We're in the Middle of a Retro Gaming Renaissance

It's all the fun of your favorite old games without having to worry about cleaning cartridge contact points.
We're in the Middle of a Retro Gaming Renaissance

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We tend to divide games into two wide categories. There are the games that are currently coming out, then there are games from "the good old days." Your definition of exactly what those good old days are probably varies based on age. Maybe it's games you played as a kid, or maybe it's the games you loved in college.

Regardless of what those good old days may be for you, they're here again. There has never been a better time for revisiting some of your favorite old classics. Say goodbye to your dusty old consoles. You're probably not going to need to plug them in again, at least not very often.

Miss Your Old Console? It's Back, Just Smaller

For a long while, shady companies sold joysticks and other gadgets loaded with games. Most of these ran poorly, were loaded with questionable games, and were generally not worth your money. That has changed.

Now we have mini all-in-one retro consoles that are actually worth your money. The SNES Classic Edition, NES Classic Edition, Sega Genesis Mini, and Turbografx-16 Mini are just some of the examples. For a better idea what to buy, take a look at our favorite retro consoles:

Love a Franchise? Now You Can Own All of It

Since the days of the first PlayStation, companies have been putting together and selling compilations of their older games. The difference is that with modern PCs and consoles, emulation has gotten much better, so companies are putting out killer collections of games from the days of when "arcade-perfect" home ports were virtually unattainable.

Whether it's Capcom, Konami, or Sega, companies have been releasing fantastic collections of games in the Mega Man, Castlevania, and Contra series, for a few examples. For a better idea of what's out there, take a look at our list of the best retro game collections for modern systems.

Why Pay for One Game When You Can Buy 50?

One of the best examples of why this is a great time for retro gaming fans lies in Nintendo's Switch Online service. You don't just get the ability to play games online, which is good because if that's all you got, it would be fairly disappointing.

The service also grants you access to a virtual collection of classic games from the NES and SNES consoles. As I write this, there are 20 SNES games available, the vast majority of which are widely considered to be classics.

Throw in the NES collection, and you get even more. Right now there are nearly 50 NES games available. Nintendo is adding more all the time too, so you can expect that collection to grow as time moves on.

Because of the deals required with third-party developers, you're going to miss out on some classics. On the SNES, for example, you won't find Final Fantasy VI or Super Mario RPG. That said, you do get Super Mario World and Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, so it's hard to get too upset.

Will other companies do this? It's hard to say, but there are certainly people who would subscribe to an all-you-can-eat collection of games from Square Enix, Sega, or Midway.

Just the Gems, Please

There was a time where unless you subscribed to multiple gaming magazines, you had little to no idea what might be the best games to buy or rent. Sometimes your best bet was to just pick the game with the coolest looking cover. The problem was game companies were well aware of that fact, and some of those games with great covers were, well, bad games.

Whether your picking up a mini console or a retro game collection, you're not going to get absolutely everything. That's less than a problem than you may think though, because what you do get are widely regarded as some of the best games ever made.

Even if you've never played many of these games, having the chance to pick up and play classics without actually having to find a working old console is incredible all by itself.