10 Classic Video Games You Can Share with Your Kids

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Aging is hard. No matter how hard you try to stay on top of your game, the younger generations eventually overtake you, because they’ve grown up with technologies you’ve had to adapt to use. Sharing your childhood pastimes and passions with your children can often be difficult. You’re offering them a form of entertainment that’s decades older than the ones they’re used to enjoying, so it’s no small wonder they can see the flaws you were able to ignore: visible wires, boom mics, zippers, and cracks.

Their children’s rejection of the things they loved can be particularly difficult for gamers, especially those who were forced to give up their hobby in favor of work, education, or familial obligations. These people are now out of touch with the same video game technologies in which their children are fluent. The hurdle, therefore, isn’t just a generation gap; they’re speaking entirely different languages.

But gamer parents needn’t worry. Manufacturers have been organizing game ports since Pong became Home Pong, and that tradition is showing no signs of stopping. Here are ten classic video games you can share with your kids.

If you've gotten rid of your Nintendo 64, or just don't feel like searching for it in the attic, you can download Banjo-Kazooie from the Xbox Live Arcade for $14.99.

Also available: Banjo-Tooie.

Whether you're playing on a home console or handheld system, Donkey Kong is ready and waiting for you and your child. Find it on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Virtual Consoles for just $4.99.

Also available: Donkey Kong Country.

I guarantee, your kids will hate that laughing dog as much as you did. Snag Duck Hunt on the Wii U Virtual Console for $4.99.

The classic NES title, DuckTales, was remastered in 2013 for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, and PC. You can find a copy for around $15 (prices vary).

Not much has surfaced regarding the fourth installment in the Earthworm Jim franchise since 2008, but you can play the original on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC for under $20.

Xbox 360's Konami Classics Vol. 1 features FroggerCastlevania, and Contra for around $15, or you can jump on the Crossy Road bandwagon and dodge traffic to infinity for free.

If there was one game that defined our childhoods, it was The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. At $40, it's by far the most expensive game on this list, but we think you'll agree that the experience is worth it.

Also available: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Punch-Out!! franchise got a much-needed reboot on the Wii in 2009, but you can also find the original on the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS Virtual Consoles for $4.99.

Also available: Super Punch-Out!!

The Sly Cooper franchise may not be getting a prequel on the PlayStation 4, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the trilogy with your kids. Pick up The Sly Collection on PlayStation 3 for about $20.

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has been ported to many platforms since it debuted on the Sega Genesis back in 1990. You can play it on the 3DS Virtual Console for $4.99.

Also available: Sonic Labyrinth

Do you and your kids enjoy the same kinds of video games? What classic games have you already introduced them to? Let us know in the comments!

Published Jun. 8th 2015

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I'm a freelance writer and editor from the rural American South. I write. I read. I play video games. I also sleep sometimes. Talk to me about ampersands, blankets, and the Oxford comma.

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