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The Best Old School Video Games

Sailun Tires

There’s no doubt that a bang up-to-date brand new release, with incredible graphics and a bigger than ever map, is an exciting prospect for a gamer. However, there’s a certain sort of gamer who takes real joy from the simpler things.

Photo: Whether it’s on questionable merchandise or road signs, Space Invaders gets everywhere.

There is just something charming about old-school games. Whether they’re the original thing, played with a clunky controller on a box TV, or a modern spin on an old favorite, retro gamers can’t get enough of that old-school vibe. Here are four of our favorites.

Classic Slots

If you’re a fan of everything old-school Americana then there’s nothing more satisfying than old school classic slots. Whether it’s the iconic Liberty Bell symbol or the timeless fruit machine style that you prefer, it is surprisingly easy to find old-school slot games to play online. These retro slots are separated from the new ones in many ways, but one of the most evocative is by the old-time soundtracks. Instead of the complex tunes that modern slot machines use, old-school slots prefer that tinny sound, accompanied by the noise of falling coins and spinning reels. Although they’re played online rather than in a saloon as they once would have been, these slots really capture the essence of the original slot machines. Better still, they’re super accessible to all levels of gamer. Whilst some modern slots require a little knowledge about bonuses and combinations, the old school slots have a simple press and go format that will appeal to people new to the online slots scene, as well as those hankering for something a little simpler.

The Legend of Zelda

For those who are more accomplished gamers, or just want more of a technical challenge than slot machines present, there is one title that deserves pride of place in your retro-gaming library: The Legend of Zelda. This game turns thirty-five years old this year, but the story still stands up today. It first appeared on the Famicom disk system, but was later converted to a cartridge for every retro-gamer’s favorite console, the NES. If you’re lucky enough to still have a NES today then you can sometimes find copies online for as little as $20. You’ll need to act incredibly quickly to get your hands on a copy though as they disappear fast. When a game is tied to so many gamers’ histories then it really does become a valuable commodity.


Photo: Those who’ve still got a Game Boy at home should be rejoicing as the 4-bit soundtrack sounds as good today as it ever did.

If you want the original pared back gaming experience then it doesn’t get much simpler than Tetris. Many of us will remember many misspent summer holidays moving around those tricky little blocks. For those who still have ancient Game Boys, it’s super easy to pick up a copy of Tetris for a dollar or two, so you can enjoy the authentic experience complete with a 4-bit soundtrack. For those who don’t, then chances are you have a device in your pocket that is more than capable of bringing you seriously close to the original experience: your smartphone. The official Tetris game has certainly been updated a lot, so you can choose to play in glorious Technicolor if you’d like, or you can opt for a truly old-school version in the settings. Perfect for those times where you’d otherwise be twiddling your thumbs for five minutes and totally free of charge.

Space Invaders

There has to be an honorable mention for the little green men. If there’s one game that has out-merchandised all others then it might just be Space Invaders. These entrepreneurial aliens have made their way onto everything from Christmas jumpers to tea cozies and we are here for it. Like Tetris, you can get your hands on a copy for your smartphone, but there’s also one other neat trick to play a game with the green guys. Open up your Google calendar and from the settings menu click ‘play a game’. Your screen will be turned into a classic version of Space Invaders; perhaps a problem for at-work procrastinators but a joy, nonetheless.



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