If anyone asked me if I’m a “gamergirl” I would probably laugh at them and tell them no, I’m am not, I’m a newbie to gaming. That’s because I feel that I really am new to the world of gaming, never having owned a console properly until my recent 3DS purchase. Despite being late to the game (no pun intended), I’ve found myself really falling in love with the oldies, and this is my top 10 retro video games list that I think everyone should try playing.

10) Bomberman (1983)

I remember playing Bomberman in Vietnam with my little cousins. Most people don’t have TVs, let alone consoles, so there were cafes that just had rows of TVs and you could pick which games, like a make-shift arcade. Bomberman was popular with all of us because we only had to pay for the use of one TV, but four of us could play the game at the same time. In that sense, Bomberman was a breakthrough for multiplayer videogaming, in a time before everyone was connected to the interwebs.

9) 1942 (1984)

Every time I see this game at the arcade I can’t help myself but have a quick go. I always lose really quickly, because despite how it looks, it’s a fairly hard game. It’s a classic shoot ’em game which arcades are filled with. What draws me to 1942 above the others however is the setting. Instead of being set in space against pixelated aliens, which there are many games, 1942 is set in WW2, and the aircraft seen in the game can be linked to real life equivalent. Although a massive hit world wide, 1942 actually received bad reception in Japan where it was created, due to the fact the game is about an American plane shooting down Japanese planes.

8) SimCity (1989)

Everyone knows about The Sims, and at school nearly all my friends was obsessed with the game. While building a house and making sim people kiss each other is fun, I found SimCity, the game that started it all, much more challenging (and fun). The game was made accidentally, when the creator was trying to build a city for a bombing game, and realised he had more fun building the city than bombing it, and recreated a game dedicated to the building of. What I love about this game is how much thinking and planning you need, as well as just generally making the city look nice. It’s creative, it’s challenging and there’s a billion ways to play it.

7) Plump Pop (1987)

Plump Pop is the cute, trampoline, animal abuse, kawaii as heck version of Breakout. Sort of. It’s a crazy game where you are two parents of a young animal, and you use a trampoline held between the parents to fling your child up and collect points. If the child falls, I’m guessing it dies, and you lose. It’s silly, it’s fun and it’s not actually that easy. It’s also a fantastic two player game, where both players are on the same screen and can therefore help the other person, should their child fly over. My little sister and I play it all the time, and we have a great time doing it.

6) Donkey Kong (1981)

Donkey Kong is iconic, so much so that he’s the final boss in Adam Sandler’s new retro-game blockbuster movie Pixels. The franchise that is Donkey Kong however started in this arcade game, famous also for the fact it was Mario’s video game debut (albeit as Jumpman), it popularised the jumping mechanic so commonplace in video games today. Although I never get very far, I feel that it’s a game you can’t not play when visiting any reputable arcade. I’d say my only claim to fame in Donkey Kong however is that I once watched a guy get #8 at the arcade leader board. I then slept with him.

5) Pokemon Yellow (1998)

Pokemon is probably the video game of my generation. Every kid at school collected the cards, anyone who had a gameboy had Pokemon. Although Red/Blue was the most common game I saw, I fell in love with Pokemon Yellow, the special pikachu edition, purely for the fact pikachu followed you around everywhere. I loved playing it whilst watching the show on TV and even now, I occasionally wonder about buying the newer versions on DS. It’s not one of the biggest franchises in gaming, although the card game never did pick up over here.

4) Pac-Man (1980)

Everyone loves Pac-Man. Everyone remembers that scene from Scott Pilgrim Vs The World where Scott talks about Puc-Man. But there’s something so iconic, so loveable about the yellow pizza-inspired character that goes around eating pellets, fruit and white ghosts. The ghosts were also the first in game AI where each ghost had their own “personality” and each had a different algorithm. There’s Blinky who follows you, Pinky who ambushes you, Inky who uses Blinky’s trajectory in accordance to Pacman’s, and Clyde, who jumps between following Pac-man, and going back to his scatter point (making it look like he’s being super random). I find all the characters loveable, I like the “waka waka” noise pacman makes, and it’s one of the few arcade games where I’ve managed to get past level 2. Also I like collecting all the merchandise, of which there are many.

