As a gamer, it is very common to experience nostalgia, which is a desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one’s life, every now and then. Even with the modern day’s high intensity games with human-like graphics and extremely tight gameplay, people often cannot help but yearn for simpler times and think about those deeply memorable masterpieces that changed the way we thought about gaming.
The following 10 games are true classics that take gamers back to simpler times every time they fire them up!
10. Super Mario Kart
Many college students and young adults all over the world spend countless hours with their buddies on the upgraded Nintendo 64 (N64) version of this game, but if it wasn’t for the original on the SNES, none of them would even have a game to play. The original version was one of the first games to introduce the “friend-bashing” that would later follow in a bunch of other Mario games including the Mario Party series. While the original might not be as popular nowadays as the N64 version, it paved the way for the entire Mario series to show it could take a step in many different directions.
9. Duck Hunt
This is without a doubt one of the most classic vintage games of all time and is recognized by almost every gamer on the planet. The game was released as a launch title for the NES, making it one of the most owned and played video games of the time. Also, the game was one of the first console games to use the add-on “NES Zapper.” Despite the game being fairly repetitive and mindless and featuring one of the most annoying game characters of all time (the hunting dog), the game is still beloved by millions and has a cult following that will last the ages.
This is an extremely underrated game that was at the forefront of the videogame world at its time. Banjo-Kazooie followed around two main characters, a bear and a bird, as they traveled through open world levels where they had to jump over obstacles, solve puzzles, defeat enemies and gather objects. The game was a massive success and was praised for its detailed level design/structure and its extremely good graphics for the time. It won numerous awards and was the first of many future sequels. But despite all of these accolades and praise, it is sometimes forgotten in the annals of video game history, but not in this list.
7. Donkey Kong Country
This fantastic game was in a very similar vein as the Super Mario franchise, in that it presented gamers with the often time consuming task of traversing through a side scrolling world where you would have to defeat characters and get past obstacles to reach your goals. But this game will be remembered for going above and beyond what was set out in the Mario franchise by allowing gamers to throw barrels, ride rhinos and even complete missions with a friend, which was rare at the time for such adventure-like games. This game was not only entertaining, memorable and very successful, it also launched Donkey Kong as a character that would go on to be a staple in Nintendo games for decades.
6. Gran Turismo
This game was one of the most ambitious attempts at a racing game of all time, and boy did it ever pay off. The game was absolutely revolutionary for the racing genre, and basically every modern day racing game out there owe their existence to Gran Turismo. In a time where most racing games had only five or six fictional cars in the game, Gran Turismo had 140 real life cars, which was almost unfathomable. It was also amongst the first games to try to replicate real driving physics, something it did very well. This game truly changed the racing genre forever.
5. NHL ’94
Before every sports video game was little more than a $60 roster update, there was NHL ’94. NHL ’94 took more risks and made more improvements as a sequel than almost any other game in history. They added the one timer, real life goal horns for each team, allowed for multiplayer and much much more. Even to this day, people still enjoy the simple, arcade-style gameplay that this gem of a game provides. The game is revered by fans and critics alike as it has been voted not only one of the best sports games of all time, but one of the best games of all time period.
4. Pokémon Red/Blue
What can be said about these games that hasn’t already been said by the millions and millions of children who have played them all over the world? These games, released in 1996, completely reinvented the open world concept and truly became one of the greatest games of all time and led to one of the best game series in history. People everywhere loved to catch, collect and trade their Pokémon in an attempt to be the best trainer of all time. Also, in 2009, the Guinness Book of World Records named these games as the bestselling RPG video games of all time.
3. GoldenEye 007
This is one of the most classic first person shooter games of all time and has a cult following unlike many other N64 games. Named after the film, which premiered two years before the release of this game, GoldenEye 007 for the N64 was one of the most memorable and beloved James Bond releases of all time, game or film. The gameplay was crisp for its time and the levels were quite vast, and the multiplayer was a ton of fun with a bunch of friends playing together. Also, this was and still is one of the most addicting games we have ever played and was never easy to put down, which led to many multiple hour sessions.
2. Super Mario Bros.
You knew this one was going to appear on this list somewhere, and here it is. This is, without a doubt, one of the most influential and important video game releases of all time. This game was the first in what would eventually become perhaps the greatest series of games and characters in history. This game was released in 1987 into the USA and was an absolutely massive hit. In fact, over its lifetime the game has sold over 40 million copies and was instrumental in resurrecting the crashed American video game market of the 1980s. Any way you slice it, this game invokes nostalgia in millions unlike almost any other game.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
And coming in at number one is the The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Though this might surprise some people, we believe that no other video game invokes feelings of nostalgia in young adults like this game does. This was one of the most vast and challenging titles on the N64, and tests the wits and attention spans of youths all over the world. This game also took the world of Link into the realm of three dimensions, a far cry from the old “top-view” Legend of Zelda games. In addition, this also holds the prized spot of being the top rated game on Metacritic and holds the Guinness World Record for being the highest rated game of all time.