[Top 15] Best Retro Video Games That Are Still Amazing Today

15 Retro Video games that are still amazing today
The violent version of Village People

A blast from the past! 

Nostalgia. Is that the reason why we still play retro video games? Or is it because we are geeks? 

Maybe Lady Gaga was right in claiming that “nostalgia’s for geeks”. Maybe it’s a combination of both. 

However, it wouldn’t surprise me to find younger generations loving any of these 15 retro video games. They have revealed that standing the test of time is a possibility. 

Let’s see if your favorite game made it on the list! 

15. Knights of The Round (Arcade / SNES) 

Gather two friends and set off on a medieval adventure with this Capcom classic. 

In this beat ‘em up, we control King Arthur, Lancelot, and Percival; Knights of the Round Table looking to dethrone the evil King Garibaldi. 

You can level up, ride horses, and even hit treasure chests to divide them into many bags of gold and share the riches with your friends. 

Or you can just take it all so you get the biggest score. But hey, don’t complain when your friends won’t invite you the next time.

14. Ganryu (Arcade / NeoGeo AES / Dreamcast)​

Ganryu is relatively unknown. But taking into account we are talking about a NeoGeo game, this is no surprise at all. However, we are in front of a hard, yet fair, and fascinating platformer. 

Our goal is to reach the end of the levels, slashing every ninja we meet on our way. But oh, what’s that boss over there? A giant plant-like monster with baby faces all over its body? 

And what’s that? A huge robot doll that explodes into a terrifying floating face full of sticky material? 

You sure this is a ninja game and not Contra

13. Bubble Bobble (Arcade / GameBoy / GameBoy Color / Game Gear / NES / Master System / PSX / Saturn) 

Is there something sweeter than two dragons shooting bubbles out of their mouths? 

Maybe a granny kissing cats? Probably, but dragons are way cooler. 

In Bubble Bobble we have to clean every level by catching enemies into bubbles, then jumping right into them and crushing their bones… Wow, it has become so morbid all of a sudden. Let’s keep the grannies instead. 

This all-time classic is a great co-op video game. And it’s available on so many platforms that you don’t have an excuse not to play it. 

12. Shantae (GameBoy Color) 

Imagine there’s a contest: “GameBoy Color games that push the console to the limit”. If you are a GBC hardcore fan, you’ll know that The gold medal would go to Shantae

We control a half-genie with the ability to transform herself into different animals. Each creature has its own set of abilities, needed for defeating enemies and completing the five towns in the game. 

Shantae came out a year after the GameBoy Advance was released. Thus, it became a rather obscure entry in the GBC catalog. (I mean, the GBC was already out of fashion, who would want to play with it when we had Castlevania: Circle of The Moon for the new console?)

However, its beautiful graphics and gameplay fluidity make it a gem that still holds up to this day. 

11. Wonder Boy in Monster Land (Arcade / PC Engine / Master System / NES / PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / Switch) 

Step into Monster Land, get your mighty sword, and set off to destroy the vicious Dragon and restore peace. 

All along your journey, you’ll have to buy the proper equipment to fight and play havoc with Death, Krakens, Knights, and Harambe (there’s a “Giant Cong” boss which is a total headache). 

The soundtrack, designs, and colors make Wonder Boy in Monster Land a wonderful platformer that still deserves a couple of runs. 

By the way, did you know that losing in the final level leads you all the way back to square one? And without your equipment! 

Of course, I learned it the hard way… and that’s why you don’t deserve a higher place at this top! 

10. Disney’s Aladdin (Genesis) 

In most cases, Disney games are masterpieces. A vivid example is Aladdin, for Sega’s 16-bit console. 

It’s impressive how little this video game has aged. The animations are smooth and climbing through flying ropes, and jumping over bouncing posts feel so fluid.   

There’s a SNES version as well, which is fun but a completely different video game. In my opinion, the Genesis version is the definite Aladdin (I mean, you have a scimitar to fight enemies with!). But if you are a gamer at heart, then give both a try! 

9. Metal Slug 2 (Arcade / NeoGeo AES / NeoGeo CD) 

My god, this video game is a rain of bullets.

It’s tough to select just one Metal Slug game, to be honest. However, I’m picking the second entry since you shoot down mummies and aliens, which is rad as hell, don’t you think? 

Yes, I know that Metal Slug 3 has zombies and aliens. Truth is, there’s a bit of nostalgia in this choice. I grew up with this one and played the third entry later on. So please, forgive me.  

The graphical style and art are so memorable that you instantly recognize the franchise with just a few pixels on the screen. 

I bet 100 years into the future, Metal Slug 2 (or three if you did not forgive me) will still look and play amazingly. 

