Following are the best retro games of all time. You might have played some of those games or at least must have heard about them.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the hugely popular video game by Nintendo which was released in November 1998. The game was part of the Legend of Zelda series and was released on a 32-megabyte cartridge. It became a massive commercial success and received a huge critical acclaim. GameSpot, IGN, and Electronic Gaming Monthly all praised the game for its design, sound, cinematics and gameplay mechanics. In barely a week, more than a million copies of the game were sold. The game earned about $150 million in US revenues. In Japan, it became the 10th best-selling game of the year 1998.

In this game Ocarina of Time, the player Link is on a mission to prevent the king of a tribe called Ganondorf from getting his hands on a wish-granting relic called the Triforce. In this quest, the player passes through several places and tries to awaken the 7 Sages in order to stop Ganondorf.

There is also the character of Princess Zelda and the fairy Navi. Navi brings Link to a Great Deku Tree who first tells Link about Ganondorf seeking to conquer the world. While Princess Zelda tells Link about the way to procure the Triforce before Ganondorf does. In order to progress in the game, the player must play songs on an ocarina.

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Pac-Man is considered as one of the most famous arcade games of all time. Not only that, it is also considered one of the highest grossing games of all time. The hugely popular arcade game was first released as Puck-Man in Japan in 1980. The game’s popularity grew so much with time that it became a social phenomenon. It even became the source of an animated television series with the name Pac-Man along with a hit single named Pac-Man Fever.

The time when Pac-Man hit the market, the popular video games were space-related games such as Asteroids and Space Invaders etc. After its release, it carved out a new genre entirely. By the 1990s, Pac-Man had made more than $2.5 billion.

In this game, the aim of the player is to navigate Pac-Man through the maze which has dots and four ghosts. The player has to eat all the dots called Pac-Dots while avoiding the four ghosts. These four ghosts also roam the maze aiming to kill Pac-Man.

Mario Bros.

Mario Bros. was developed and published by Nintendo in 1983. The game was created by the leading developers Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi who were also involved in the making of the popular game Donkey Kong. The character Mario was made different in Mario Bros. as compared to the Donkey Kong. In the Donkey Kong, Mario expires on falling too far while in Donkey Kong, Mario was given some superhuman abilities in that he was able to fall from any height.

In the game Mario Bros., the character Mario is shown as a plumber who is entrusted with the task of defeating the creatures coming from the sewers. In this task, Mario is helped by his brother Luigi. Together they try to exterminate the sewer creatures. The game Mario Bros. received very positive reviews by the critics.

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. was the successor to the popular game Mario Bros. by Nintendo. The game was designed by the developers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka while Koji Kondo composed its music.

The game is considered as one of the greatest video games of all time. Super Mario Bros. was a huge commercial success, selling more than 40 million copies. Many even credit the game for reviving the video game industry following the crash in 1983. It was also the source of an animated television series along with a feature film.

The game is set in the Mushroom Kingdom which is inhabited by the Mushroom People. It happens that a tribe of KoopaTroopas invade this kingdom. The king of that tribe turns the Mushroom People into bricks and stones. Not only that, Bowser (the kind) also kidnaps the princess of that kingdom known as the Princess Toadstool. Now, this is the mission of the main character Mario- saving the princess and freeing the kingdom. Mario has to go through different places, battling with the forces of Bowser until he gets to his final stronghold. At that time, Mario defeats Bowser and thereby rescues the princess and frees the Mushroom Kingdom.

Donkey Kong

The arcade game Donkey Kong was developed and published by Nintendo in 1981. The game was part of an effort by Nintendo to get into the North American market. Shigeru Miyamoto was the lead designer for the game who was also being helped by Gunpei Yokoi, the chief engineer of Nintendo at that time. The game had taken inspirations from King Kong, Popeye and also Beauty and the Beast. Donkey Kong is considered as one of the most important games from the Golden Age of Arcade Video Games. It is also considered as the earliest video game which had a storyline to it.

In Donkey Kong, the character Donkey Kong is the main villain who kidnaps the girlfriend of Mario known as Pauline. While the hero of the game is shown as a carpenter who remains unnamed first but later is named Mario. As a player, one has to take the role of Mario and try to rescue Pauline. Taking its inspiration from this game, countless other games also included such a storyline of rescuing a damsel in distress in their games.

The game Donkey Kong became a big commercial success in the United States and Canada. Almost 60,000 Donkey Kong machines had been sold by June 1982 after it was first released in July 1981, making about $180 million for the company.


  1. I think the best retro games are the newer games that take a whole lot of inspiration from older games, like Shovel Knight for instance. If I play games like Super Mario Bros. or The Legend of Zelda, the controls feel worse than controls of newer games, and I think it’s mainly because of newer hardware but also because improvements happen over time. Sure, those games were revolutionary, but maybe not the “best”.

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