Why Gaming is Going Back to the Future (and We Can’t Get Enough of it!)

From Crash Bandicoot to Resident Evil, games are having a retro revival. And players can't get enough.

From Crash Bandicoot to Resident Evil, games are having a retro revival. And players can't get enough.

You might not have a flux capacitor on hand, but you don’t need one if you’re looking for a blast from the past.

In the fashion world, everything from ‘70s flares to ‘90s band-tees are all the rage — and a quick listen to the Top 40 will reveal a distinct 1980s sound. Yep, we’re definitely going back the future and reveling in a serious retro revival.

And it’s not just the world of fashion and music where we can’t get enough of the good old days.

Forget fancy graphics, immersive worlds, online connectivity and complex characters. Today’s gamers are enjoying the return of some of the classics from days gone by. The gaming industry is going back to the future and these games of yesteryear are more popular than ever before.

What’s the Deal With Old School Games?

Of all of the E3 2016 announcements, the one that caused the biggest buzz was the reimagining of Crash Bandicoot. Gamers could barely contain their excitement when they heard that Crash would be back in not one but two new games in 2017.

Pokémon is also making a comeback with a brand-new game – Pokémon GoAnd there’s a new installment in the Resident Evil franchise for gamers to look forward to. These are just three big-name old-school games making a comeback.

These games are not only a big hit with gamers, but with developers too. For them, remastering popular games makes commercial sense. Popular existing franchises are easier to update, making them more affordable to create, and those savings are passed on to consumers. (Sometimes.)

These old-school titles and characters are instantly recognizable. There’s less uncertainty about how well a game will perform, as customers rush to get a blast from the past. For developers and publishers at least, it’s win-win.

But what about us, the gamers? Why can’t we get enough of these back-to-the-future games?

1. Comfort in the Familiar

While it’s undeniable that we all love shiny, new things, there’s something seriously comforting about the familiar. It’s why films like Finding Dory are smashing it at the Box Office – there’s a real affinity with the things we know.

Sure, for some gamers it’s all about trying out the next greatest game. But for more casual gamers, learning new controls and getting the hang of new games can be daunting. These remastered games offer them the chance to continue playing at a level they’re happy with.

Even seasoned gamers love to see old-classics brought up-to-date. They have appeal across the board. And this is part of what makes these blast-from-the-past games such a success.

2. A Walk Down Memory Lane

We all have those songs or films that remind us of certain times in our lives. And when we listen back to them, we get that warm fuzzy feeling inside. It takes you right back to that moment. Games have the power to do that too — in particular these old-school, remastered games.

You power-up one of these games from yesteryear, and everything from the music to the characters takes you right back. Even with improved graphics and gameplay, you’re transported back to your youth. It’s a great feeling.

We all love to reminisce and take a walk down memory lane, and that’s why we seriously can’t get enough of back-to-the-future gaming.

3. Self-Competition

The beauty of playing a remastered game or a long-awaited sequel is the competition element. Not necessarily with other gamers online or with your friends in co-op mode. But with yourself. Can you do better and get further than you did in the original?

The new VR-enabled Resident Evil 7 offers a new and improved experience compared to its predecessors. While it’s going back its horror roots, the game offers something new. You can still see how good you are at staying alive, but there are new challenges to test you along the way.

Will it Continue?

As with all trends in the gaming industry, it’s impossible to predict. However this isn’t anything new, and while it’s going through a particular boom currently and may slow down, gamers are always going to love dusting off their old games.

What do you think? Do you love these remastered games? Which games would you give a 2016 makeover to?

About the author


Clare Evans is a copywriter who loves all things gaming and technology. From apps to consoles and everything in between, you'll find her writing about the latest games and industry trends.