Retro video games are games that were made a long time ago, and playing them can be a lot of fun. They bring back memories for older people and show younger people what gaming was like before all the modern consoles. In 2024, there are many retro consoles and games you can still enjoy. This guide will help you learn about some of the best ones to own.

What is a Retro Console?

A retro console is an old video game system that people used to play games on. These systems were popular many years ago but are still loved by many people today. Some of these consoles are from the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s.

Why Play Retro Games?

Playing retro games is fun because:

  • They have simple controls and are easy to understand.
  • They remind people of their childhood.
  • They have unique and interesting game designs.
  • They are a great way to see how video games have changed over time.

Top Retro Consoles to Own

Here are some of the best retro consoles you should consider owning in 2024:

1. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

Released: 1985

Popular Games:

  • Super Mario Bros.
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Donkey Kong.

The NES was a groundbreaking console that introduced many classic games. It’s known for its simple graphics and iconic characters like Mario and Link.

2. Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

Released: 1991

Popular Games:

  • Super Mario World
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Street Fighter II.

The SNES improved on the NES with better graphics and sound. It has some of the most beloved games in history.

3. Sega Genesis

Released: 1989

Popular Games:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Streets of Rage
  • Golden Axe.

The Sega Genesis was known for its fast games and great music. Sonic the Hedgehog became a huge hit on this console.

4. PlayStation 1 (PS1)

Released: 1994

Popular Games:

  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Crash Bandicoot
  • Metal Gear Solid.

The PS1 brought 3D graphics to a lot of gamers for the first time. It has a huge library of games that are still fun to play today.

5. Nintendo 64 (N64)

Released: 1996

Popular Games:

  • Super Mario 64
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
  • Mario Kart 64.

The N64 was famous for its unique controller and amazing 3D games. Many of its titles are considered some of the best games ever made.

Top Retro Games to Own

Here are some classic games you should try if you get a retro console:

Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Why It’s Great:

  • Simple controls make it easy to play.
  • Fun levels and memorable music.
  • It started the Super Mario series.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)

Why It’s Great:

  • Exciting adventure with puzzles and combat.
  • Beautiful graphics for its time.
  • Great story and memorable characters.

Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega Genesis)

Why It’s Great:

  • Fast gameplay and cool levels.
  • Iconic music and fun characters.
  • It made Sonic a gaming superstar.

Final Fantasy VII (PS1)

Why It’s Great:

  • Epic story with deep characters.
  • Great mix of action and strategy.
  • Impressive graphics for the time.

Super Mario 64 (N64)

Why It’s Great:

  • First Mario game in 3D.
  • Lots of fun levels to explore.
  • Creative gameplay and great controls.

Retro Consoles and Games: A Quick Comparison

Here’s a table to compare the main features of each console and some popular games for them:

Console Released Graphics Popular Games
NES 1985 8-bit Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda
SNES 1991 16-bit Super Mario World, Street Fighter II
Sega Genesis 1989 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage
PlayStation 1 1994 32-bit Final Fantasy VII, Crash Bandicoot
Nintendo 64 1996 64-bit Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

How to Get Retro Consoles and Games

Getting your hands on retro consoles and games can be a fun adventure. There are several ways to find these treasures, and each method has its own perks. Here are some cool examples of how you can get retro consoles and games:

1. Online Stores

Websites like eBay and Amazon

Online stores are a great place to start looking for retro consoles and games. Websites like eBay and Amazon often have a wide selection of old video games and consoles. Here’s how you can use them:

  • eBay: On eBay, you can bid on auctions or buy items outright. Sometimes you can find rare games or consoles at great prices if you’re lucky. For example, you might find a complete set of the original NES with several games for a reasonable price.
  • Amazon: Amazon also has a variety of retro gaming items. You can read reviews and see ratings for sellers to ensure you’re getting quality items. For example, you might find a refurbished Super Nintendo with a few popular games included.

Example: Suppose you’re looking for a Sega Genesis. On eBay, you might find a listing for a Sega Genesis console with Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, and Golden Axe included, all in good condition. This could be a fantastic bundle for any retro gaming fan.

2. Retro Game Stores

Specialty Stores that Focus on Retro Games

Some stores specialize in retro video games and consoles. These stores can be physical locations or online shops that cater specifically to retro gaming enthusiasts. Here are some benefits of shopping at these stores:

  • Expert Knowledge: The staff at these stores often have a lot of knowledge about retro games and can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Quality Assurance: These stores typically test their products to ensure they work properly before selling them.

