If there’s one thing that will ultimately define gaming in our current decade, it’s access. Just six years or so ago, when you wanted to play any sort of game, you had two options: go out and buy it, or hope that it was available online. Store shelves and online catalogues were the only places for console games, and a handful of popular online arcade sites (anyone remember AddictingGames ) hosted some fun titles.
Now we can find just about any game we want in a matter of minutes. That doesn’t mean they’re all free, of course. However, whether you’re looking to download the latest console game for your PS4 or Xbox One, or find an old retro classic to play around with, odds are you’ll be able to do it. And it’s the latter option that’s become so much fun for a lot of gamers who have been around for a little while. Basically, our modern access to games from decades past has brought about a revival for some old-school options that may have disappeared for years but are now available online.
Here are some examples of games and even entire genres that illustrate this point.
Super Mario Games
Unless you’re partial to the ancient console systems, Super Mario games are probably among the first that come to mind when you think of the retro titles you loved. As you probably know, Nintendo hasn’t even come close to doing away with gaming’s most iconic franchise, and there are always new Mario titles being developed. But thanks to Play Retro Games, you can also access some of the older classics pretty much any time you like. The site actually has a huge selection of retro games that you can play in your browser, and while the controls aren’t quite as smooth as they would be on the original consoles, the games haven’t changed.
Oregon Trail is one of the true classics of PC gaming, though unfortunately it’s largely been left in the past. On the bright side, as with Super Mario, it’s now available in its pure, old-school form online. A little over a year ago, TIME even made an announcement when Oregon Trail popped up online, likely roping in a whole new generation of players to enjoy a game they might have heard their older siblings or even parents talk about.
When you think of fighters or brawlers, there are a few old, timeless franchises that come to mind: Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and to a lesser degree perhaps, Soul Caliber. These games established a genre that’s still churning out games today. And while there are also new games coming out in the series just mentioned, various mods of online gaming have also made some of the originals available again. A few have been adapted to app form, and others are available through consoles’ online networks that allow players to download old games.
Bingo is so old school that many of us still imagine it played out with a spinning sphere dropping out marble-like balls with numbers as players punch out holes on actual bingo cards. That’s to say it’s hardly even a video game the way most of us think of it. But the rise of the online casino gaming industry brought bingo back in a new way, and special versions of the game have given it life with new audiences. Gala Bingo’s Rainbow Riches even offers vacation getaways for lucky winners, providing just the sort of incentive that modern gamers love to see. And the chance to provide amusing little animations of leprechaun gold at the end of a rainbow certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Exclusive Console Content
This was hinted at previously, but just to be clear most of the best, exclusive content for major consoles like PlayStations, Xboxes and Nintendos is now available via online download on the latest versions of those systems. Whether it’s Super Mario for Nintendo, Halo for Xbox, Gran Turismo for PlayStation, etc., chances are you can find it in the accompanying online network for the modern consoles. Naturally this has brought some wonderful old titles to younger players who may other wise never have accessed the games.
Word & Board Games
Like bingo, a lot of word and board games aren’t even really thought of as video games despite numerous adaptations. We still imagine Monopoly boards sprawled out on coffee tables, and crossword puzzles etched out in newspapers. Yet as App Storm’s list shows, you can now download a lot of these types of games instantaneously through an app store. That’s enabled a lot of young people to discover games like Battleship, Life, and even Mancala, even though the games are now in a digital form with online competition rather than played out physically on tabletops.
The wonderful truth is that this list could continue to go on for some time! There are a lot of different ways in which modern gaming has revived the very best old-school titles, and the gaming industry as a whole is far better for it.
Are you old-school, have you tried any of the games we talked about above. Would you like to add to the list. Do all that and more in the comments below.