The Top 20 Most Iconic Retro Games We Still Love To Play

The Top 20 Most Iconic Retro Games We Still Love To Play

When it comes to choosing a game to play on your RetroGame.Club console, it can be quite a daunting task when you have access to over 40,000+ games! How do you know which ones are worth playing? To make it easier, we are creating a few "top Retro Games" lists in different genres. Now these are by no way the BEST retro games, but they are some of the most widely regarded, so if you haven't played them already, check it out!

Without waiting any further, here we have the 20 most iconic retro games that we still love to play:

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    Donkey Kong

    The game that propelled the popularity of a specific plumber, Nintendo's 1981 arcade hit was crucial. Having neglected to garner the attention of the U.S. market, president Hiroshi Yamauchi persuaded youthful developer Shigeru Miyamoto to design another game. Jumpman (renamed Mario after a landlord) and his ape adversary ate enough quarters to keep Nintendo above water and dispatch endless Donkey Kong spinoffs. The rest, as they say, is history.

  • 20 Greatest Retro Games 62

    Paperboy

    Gaming's blessing to the world is enabling us to enjoy the sort of behavior society doesn't approve of. Doing your job well will get you the high score.. but tossing papers everywhere and blocking traffic is equally fun :-P

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    Manic Miner

    If you've ever thought to yourself that new games are too simple, this Spectrum hit is your cure. Each of the 20 screens have a grip of wild and unusual ways to die. In the event that it was re released now, it would have an "easy" mode and a dubstep soundtrack....maybe we'll just stick to this one.

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    Ms. Pac-Man

    It introduced new maps and was harder: this gender-confused pill gobbler made for the most successful US-produced coin-op.

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    Sonic the Hedgehog 2

    Sega’s spiny speed merchant proved himself a worthy rival to Nintendo’s Mario with his Mega Drive debut. Yet it was the spectacular loops, corkscrews and clever environmental tricks in the follow-up that proved his makers carried the same swagger. With co-op partner Tails in tow (whose real name, Miles Prower, is one of gaming’s best dreadful puns) this blistering adventure was one of the finest two-player games of the 16-bit era and still leaves many of the modern Sonic games for dust.

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    Gauntlet

    This Atari masterpiece had four players crowd around a cabinet to finish its labyrinthine levels. Which is handy for elbowing someone in the ribs if they ignored advice about shooting food.

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    Chuckie Egg

    Played at a faster pace than Donkey KongChuckie Egg required pixel-perfect leaps. It was home grown, intense and satisfying. 

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    Day of the Tentacle

    (In case you were looking at your console and wondering what the heck the "SCUMMVM" emulator is there for, this is your answer!) No retro list would be complete without a classic point-and-click adventure, and there’s none finer than Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman’s barmpot sci-fi. Tipping its cap to Fifties monster movies and Chuck Jones cartoons, its time-travel plotline affords you bizarre pleasures. Uproariously silly. Also be sure to check out Indiana Jones and the Temple of Atlantis!

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    Street Fighter II Turbo

    It’s smoky arcades filled with old cabinets that have been left scarred from cigarette burns, and unused credits sliding down onto floors that are perpetually sticky with cheap, stale booze. It’s teaching friends how to do the perfect dragon punch motion. It’s beating that bigger kid by doing Blanka’s electric attack. It’s unlocking Akuma and then immediately losing half of your life bar within seconds. Turbo might be the definitive version of Street Fighter II, but whichever one you played, the memories will no doubt still vividly linger.

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    Super Metroid

    There aren’t many games to have ever captured the sense of bleak isolation as expertly as this SNES classic. As bounty hunter Samas Aran dropped into a desolate world, it’s an homage to Alien, evoking the same gnawing tension as Ridley Scott’s cinematic horror, while the brooding, synth-led soundtrack prompted further shivers.

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    Pong

    Ok we're not going to pretend this is the best game on the planet, or even that it's necessarily the top 20 BUT Atari’s take on table tennis brought video gaming into the mainstream. Beside its significance to the video game industry, it's an extraordinary (albeit simple) game in its own particular right. Two dials, two bats, one ball. It works to this day.

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    Streets of Rage 2

    Two players, two pads, too many fizzy drinks: the only way to play Sega’s bruising brawler was with a partner. It was a rival to Capcom’s Final Fight, but this game definitely had the edge, which was partly due to Yuzo Koshiro’s particularly memorable score.

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    Space Invaders

    Forget Gears Of War, Taito’s 1978 classic was the first cover shooter, as you attempt to fend off an extraterrestrial force. Your pulse would quicken along with the music as the aliens came closer, while blasting the flying saucer was as satisfying as a Call Of Duty headshot.

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    The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

    If Super Metroid taught us to fear the unknown, Link’s epic quest made it exciting again. A top-down Hyrule rammed with secrets and surprises, it’s a delight to explore. Not least when you figure out how the light and dark worlds slot together. Unlike these days where you’re given a nudge if you stray too far, here you’re encouraged to get gloriously, hopelessly lost – and you’ll have a whale of a time doing so.

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    Duck Hunt

    A precursor to the modern first-person shooter, Duck Hunt didn’t allow you to blast zombies, mutants or even mutant zombies. But lowering the waterfowl population was just as satisfying. Perhaps it was the bundled NES Zapper – one of the finest lightguns we’ve wielded. Or maybe it was the chance to wipe the smirk off of that dog’s face.

  • 20 Greatest Retro Games 75

    Tetris

    It’s odd to think that a game centring on finding the best way to successfully arrange a group of coloured shapes should have been at its best when played on a machine that was incapable of displaying more than four shades of greenish-grey. But, regardless, the Game Boy version of Alexei Pajitnov’s opus was simply the perfect match between game and hardware.

  • 20 Greatest Retro Games 76

    Super Mario Kart

    While everyone has their favourite Mario Kart – from the four-player-thrills of MK64 to the weaponised mayhem of Double Dash!! – few would deny the SNES game’s claim to top spot. It’s aged beautifully – and, unlike many of its successors, every victory is hard-earned. Gaming’s finest spin-off.

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    Outrun

    A high-end car, a beautiful girl, blue skies and a long strip of road to the horizon. It’s not so much a race as a high-speed cruise, taking you on the ultimate US road trip.

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    Sensible Soccer

    For a certain generation, football rivalry wasn’t just between Fifa and Pro Evo. It was the pace and banana shots of Kick Off versus the sharp passing game of Sensible Soccer. For our money, Sensi wins: it gave a glimpse at tiki-taka way before Barca made it fashionable.

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    Super Mario Bros. 3

    Having pretty much invented the platform game, Nintendo reinvented it with the secret-packed Super Mario Bros. 3, then repeated it with Super Mario World. The two best side-scrollers of all time, it’s a heck of a job to separate them. The sprawling ambition of SMB3 or the invention of SMW? The Frog Suit or Yoshi? The Super Leaf or the Cape Feather? We’ve plumped for SMB3, but they’re so close to gaming perfection, there’s nothing in it.

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