Gaming is a hobby that has spanned the decades. The first videogame was invented way back when in 1958. It was a tennis themed game that looked a lot like the pong game that came years later. Videogaming only grew from there. Back then, that was the pinnacle of technology. Now we have gaming systems like the Nintendo Switches and crazy VR headsets. Those futuristic dreams we all had as children are finally here.
But let’s take a step back, because if you grew up playing videogames like I did, then you know a thing or two about the nostalgia and the sweet, sweet memories of those gaming systems that helped you through boredom and the worst of days.
The Atari 2600
Maybe you and your videogames go way back. Back to those days when Pong and Millipede were your favorite games. They were all simple, but so addicting. They were not games you could get lost it and enjoy the storytelling of, but they were games that just focused on building a skill—often a very useless one—but oh yes, that is what made them so addictive. It’s not easy to find one of these babies anymore, but the games have lasted forever. Space Invaders is still everywhere and for good reason.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Admittedly, this great beast of a console was released just a little bit before my time. My father was the first to snag his own back in the 1980’s and he has all those good memories of playing the original and infamous Duck Hunt back with the college buddies. Around 2009, my brother and I were digging through boxes when we discovered this great relic. We booted her up and dug through the old games. We sat there for hours playing the Legend of Zelda on that dusty old console. And you bet we still have it and play it.
The Sega Genesis
If you loved the Sega games, then this baby was on your shelf. Who could forget those Sega classics like Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat? Those were the games we spent hours playing. The nostalgia is so powerful because I don’t know many people who don’t have a great fondness for Sonic and his friends. Sega had made attempts at console releases before, but Nintendo always got in the way. The Genesis was really a game changer for Sega.
The Nintendo 64
Comparatively, this twenty-one-year-old console is just a baby, but this is truly the console that rocked almost everyone’s socks off until we were cold and shivering. I have three of them from years of being a fan and I still play on them when I have the chance. The original games for the Nintendo 64 were out of this world. We got a Donkey Kong classic with an amazing multiplayer mechanic (I still hear the theme music in my nightmares), that classic Mario Kart and plenty of Mario Parties. Super Smash Bros. made it’s gaming debut and we got that first really gorgeous 64-bit masterpiece that was the Ocarina of Time and its disturbing N64 sequel, Majora’s ask. You can argue with me, but this really was the golden age.
The Game Boy Color
I’m a Nintendo Fan, alright? I loved my Gameboy Color and as an adult with a job and a life, I still always get the newest portable Nintendo consoles. Those early memories of Pokémon Red and Blue have made me a fan for life who goes to adult functions in Pikachu-patterned socks. The Gameboy Color had so much more, though. It had Kirby and Tetris and Metroid. Those were the games, and oh, what a time to be alive. How can you forget that disgustingly-bright yet dull casing the console had? Mine was the brightest of all the yellows. It was truly a treasure.
There are more, certainly, but these are the old school consoles that I think can’t be beat. They were innovative, well-received, and most importantly, they were the most fun. Feeling nostalgic? Go boot up your favorite old school gaming console. New graphics are incredible, but there’s something so classic and simple about the early games.