PacSam Video Games

PacSam's BlogRetro Epics

« What retro video games should I try or replay? »

Published by Samuel L. | Friday, January 27, 2023, 06:00 PM

Do you have a sudden urge to replay your childhood classics? Are you looking for suggestions on your next gift to a nostalgic gamer around you? The retro video game universe is so vast; there are thousands of great and fun choices to explore, all available on the used video game market. As a retro games seller, the question gamers ask me most frequently is without a doubt: "Which games would you recommend to me?" ... So, here are some tips before you start shopping for your next classic games!

Some factors to consider when choosing a retro game

How do you know if you will like a game before buying it? That's a question only you can answer... As a general rule, the classics of your childhood should appeal to you again due to the nostalgia effect. First of all, to help you think about this, let's take a look at the factors that I consider important to consider when buying an old school video game.

Video game genres: There are many genres or types of games that are characterized by different styles in terms of gameplay, perspective on the screen, goals to be achieved and other characteristics. The important thing is to know the different game genres and to choose according to our personal tastes and preferences.

The rarity and value of a game: Due to several factors, some classic games are harder to find today. If they're in high demand, chances are some of them are worth a few hundred dollars these days. The important thing is to keep a budget in mind and know how to evaluate a game when shopping.

The lifespan of a game: Not to be confused with the time it takes to complete a game, the lifespan rather represents the time it takes before you lose interest in playing it. Some games offer more interesting and less repetitive mechanics; others offer better "re-playability" after completing once, either by unlocking modes or simply because few endings were possible; … The important thing is to know that some games will likely interest you longer, which makes your purchase more profitable and sustainable.

The number of copies sold: In general, the commercial success of a game is a good indicator of the quality of its development. Boring, redundant and uninteresting games rarely sell millions of copies... For this reason, the major console manufacturers have all developed an easy-to-recognize seal system to promote the best-selling games in their library: Nintendo with "Player's Choice" or "Nintendo Selects", Sony with "Greatest Hits" and Microsoft with "Platinum Hits". SEGA also had its seal, for the Dreamcast console only, with "Sega All Stars".

Development studios and main franchises: A few studios have forged an excellent reputation over the years; including Konami, RARE, Capcom and Square Enix who have developed excellent games for Nintendo, Sony and SEGA. We can also rarely be wrong with the major franchises recognized around the world, such as Super Mario, Final Fantasy, Pokémon, Sonic the Hedgehog, Resident Evil and others…

The aging index: While some games of yesteryear have aged very badly following our experiences with newer generation consoles, others have not aged a bit. For example, the first 3D games are no longer very convincing on the screen and their controls were sometimes awful even at the time... However, many 2D platformers, adventure or combat games have aged very well, like Donkey Kong Country, Aladdin, Contra, Mortal Kombat and more!

Google and Youtube are your best friends

Today, unlike in the past, we have access to practical tools to get answers to our questions easily and quickly. The Internet has all the information you need to make an informed choice about your next video game purchase.

Do some Google or Youtube searches to find game reviews on enthusiast gamer blogs. There are several "top 10" for each platform or "reviews" for each game to give you ideas... For example, here is a search on Google to find recommendations on the best Super Nintendo games. The main keywords to remember for your searches are: "best", "greatest", "top 10", "top 50", "review", etc.

We can never say it enough, a picture is worth a thousand words... Why not validate your choice before buying by looking at some images of the game in order to make a small evaluation? There are millions of game footage recordings available on Youtube, Twitch and other video streamers. For example, here is a search on Youtube allowing to see the Donkey Kong 64 gameplay. The main keywords to remember for your searches are: "gameplay", "longplay", "walktrough", "playthrough", "preview", etc.

In my opinion, doing your own research is the best way to not be disappointed with a new purchase and to have fun trying games you have never played.

You can always ask me for advice, but…

As a video game seller, I often get asked "Is it a good game?", "What games would you recommend for my kids?" or "Should I buy this game?". Although we can probably be unanimous on the mediocrity of some of the worst video games of all time, such as E.T. on the Atari 2600 console or Super Man 64 on the Nintendo 64 console, we agree that tastes are not to be discussed! I can love a game that you won't and vice versa. Also, I must confess that I haven't personally played all the games available in my inventory… I clean and test them all without exception, some hang me a little longer on the screen and delay my work [oops], but otherwise I rarely test each game for more than a few seconds.

On the other hand, do not hesitate to join social groups for gamers or collectors in order to find references or recommendations on the different platforms of older generations. Also tell your friends about it; after all, they probably played games when they were younger and it's always fun to reminisce about those good old memories. Anyway, I will always be there to guide you to the best of my knowledge and experience with retro video games.

Last word

Above all, do not blindly trust the images on the boxes, posters and labels of video games… You may be disappointed with some games from the past!

See more articles | Leave a comment

Share this blog post


Be the first to share a comment on this article!

Leave a comment

You probably have fascinating anecdotes or tips and tricks about retro video games. Share them with us down here or via our Facebook post of this topic!

By submitting a comment, you agree to our website policies. Please note that your email address will never be published or shared.