Video games have become one of the most popular mediums of entertainment in the modern age. Indeed, Wired’s feature on Pong shows how far video games have come. Today’s video games push the limits of technology and creativity, as many of the games feature stellar graphics and innovative gameplay.
However, there’s one specific type of game that came in between Pong and the triple-A games that really changed the landscape of video games. Platformers are one of the oldest and longest-running of the video game genres. HP’s guide to video game genres details how platform games have stayed true to their roots as 2D side-scrollers, often embracing the side view and basic controls.
The earliest example was Donkey Kong and it paved the way for modern platformers such as the iconic Super Mario and the dark and eerie Limbo. There are now thousands of titles that fall under this genre but sometimes you’re just in the mood to relive the good old days. If you’re feeling a little nostalgic, then this list is perfect for you. We’ve put together four classic platformers that you may just want to revisit during one of your video game binges.
Super Mario came out back in 1985 and quickly turned Nintendo into a household name. Since then, the franchise has grown exponentially with countless games and spinoffs.
Its charming pixelated graphics coupled with its intuitive yet simple game mechanics have helped Super Mario stand the test of time. Now, if you want to take a crack at the game again you have two options. Nintendo has released the Mini Famicom which will let you play the original Super Mario Bros. This is a good option if you want to get as close to the original experience as possible. Another option would be to play the Super Mario Maker 2 on the Nintendo Switch. Super Mario Maker 2 lets you create your own levels or play on other people’s created levels.
You know a game is iconic when it has an entire platformer sub-genre named after it. Castlevania introduced a new kind of platformer back when it was released in 1986. The Metroidvania (also named after Metroid Prime) is a platformer that is played on one giant map. It locks certain areas off with items that are protected by fearsome bosses.
The game’s darker themes made it even more exciting as you were faced with supernatural creatures such as skeletons and ghosts. This, along with its action-packed gameplay, makes it one of the most riveting platformers out there. Playing this game again will surely bring you back to the days when you spent hours on end trying to get to Dracula. Konami has released a Castlevania Anniversary Collection that includes most of the original Castlevania games for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Sonic The Hedgehog
Sonic the Hedgehog was Sega’s response to Mario. Sonic and Mario have been in a constant battle for the platformer crown since 1991. One key difference between Sonic and Mario is speed.
Sonic revolves around its fast-paced gameplay that has the player zipping through the levels at breakneck speed. While the subject of a definitive Sonic game is contentious, the inclusion of Sonic 2 on the list of the best games released on the Sega Genesis is indicative of its position as one of the best games in the franchise. Sonic 2 features refined gameplay mechanics that improve upon the original. This makes for faster gameplay and better level design. If you want to relive the Sonic experience, you’ll be glad to know that Sonic is available on the Nintendo Switch Online Store.
Nowadays Naughty Dog is known for the successful Uncharted series. However, old school gaming fans know that the studio got its first big break with the PlayStation exclusive game Crash Bandicoot. Crash Bandicoot was released back in 1996 in an attempt to capture the magic that Sonic the Hedgehog had. However, it ended up as something that was quite unique and game-changing for the genre.
The game was graphically advanced for its time but also had designs that were colorful and visually striking. Everything about the game had fun in mind. This is what fans will likely be most nostalgic about when playing it again, as the game never took itself too seriously. You’ll be glad to know that Naughty Dog released the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, a remastered version of the first three Crash Bandicoot games, on all consoles.