Nostalgia is defined as: pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again. We as gamers often apply that to games that we really love that are from years past. We take a slight liberty with that definition and just apply it to any games we have fond memories of or just really enjoyed. Or at least that's what I do...

So my goal for this blog is to count down my most nostalgic games. It's the games that I have the best memories of from my childhood. These are the games that I have gone back and played again and again or have had a strong desire to play again. This is solely based on my opinion and experiences, so if you disagree then that's fine. Just don't get mad at me. There really is no tangible quality that you can put on Nostalgia, but it is a powerful force, one that I hope to exemplify here.  


10.) Rouge Squadron- Nintendo 64


This is THE Star Wars game that everyone remembers so fondly from the 64 bit era. Rogue Squadron put you behind the seat of an X-wing and had you fight the tyrannical empire. It was an amazing experience the first time you played it, and it still brings back memories to this day. I never got incredibly far into Rogue Squadron, because I certainly wasn't any good at the game. Still, I remember those opening moments on Tatooine very fondly. Flying over the cities, avoiding the hills of the desert, hunting down probe droids; it all left a noticeable impression on me. I could probably still navigate that first level perfectly, that's how much I played it.


9.) X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse- Super Nintendo


This game was one of those that I played again and again. It is by no means the best game in the world, but I loved X-men and I loved the idea of being able to play as all of these different characters and use their unique abilities. Gambit was always my favorite followed by Wolverine. I thoroughly enjoyed the different stages, bosses, and combos, even though it really was a standard fare side scrolling action game. What I enjoyed most was the crazy boss fights, whether it be sentinel, a gunship, or some other crazy fight, they were always tons of fun.  


8.) Banjo Kazooie- Nintendo 64


If you don't know why this game is nostalgic, then you've clearly never played it. This game oozes charm, much like all of Rare's games. You're a bear named Banjo who plays a Banjo and travels with a wacky bird named Kazooie. If that isn't charming, then I don't know what is! The game also plays really well, controls nicely, and has some interesting platforming elements to it. It also has plenty of comedic value in its characters and worlds. Kazooie is still one of the most sarcastic a-holes around. Unfortunately, I never beat it, but I've had plenty of fun with what I have played. It's certainly a game I'll remember fondly for its quirky demeanor and solid platforming.


7.) Dragon Ball Z: Budokai- Playstation 2


Dragon Ball Z is basically my entire childhood. I know the series like the back of my hand, seen practically every episode, and have played numerous games inspired by the series. This one ranks among the most nostalgic because it’s the first that I had ever played. Taking control of my favorite characters and mastering their moves felt incredibly satisfying. Reliving the classic battles of the series, but actually being able to control them and fight the villains of the series blew my childhood mind. Later games in the series may be more enjoyable and better games, but this one will live on in my mind forever.


6.) Spider-Man- N64 and Playstation 1


Spider-Man is one of the few games that I actually own two copies of. I loved the game enough that I bought it on PS1 as well as the N64. I ended up playing the 64 version more for some reason, even though the PS1 version is probably the superior game. I guess I didn’t really understand that as a kid and just liked the bright red cartridge. This game was like a dream come true for me. I loved the freedom and adrenaline that came with running through the city, swinging across buildings, and scaling the walls of offices and construction work. The bosses were some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a game. Finally, Spiderman is just hilarious. Can’t beat that.


5.) Mega Man X-2- Super Nintendo


I never experienced those classic Mega Man games that people rave about like Mega Man 2. I did however play the ever living hell out of Megaman X-2. Never did I play a game that I knew as well as X-2, except for maybe Super Mario World. I always had a plan of how to approach the levels, who to fight first, what powers I would use, and what's funny is that I didn't even know the proper order. It's a game that still plays just as well as it used to and it always brings back memories of joy and discovery.

4.) Kingdom Hearts- Playstation 2

Listen to the first notes of Simple and Clean play through your TV and you’ll immediately be reminded of countless hours traveling through Disney inspired worlds and defeating villains from classic Disney movies. Being a huge fan of both Disney and Square, this was a match made in heaven. It’s a game that is the definition of fun. The story is crazy, nonsensical, but heartwarming at the same time. The action is ridiculous and completely over the top. Plus, how is fighting dragon maleficent with Donald and Goofy at your side not nostalgic?


3.) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time- Nintendo 64


You all knew a Zelda game was going to be on this list, and Ocarina of Time is the perfect candidate. For me, like many, this game was an introduction to the world of 3D gaming. Going through the Deku Tree and solving all of its ingenious puzzles really brought a since of depth to gaming that had never been seen before. Jumping through the spider web at the base of the tree still “wow’s” me any time I play through it. The fairytale qualities of this game make it all the more memorable. The Evil villain taking over the world, the princess secretly aiding the hero, and most importantly; the hero succeeding in all of his tasks and defeating the villain with grand spectacle. The gameplay is fantastic, the dungeon design is extraordinary, and the writing is classic. Even the music in this game is enough to bring a rush of memories from my childhood.


2.) Pokemon Yellow- Gameboy Color

Pokemon Yellow was the very first game I ever owned, so that is enough right there to make it nostalgic, but of course there’s more! Pokemon Yellow is the game that mimics the anime closest. Your character is given a Pikachu that follows you around, you collect all of the “starters,” and you fight your rival, which has a very similar party to the anime. This immediately appealed to me as a child, as I always enjoyed the anime. I played through this game dozens of times, creating different parties that would ultimately lead me to victory. This game also created a bond with my cousin, who helped me through the beginning when I was too young to really understand it. I played the game so much that even when the battery died, I kept playing and I still start new games that I know I’ll never finish because it’s so good. Enough said.


1.)    Super Mario World- Super Nintendo



The most Nostalgic Game I’ve ever played is a Mario game, surprised, I thought not. Super Mario World is the pinnacle of platforming. The level design is flawless, it’s super colorful, the platforming is tight, it has great bosses, and is immensely charming. The soundtrack is endearing and listening to any track will make you recall the level, enemies, bosses, or whatever it represents. This game consumed many hours of my life, to the point that I have the first several worlds memorized down to a science. The game gets really tough towards the end as well, and surprisingly I just recently finished it. It still holds up perfectly. It hasn’t lost a beat throughout the years. My Super Nintendo broke when I was young so I got a replacement and in the system, on the TV when I came down that Christmas morning, Super Mario World was playing and nearly complete. I had no idea how this had happened (I had no knowledge of used games) and I literally thought Santa Claus had played this game when he dropped it off. I spent years trying to complete that file as well as trying to beat my own, until I finally restarted and actually went through the entire game, finally finishing it last year. It was incredibly satisfying and reminded me of all those days playing this fantastic game.

My experience with games is probably drastically different than your own, so please, list those games that make you wax nostalgia and relive your younger days of gaming. Any glaring omissions from my list? Anything on here that you hate? I want your interactions guys! Thanks!