8 of the most addictive retro video games of all time

By 11.19.12
8 of the most addictive retro video games of all time

BPS, or "Before PlayStation," most games were tougher, simpler and more addictive. Sure, that could be argued by the most socially inept World of Warcraft player or the most bro'd out Call of Duty advocate, but honestly, what old gamer can endure hearing game titles like Tetris or Pac-Man without getting that thousand yard stare? What retro video games have taken over your life?

Photo credit: YouTube


As far as run n' gun games go, Contra was king. Unlimited ammo, 8-direction mobility, colorful graphics, upgradeable weapons and two-player co-op made this a game you could easily lose yourself in time and time again.

Photo credit: YouTube

'Oregon Trail'

Goddamn you, Oregon Trail. Why did you have to make computer class so much fun that we needed to bring you home to play on our old PowerMacs and IBM desktops? Was it the hunting? The exciting journey? The dying of dysentery? It was probably the dying of dysentery.

Photo credit: YouTube

'Donkey Kong Country'

It's impossible to play Donkey Kong Country without getting irritated, but it's the irritation that drives you to excel, making you proud for completing particularly tough sequences. Personally, Donkey Kong games have provided me with a lot of fun over the years, but also, admittedly, so much stress that I swear I'd lay down for bed, close my eyes and see nothing but barrels and bananas.

Photo credit: YouTube

'Super Mario Bros. 3'

Big, bright and bouncy, SMB3's extraordinarily fun gameplay practically forced gamers to hunker down over the soft glow of their TV screens, jamming away on their controllers until even their blisters had blisters. Worth it.

Photo credit: YouTube

'Super Metroid'

Super Metroid took a hold of us with an obsession unlike most other games; not only did we want to get to the end (so we could see if Samus would take off her suit for a nice, post-mission shower) but there were so many upgrades and items that beating the game wasn't enough. We wanted to finish it with 100% item completion as well.

Photo credit: YouTube


Pac-Man was easy to form an addiction to because it's so simple, yet so difficult. It seems like you should be able to get all the little yellow dots and cherries without much trouble, but no, those ghosts will maze-fuck you time and time again. And this game had over 250 levels, so let that sink in.

Photo credit: YouTube


Nothing could ever be as gratifying as seeing that straight line come down from the heavens (or you know, the top of your screen) when you needed it most. Tetris came bundled with the Game Boy back in the 80's and provided the perfect introduction to becoming a gamer. Such a tough puzzle game with such amazingly festive Russian music, Tetris spurred us to continually try and best our own high scores. Hell, even my mom who had never played a video game in her life got addicted to Tetris. I'm not ashamed to say that she was much better than I was.

Photo credit: YouTube

'Space Invaders'

In retrospect, this fixed-movement, slow-paced game seems like it'd be an easy, bore-fest. But it wasn't at all. We were the protectors of earth, given a single laser cannon to defend against the onslaught of the alien invasion. Nothing changed...not your weapons, not the enemy types and not the settings, so players could easily go into a trance, blasting away for hours. Need proof? In Space Invaders grossed $2 billion in its first four years in the arcades...all from quarters.

Photo credit: YouTube

TAGSArbitrary RankingsContrafeaturedListsOld school video gamesOregon TrailPac-Manspace invaderssuper mario bros 3super metroidTetris

I want more like this!

Follow us on Facebook and get the latest before everyone else.

Join The Discussion

Comments are closed.