These 5 Retro Games Hold Up Even Without the Nostalgia

Samus looks through her helmet in Metroid Prime Remastered.

Samus looks through her helmet in Metroid Prime Remastered.

I spent most of my childhood obsessed with free dress up games and animal crossing So now when I play something that someone older than me swears is the best game ever, I feel like I’ve already missed its magic. It can be hard to swallow outdated plot points and old polygons when modern games try to coddle us with emotional, clever writing and ray tracing.

But I have not ruled out retro games. I can’t, not when subscriptions like Nintendo Switch Online and other emulators make them awfully easy to play. So I’ve been playing them, enjoying some and laughing at the bullet bra boobs on others. Still, having a bracelet of option beads taught me that there are plenty of old games that stick around, even without the happy memories of gathering around the family home with your Game Boy. I’ve put together a list of some good ones you can play, especially if you’ve never played old video games before.

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resident Evil


Depending on who you ask, Capcom’s first resident Evil is the best of the group or, as Kotaku Staff writer Zack Zwiezen says in his ranking, the most “clumsy and clumsy”. I think its polarizing state, even in its current form (the game has changed with each relaunch), makes it a neutral ground for new players to form their own opinions on this legendary survival horror series.

The 2015 edition of the remake, which made the game compatible with PS4 and Xbox One (and now its next-gen counterparts), also made the game’s traditional and cumbersome “tank” controls optional, and players got used to a freer and faster game movement. you might appreciate the ability to select modern controls instead.

I like the pace tank controls you’re forced into, though, and the fixed camera angles that compliment them, filling the jam-packed hallways with eager anticipation. However, regardless of how you play, resident Evil it’s still scary and still haunting, with its candlelit mansion and see-through, body-lined hallways providing a perfect pregame for the next resident evil 4 Redo.

Originally released: March 22, 1996 for PlayStation

How to play (original): On PSX, SAT, Windows or NDS

How to play (remake): On PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, Windows; free through PlayStation Plus Premium

fable II


Action RPG fable II It’s no longer the prettiest medieval fantasy you could wander into. Its grasses and stones look like marbled thread and show its age, but the flexible silliness of its gameplay (you can decorate your land, teach your dog tricks and cure it, get involved in a brainless marriage and contract an STI) is worth your attention. time.

This is a game to jump right into, so its tons of ridiculous details turn into surprising delights. Their uniqueness is also poetic at times, such as when your body transforms to match the cleansing of your soul: well-aligned actions make your character appear sun-kissed, for example, while corrupted actions cause twisted horns to sprout. of his head. Stephen Fry is also in it.

Originally released: October 21, 2008 for Xbox 360

How to play: Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows; free via Game Pass

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask


Zelda The games are known for their storybook-like lore and multiple, confusing timelines, but I don’t think you need to be familiar with any of that to pick one up for the first time. I played majoras mask for the first time last year, without even having played its predecessor The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, still. I loved.

It’s undeniably stylish, with its rugged 2000s graphics that make the oversized, flexible flowers and tiny, rubbery bodies of the characters unreal and otherworldly, as if your Switch has become a forest full of goblins. .

The gameplay also feels fresh and creative in 2023. As in ocarina of time, majoras mask he has Link play spectral songs on his Ocarina to perform magical feats, such as fast-forwarding time or making rain fall. majoras mask However, it does emphasize time bending, leading to satisfyingly tricky puzzles and decisions that you’ll be forced to make in a split second. Even if you haven’t played its predecessor, I think you’ll find this exhilarating.

Overall, the game’s happily muddy mix of music, nature, and epic quests makes you feel a little happy, like a grasshopper in the sun.

Originally released: April 27, 2000 for Nintendo 64

How to play: Nintendo 64, GameCube, Wii VC, Wii U VC, Nintendo 3DS, or on Switch via Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack (download the N64 add-on)

mario party


mario party It draws me in more with its graphics, cute and blocky character models that look like they were formed out of chocolate molds during a power outage. To my 2023 eyes, they look amusingly stiff as the games’ highly emotional soundtrack hovers between triumphant and downbeat. It’s nice to scream as you and up to four friends roll dice and slowly progress through mini-games, all in the simple search for yellow stars and bragging rights.

Originally released: December 18, 1998 for Nintendo 64

How to play: Nintendo 64 or on Switch via Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack (download the N64 add-on)

Metroid Prime Remastered


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this year’s remaster of the GameCube space adventure first metroid is a fluid and vibrant reinvigoration of what many video game fans will tell you is he The best game.

Statements like this usually leave me a bit bitter, since, most of the time, I was a baby while everyone was enraptured with the game 20 years ago. But Metroid Prime Remastered It takes its source material off its pedestal and brings it up to the level of newcomers by smartly and faithfully enhancing it.

Ultimately, new players are given a chance to play at a high quality. first metroid for the first time ever, and a rare chance to play an old game and experience what feels like the sense of wonder intended.

Originally released: November 18, 2002 for the GameCube

How to play (original): GameCube, Wii, Wii U (BC)

How to play (Remastered): Change

What are some old games you didn’t play until you were an adult? Which do you think held up better? Hit me with your best recs.

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