Vintage Video Games: What Is It That Makes Them So Popular?

    Did you know that video games are a multi-billion dollar industry? Across all platforms, from PC to consoles and even mobile devices, video games are big business now. Millions of people every day plug in to play games, from kids to adults.

    Yet vintage video games and retro reproduction cabinets, like the Arcade1UP Mortal Kombat home cabinet, are still hugely popular, even when compared to their modern counterparts. 

    In this informative article, we’re going to explain why vintage video games remain popular in 2021.

    Nostalgia Hits

    Old school video games, like Street Fighter, Super Metroid, Mortal Kombat, Command and Conquer and the like are popular because they provide a hit of nostalgia.

    Lots of kids grew up playing these games, either in arcades or at home on consoles or PCs. 

    As adults, playing these games hits a huge nostalgia bone, and takes people back to the halcyon days of their youth – when they were carefree and without adult responsibility. 

    This means that vintage video games remain popular with an adult audience. 

    Adults Share Them With Their Kids

    Adults also love sharing the games they grew up playing with their children.

    While their children are probably more into Minecraft and Fortnite, kids can see how much their parents enjoy the old school games and love to play with their parents as a bonding experience. 

    The Gameplay is Challenging

    It’s hard to die permanently in modern video games. With autosave features, checkpoints and paid upgrades, players don’t face the prospect of permadeath often.

    Vintage video games, in contrast, provide a much more challenging experience. Permadeath is an option and can occur if you are not skilled enough. 

    Game over often means you need to start over again and build up to the endgame. This makes vintage games significantly more challenging than new games on the market today. 

    Classic Game Design

    Another reason why vintage games are hugely popular today is the game design. As well as being challenging when compared to modern video games, the design is classic.

    There is a reason why games like Super Mario World and Mario Kart are still wildly popular today, and that’s because they are immensely fun to play. The game design has stood the test of time and has proved to stand the test of time. 

    No In-Game Purchases

    A bane to gamers with modern video games is in-game purchases such as upgrades and loot crates. This means that those who can afford it can pay for superior gameplay or powers, which in multiplayer means a massive imbalance in powers in the game, which is super annoying. 

    Now, in-game purchases are a relatively new phenomenon in video gaming, having been introduced mainly with mobile games.

    This means that people prefer vintage games because they don’t have to pay to get good.

    They Still Inform Modern Games

    Vintage classic video games have had such an impact on gaming and the industry that modern games are borrowing design features from old games. Take the hit game Pillars of Eternity a few years ago, which borrowed the isometric RPG flavour from games like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale.

    Many classic game series are still in publication, such as Grand Theft Auto and Elder Scrolls. This means that a lot of gamers are looking to see the origins of series that they grew up with through earlier games that may have come out before they were born.

    Summing Up

    In this article, we’ve explained why vintage video games are still wildly popular, among adults and children. Adults even play vintage games with their kids. Nostalgia is a big drawcard, but the challenge and game design also have a role to play. And classic games still inform the game design of modern titles and the wider industry to this day. 


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