There is a vast range of games to choose from today, benefiting from years of interface and control refinement to make them easier to play than the earlier games. However, some of the best retro games are still rated highly, not just for their historical significance or nostalgia, but because of the theme or skillful storytelling. These retro games captured the imagination and deserved to be considered some of the best retro games of all time.

Super Mario Bros. 3

Launched by Nintendo in Japan in 1988, Super Mario Bros. 3 was then released in the US in 1990 and Europe in 1991. The sprawling ambition of Super Mario Bros. 3 with the Frog Suit and the Super leaf came close to perfection in the gaming world with several innovative obstacles and new ways for Mario to navigate stages and find areas outside the typical boundaries of platforming levels. The world map was revolutionary for its time, providing a strong sense of place and mood using creative design not seen before.

Super Mario 2 has an interesting place in gaming history because each level ended with a slot machine. These are similar to the ones seen in today’s online casinos like 888casino and are ultimately a matter of chance – just like the real thing. Yet Super Mario 2 launched in 1988 and the first-ever real money online casino was launched in 1996.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

This 1991 Gameboy offering from Nintendo saw players plunge into an adventure that offered sophistication not seen in any previous game. A delightful game where players are encouraged to get totally lost and have fun whilst doing so, a choice rarely seen in modern games. The sense of achievement when players work out how the light and dark worlds fit together is unlike anything today since games now nudge players who stray too far.


This game for Nintendo Gameboy, launched in 1984 was unusual because the aim was to successfully arrange a group of coloured blocks on a machine incapable of displaying more than four shades of greenish-grey. Tetris is a perfect match between game and hardware because players who master the game stop just focusing on the shapes and start seeing the negative space around them to recalibrate their perceptions.

Street Fighter II Turbo

Street Fighter II’s third iteration of combat sport. Here, players can test reflexes and execution in a way not seen in any other fighting game. The update to the 1992 arcade game on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System dials the turbo to the max. The original teaches how to do the perfect dragon punch motion and making the best use of Blanka’s electric attack. The game made an entire genre popular introducing the iconic characters of M. Bison, Chun-Li, and E. Honda.

Super Mario Kart

Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart defined the kart-racing genre when it was launched in 1992. Whilst the four-player Mario Kart 64 or the pandemonium of Double Dash!! have also aged well, Super Mario Kart wins for variety, speed and mad mechanics as players steer through several obstacle courses, each vehicle needing different handling techniques. It is this variety that keeps the game popular today, particularly in Battle Mode.

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