Classic Games That Are Still Worth Playing Today

Check out my list for some oldies, but goodies.

I know what you’re thinking: games today suck out loud. I hear you and I agree with your opinion which is why I’m inviting you to put on your nostalgia goggles and take a trip with me as we look at some classic games that are still worth playing today.

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Keep in mind when going through this list that there’s only so much I can cover in one article. Furthermore, this list will consist of Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and PS1 games as they are what I played growing up. If you want something prior to that, find a different list, you old bogey.

(Almost) Anything by Rare From the N64 and Before

Prior to their shift to the dark side/partnership with Microsoft, Rare released almost nothing but gold. If you want a solid gaming experience, check out anything they did and chances are you’ll love it. Especially the Donkey Kong series, the Banjo-Kazooie series, the Battletoads series, Killer Instinct, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and Jet Force Gemini.

Oh, don’t forget Perfect Dark, which is infinitely better than Goldeneye 007. Yeah, I went there.

Kendo Rage

This little known gem is called Kendo Rage and it is for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. You play as an American girl named Josephine who is trying to learn Kendo in Japan (which is a wildly different story than the Japanese one.)

You use your kendo stick to fight a multitude of Japanese folklore monsters as you try to get Jo to school.

The art style (nothing like on the box) is cute and the game plays pretty well. It’s got an interesting combat system and some fun platforming, as well as a few memorable boss fights.

 

Contra

Ask someone what the Konami code is and they can easily tell you it. Many of them, however, won’t be able to even tell you where it came from.

This NES (as well as arcade, computer, etc.) title is the go to game for some fun co-op on the system. Not only that, but it’s simultaneously one of the greatest and toughest run-and-gun games you will play. The reason the Konami code is so well-known is because you need those extra lives to get through it unless you’re a true pro.

If you have never played Contra before, you are doing yourself and your community a great disservice. Shame on you. Go play it.

 

Gunstar Heroes

Gunstar Heroes is another awesome run-and-gun game. This one is for the Sega Genesis and Game Gear.

Don’t let that generic angry cartoon 90s box art fool you, this game is top-notch. It’s got some crazy boss fights that were really impressive at the time. Not only that, but the weapon system allows for combinations of weapons to give you more flexibility in how you kill your foes.

Mischief Makers

Made by Treasure, the same developer as Gunstar HeroesMischief Makers is a 2D puzzle/platformer for the N64.

If you’re into puzzle/platformers, you will adore Mischief Makers. You can shake and throw enemies and objects until your pockets are full of colorful gems. It’s also got an adorable art style and great sound design.

One last thing: shake, shake.

 

Toejam & Earl

A surreal dungeon crawler for the Sega Genesis, Toejam & Earl is definitely a must play for anyone that owns the system.

This game has had a loyal cult following since its first release and there’s a good reason for it: it’s funky. The music, the wacky graphic design, and the unique gameplay all come together to make a game that is just plain delightful. It’s also as early 90s as you can possibly get.

 

Aladdin

 Well, whaddya know! The best Disney film is also the best Disney game. Suck it, Lion King fans!

Aladdin for the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo are two great and quite different games. They are both platformers, but play a lot different from each other. On the SNES, you’re more focused on jumping on enemies to kill them whereas in the Genesis version you can swing your scimitar.

Both of the games are great and worth playing. However, they are tragically missing one element that keeps them from being perfect games: Robin Williams.

 

Altered Beast

Altered Beast is a beat ’em up for the Sega Genesis where players can get super buffed out and then turn into werewolves. It’s one of the raddest games in the entire library for this console.

You and a friend can beat the crap out of monsters all while sidescrolling through Greece. You also get to hear Zeus say “rise from your grave” with his best Elmer Fudd impression.

Not only is the game great, it also spawned a pretty good Mega64 skit:

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time

I dare you to find one person that does not like the Ninja Turtles who isn’t a horrible human being that hates fun and should probably lose their right to have an opinion on anything. I dare you.

The Ninja Turtles had a pretty good series of games in the arcade and on the NES prior to this, but Turtles in Time stands out to me as the best from their stint in the beat ’em up genre.

In this game, you get to fight villains from the cartoon series, as well as Tokka and Rahzar from the great American cinematic masterpiece: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. The levels and boss fights are all well designed and fun to play through. The arcade original and the SNES port are a bit different from each other and both are deserving of a playthrough.

 

Bloody Roar

The 1990s was an age of innocence and anthropomorphism. Back then, the internet was all AOL chatrooms and no one had heard of the term furry. You could make cartoons and games with half-human, half-animal monsters without anyone wondering if you spend your Fridays performing explicit acts in a fursuit. Oh, how the times change.

Bloody Roar was a 3D fighting game for the arcade and Sony Playstation. It featured human characters that could change into their animal forms for a larger move list and some other benefits. It was a unique fighting game and produced a number of sequels, some good and some not.

 

 


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Author
Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.