Why Retro Games Are Back In Style In 2023
Retro games are back. The classic titles of the 80s and 90s are getting more gameplay than they ever did before, with people playing online on websites and on modern consoles. Why are retro games coming back in style? Let us take a closer look and find out.
Nostalgia And Reboots
The interest in classic video games has been climbing in recent years and should be peaking in 2022. Many old games are being rebooted, refreshed, or re-released on modern games consoles like the Xbox and Nintendo Switch.
Movies and TV shows are also playing their part, with films like the Sonic The Hedgehog series bringing new, young gamers to classic titles. The artwork and musical style of retro games has always had a solid fan base online, with 8-bit ‘chip tunes’ and pixel art gaining in popularity.
Tech hobbyists have also played their part. The Raspberry Pi is a small single-board computer that is extremely versatile and inexpensive. Retro gaming fans have used the to make custom gaming consoles packed with arcade classic and retro titles. These have become popular at gaming nights and influenced the release of the ‘classic-mini’ range of reproduction consoles from both Nintendo and Sega.
Games Are Not Like They Used To Be
Modern gaming is simply not the same as playing the retro game masterpieces from twenty or thirty years ago. The difference is about more than graphics and online gaming, it is about gameplay.
Game developers are spoiled by the technology they use today. They have gigabytes of data to play with and use them to create characters that appear photo-realistic to players. Back in the day, developers were much more limited, and the gameplay and story had to draw players to the game and not graphics.
Many young players are shocked at just how basic old-school games can be, yet they keep their attention, and they come back for more. Like so much of modern culture for the masses, modern video games are a lot of style with little substance. Just like movies and music, video games from decades ago are better.
The Streamers And The Speeders
In the last decade streaming gameplay and ‘let’s play’ videos have exploded in popularity online. Children today are not watching cartoons on television, they are watching streamers play competitive online games, and classic retro titles.
Retro games are great for streaming. The streamers are often playing a game that their young viewers have never heard of, or a big-name title that they have never seen. There is a huge number of channels to choose from on services like Twitch, and retro gaming is always very popular.
Speedrunning is another reason retro games have gained popularity. Some streamers compete for the fastest time for completing a game, or for lap times on racing games. The old Super Mario Bros. titles are very popular for speedrunning, especially the original NES titles.
Lap times on games in the Mario Kart series are amongst the most competitive speed runs online, with a whole host of categories to compete in. This type of gaming has inspired countless streaming sessions and even documentaries about the sport and its players.
Retro Games Are Popular With The Big Stars Of Gaming
If you ask the average child to name their favourite entertainers and stars, the chances are they will reel off a long list of names of people you have never heard of. The biggest names in gaming have millions of young followers online across all the streaming and social media platforms.
Gaming personalities and influencers like Ninja, Dr. DisRespect, and Jacksepticeye have tens of millions of regular viewers on YouTube and Twitch and a massive following across Instagram and TikTok. All of these stars recommend retro games to their players and enjoy streaming themselves playing iconic titles.
These gaming influencers do their job and influence their viewers, getting them interested in retro gaming and classic titles. It is not all about the big names either. Sonic, Mario, and Pokémon are always going to get plenty of attention, but there are some obscure classics from the 8-bit and 16-bit days that also get their moment in the spotlight.
The Power Of Minecraft
Tracing back the steady growth of retro gaming leads back to the powerhouse gaming phenomenon that is Minecraft. Its retro, pixel art-style graphics brought a sense of nostalgia to the older players and introduced old-school videogame graphics to a whole new generation of gamers.
Minecraft’s popularity and rapid growth in mainstream gaming helped usher in a renewed interest in retro games that were simpler to play and had a basic but beautiful look to them. Following the success of Minecraft, more and more independent game makers began referencing retro games and making new games in their style.
Retro gaming is exploding in popularity, and after a few plays of some classic titles, it is easy to see why. The nostalgia for the games of the old days is justified, these titles are just as much fun to play as they always were. Go on, fire up Mario Kart and have some fun with your friends.