Oh, you wanted to know a little more? Well luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place. That’s because today, we’re going to wax lyrical about one of our biggest passions: retro gaming.
Sure, today’s generation of consoles are much more powerful than retro consoles, and they come with all sorts of added bonuses from their boosted graphics to internet connectivity and thriving online communities. But at the same time, there’s just something about the simplicity of old-school retro gaming that modern consoles can’t compete with.
And so without further ado, here are just a few of the reasons why retro gaming is experiencing a renaissance and a resurgence in popularity.
1. The games are simpler
Most popular retro games are easier to pick up and to start playing than today’s generation of games, in part because today’s games build on what came before and assume that you know the basics. Even if you’ve never played a computer game before (who hasn’t in this day and age?), you can pick up a controller and start playing Super Mario World just like that. The same can’t quite be said of Dark Souls.
2. It taps into nostalgia
One of the main reasons why people keep turning to retro gaming is because it makes them feel nostalgic and reminds them of their childhood. It’s the same reason why we re-read books that we enjoyed in our youth and why we listen to old music. In the same way that most people tend to listen to a combination of new and old music, most people like to play a combination of new and old games and to watch new and old movies.
3. It’s a break from our fast-paced reality
Retro games came from a simpler time, and there’s something in the gameplay that reflects that. Our modern, constantly connected world can be pretty stressful, and retro gaming gives us an excuse to disconnect for a while and to have a little fun without having to worry about whether anyone’s watching our live streams or messaging us on Xbox Live.
One of the great things about retro gaming is its accessibility, especially because so many of the games have been ported to smartphones or to modern consoles. There are also plenty of emulators out there that will let you play your favourite retro console games on your PC, and you can get little gadgets to make the experience more authentic. For example, I have an adapter that allows me to plug PS2 controllers into my computer via USB.
5. It allows us to go back to the start
Many of the franchises that we know and love today have their origins in retro gaming, and it makes sense that if someone loved The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, they’re going to be interested in some of the early entries in the series. The same holds true for everything from Super Mario to Final Fantasy.
6. It’s a generational thing
The kids of the 80s and 90s who were able to ride the first major waves of console gaming are now all grown up, and oftentimes retro games are the only thing they have to connect them with their past. At the same time, they have much larger amounts of disposable income and are more than willing to spend that on consoles and cartridges. Many of them have become collectors too, which is why old NES and Atari games go for so much on eBay.
7. Sometimes it’s the only option
Some of the greatest games of the last thirty years were only ever made for one system, so if you want to play classics like Chrono Trigger then retro gaming is the only choice. The same is true of most of the Final Fantasy franchise, and while remakes for some retro classics are in the works, that’s because the demand is there from retro gamers. Remaking old school retro games with better graphics gives players the best of both worlds and is another reason for the growing popularity of retro gaming.
8. It’s fun!
Ultimately, people wouldn’t still be playing retro games if they weren’t a lot of fun to play. Modern games can sometimes feel like something of a chore, especially if you’re grinding to level up or if you’re a completionist who feels compelled to get every achievement in a game, no matter how boring they are. Old school retro games are fun first and foremost and a challenge second, whereas it can often feel as though modern games are the other way round.
The good thing about retro gaming is that it provides gamers with a little bit of extra choice. This is especially true when you consider how many console manufacturers have started to rerelease new versions of old consoles. Sure, they’re capitalising on our societal love of retro gaming, but they’re also simply catering to demand.
So next time you’re feeling bored of your PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch, why not give retro gaming a try? It’s never been more accessible, and as we hope you’ve seen from this article, there are plenty of reasons to love it. Happy gaming!