10 Classic Retro Games That Still Hold Up Today

While technology has advanced and many new consoles and games have been released, certain retro titles have stood the test of time. These classics continue to captivate gamers with their timeless gameplay and enduring charm.

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This list includes some of the most influential games of all time, that still hold up today. From iconic platformers that transported us to magical worlds to intense adventures, these gems have left an indelible mark on the gaming industry.

10 Castlevania

Castlevania is one of the most iconic games that changed action-platformers forever. With its hauntingly atmospheric visuals and soundtrack, the game sets a new standard for gothic horror in gaming.

This Konami masterpiece has you taking the role of a vampire hunter on his quest to defeat the evil Count Dracula. You must go through various challenging boss battles and navigate treacherous castle corridors until you can make it to the final boss battle.

9 Mega Man

Mega Man 2 - Bubble Man

Mega Man is yet another franchise that started in the 80s. Developed by Capcom, it offered an innovative blend of challenging platforming and exhilarating boss battles.

The game’s vibrant visuals, catchy tunes, and demanding gameplay have you returning time after time. Many also consider the first games of the franchise as great speed-running challenges.

8 Ocarina Of Time

Link playing Saria's Song on ocarina in Ocarina of Time.

The Legend of Zelda franchise has featured some of the greatest titles ever, and Ocarina of Time is no exception. It was a groundbreaking game that revolutionized the action-adventure genre.

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Ocarina of Time set new standards for exploration and puzzle-thinking with its expansive world and innovative gameplay mechanics. The seamless transition between child and adult Link and the immersive storytelling have fans returning to this game.

7 Tetris

The player's Tetris board in the middle of the screen surrounded by smaller versions of other player's boards

As the best-selling game of all time, it is no wonder people continue playing Tetris. The addictive puzzle game defined an entire generation and is still releasing new titles to this day.

The brilliance of Tetris lies in its universal appeal, offering a perfect balance of strategy and reflexes. Its iconic soundtrack and escalating difficulty keeps players hooked for hours on end.

6 Pac-Man

ms pac-man namco midway super nintendo arcade port snes

Pac-Man is quite similar to Tetris, as its simple yet strategic mechanics make it easy for anyone to enjoy. The game’s addictive gameplay, vibrant visuals, and catchy music made it an instant hit.

Pac-Man is more than just a game; it has transcended cultural boundaries and become a pop culture phenomenon. This timeless classic will continue to entertain gamers even in the far future.

5 Earthbound/ Mother: Beginnings

Ness and his party walking in town (EarthBound)

The beloved RPG of Earthbound, also known as Mother, took players on a unique adventure, fighting against a wide range of enemies, from aliens to sentient household objects. You would traverse between suburban neighborhoods to bizarre, otherworldly realms.

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Earthbound captivated players with its offbeat humor and memorable characters. The game’s charm and distinctive style continue to resonate, making it a beloved gem in the RPG genre and an inspiration for many games today.

4 Chrono Trigger

Lavos looming over the player and their defeated party (Chrono Trigger)

The legendary game of Chrono Trigger combined the talents of renowned creators, including Hironobu Sakaguchi and Yuji Horii. Unsurprisingly, it is still one of the best, most replayable classics.

With its innovative multiple endings, dynamic combat system, and unforgettable cast of characters, Chrono Trigger keeps capturing the heart of whoever plays it.

3 Super Street Fighter 2

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Cammy Ken

The second installment of the popular Street Fighter franchise introduced new characters, improved visuals, and refined gameplay mechanics, making it one of the best in its series. Fans keep playing the game, trying to break previous records.

Super Street Fighter 2’s impact on the fighting game genre cannot be overstated, as it solidified the franchise’s status as a cultural phenomenon and influenced countless future titles.

2 Super Mario Bros. 3

A view of the overworld in Super Mario Bros. 3.

When it comes to Super Mario, there have been many great titles released, but Super Mario Bros 3. is still one of the most beloved games. Of course, the first game also holds up to this day, thanks to nostalgia.

Super Mario Bros 3., though, introduced new power-ups, including the fan-favorite Tanooki Suit, alongside inventive level designs and memorable enemies. The game makes for a timeless gem, thanks to its innovative gameplay and all its hidden secrets.

1 Dragon Warrior/Quest III: The Seeds Of Salvation

Dragon Quest 3 III The Seeds of Salvation screenshot of Erdrick preparing to fight Zoma

Yet another franchise’s title made it to the top of the list. Dragon Warrior/ Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation is an RPG that solidified its place in gaming history. It expanded upon its predecessors, immersing players in a sprawling world of adventure.

The game offers a great story with memorable characters and turn-based battles that are still fun today. It never gets boring playing as a hero trying to save the world from the clutches of evil.

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