Feb 03 2011

The Five Games I Miss the Most

Published by at 12:00 pm under Lists,Video Games

I recently popped on my N64 the other day, and played something OTHER than Super Smash Bros. A wave of nostalgia hit me so hard, it inspired me to write this post.

I just got to thinking about titles I really miss. Now, I’m not using this post to say “oh boo hoo there aren’t any good games anymore.” There are plenty. I’m only saying I miss these titles, and I feel some of the genres featured here have gone by the wayside in favor of what’s currently popular.

See if my picks ring any bells for you as well.

Starfox 64

Due to a household ban that left me without a video game console until my teens, Starfox 64 was the first game I ever owned, and it’s also one of my favorites.

For the life of me, I will never understand why this game was never given a proper sequel. Nintendo brought all of its franchises into the modern era, Mario, Metroid, Zelda, but not Starfox. Why? It had a cast of memorable characters, was a blast to play and there really wasn’t much else like it.

Why has this genre of space-shooters seem to have gone away. I also remember playing Rogue Squadron on Nintendo 64 which was equally as fun, but I’ll be damned if I can name a similar title in the current console generation. Starfox definitely needs a comeback.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Few games bring back better memories than Sonic. I still have every audio track embedded in my head, and the games were just perfect back in the days when Genesis was king.

But what happened? How could a franchise get this horribly mangled? It seemed like Sega had a Mario competitor on their hands, but as those titles evolved, Sonic, against his nature, stood still. Flash forward to today where announcements of a new Sonic game elicits more groans than anything else. It’s sad to see such a storied franchise reduced to this.

In general, I don’t think they make games like this anymore. Kid-friendly platformers aren’t at all what they used to be, and Rachet and Clank and Jax and Daxter are in no way going to be memorable icons years from now. Have we lost our ability to create classics in this genre?

Goldeneye

Your initial experience with first person shooters might have been Doom, Wolfenstein or Quake. Mine was Goldeneye, and I couldn’t imagine ever playing a cooler game.

I miss that sense of wonder that accompanied my entire first playthrough of this game, or the first time I went at it with my friends in multiplayer. Today there are more FPS games than any other type, and they’re all starting to blur together as everyone copies either the Halo or Call of Duty formulas (which are copies of older games themselves) in order to try and find the next big hit.

Online multiplayer has really affected the play experience as well. Your biggest competition used to be your big brother, but now it’s some 12 year old in Arkansas calling you a “faggot” as he teabags your corpse. So much for the age of innocence.

Mortal Kombat

I know there’s a die-hard contingent of gamers who still play fighting games religiously, but in terms of being a mainstream genre, it’s star has faded a bit.

But I remember back when Mortal Kombat was the most shocked I’d ever been in my life. Naturally, I was playing it when I was way, way too young for it, but it was my first real exposure to video game violence.

Thankfully I didn’t grow up to be a serial killer or cannibal, but I did get desensitized to virtual violence like this pretty quickly. Now the series is trying to push the bounds using “X-Ray Moves” that I showcased yesterday, and it’s a lot lamer than the developers think it is.

Streets of Rage

Like the platformer, this is another genre that really took a hit when everything became 3D. Side scrolling beat-em-ups used to be a staple of every old console, and Streets of Rage was among my favorites. It was the perfect co-op game, something else that’s all but gone out the window these days, and required actual teamwork to beat.

There really aren’t games like this anymore. The closest I can think of something like it would be Marvel Ultimate alliance, but it’s a far cry from the fun these titles used to be.

I would love for a studio to update this franchise correctly and have me walking around city streets, picking up random weapons and using them on enemies while I play with my friends. Seems simplistic now, but it’s a genre that doesn’t need to die.

Which games do you miss the most?





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38 responses so far

  • Captain Awesome

    Definitely Streets of Rage and Starfox are ringing true for me.

  • jb

    oh starfox. I remember getting every medal for every difficulty level of that game. highest replay value of almost any game I ever owned.

    also, I remain undefeated for like 15 years at dogfighting. one of the best games ever

  • Mikey

    You are now my most favorite person ever. I’m glad you put a picture of SF64 at the top. That was my favorite game on the 64, next to Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. My friend and I played the shit out of it. We played every path, several times. We also got the “on-foot” mode in multiplayer, which took forever, but we got it. I’m with you, bring out a proper sequel!

    I miss T&C Surf Design. That was one of the first games I had for the NES. It was hard as hell, but fun to beat

  • JB

    I totallly agree on streets of rage. 2 player co-op at its best. The closest thing we have now I think would be Gears of War. Playing that co-op with my cousin is the closest I get to the nosalgia of the old days.

