Retro games that have stood the test of time
A lot of time has passed since the release of the first original arcade game, Pong. The game was released in 1972 by Atari and created by Allan Alcorn. It’s a two-dimensional sports game that sort of simulates table tennis. As a player, you control an in-game dash that moves vertically along the left and right sides of the screen. The purpose of the game is to hit the ball back and forth and to reach eleven points before the opponent.
In the past few decades, the world of gaming has been through a lot. With the advancement of technology being the main catalyzation, video games have transformed from Pong, simple arcade games, to an immersive landscape that you can only dream of. Nonetheless, also the devices that we play the games on have shrunk to fit into the palm of our hands – from huge arcade games to the Gameboy in 1989 to the release of Tetris Mobile in 1994 which became the backbone of mobile gaming.
Luckily, while a sizable portion of old games is not even worth the cartridges (remember those?) they’re stored on, there are a good number of retro games that are still totally worth seeking out, with the following titles representing some of the best of pre-3D game design.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Super Mario Bros. 3 is a platform game developed and published by Nintendo in 1988. As a player, you control either Mario or Luigi, and you must save Princess Toadstool from the antagonist Bowser. You defeat enemies by stomping on them or using items that bestow magical powers. The game introduces many new elements that became Mario series staples, such as Bowser’s children and a world map to transition between levels.
Mario and Luigi are called back into action when Bowser and his kids turn the kings of the Mushroom World into animals and steal their royal magic wands.
The acclaimed Super Mario Bros. 3 features more Mario action than ever before: fly as Raccoon Mario, swim as Frog Mario, throw fireballs as Fire Mario, and turn into an invincible statue as Tanooki Mario! And you’ll need all the powers you can muster, to beat Bowser’s offspring lurking in their heavily-armed airships.
With eight huge worlds to navigate, countless secrets to discover and even a cooperative or competitive two-player mode, Super Mario Bros. 3 truly deserves its status as one of the greatest games ever made.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is an action-adventure game developed and published by Nintendo, as you will see that most of the top retro games are done by them. The game is the third in the series and was released in 1991.
The discussion regarding which Legend of Zelda title is the best, can be the cause of much heated debate. People say Ocarina of Time is the greatest, others would argue for The Wind Waker, whilst a lot of people would opt for 2017’s GOTY, Breath of the Wild. In a few weeks time, people will be singing from the rooftops, praising Link’s Awakening. All of these games offer so much, and subsequently the argument could run until the very end of time itself. However, the whole point is moot, as there can only be one winner when it comes to ‘Best Zelda of all time’ – The Legend of Zelda – A Link to the Past.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past remains the pinnacle of the 2D side of the Zelda series. The game’s heroic score, married with the perfect pixel visuals still holds up to this day, and utterly engrosses the player in this iteration of Hyrule. Along with the game’s accessible yet rewarding dungeon design, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past will charm you from the very first foray into Hyrule Castle, all the way through to the enthralling final encounter with Ganon.
Final Fantasy 6
Final Fantasy 6 was released in 1994 by Japanese company Square and published for Nintendo Entertainment System.
Let’s take a trip back to 1994. The Super Nintendo and Sega are battling it out for console supremacy; tiny developers like Blizzard and id are dominating our computers; and a small Japanese company called Squaresoft is about to release Final Fantasy VI, the sixth installment in the series that had saved them from bankruptcy seven years earlier.
This one is a little bit different. Final Fantasy VI trades in the Tolkien for a healthy chunk of Jules Verne, replacing the fantasy tropes we’d accepted as standard—elves, dwarves, medieval castles—with a desolate world that blends machinery and magic. One of the first places you visit in Final Fantasy VI is Figaro Castle, a hulking chunk of pixelated rock that might seem like your average medieval fortress if not for the fact that it can turn into a submarine. Unlike previous Final Fantasy games, which gently sprinkled sci-fi on top of their big fantasy sundaes, FFVI goes full steampunk. I mean, you start the game in a robot suit.