Top Five Must Play Retro Games
With so many new games coming out today, one may say that it almost seems pointless to go back in time to play games from the 70s, 80s, or 90s. However, video games back then were well crafted and actually a lot of fun to play. If you or someone you know is trying to get into playing retro games, this list is a great place to start and these games will leave you with a terrific experience.
To be considered retro, in my opinion, the game should have come out before 2000. There is only one game featured per franchise, or else this list would repeat the same couple of franchises. Also, I’m probably going to make another one of these lists again, so don’t worry if your favorite retro game isn’t here – it might be on a future list.
5. Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike (1999) on Arcade, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Playstation 2, Dreamcast, Xbox
Street Fighter II may have been more influential than 3rd Strike, but 3rd Strike refined the Street Fighter formula and even added some newer gameplay mechanics of its own. It was one of the first Street Fighter games to use enhanced moves with your Super Meter as well as using the parry mechanic as another defensive option. Parrying was so important to 3rd Strike that it even inspired its own incredible moment at EVO, one of the biggest fighting game tournaments (EVO Moment #37, look it up). It was also played up until Street Fighter IV came out in 2008. Unsurprisingly, 3rd Strike was still being played after Street Fighter IV was released, so Capcom released it in 2011 for Xbox Live and Playstation Network and it is still available on last generation consoles.
4. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997) on Playstation, Playstation Portable, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Sega Saturn
Symphony of Night revolutionized the “Metroidvania” genre of games that reward exploration with items that help you travel throughout the game. It was also a well-functioning action-RPG with one of the most versatile protagonists in gaming, Alucard, and an incredible soundtrack. The game even has a very neat surprise at the end. This game is worth sinking hours of your time into it and you will definitely be happy doing so. This game is available on last generation consoles, and the Xbox 360 version is now even backwards compatible with the Xbox One.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) on Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo 3DS
This entry goes without saying, considering that many see it as one of the best games ever made. While it may not even be my favorite Zelda game, it still is a lot of fun to this day. It also features a terrific soundtrack that is still usually referenced in every Zelda game after it. The control is great and Hyrule feels so big for a game that came out in 1998 with so much to see and explore. If you are interested in playing this game today, your best bet would be to get it on the 3DS, which has smoother graphics as well as Master Quest, which is a harder version of Ocarina of Time.
2. Mega Man 2 (1988) on Nintendo Entertainment System, Playstation 2
If Mega Man 2 was the only classic Mega Man game that I had ever played, I would be perfectly fine with that. Mega Man 2 added to the famous Mega Man formula by taking out the terrible knockback that was in Mega Man 1 and sprucing up the level design. This polish enabled Mega Man 2 to cut down on all the garbage that made Mega Man 1 make me want to tear my hair out when I first played it (They still didn’t get rid of the disappearing blocks, so I recommend going to Heat Man’s stage only after getting Item 2 from Air Man. As for your first pick, go for Metal Man, his weapon is the best one in the game because it fires in 8 directions and it has so much ammo). Another amazing aspect of Mega Man 2 would have to be its iconic soundtrack. I can’t tell you how many times Capcom has remixed Wily Stage 1 so go listen to it if you haven’t already. To get this gem, I would recommend the Mega Man Legacy Collection, which is available on just about every console, which has the first six Mega Man games, or if you just want Mega Man 2, it is available on iOS.
1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990) on NES, Super NES, Gameboy Advance, Wii (Virtual Console)
This game is considered by some to be the best 2D Mario game ever made and even one of the best NES titles of all time. Mario 3 brought the Mario series back to reality from the weirdness that was the American version of Mario 2 by expanding upon what made Super Mario Bros. so great. There were more levels per world, unlimited continues, a killer soundtrack, great level design and the control felt just perfect. Mario 3 was actually my very first Mario game, but I played the remake for the Gameboy Advance and had a great time with the updated graphics. The Wii Virtual Console game has the original 8 bit graphics, but the Gameboy and Super Nintendo versions have updated 16-bit graphics, so for this one it doesn’t matter what platform you use, just find a way to play this game, it’s that good.
With retro games increasing in popularity, now is probably one of the best times to go out and play the games that you might not have ever played. Give one of these games a shot, maybe one of them will become your favorite. At the very least, you'll see how far we've come from the 1970s.