For legions of gamers, there’s nothing better than getting stuck into some golden oldies. Retro greats might be written into history textbooks but they're still a huge part of gaming today. Some have changed the face of gaming forever, while plenty of older games are still legitimately awesome to play, decades after their original release.
There’s a handful of reasons why retro gaming is so popular. The first, and I think the easiest for most of us to connect with, is it’s a chance to play games we played in our youth. It’s an opportunity to slam the rose tinted spectacles on our face and convince ourselves all over again that Aladdin on the SNES really was one of the best games ever. It can be nice just flicking through these classics and remembering when you first played them.
Another subsect of retro gamers do it for the sheer love of older games. You don’t need to have played these classics years ago to love them now, and there’s plenty that still stand up to the test of time. Tot up all the platforms and you’re looking at thousands upon thousands of great games which are worth anyone’s time, no matter how ancient the visuals may look.
Finally there’s a (likely much smaller) subsect who do it purely to brush up on their gaming history. Playing a terrible game purely to see how it influenced what came after. They’re just as likely to play Super 3D Noah’s Ark as they are DOOM. The bonus is that it’s never been easier to check out these important chapters of gaming history, whether that be Spacewar!, Wolfenstein 3D, Alone in the Dark, Super Mario Bros, or heaps of others.
The benefit to doing all this on PC of course is that practically nothing is off-limits. PC has no strictly defined generations so you can play just about anything that has ever come to the platform. Even better, PC gamers can potentially play titles from just about any platform that has ever been, provided you’re okay with skirting around the greyer edges of the law, that is. The world of emulators and ROMs is a murky one. We won’t go into detail here but there’s still a case to be made that it’s vital for game preservation and, in the case of many titles, the only way you can even play some of these games these days. Without emulators many titles would just be lost in the ether. I think it’s safe to say that’s a far better option than keeping heaps of old consoles lying right, gathering dust, before occasionally going through the rigamarole of hooking them to a dodgy CRT TV.
Anyway I bring all this up because I got hold of a NES Mini a few months pack and I've been busy playing a whole bunch of games from my youth. Some have lost their somewhat but there's a good dozen or so on there that are every bit as good as games coming out. The old adage 'gameplay is king' has never rung truer.
So how much retro gaming do you get done? How old does something have to be before you consider it retro?