Example: Let’s say you’re searching for a PlayStation 1 and some classic games like Final Fantasy VII or Crash Bandicoot. A local retro game store might have these games in stock and in good condition. They might also offer repair services for old consoles.

3. Garage Sales and Flea Markets

Local Sales for Hidden Treasures

Garage sales and flea markets can be gold mines for retro gaming finds. People often sell their old stuff, including video games and consoles, at these sales. Here’s why this method is exciting:

  • Bargain Prices: You can often find great deals, as people might not know the true value of what they’re selling.
  • Unexpected Finds: You never know what you might come across. Sometimes, you might find rare games or limited-edition consoles.

Example: Imagine going to a garage sale in your neighborhood and finding a box filled with old Nintendo 64 games, including classics like Super Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, for just a few dollars each. It’s like a treasure hunt!

4. Emulators

Playing Retro Games on Your Computer

Emulators are special programs that allow you to play old games on your computer. While using emulators, it’s important to make sure it’s legal in your area. Here’s how emulators can be useful:

  • Convenience: You can play many different games without needing the original console.
  • Save States: Emulators often allow you to save your game at any point, making it easier to pick up where you left off.

Example: Suppose you want to play old SNES games like Super Mario World or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. You can download an SNES emulator and the game files (ROMs) to your computer. This way, you can enjoy these classics without needing the actual console.

5. Social Media and Online Communities

Connecting with Other Retro Gamers

Social media platforms and online communities are great places to find retro consoles and games. Here’s how they can help:

  • Marketplace Groups: Many social media platforms have groups where people buy, sell, and trade retro games.
  • Forums and Discussion Boards: Websites like Reddit have dedicated communities for retro gaming where you can find advice, trade games, or even get tips on where to buy.

Example: Suppose you join a Facebook group for retro gaming enthusiasts. You might find someone selling a bundle of Sega Genesis games at a good price or trading a rare game you’ve been looking for.

6. Local Classified Ads

Checking Newspapers and Online Listings

Local classified ads, both in newspapers and online, can also be a good way to find retro consoles and games. Here’s why:

  • Local Deals: You can find sellers in your area, which can save on shipping costs.
  • Personal Transactions: Meeting the seller in person allows you to inspect the items before buying.

Example: You might check the classified ads in your local newspaper or on websites like Craigslist and find someone selling an old PlayStation 1 with a bunch of games for a fair price. You can arrange to meet and check the condition of the console and games before making a purchase.

7. Retro Gaming Conventions

Events Dedicated to Retro Gaming

Retro gaming conventions are events where fans of old video games gather to buy, sell, and trade. These conventions are often packed with vendors selling all kinds of retro gaming gear. Here’s why they’re great:

  • Wide Selection: You’ll find a huge variety of games and consoles all in one place.
  • Networking: Meet other retro gamers, share tips, and maybe even make some new friends.

Example: Suppose you attend a retro gaming convention in your city. You might find a booth selling rare NES games like EarthBound or Chrono Trigger, or even a fully restored Super Nintendo console.

Taking Care of Your Retro Games

Retro games and consoles are old and can be delicate. Here are some tips to keep them in good condition:

  • Keep them clean: Dust can damage old electronics, so wipe them down regularly.
  • Store them properly: Keep your games and consoles in a cool, dry place.
  • Use them gently: Be careful when inserting games into consoles to avoid damaging them.

Fun Facts About Retro Games

  • Did you know? The original Super Mario Bros. game was created by Shigeru Miyamoto, who also designed Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda.
  • Fun fact: Sonic the Hedgehog was designed to be Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Mario. He was meant to be cool and fast to attract a different kind of player.
  • Interesting tidbit: Final Fantasy VII was originally planned for the SNES, but the creators decided to make it for the PS1 because of its better graphics capabilities.

What is Next?

Retro consoles and games are a fantastic way to experience the history of video gaming. Whether you’re playing as Mario saving Princess Peach or Sonic racing through Green Hill Zone, these classic games offer endless fun. In 2024, owning a retro console can give you hours of entertainment and a taste of gaming’s golden age. So pick up a retro console, grab some classic games, and start your journey into the past of video games!

Remember to have fun and take care of your games, and you’ll be enjoying these timeless classics for years to come. If you plan to create a game in retro style, ask eJaw retro game developers: we know how.