Whether you were born in a time that’s now considered ‘retro’, or you just want to experience the 80s and 90s aesthetic first-hand, there’s a lot to be said for retro gaming. There’s a huge revival of retro titles happening at the moment, as well as a trend towards futuristic retro, where games are created that imagine how an 80s creator would use modern-day technology to make the game of their dreams. Both true retro and futuristic retro are great niches to be into but, for this list, we’re focusing solely on the retro. So, if you’ve got a computer to hand, you’ll be able to play every single one of these great retro-feeling games.
There are plenty of weird premises for a game, but perhaps the weirdest we’ve come across is a super important, all-singing, all-dancing spacesuit falling from the talons of a crow onto a lowly earthworm. The earthworm puts on the suit and immediately becomes a superhero, but the crow has spotted him and has sent out all of its cronies to put an end to the nonsense. As the player, you’ll be taking the role of Earthworm Jim and squirming your way through progressively more difficult and often pretty strange levels as you try to rescue a princess and beat off the enemies. You’ll have a whole load of weird weaponry at your disposal and you’re going to need to use pretty much all of it to progress. This game has a few different instalments and, amazingly, all of them can still be found on Steam, so you can play them exactly as they were intended.
If you want to get really retro with your gaming choices then an online casino might be the best place to visit. Games like poker have been around for centuries and, depending on the provider that you choose to play with, you can get a super retro experience. Some poker providers have moved towards a more modern approach, with options like live dealer casinos allowing players to feel as close to real life as possible. However, other casinos prefer a more pared-back approach to poker, harking back to the days of the original online poker experience. This game choice will involve the player a lot more than some of our other choices, as we each look for different things in our poker gaming. With that said, a shiny green call button, some clanky chip counting sounds, and some Microsoft Solitaire-inspired card backs go a long way to creating a truly nostalgic gaming experience.
This game is the only one of a Japanese series to be released in the English language and is a favorite of anyone who enjoyed Super Nintendo games. You take the role of Ness and it’s up to you to amass a collection of different melodies as you explore the world. Once you’ve collected them all, you can use those melodies, and everything you’ve learned along the way, to defeat the evil alien Giygas. Understandably, the music in this game is a hugely evocative part of the retro gaming experience, so this is one where it’s essential to play with the volume up. The Retro Gaming website has created a free-to-play version of Earthbound which you can play in your browser, so this is super accessible for everyone.
Finally, it wouldn’t be a retro gaming rundown without a mention of Tetris. This is one of the first games that many people will remember playing. If you’ve never played before then the aim is simple: you need to fit the floating blocks together neatly to create whole rows. Once you’ve made a whole row with no gaps, the row will disappear, leaving more room for the floating blocks to fall. If you fail to create whole rows, then the blocks will pile up until eventually there’s no room on the screen and you lose. There are lots of options for playing Tetris, but the simplest is to go to their very own website. This game too is browser based and free to play, so you’ve got no excuse for missing out on the retro action.