3) Japan World Cup 3

Japan World Cup 3 is neither a retro game, and I wouldn’t even say it’s videogame. However I’m putting it at number 3 because it’s hilarious and I love it. As a challenge, you should go and write a top 10 list, come back, watch the following video, then see if you don’t re-write that list!

2) Tetris

I had to debate which I liked more, Tetris or Pac-Man. I probably play Pac-man more often, I collect more Pac-Man related things, and I like the characters more. Yet, I always play Tetris for longer than I do Pac-Man, and there’s something much more satisfying about it. There’s also a fun facebook version of the game called Tetris Battle which I played for a while, before they updated it and made it horrible. Tetris beats Pac-Man and I can’t really tell you why, other than when I play it, I lose hours of my life, with no regrets.

1) Mr. Do!

I discovered Mr.Do! very recently and I’m in love with it. You’re Mr.Do, a clown that wants to eat cherries, whilst being chased by dinosaurs. You can kill the dinosaurs by either hitting them with the ball you hold, or by pushing an apple onto them. As you collect points by eating cherries or killing enemies, extra letters (E, X, T, R and A) come out and if you kill all the letters you gain an extra life. I love the game for it’s bright colours, fun music score and the fact you can create your own path by digging the tunnel routes. I feel that it’s a game where you can constantly come up with new methods for getting the highest score, and of course, there’s also the thrill of the chase.


  • Christopher Ragland

    I thought you did have the newer Pokemon on you 3DS, wait isn’t your #1 basically “Dig Dug”

    Well for a list of my favorite games (Retro or modern)

    10 Magic: The Gathering (the Duel’s games the just got better each year, and the new one on Steam is Free to Play)
    9 Lego Games (all but the Rock Band one)
    8 Legend of Zelda (any but the 2nd Zelda game, and the crappy one not made by Nintendo)
    7 Fable 2 (the original was good, 2nd was awesome, but the 3rd one they broke it)
    6 Assassin’s Creed 4 (they are all pretty good but 4 has pirates!!!)
    5 Saint’s Row (I’ll just count the whole franchise)
    4 GTA 5 (I count all the games that are open world)
    3 Pokemon (I’ll just count all the core pokemon games)
    2 Fallout 3
    1 Skyrim

    • Harriet Sugarcookie

      Dig Dug got more attention and popularity, but not because it’s better than Mr. Do! – I think it’s due to marketing, and partially luck and the snowball effect. Whilst Dig Dug is fun, I’ve just enjoyed Mr.Do! more, I like the characters and i like the music more. I also think there’s more creativity for gameplay.

  • NeilW

    I always enjoyed watching my kids playing (my reflexes and hand-eye coordination meant that my own efforts left them collapsed with helpless laughter). The games I have fond memories of watching (and playing very badly) were the early Sonics, Ecco the Dolphin, Wolfenstein, and Zelda/Ocarina of Time.

    My personal playing started with the first Leisure Suit Larry (when it was pretty much text-based) and ended with the third one. Very much games for people with a sense of humour looking for a bit of vicarious pixelated sex.

    Tetris is viciously addictive.

  • NeilW

    Not sure if you still get these with your console – ah, the good old days of the Commodore 64!

  • Crunchy

    The Sugarcookie plays Donkey Kong. The lady may be new to gaming, but wow. How to start.

  • Crunchy

    The Sugarcookie plays Donkey Kong. The lady may be new to gaming, but wow. How to start.

  • Dave

    My top 10 games, and by “retro” I’m gonna say pre-2000. Please note these are in no particular order.

    1. Populous 2
    2. Championship Manager 97/98
    3. Civilization
    4. Eye of the Beholder
    5. The Secret of Monkey Island (I and II)
    6. Cannon Fodder
    7. Alien Breed
    8. James Pond 2: Robocod
    9. Theme Park
    10. Frontier: Elite 2