In 2020, we have so many games and consoles to play with, from new and exciting creations to remakes and remasters of some of our old favorites and classics. This list looks at some of the most popular retro games and how they are still popular, even in 2020:
The Pokemon franchise originated with a pair of video games released on Gameboy, but it soon evolved into so much more. The games have continued to be developed through all of Nintendo’s handheld console releases, including Gameboy Color, Nintendo DS, and the latest console, the Nintendo Switch. Evolving from the original games, Pokemon also became a popular cartoon anime series and has its own card game too. The collectible and playable cards can still be purchased today, including the Japanese versions, which can be found online. Pokemon even ventured into the mobile AR (Augmented Reality) world with the massively successful Pokemon Go app.
Originating in the arcade game Donkey Kong as ‘Jumpman’, Mario the Italian American plumber has seen successes throughout many games, and the Mario franchise is arguably one of the best-selling game franchises out there. Nintendo’s Mario universe includes the original NES Super Mario Bros and Super Mario on the N64, but his popularity in the 80s and 90s didn’t end there. Mario exists in a variety of games, including Super Mario, Mario Kart, and Smash Bros.
First released in 1986, the Legend of Zelda franchise was another huge success for Nintendo. Following the playable character Link and his adventures in Hyrule, the story often sees him saving the Princess Zelda from the antagonist Ganon, or Ganondorf, though she sometimes has a supporting role during battles. This franchise has had many popular game releases, including the Ocarina of Time, and Link’s Awakening. Link’s Awakening was originally released on Gameboy in 1993 but was released as a 3D remake for the Nintendo Switch in September 2019. This garnered lots of excitement from fans, and the release was very popular and a big hit.
Sonic the Hedgehog is Sega’s competitor to Mario and was a mascot for their new 16-bit console the Genesis or Mega Drive. Sonic was created to appeal to an American audience and was successfully released into the world, evolving through the new Sega consoles with added characters like Tails and Knuckles. Sonic has developed a lasting popularity. After being adapted into a television series, the franchise has seen plenty of success, now reaching new younger audiences in the 2020 live-action Sonic film.
The platform video game series Spyro began on the original Playstation console in 1998 and has had several popular releases, most notably the original releases on Playstation 1 and 2 consoles. The purple dragon Spyro is a character that many kids who grew up in the 90s and 00s loved, and the games’ revival was brought back by popular demand. The Reignited Trilogy has brought back the original games, which have been remastered for the new Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles, and it is now available on PC too.
Tetris was created by Alexey Pajitnov, a Russian software engineer in 1984. This addictive tile-matching game is seemingly simple, but becomes increasingly difficult, requiring intelligence and skill. It is an iconic early video game and has enjoyed everlasting popularity. It has also been used in research projects and studies galore. Tetris 99 is the online multiplayer version of Tetris published by Nintendo, and Tetris has become a massively competitive game in this battle royale version. This is a retro original that requires no mascots or characters to generate popularity and success!
Hopefully, this list has given you some nostalgia and also prompted you to look up some of your old favorites again. The gaming industry is massively evolving, but old favorites are always here to stay.