Why are you a retro gamer?

I am interested in why some people in this community are drawn to retro games. I also am curious if any of you are exclusively retro gamers or dip into just a few retro systems and primarily play modern games. I am also curious why you choose to play retro games. For some people I know modern AAA gaming has been very stagnant and many of the advances in the industry have been how to milk more money from users.

  • I only play retro games.
  • I play modern AAA games, indie games and retro games.
  • I only play retro style & indie games and retro games.
  • I stopped playing modern games thanks to loot boxes and micro transactions.
  • I only play modern games, why am I here?

0 voters

I was very much in the cult of new. I had a soft spot for the SNES and i got back into retro completely by accident. I wanted a Wii and ended up modding it to play some emulated games on a CRT I scored almost by accident from someone for $45 (PVM14M2U). I was hooked and I wanted more which sparked me to get an Analogue NT, then a snes, then a N64 etc.

I still enjoy modern games more than retro but I spend more of my reading-about-games-time with retro because I have started to enjoy the different styles of games that I skipped in the past. Building my collection was all about getting the games I had and now I find I am often looking for things I skipped over due to funds during the era. I can’t believe how many games I found out about that I love on SNES and PS1 that weren’t my prefered Genres of the era (Fighting games, Racing games and JRPGs).

What about everyone else here? What is your story. DId you never quit retro games and just kept adding more and more consoles to your tv? Did you have some sort of midlife crisis and wanted to get back the nostalgic feelings you had?

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I play everything. I don’t play as many retro games as modern, but I am working on that with my new setup. The NES and SNES classics are really great for playing retro games on your modern setup.

I’m not a “retro gamer.” I’m old, and I like playing games, especially ones I grew up with, but I also like finding new games to play. The era they come from doesn’t matter at all. I do admit that I’m tend to wallow in nostalgia a bit too often, though, and the older I get, the more I tend to romanticize earlier eras. But I play new game releases regularly.

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I never stopped and just kept adding systems, but I also reacquired systems that were eventually sold in my childhood (Master System, Mega Drive) and then got interested in picking up stuff I missed (NES, SNES).

Then I married another crazy person who just happened to have all the systems I didn’t, and who always encouraged me to delve deeper into retro stuff, rather than discouraging me like everyone else did. The rest is history…

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I have less time for gaming as I get older. I can only have one or two modern games on the go at a time, as they seem to require more time before you get anything “out of them.” This study regarding music preference would likely yield similar results when it comes to gaming habits.

Retrogames – even games that are old but new to me – don’t seem to have the same marinating time, and I find myself enjoying them right out of the gate for the most part. This better lends itself to playing for 30 minute bursts or so.

Outside of preference of ‘classic’ genres and the low barrier to entry for short gaming sessions, I am still very fascinated by the gaming industry as it was on the 90s. Nowadays, consumers have so much information readily available to them online. Back then, everything that was fed to gaming enthusiasts was essentially through the marketing arms of the publisher via gaming magazines. I enjoy that communities such as this one are now able to look back with perspective and critically discuss the industry for what it was back then.

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I keep hoping to find one of these mythical people who encourages more game buying! For now I just control my own destiny I guess…

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I never fell out of love with the games I grew up playing really. I also like collecting and hunting, be it video games it something else, so the hobby scratches that itch for sure. But I play modern, retro, whatever.

This study is on point with my music tastes. I find a new album or two per year but I used to get a new CD every week or so back in the day.

Gaming habits have actually become more the thing i delve into. I know about most of the games coming out and I play a good chunk. I rarely finish games but I do play a lot of them until the point I can’t commit anymore time or just get bored.

My feeling about modern gaming is that they inflate the game artificially to keep you from trading it in. So I actively seek out shorter good games in the hopes that I actually finish it. The Switch has actually changed modern gaming for me. I feel that because its portable I can play it when its convenient and progress on long games is achievable if I can put 30 minutes into it on my lunch hour and play some more before bed. It has been my dream console (except it was made by Nintendo instead of Sony).

I like retro games because often times you can beat a game in one night. This is really appealing so I am drawn to action games that don’t need too much of a time commitment.

The Switch games, as is the case with many Nintendo portable games, do a great job of taking the portability into account in their designs. Yes, Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey have large quests to complete, but every moment of gameplay is broken down into much smaller chunks of things to do and saving the game is never an issue. It just happens. I love the Switch for that.

Things like ARMS, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart… they conform to that just by their design.

And even Xenoblade Chronicles 2 does a nice job of breaking itself up into areas that are sprawling yet segmented. And again, save any time you like and come back when you can. The game will wait. It’s awesome.

I’ll play just about anything I can get my hands on but I usually keep to the two game rule. A short game that can be picked up and played quickly and a long game that requires more time.

As far as game history goes I started with the 2600, moved on to the NES and SNES. After the SNES I moved to the PC until 1996/1997 when I returned to console gaming with a PS1, N64, and Saturn. I worked on arcade game preservation with MameDev in the early 2000s mostly avoiding consoles until I picked up an Xbox, Gamecube and PS2 in 2002. I didn’t playing anything older than the Dreamcast until 2008 when I found a Genesis 1 + Power Base converter at the local thirft shop. The shop gave me the wrong PSU and when I returned it they gave me a NES, SNES and a Genesis game as an apology. Lately I’ve been expanding to stuff I’ve never played before like the C64 or MSX2. It’s exciting to go back and see what I missed out on.

It’s so much more than that though. Before we met I legit felt bad for liking games. Like soul-crushingly bad. It makes such a difference in your life when you have someone who sees you repairing a DS Lite and thinks you’re cool.

