Ways You Can Play Old-School Video Games

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Ah, video games. They’re the modern-day pastime. They’re the absolute greatest expression of digital interaction in the entertainment space. Over the past few years, they have evolved, almost to the point where they’re unrecognizable to the games of just 20 years ago. There are new storylines, insanely massive engines, and digital worlds larger than our own, free to walk and explore as modern-day digital conquistadors. But there’s something that’s missing in today’s games. There’s a price to the complexity and a barrier to entry. What happened to the games we used to love? Are they still around?

Fortunately for us, there are a few ways that we can play old school video games. Here’s how.

Treasure Hunt!

You do know that all those old school games are still around, right? They didn’t just randomly disappear in a magical Thanos snap. They’re definitely around. They’re in personal collections, special vendors, and even floating around for sale on the internet. Looking for used video games is a lot easier than you think. You just have to look for specific vendors that specialize in old school games. They’ll have games, consoles, and everything else you need. That’s honestly the best way to get them. If you’re a purist—and let’s face it, most of us are video game purists—getting the actual copies is the way to go.


Another route you can take is the app route. Depending on the game, you can probably find something similar or a licensed copy of the game for your mobile device. They’ve been quite the success lately, introducing characters like Mario, Sonic, and Earthworm Jim to a much younger crowd. They’re simple puzzles that don’t trip the visual quality wire (“what’s up with these graphics?!”) because it’s on mobile. Honestly, they’re a great way to get into the characters themselves, but there’s not much tactile feel. It’s not the time machine a blown cartridge of Mortal Kombat 2 is. It’s nowhere close.

Emulators and Retro Consoles

Ever since the beginning of the internet, there have been unlicensed copies of video games for pc. These were the famed “emulators” of the early and mid-2000s. They’re still around, albeit still 2nd rate in terms of quality. They tend to lag a lot and aren’t stable during gameplay. They’re also illegal. Don’t play them. Recently, to combat this issue, companies like Nintendo have put out retro-style game consoles with built-in games programmed inside. They’re like samplers for their previous hits. As much as it’s a massive step up from the shady emulators, it does lose in the treasure hunt department. Half the fun of old-school games is finding them. The retro consoles are, at best, a quick fix to the hunt.

There you have it! The main ways you can play the old-school games you loved as a kid. Some of them may not be as challenging as you once thought, with strategy monsters like League of Legends, and MMORPGs like DOTA 2. But there’s always a special place in our hearts for the games that started our obsession with the art form. Good luck, and have fun finding these tremendous games.

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Leo Stevenson
Leo Stevensonhttps://powerup-gaming.com/
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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