded off while some others managed to evolve.
The amazing range of games available today, from arcade games to computer games and from PC game development to console game development. The choices are endless to suit every taste. But, as every gamer knows, it might be a 16-bit colour graphic game or the 8-bit colour graphic game that has encapsulated your mind since the early days. There is just something about the retro video games that brings back a lot of memories. Remember the times when the joystick would feel larger than your palm and a small coin would conjure up a world of games and you would never share it with anyone!
In this blog, we will get that time-machine running, to curate the 10 most popular retro and vintage video games that are still around. If you’re above the age of 25 you might certainly remember these games! They might have been a casual birthday gift or probably the first ever video game you put your hands to a memory you cherish fondly.
Here we go, into the time-machine and out, to get hold of those fragments of adventures – true retro style !
Top 10 Retro Video Games
One of the original arcade and console retro video games, Donkey Kong always rings a bell in every gamer’s mind. Donkey Kong is considered as the stuff of legends. Released in 1981 by Nintendo, the game was an early precedent setter for the game genre which involves manoeuvring the main character across a series of platforms. This is done by jumping and dodging obstacles on the way. Jumpman (evolved as Mario), the lead character was the hero and his main task was to rescue Pauline, the damsel-in-distress, from the main villain, a giant ape called Donkey Kong.
The classic game King’s Quest was created by an American software company called Sierra Entertainment. Launched in 1984, the game quickly became a fan favourite. It is considered as one of the classic retro video games from the ‘golden era of adventure games’. It was also one of the first games to come on a floppy disk! The original game featured a King’s Quest to retain his kingdom and subsequently led to many other versions, the most recent one being a reimagination of the game released in 2015.
Developed by The Odd Gentlemen, the new version, an episodic series, was published by Activision. It was available on major platforms like Windows. PS3, PS4, Xbox One.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
Back in the day, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a popular TV show and its arcade game render was one of the best selling lots. It was a side-scrolling, beat-em-up –kind of game. The game was released in 1991 and had a great design feature. The game was shipped to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992 and was later released as an original NES. It borrowed a lot of elements from its predecessor Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist. All said and done, it still remains as a solid retro video game and arguably as one of the best 2D rendered games of its times.
Super Mario Bros
If you consider yourself as a gamer or game lover and haven’t played this game, then sorry, consider yourself out. There isn’t a single kid on planet Earth who hasn’t gone gaga after playing this game. Released on the now-famous Nintendo Entertainment System console in 1983 it is a classic, vintage video game.
As many might remember, players had to control Mario, or his brother Luigi. This was available in the multiplayer mode as well.
The Legend of Zelda
One of the greatest successes in video game history is the game ‘The Legend of Zelda’. It has sold over 60 million copies worldwide and is considered one of the best selling vintage video games of all time.
Launched in 1987 by Nintendo Entertainment, the game had various combat elements, as the users who have played this game would know. RPG, puzzles and explorations were the most interesting part of the game.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Developed in 1991 and released in 1992, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 had its own features and plus points. The game was developed by Sega for its (then) new console Sega Genesis. It was the second big game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
The game introduced Sonic’s partner and sidekick Miles Tails and was available to be controlled by a 2nd multiplayer.
As folks reading this might remember, it opened up a world of possibilities and enriched the world of Sonic like never before. The game design of this retro video game was also considered as one of the best during its time.
Considered a classic retro video game even now, Asteroids was released in 1979 by Atari. It was perhaps an inspiration point for many future game designers and developers. The game later ported to the Atari 2600 and was also made into a Hollywood film. This game had really cool, but simple game design and was astounding with funny sound design.
If there is a granddaddy of vintage video games then it has to be Pong. One of the first ever retro video games created for a computer, the game was launched as an arcade game back in 1972 and was a single-game console game. It made Atari a household name and launched their success. It was considered as the highest-performing game chip available at the time.
If one is talking about retro video games and doesn’t mention Pac-Man, then there is something seriously amiss. Vintage video games and Pac-Man go hand-in-hand.
Released in 1980, it is perhaps one of the most recognised video games of all time. It started out as an arcade game where the gamer had to use space-themed shooters. The “Pac-Man” was a face and the main character of the game. It also was a trend-setter in the genre of “casual games”
Final Fantasy series
The Final Fantasy series has had many versions. In the game design world it is called 2D, 3D versions. The latest Final Fantasy VII was available on PlayStation and was the first 3D title. Its’ predecessor was the Final Fantasy VI. The game was designed on the retro style video game feature and its most attractive feature was the story-line.
What great retro video games do you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments. We will dig up treasures from the long-lost, and share with you!