Great Britain

From Street Fighter to Sonic the Hedgehog: 10 of the best retro games

Pac-Man

In difficult times, nostalgia can be a balm, and sometimes you want your games to be totally uncomplicated. Currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, the original iteration of Pac-Man still rules. It is a simple game – gobble the dots, avoid the ghosts – but the genius is in the details: did you know that each ghost behaves slightly differently according to their personality?
Smartphones and consoles

Final Fantasy VII

A landmark game for storytelling with big swords and bigger hair, Final Fantasy VII might look a bit rough these days but the tale it tells is still rich and absorbing. There is a fancy, beautiful-looking remake available now, but the original version is much cheaper, still pretty great, and hits that 90s nostalgia spot.
Smartphones and consoles

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

Were you even a teenager in the 90s if you didn’t spend hours beating up your friends in Street Fighter II? This collection of beat ’em-up classics includes all the most popular Street Fighter games and many more besides, so whichever one was your favourite, you’ll find it here, alongside reams of interesting museum content.
PC and consoles

Day of the Tentacle Remastered

Chase a power-hungry tentacle through history by solving obscure puzzles and chatting to weird characters. With a whole portfolio of witty old LucasArts adventure games to choose from (Monkey Island, anyone?), it’s hard to pick just one to recommend, but Day of the Tentacle wins out because it’s the most endearingly weird, and its remaster is the most skilfully done.
PC, Mac, consoles and iPhone/iPad

Donkey Kong

Ever fancied yourself as a bit-player in The King of Kong? Until a couple of years ago, you couldn’t play an arcade-perfect version of this notoriously brilliant man-v-ape platform game without buying an actual arcade cabinet, but thankfully now you can leap over barrels, scale girders and smack things with a hammer for just a few quid on Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch

Sonic the Hedgehog

Who needs film-quality characters when you can have Sonic, whose twin personality traits are “blue” and “fast”? Sonic’s azure skies, bright greens, sparkly soundtrack and super speeds transport you back to simpler times, and cutting quick paths through these glossy, colourful landscapes still feels exciting.
Smartphones and consoles

Castlevania Anniversary Collection

These speedy, demanding, sprawling gothic action games have you whipping vampiric hordes into shape through forests, castles and clock towers in medieval Europe. It’s amazing even now to see what the early Castlevania games could do with a few colours, detailed pixel art and intricate, spooky chiptune music.
PC and consoles

Super Mario World

There are few things more purely joyful than jumping Mario around Nintendo’s colourful and meticulously well-designed video game playgrounds. Stuffed with fun power-ups and secret routes that were the stuff of playground legend, this SNES classic is the best of the old-school Mario games, and marked the first appearance of cheerful green dinosaur Yoshi.
Nintendo Switch, Nintendo SNES Classic

Doom 64

Forget cinematic stories that justify why you’re about to spend several hours shooting things in the face. This is old-school Doom: guns, demons, mazes of oppressive corridors and coloured keys. The new rerelease of this under-appreciated version of Doom is nicer to look at and smoother to play, but it doesn’t mess with the core appeal of shooting and strafing.
PC and consoles

Streets of Rage 2

You might have seen some chat about Streets of Rage 4, the first new game in this beloved series of comic-book brawlers for 26 years. If you want the unreconstructed retro experience, though, play Streets of Rage 2. Fly-kicking your way through numberless small-time thugs in grimy, neon-lit streets seemed so edgy at the time, but now it is oddly comforting.
Smartphones and PC

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