Why Are Retro Games So Popular To This Day

September 19, 2022

Written by Ella Rebecca Horton

Ella Rebecca has been in love with the horror genre since an early age. The Bride of Frankenstein began her love of the classics and she's been writing and collecting since.

There is no doubt that retro games are popular. Just look at the number of people queuing up for the latest retro game release, or the time people spend on retro gaming websites. But what is it about retro games that makes them so appealing? This article will discuss some of the reasons retro games are so popular to this day.



Playing an old game is much cheaper than investing in new ones. The people from TheOldSchoolGameVault.com know how much it costs to gear up and buy new releases all the time. However, getting an old console along with some fun retro games can save you a lot of money and ensure hours of fun.


This affordability is a key reason why retro gaming has become so popular in recent years. It’s easy to get started without spending a lot of money, and there are plenty of great games to choose from. 





Never underestimate the power of nostalgia as people tend to get attached to everything that reminds them of their childhood or happy memories in general. It’s no wonder that a lot of people are into playing retro games as it brings back all those good feelings. And with the recent trend of remaking old classics, even more, people are getting into it!


There’s also something to be said about the “simpler” times when games didn’t have to be so complex and over-the-top. A lot of people enjoy going back to a time when gaming was more about fun and less about having mind-blowing graphics. Whatever the reason may be, there’s no doubt that retro games will continue to be popular for years to come!



There’s a huge gap in the complexity of modern games compared to old releases. These details are the following:


  • Storytelling has replaced gameplay as the primary focus in many recent titles. 
  • Open-world games have become the norm, which means there are often too many things to do and see in a single playthrough. 
  • The graphics and capabilities of current consoles are so realistic that they can sometimes be overwhelming.
  • Updates and downloads are constantly being released for these newer games, which can be frustrating for players.


On the other hand, simplicity was a core component of early video games. Players were given one task and they had to figure out how to complete it using basic controls. There wasn’t much room for error, which made the challenge all the more rewarding. 


A Challenge 

Retro games are usually a lot harder than newer ones. They don’t have things like tutorials, and the learning curve is a bit steeper. This can be a turn-off for a lot of people, but for others, it’s a huge draw.


There’s something satisfying about picking up an old game and finally conquering it after hours or days of struggling. It feels like you’ve accomplished something, and that sense of accomplishment is a big part of why retro games are so popular even today.


For example, old platformers like Super Mario Bros. are a lot harder than newer ones. In the original game, you only had three lives to get through the entire thing. Nowadays, you can usually get unlimited lives or at least a lot more than three.



YouTube gamers are often breathing new life into old games. These influencers will often start playing an older game and then their followers will go out and buy that game so they can play along. This is how a lot of people have discovered some amazing classic games that they never would have played otherwise. 


YouTubers are also great at giving tips and tricks on how to get further in a game or how to beat a difficult level. They make it look easy and fun, which makes viewers want to try the game for themselves.


Many YouTube gamers have retro gaming sections on their channel where they regularly upload videos of themselves playing classic games. Some of them are even focused solely on them. 


The Aesthetics

The aesthetics of retro games are so popular that modern developers are even bringing them back in their new releases. It’s not just the look of the games, but the feel of them too. The sense of nostalgia that comes with playing a game that you used to play as a kid is undeniable.


For example, Minecraft, one of the most popular games of all time, was heavily inspired by retro games. The blocky graphics are reminiscent of early console games like Super Mario Bros. And the gameplay is very similar to that of older titles as well.


Retro games are seemingly always in-style because of how affordable they are. The sense of nostalgia makes the players want to re-experience these releases and they’re much simpler than modern ones. These old games seem to be much more difficult than modern ones and YouTubers love playing them as well. Finally, the aesthetics are so eye-catching that people still make games inspired by the style!

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