The Oregon Trail : One of the first video games that was widely played, “Oregon Trail” introduced many children in the 20th century to the idea of traveling in the wilderness, and the word “dysentery.”
Atari’s take on table tennis brought the medium into the mainstream, but aside from its importance to the industry, it’s a great game in its own right. Two dials, two bats, one ball: it still works now. Play Retro Games Online – Free Browser Games!
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sega’s spiny speed merchant proved himself a worthy rival to Nintendo’s Mario with his Mega Drive debut. Yet it was the spectacular loops, corkscrews and clever environmental tricks in the follow-up that proved his makers carried the same swagger. With co-op partner Tails in tow (whose real name, Miles Prower, is one of gaming’s best dreadful puns) this blistering adventure was one of the finest two-player games of the 16-bit era and still leaves many of the modern Sonic games for dust.
There aren’t many games to have ever captured the sense of bleak isolation as expertly as this SNES classic. As bounty hunter Samas Aran dropped into a desolate world, it’s an homage to Alien, evoking the same gnawing tension as Ridley Scott’s cinematic horror, while the brooding, synth-led soundtrack prompted further shivers.
Street Fighter II Turbo
It’s smoky arcades filled with old cabinets that have been left scarred from cigarette burns, and unused credits sliding down onto floors that are perpetually sticky with cheap, stale booze. It’s teaching friends how to do the perfect dragon punch motion. It’s beating that bigger kid by doing Blanka’s electric attack. It’s unlocking Akuma and then immediately losing half of your life bar within seconds. Turbo might be the definitive version of Street Fighter II, but whichever one you played, the memories will no doubt still vividly linger.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
If Super Metroid taught us to fear the unknown, Link’s epic quest made it exciting again. A top-down Hyrule rammed with secrets and surprises, it’s a delight to explore. Not least when you figure out how the light and dark worlds slot together. Unlike these days where you’re given a nudge if you stray too far, here you’re encouraged to get gloriously, hopelessly lost – and you’ll have a whale of a time doing so.
It’s odd to think that a game centring on finding the best way to successfully arrange a group of coloured shapes should have been at its best when played on a machine that was incapable of displaying more than four shades of greenish-grey. But, regardless, the Game Boy version of Alexei Pajitnov’s opus was simply the perfect match between game and hardware.
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