It’s been a great year to be a gamer both young and old. Not only did a ton of great triple-A and indie titles hit the market, but retro gaming made a big splash as well. Older gamers who grew up in the golden era of arcades and pixelated home consoles became a major source of marketed nostalgia. Whether it was tiny versions of older consoles chock full of classic games, or arcade cabinet replicas, there were a lot of options for folks looking to relive their gaming glory days. We’ve rounded up several products that should hit the mark for the retro gamer in your life.
Classic Mini Consoles
When the NES Classic first store shelves it seemed to disappear just as quick as it had arrived. Fortunately, Nintendo seems to have learned their lesson when it comes to supply and demand and both the NES Classic and SNES Classic were in abundance this year. Both NES and SNES Classic come pre-loaded with several titles that made each system so iconic like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Metroid.
Several companies took a look at the success that Nintendo had with their retro collections and decided to jump on the bandwagon this year. The C64 Mini comes preloaded with 64 titles from the consoles classic catalog. SNK also launched their own NeoGeo Mini arcade console chock full of classic games like King of the Fighters and Metal Slug. Even Sony got in on the action with their PlayStation Classic (although there was some controversy over the quality of their ports.)
The team at MyArcade has definitely cornered a unique market when it comes to retro gaming. The company has made several mini arcade micro players for titles like Dig Dug, Burgertime, and Bad Dudes. Each one is a fully functioning small replica of the original arcade cabinets that run an emulated version of its respective game.
MyArcade also recently release a slightly larger Data East 10’ Mini Arcade that contains over 30 arcade class from the company’s historic catalog of games including Magical Drop, Bloody Wolf, Heavy Barrel, and Caveman Ninja.
Along with the mini arcade cabs, MyArcade also has a handful of portable retro collections like the Pac-Man Pocket Player which comes loaded with several classic Pac-titles. They have a few generic retro pocket player collections as well.
While miniature desktop arcade replicas are a fun novelty, Arcade1Up takes retro cabinets to the next level with ¾ scale replicas. Each cab comes loaded with a handful of titles, like the Street Fighter 2 cab that includes the original version as well as the Super and Super Turbo arcade versions, or the Rampage cab that also includes Gauntlet, Joust, and Defender. You can check out my review for more details on their functionality and value.
Along with all the stand-alone and micro-sized collections, there were plenty of compilations that launched for consoles. The SNK 40th anniversary collection for the Nintendo Switch not only came with arcade versions of classics like Ikari Warriors and P.O.W. but also included their console counterparts or Japanese versions where applicable.
Capcom gave fans a surprise treat when they launched their Beat’em Up Bundle for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch which includes Final Fight, Knights of the Round, Captain Commando, and more. Capcom also released Mega Man X Legacy Collection volumes 1 and 2, for Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch this year.
Sega Classics collects several of the best titles that originally launched for the 16-Bit Genesis and puts them in a virtual game room straight out of the 90s. It includes several titles from some of the publisher’s best series of that era like Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, and Golden Axe. Cult hits like Gunstar Heroes and Decap Attack also made the list. The game has been out on Steam for quite some time now, but the collection made its way onto Xbox One, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch. It also recently launched on the Amazon app store. So if there’s someone on your list who doesn’t have a gaming rig, you can hook them up with a Fire TV stick or Smart TV and a Bluetooth game controller to replay some of the games from their youth as another option.
Got any more gift ideas for the retro gaming fan in your life? Feel free to drop your suggestions in the Chatty and be sure to check out the rest of our Holiday 2018 Guides for more gift ideas.