  • Steve

    None of them because I still play them to this day. On emulator of course. They do still bring back nostalgic feelings of being a kid again. Except for Super Metroid, as it’s my favorite game ever and have played it at least once a month ever since it was released.
    The only “recent” games I play are Resident Evil remake, Resident Evil 4, Ace Combat 4, and Need for Speed Hot Pursuit 2 (came out in 2002). When my brother still lived at home I’d play his Ninja Gaiden every once in a while. We played RE5 together, but overall that game sucked and we ended up only playing the Mercenaries missions.

  • Rh

    If you miss beat’em ups get The Warriors for ps2. Or God Hand. But God Hand is more like a cross of Final Fight and Super Punch Out.
    I really missed Contra untill I played Vanquish, its completely different but feels the same.

  • Comfortable Madness

    Great list. I miss the original Resident Evil and Soul Caliber for Dreamcast. I argue to this day that SC was the most addicting fighting games ever created. With the 360 degree movement and fluid combos I just couldnt get enough of it.

  • Perry

    I grabbed Final Fantasy Tactics and and emulator the other day and am reliving some excellent times. By far my favorite of the franchise.

  • erica

    Ohh Goldeneye…I was one of those annoying people who played the game so much I knew where you’d reanimate after I killed you. It kind of took the fun out of playing for my friends…

    I miss Wave Race. Is that sad?

    And POKEMON SNAP. Playing the pokeflute to get Snorlax to dance..classic.

  • Greg

    I really miss Ocarina of Time. It was such a great game, and introduced us to so many of the control and gameplay schemes that are the norm for 3D gaming. It was an action/adventure game with an RPG-like feel. So many RPG games just seem to go on forever with no real goal at the end, and SO many cookie-cutter sidequests that you lose sight of what you are doing. OoT had an appropriate number of sidequests (Skullutllas, bottles, etc), and the main game was outstanding.

  • BOLT

    Phenomenal list…BTW wasn’t Starfox the first game to come out with the rumble pack?
    I think it’s weird that everybody used to play inverted for Golden Eye and now inverted is foreign to me
    Also, for some reason I still know the unlock all levels code for Sonic… Up down left right A start…hasn’t been the same since

  • Anon E. Moose

    All of those, with the exception of Starfox(never got really into it), are some of my all time favorites. As a matter of fact, I have been revisiting some of these, namely Streets of Rage and Sonic, and you know what I noticed? Comparing those to some recently released games the oldies are HARD as fuck! There is no checkpointing ever 10 feet, you are not getting held by the hand in every encounter, you have a set number of lives, once they go you start right back at the top.
    And Mortal Kombat? When you lose to Shao Khan you can just prepare for another 20 minutes to rip through Scorpion and the gang.

  • SLippYRulezzz

    I love Starfox so much, I wanna take it behind a middle school and get it pregnant. Seriously…Best. Game. Ever. You can beat it in an hour, but I don’t know a game from that era that I played more (on my own…because I DID play the beloved Goldeneye with my siblings for hours on end). Starfox is the only game that I can quote almost every line, and I often still do. “Fox! Get this guy off me!” MUCH LOVE!!!

    I pretty much agree with the rest of the list. Wasn’t huge into Mortal Kombat, but I enjoyed it. Sonic was the shiz. I remember being eight years old and being the only kid in a group of seven or eight boys who could pass the first level. Yeah. I rock that much. And Streets of Rage…good times. My brother and I would waste those sons of guns. But, oh man, Goldeneye. How can any game ever compare? It’s still the pinnacle of FPS in my heart. Every game before was only leading up to it. Every game since is but a copy of it. Goldeneye it all right: single player, multiplayer, cheat codes, replay value. Would that this chair I sit in were a time chair!

  • Bert

    @ erica – I’m pretty sure that’s why they came up with proximity mines ;) Man, I loved hiding those either in the reanimation spots, under stairs, behind a door, or my favourite – right below the ammo boxes.

  • http://www.ppcomics.com xtheenderx

    Although I loved Starfox64, there’s nothing more annoying then hearing, “Do a barrel roll!”

  • trashcanman

    The problem with having Link, Mario, and Samus constantly hyped is that Nintendo has no need to focus on other nostalgic classics like Starfox and Kid Icarus. Are they going to push aside another guaranteed mainstream smash to feed our nostalgia? Prolly not. Man, the original Starfox blew my effing mind when I played it. 64 was great as well, but the SNES version was so far and above anything of the type I’d played at the times it was crazy. Ditto Goldeneye on the 64.

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    @xtheenderx

    Yeah, but when did doing a barrel roll in that game NOT solve all of your problems?