This could probably do with its own thread though :sweat_smile:

Hey…I think that’s COOL AS SHIT.

My wife thinks my hobby is pointless ;_;

I just felt really burned out on modern games. In fact I quit gaming all together for ~2 years when I was around 25. It wasn’t an active decision or a goal it just slowly happened. Eventually I realized I hadn’t used my PC for games in a long time so I sold it. My ps3 was serving duty as a bluray /Netflix machine.

Then for some odd reason I decided to play Earthbound on an emulator on my phone. I have no idea what prompted me to do this. I had never played it before, I had never even owned a snes and outside of chrono trigger I didn’t like jrpgs at that time.

But Earthbound grabbed me like a drug. I was obsessed and after beating it I decided I was a gamer again!

Except I was bored with everything I played untill a little game called Shovel Knight came out on WiiU. I bought it launch day and was quickly engrossed in it and even 100% it which is rare for me.

Shovel Knight made me realise I wasn’t done with gaming. I was just bored of what gaming had turned into. Season passes and dlc had soured me on alot of it but the experiences locked behind that just weren’t any fun to me anymore. Lootboxes AND F2P have pushed me away even further.

I started discovering all the games Shovel Knight was early inspired by and that led me down the retro gaming path and it’s just kind of snowballed from there. Outside of Nintendo and Naughty Dog there’s not alot of new AAA out there that interests me. That Yakuza games look great and Horizon was a pleasent surprise as well.

I’ve really become a big indie snob as that’s the space that’s making games that appeal to me these days. There’s so many interesting and fun looking indie games coming out every week it’s impossible to keep up. It killed me how everyone shit on the vita for being an “indie machine” when I’d take a Undertale or a Stardew valley over Assassins Creed or Call a Dooty any day.

I want to fill in more detail, and I might link to some of my older rants but for now I’ll leave it at this:

I play modern games but I think it’s important to note that most games today aren’t made the same as they used to be. They’re very different from the experiences I grew up with.

It’s a reality of high budget games that they need to appeal to a very broad audience, and the result has been a lot of really samey games fitting the cinematic open-world shooter with RPG elements mold plus or minus a few things.

There are a handful of series, mostly very old ones that don’t change much and often made by Nintendo, that I still like, and sure there are lots of indie games (though so many that I tend to ignore-by-default unless proven they’re really well made) but it’s just different from the old days.

So that’s why I play retro games.

The hype made me sick. People seeing a prerendered teaser and going crazy about it. I am of the opinion that if a game is good, it will still be good ten years after its release. It allows me to weed out games, even popular ones, that were overhyped and ultimately just more of the same, average gameplay with temporarily good graphics.

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Oh no. I know exactly what you mean. My ex was often very derogatory toward my hobby, even when it was helping pay the bills (I got paid $400 a page for magazine reviews and previews for like eight years). I’m still in a sort of shellshocked state years later.

Someday I’ll find someone that truly gets it, although mid-40s limits that likelihood. Anyway, glad you don’t have to worry about that!

As for why I’m a retro gamer… it’s kinda been my thing since the beginning. I have never tired of videogames from any era. I still seek out arcades. I play games from every console era. I just love videogames. It’s been my life-long hobby. I was lucky enough to spend a number of years writing about them professionally and it’ll always be the best “job” I ever had even if it never evolved beyond part-time.


Like word for word. Even down to the knowing that some of my enjoyment comes from nostalgia. It doesn’t matter and I don’t overthink it. The only thing I regret is that I don’t have enough time and/or will to get to all the games I want to.

I’ve found another way to deal with that kind of thing. Being comfortable with being alone. :3

Life long gamer here, started with the NES, and got into game development in my adulthood. I play lots of modern games and enjoy the occasional trip down memory lane. My favorite thing though is to find really good old games that I never played when I was young. It’s great to have a new experience on an old format.

As a game developer I love seeing what they were able to do with such limited resources. The NES specifically is a lot of fun to delve into. Tons of absolutely amazing titles that were true works of art and technical achievement.

Piles and piles of trash on that system too. It was the wild west back then, they were trying everything and trying to see what the game industry was going to be after the Atari crash. Such a cool era to explore.

I enjoy playing on my old PVM, and I enjoy playing around with upscalers and seeing what those old games look like upscaled through my frame meister and Analogue NT.

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What a dummy, I impulse-voted #2 without even reading #3, lol. :man_facepalming:

That said - on top of having been into classic arcade-styled games pretty much since forever - I just lost interest in modern offerings.
The core element that made me fall in love with videogames, when I was a kid - 2D graphics and pixel art, which literally introduced me into brand new worlds I had never even imagined before - got set aside in favour of something else that just stopped to impress me, eventually. For some reason, what more and more advanced specs brought to the table did little to nothing to me, in order to keep me excited about the newest product. I can sincerely admit I don’t even care too much about new concepts anymore, as I’m totally happy to simply rediscover and enjoy what I couldn’t have back then - a large collection of Mega Drive and Saturn titles, for example - systems I couldn’t afford that I would’ve loved to own - like the Mega/Sega CD - or stuff I neglected for many reasons (the original PlayStation, the Nintendo 64…).
I also find a million times more compelling and satisfying to hunt and find something retro from my wishlist, compared to when I simply went down the street and grabbed the latest PS3/360 hot title.

It’s kinda odd to say, but retrogaming still has so much ‘new’ to give me, that I don’t miss at all owning anything more modern than a New 3DS XL.

I have always played new and old games. I have always tended to play current gen games most since there’s more stuff I haven’t played before. But I often enjoy talking about older games more since I like the history aspect.