When retro games hit arcades back in the 1970s and 1980s, not many people would have imagined they would be able to play them in the future, for free, from their homes and mobile devices. However, all the classic games of yesteryear are available at your fingertips, many have been redesigned to iron out any old issues and they’re experiencing a fresh surge in popularity as the shift online introduces them to a brand-new generation of gamers.
We suppose this is the case for several industries. For example, around the same time arcade games were big business, we imagine the casino industry didn’t think that online casino games would rise from nowhere and turn into a multibillion-dollar arm of the industry. But, as we have learned, the technology sector is consistently evolving and its innovations are not likely to be slowing down anytime soon.
However, that’s an afterthought. Our focus today is on the classic games you can play online right now without moving from the seat you’re currently in – let’s take a look:
#5 – Pac-Man
Namco’s signature release changed the gaming world in 1980, and the primitive design of the original game is a far cry from some of the astonishing graphics we see in today’s gaming industry. However, that doesn’t detract from the fact that Pac-Man opened the door for many gaming companies to realize that innovation in this space can lead to big profits and a legacy that transcends time.
For those old enough to remember, Pac-Man probably transports you back instantly to those days. These days, you can find plenty of websites where you can play Pac-Man for free and try and beat your old score!
#4 – Street Fighter II
Arguably the most critical and innovative fighting game ever constructed, Street Fighter II unlocked an army of players and a legion of new fans who still adore this iconic Capcom creation. It has since taken off on a path of its own, with multiple different variations, but it paved the way for so many games within this genre.
Over 30 years from the original release, this is the true definition of a classic game, despite the fact it had since become a different variation on the brand and a different game entirely when it was released on consoles more recently. However, the original Street Fighter II hasn’t changed and you can play it online for free to reignite some of that nostalgia.
#3 – Super Mario Bros. 3
As the world’s most successful gaming dynasty, Super Mario Bros. has a crossover appeal like few other games. The games have shifted hundreds of millions of units, spawning multiple films and other merchandise. It is a successful journey captained by the legendary visionary stewardship of Shigeru Miyamoto.
Even today, the new Super Mario film is causing tremendous hysteria internationally, smashing box-office records, such is the iconic and intergenerational success of the brand. Super Mario Bros. 3 was one of the first places it started, and although it may seem a little bit dated, it’s a truly classic game and was light years ahead of its time when it first hit our shelves.
#2 – Tetris
Jumping into our classic game time capsule and transporting us back to a time when these games were fresh and new is an excellent way to help your mental health and has proved to be an effective method of self-care.
Tetris falls into the same league as Pac-Man – it followed just a few short years after Pac-Man but it is still an incredibly popular mobile game today. It has been repackaged as other titles and is fun with a similar vibe, but not quite the original, which you can find online to play for free any time, morning, noon or night.
#1 – Sonic the Hedgehog
Ending on a gaming character with an immortal presence, Sonic is in the same league as Mario. The games have shifted hundreds of millions of copies and there have been hugely successful films based on the notorious speed demon. Although the newer Sonic games are ones you’ll have to pay top dollar for, the classic versions where they began can be found on several websites online.
Back in the days of retro gaming, people would have hours of fun inserting their money into these giant, box-like contraptions and playing Tetris, Pac-Man, Sonic and dozens of other retro games to their heart’s content.
Of course, back then, they weren’t known as retro – they were top of the range and unbelievably exciting, but as the world turned, they became yesterday’s news and sleeker versions replaced them. However, for some, these new versions can’t hold a candle to the nostalgia of a time that has since passed, and being able to play them online for free is an excellent addition to the wondrous advances the internet has afforded us.