  • Nick D Pags

    You can download Star Fox 64/Lylat Wars and Streets of Rage 1,2 and 3 on the Wii’s Virtual Console, which I have actually done.
    It’s awesome.
    Nintendo actually does re-release most of it’s games regularly.
    Call it a cheap cash in strategy but seriously, sometimes I love nothing better than having a working version of a game from yesteryear.

  • agon23

    I def. got to disagree with the comment about rachet and clank. I personally find their games not only fun but the characters are well written. I mean who doesn’t love Capt. Qwark. That being said I agree with Starfox 64 and Sonic. Never played golden eye and i was more of a final fight fan.

  • Rosstopher

    CRASH BANDICOOT
    Never had the N64, and he was the closest thing to Mario Sony had. The racing game was tons of fun, even if it was a rip off.

  • http://www.adoghowls.com Mike D.

    BEST LIST EVER!

    My heart feels broken after reading this list because I don’t play any of these games anymore, nor do I have the consoles to play these games anymore…

    Thanks for the heartbreak.

  • xXburekXx

    diddy kong racing, i would love to see an updated version with online and better graphics, that and tmnt arcade, all the other games (star craft, donkey kong country returns, side scrolling mario) are making a come-back, and i think its great, show this generation of gamers that you dont need a gun to have fun, hell i still play pokemon stadium and have a blast

  • FR

    Good article, however, StarFox has had proper sequels. There was StarFox adventure (which is a sort of sequel so doesn’t really count), but then there was StaFox Assault on the GameCube and Command on the DS… They are proper sequels.

  • http://marcandrelavigne.wordpress.com/ Ma_Lavigne

    GoldenEye Sixty-Fouuuuuuuuur! :)
    3 months ago I bought the remake on Wii. I can tell that the multiplayer mode was way more fun back in the days on the 64!
    I miss this game… I’ll get it on Ebay right now! :)
    But by the way, Perfect Dark was really good too!

  • michael

    Starfox 64 is getting a port/remake on the upcoming 3DS. I don’t think I love it enough to buy it though. I’m more excited about playing Ocarina of Time in 3D.

  • Natalie

    I can’t tell you how much I miss Goldeneye…to this day one of my favorite games. I’m also having an intense feeling of N64 nostalgia! I still have my N64, but unfortunately my goldeneye game cartridge (haha remember cartridges?) has gone missing over the years. It’s time I found a replacement so I can play it again!

  • http://onlineflashgamereviews.blogspot.com Arjun

    I loved sonic the hedgehog and mortal kombat very much. Sonic was the coolest game I had ever played in my childhood. Really good music. Mortal Kombat was also a very good game. I wish I could play sonic the hedgehog now. Do you know if it is still available for download or not??

  • Bob

    What about Superman for the N64? Is Nintendo still approving piles of shit?

  • XCWarrior

    You put Star Fox on any l list and you have my vote!

  • Deezle

    2 words…Mario…Kart…

  • Glynn

    I recently had the same memories as you, but mine was for the SNES in general. An emulator doesn’t have the same effect as holding a solid snes paddle…Yes, paddle. After some Ebay tag, I got one for 60 bones. I think when I traded mine in back in the day I only got 5 for it, and a buck a game towards the PS1. I kind of wish I would of just held onto it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/thenintendodrummer mark

    Good article, I couldn’t agree more with your choice of Streets of Rage 2. This game had an amazing soundtrack that I still listen to. Mortal Kombat is also another game that has and will continue to stand the test of time. Personally, I would like to see a Ninja Gaiden 8-bit remake similar to how they did MegaMan 9 and 10.

  • greg

    battletoads for nes. so challenging and difficult, but i can’t stop playing. still haven’t beat it in all these years

  • http://www.jockjerseys.com/flash/ cory

    OMG, what great memories… Goldeneye was freakin’ awesome after pounding a half case of beer & shooting up your buddies in multi-player.

    Starfox was a classic as well, but once you beat it the game loses a lot of value (like a lot of games).

    Thx for the great moment in time :P

  • http://twitter.com/psdeuce psdeuce

    Where’s Altered Beast?

  • Vasarcdus

    For side scrolling beat-em-ups, they haven’t died, they’ve just slipped into the obscurity of download content. Scott Pilgrim and Castle Crashers are modern ones that kick a lot of ass.
    Also Sonic is finally releasing a sequel that i just an update of the original side-scroller style with fresh graphics. Stoked about that.

  • Charlie Ward

    My brother and I just re-played the first two “Streets of Rage” games and were actually wondering why no one had ever tried bringing it back. Someone start a petition or something. THIS is the issue that will decide the 2012 election.

  • Dave

    I have my origianl Xbox chipped and used solely for emulators these days. It’s nice to go back to the good old days every now and again!

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