8. Pokémon Emerald Version (GameBoy Advance) 

Pokémon Emerald Version is the definite GameBoy Advance Pokémon game. You can get the three legendary Pokémons without trading, catch more Pokémons than their previous versions, and the sprites move! 

Also, the Battle Frontier provided an unlimited post-game value, which makes an addictive video game more addictive still. 

What’s fascinating about Pokémon Emerald is how high it appears in every “Pokémon Games Ranking” list, always reaching the top 5 out of the other 20! 

Yes. This game holds up to this day, and will probably do it for some more decades.

7. Sunset Riders  (Arcade / SNES / Genesis) 

Before Red Dead Redemption 2, the best cowboy video game ever was Sunset Riders. Come to think about it, it was the only one, wasn’t it? 

But why is it so good? 

Well, It's FUN to play it with four characters on the same screen, all showering outlaws with bullets and riding horses like maniacs. 

Also, the setting and the boss fights are memorable, to say the least. We experience shootings inside a saloon, and on a moving train, and oh God… what a magnificent soundtrack it has!

6. Sonic CD (Sega CD / PC / PS2 / GameCube / PS3 / Xbox 360) 

I always wondered why Sonic CD was such a big deal. Then I played it and boy, did I understand why. 

Sonic CD has great attention to detail: Each level has four different designs, with a present, past, good future, and bad future version. 

Since the premise of the game is based on time travel, the idea is to finish each level with a “good future”. This means that, if we are doing things wrongly, we can always return to the past and fix our mistakes. 

Great that Sonic can time travel. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do the same for preventing meeting your ex? (hahaha terrible joke, I’m sorry, I should go back through time too and prevent myself from saying that) 

5. Metroid: Zero Mission (GameBoy Advance) 

Nostalgia aside, the first Metroid for the NES aged terribly. There’s no map, no save states, and understandably, the graphics are horrible. Luckily, we got an updated version with Metroid: Zero Mission for the GBA. 

It takes a great game and makes it even greater, adding a map, save states, and improved graphics. Also, it has a brand new level inside the Space Pirate Mother Ship, with a new final boss and ending. 

In my opinion, this is a great first Metroid video game to start off the franchise. 

4. Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (GameBoy Advance) 

Gotta catch ‘em all! 

But I’m not talking about Pokémon. I’m referring to all the enemies' souls that you can obtain in this game, each one with a unique power to use to your advantage. 

After all, being a Castlevania game wasn’t enough. You had to improve it by adding the Tactical Soul system. Maybe that’s why Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow is still considered one of the best games in the franchise. 

Once you finish it, you get a good replay value that consists in collecting every soul in the game. Or maybe you can do it before the final boss, why not?

3. Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior (Arcade / PC / NES / SNES / GameBoy Advance / 3DS / Switch / Master System / Genesis / Saturn / Dreamcast / PSX / PS2 / PS3 / PS4 / PSP / PS Vita / Xbox / Xbox 360 / Xbox One) 

Street Fighter 2 came out on so many platforms that it’s even available for Starbucks’ coffee. 

With such a cast of unforgettable characters to select from, it’s unsurprising that it’s considered one of the top fighting games in the history of gaming. Plus, that bonus level where you crash a car with clean fist-fights… marvelous! 

Street Fighter 2 is a must for any retro lover. Period. 

2. The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past (SNES / GameBoy Advance) 

This place on the list is not a personal opinion. There’s a reason why The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past is considered one of the top 3 Zelda video games in the entire franchise. 

But what’s that reason? Well, maybe it’s the fact that it paved the way for what The Legend of Zelda was about to become in future entries: element-based dungeons; an open-world Hyrule to explore; powers and improved weapons. 

Nonetheless, we could argue that it’s simply because it’s a classic and entertaining video game, which it is. 

So, have you already played it?

1. Super Mario World (SNES / GameBoy Advance) 

It just blows my mind. 

30 years after its debut, and with more than 15 Mario games in the Nintendo catalog, Super Mario World is considered, in most cases, the best Mario game ever. 

Why? Why is it so perfect? Why is it so colorful, enjoyable, charming, appealing, and glorious? 

Is this the ultimate platformer? Should we throw our Xbox One into the sewer and forget about anything 3-D? 

No, we shouldn’t. But we should keep retro gaming alive. With video games like these, no wonder we become gamers for life.  


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[Top 10] Best Pokemon Games for PC That Are Amazing 

[Top 5] Stardew Valley Best Barn Animals 

[Top 10] Terraria Best Armors (And How To Get Them) 

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I emerged from The Void with the sole purpose of writing professional articles about the video games I love. Also, to drink coffee.
Gamer Since: 2002
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, ,

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