Rolling Back the Clock: Why Retro Gaming Is More Than Just Nostalgia

And in a world of blockbuster games that flaunt the latest technology and jaw-dropping graphics, there’s a booming subculture that’s delighted to dwell in the elementary pixels of old games—and find joy in the experiences of an earlier era. Retro gaming is a way to dip one’s toes into the gaming pool of yesteryear, and pay homage to the originals (Nintendo and so on). But it’s not just a retro-gaming vintage store that old heads traipse through to pique their dormant memories. It’s a thriving, relevant part of gaming culture. Here’s why you should take a trip back into gaming history.

Embrace Economical Entertainment

The Affordable Adventure of Retro Gaming

As with almost anything in the realm of hobbies, the hobby of gaming can quickly become expensive, especially with modern titles and their associated costs. Thankfully, the retro landscape provides stacks of affordable experiences. Friends, acquaintances and fellow gamers would be hard-pressed to not find some favourite titles among the libraries of the golden era of gaming. With the growing abilities of emulators and online availability, you can likely find most titles for under $30 – libraries of games without the breaking of the bank. The lack of modern monetisation models means that you’re getting the experience without breaking the bank as well.

Discover Simplicity and Substance

The Uncomplicated Joy of Retro Games

Complexity and depth are often like two peas in a pod when it comes to retro gaming, where many players consider them handmaidens to quality. In spite of this, there’s a distinct, easy-to-identify simplicity to a lot of retro games – games like Super Mario World and Metroid are fun, appealing experiences that don’t require narrative, deep-diving characterisation or technical wizardry to get their point across. Most games have no purpose but to be fun, but when a game that prides itself on its jumbly ‘story’ includes three or four hours of cutscenes – this is a case where the gaming equivalent to ‘less is more’ is not merely an alternative route to entertainment, but an express lane.

Explore the Origins of Gaming Icons

A Journey Through Video Game History

For fans of classic franchises, retro gaming provides a context for the stories they love: when they understand the characters and storylines’ origins, they realise how much richer their contemporary experiences are. Revisiting the roots of video gaming provides another way into exploring the origins of classics: we can better understand how the medium came to be and how it changed. Retro gaming can reveal the genres and gameplay mechanics that eventually evolved into modern blockbusters.

Uncover Hidden Gems

Finding Newness in the Old

From endless RPGs to countless platformers, retro gaming boasts an unbelievable amount of unique or obscure titles just waiting to be played. The nature of retro gaming is that each console has its own treasure trove of unknown games, or games that are only just now being rediscovered by gamers of later generations. For newcomers to retro gaming, or veterans of the scene who are looking for something fresh, delving into the search can be just as tantalising as finally playing the game you’ve set your sight on. Thankfully, with its Nintendo Switch Online service, Nintendo offers an affordable subscription that allows players to not only experience these games, but to finally play – or rediscover – the titles that built the industry.

Share the Love of Gaming

Creating Connections Through Classic Play

At face value, retro gaming can be a solitary pursuit, a form of personal gratification. But there is a community-building element to retro gaming that is often overlooked. Playing old favourites with newer fans can rekindle nostalgia and start generating new memories. And the communal nature of retro gaming, whether competing in classic arcade tournaments or just chatting online with fellow aficionados about strategies and secrets, provides a sort of unity to retro gaming fans.

Recognizing the Value of Vintage

Far from outdated, retro games are a way of connecting with history. Whether it is playing a game we remembered from childhood or discovering a new one, retro games allow everyone, regardless of age, to trace back to the roots of modern gaming, to experience unique and unrepeated game ­designs, and to enjoy the company of a historic fan community that stays loyal to games they love. In this way, we can continue to share and celebrate the classic retro gaming heritage.


Nintendo, a staple of the retro gaming revival, is the second of the three great Japanese console pioneers remake-with-a-twist approach important for the video game industry. Nintendo forged the handheld gaming market with the Game Boy. Mario, for whom the company is known today, starred in groundbreaking games like Super Mario Bros (1985) and its sequels. Zelda, in addition to Metroid and many other iconic titles in the console industry, all came from Nintendo. Despite its emphasis on innovation, Nintendo’s ability to leave the past in the past has been mixed. However, it’s clear that retro games in particular, and video games in general, remain popular among players because Nintendo has made an effort to bring the games included with the Switch Online service to life in ways that reflect the games’ historical significance.

Jun 09, 2024
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