Do you remember playing Pac-Mac, Mario, Sonic, and many others from the ’90s? I am sure the nostalgia must be kicking in by now. The games that we have today on our mobiles are not even close to what we played on our retro gaming consoles. But hold on! I have created this exclusive list of all the best old-school retro video games you will love.
We are taking a trip down memory lane and going to explore the games that fit right in the palm of your hand. Even if you are new to this or an avid fan like me, these games are just as fun as they were back then.
I call it the golden era of gaming. The simple joy of using a joystick and playing for hours not only for entertainment but being competitive too with our siblings was the best time of our lives. Although the games now are exceptional, with state-of-the-art graphics, have you ever played intense arcade games on those big machines?
So, let us not waste any more time and check out the best old-school retro games.
Pac-Man was first released back in 1980 and has become an iconic symbol of arcade gaming. This classic game is back on your smartphones. And after playing it for months now, I can say this is far better than I thought.
Not only can you enjoy the original classic arcade mode, but the mobile version features new modes, mazes, stories, and so much more. The core idea of the gameplay remains the same where you guide Pac-Man through a maze filled with pellets while running from the ghostly creatures.
The mobile adaptation of this game comes with its own versions of power-ups and other new features to make it more interesting. Moreover, the game ensures to create a social and competitive environment for players by passing leaderboards and achievements at each level.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic
The infamous Sonic The Hedgehog 2 Classic is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. It was released back in 1992 and now can be played by millions on your smartphones. This game is all about speed and controlling Sonic while collecting coins on the way.
The controls on mobile are smooth and responsive, making it easy to perform Sonic’s signature moves like the spin dash and super-fast running. You will come across the pixel art style of the original game that might bring nostalgia.
Moreover, the audio effect of the game of collecting rings and running around makes it enjoyable. You can run through multiple zones, including the twelve Badnik-infested zones, underwater caverns, neon-lit casinos, and many more.
Furthermore, you can even compete online in the Time-attack mode as well as the Boss Attack Mode to gain points and achievements. Although the game has ads in its free versions, you can also get the ad-free version through other in-app purchases.
This is one of my favorite games of all time. Contra has been a major part of our childhood, especially Millenials. And now you can play it on your smartphone. Contra Returns has better visuals, graphics, and a brilliant soundtrack taken from the original series to keep you hooked for hours.
Like the original Contra game, this is fast-paced and challenging and requires precision to survive. The controls have been optimized for touchscreens; you can customize them to suit your gameplay.
You can check your combat skills with another player or create your team online and take up challenges. The best part of this game is that you can choose your own character apart from Bill and Lance. Moreover, there are new stories, PVP, battles, and much more.
Are you a fan of first-person shooter games? DOOM is one of the best old-school retro games that you can play on your mobile. It was released back in 1993 and has been among the favorites of millions of gamers worldwide.
The gameplay revolves around killing demons by stepping into the boots of a space marine. You will experience non-stop shooting, intense combat, and maze-like levels throughout. If you have played the old version with a joystick, the touchscreen controls might take some time to get used to.
The graphics, on the other hand, is much better and has been adapted for your smartphones. The levels are recreated, featuring the iconic corridors, intricate mazes, and gruesome enemies that define the Doom universe.
To keep you hooked, the audio is more realistic than ever; it is haunting, bone-chilling, and, above all, exciting. You can feel every shot fired by the shogun and the menacing growls of demonic creatures. Furthermore, you might need a powerful smartphone with exceptional hardware to run this game smoothly.
Crazy Taxi Classic
Does driving a taxi and completing challenges sound fun? Crazy Taxi Classic is what you need to download on your mobile phone. It is a part of the SEGA classic game collection that was introduced in the late 90s.
You will take the role of a taxi driver and navigate through the city’s busy streets by picking up and dropping off passengers. It isn’t just that; you can enjoy reckless driving without having to worry about any rules or traffic signals. Start with choosing your avatar and then complete your mission.
The graphics are impeccable compared to how old the game is, and the controls on the mobile phone are pretty easy to manage. The intuitive touch-based steering and acceleration options give an amazing tactile feel.
You will love the original music of the game from the old days, making the game more interesting and fun to play. There are two modes, i.e., Arcade and Original Mode. With Arcade Mode, you can enjoy the actual gameplay with challenges and high scores. While with Original mode, you can play on classic maps and passengers.
Who hasn’t played Tetris? This is the best puzzle game of all time, whether on your gaming console or smartphone. Tetris was introduced back in 1984 and has always been among the favorites.
The gameplay here is pretty straightforward. Even if you are not a seasoned player, you can easily learn it from scratch. The game revolves around fitting falling blocks, called Tetriminos, into complete lines. Every level of the block will descend from the top, and you must strategically rotate and arrange them to create solid rows without any gaps.
When you arrange the blocks properly, it clears, and this will make room for you to add more blocks. The major aspect of the game is to keep doing this and survive for as long as possible. At each level, the speed of the block descending will increase, making the game more challenging.
You will readily enjoy the touch controls that will make the game much easier than using a joystick. The mobile game has a lot of tricks that you can learn, enjoy marathon mode or the quick gameplay mode. There are multiple other daily challenges as well to keep you hooked, including both online and offline gameplay.
Mega Man X DiVE – Mobile
Mega Man X DiVE is one of the best classic 2D games of all time. It is an addition to the classic game series Mega Man X that was released back in 1993. You will be in control of the hunters X and Zero and navigate through challenging levels filled with enemies and obstacles.
The best part about this game is its graphics and overall visuals. It is vibrant and showcases a detailed environment with high-end animations to give you the best experience. You can choose your own character and perform the signature controls such as dashing, jumping, shooting 360 degrees, and so much more.
Every character has a unique ability and play style that you will love. Collecting and upgrading weapons and abilities further enhances the variety and strategy in combat. Furthermore, you can even play the game with your friends online by teaming up. There are multiple levels and new weapons added with every update.
Super Mario Run
The iconic Super Mario game series by Nintendo is available on your smartphone as Super Mario Run. The easiest game ever built and can be controlled with a single touch on the screen. That’s right – you do not need both your hands for this.
The gameplay starts with Mario running through various levels filled with familiar enemies, obstacles, and collectibles. It is capable of running on its own and even dodging small obstacles. You can control the intensity of its jump to collect coins and even pass through bigger obstacles. While jumping, you can tap multiple times on the screen to perform multiple stunts.
The graphics here are smooth and has a vibrant aesthetic throughout. Super Mario Run has four modes, i.e., World Tour, Toad Rally, Remix 10, and Kingdom Builder. Each mode has something unique to offer and will earn you points as you move ahead to each level.
If you are an avid gamer, you must have played Minecraft on your PC. But Minecraft can also be played on mobile phones if you don’t have the proper gaming setup. The game does cost a small amount of money, but you won’t regret it.
The gameplay revolves around a world made of blocks. Mind you; this is a highly addictive game with a world full of possibilities in every corner. As a player, you can gather resources, build structures and tools, navigate around, interact with different players or creatures, and do so much more.
Moving on, you can explore the marketplace and get yourself new maps, skins, textures, and other exclusive items to build your own virtual world of Minecraft. The fact that this game has no ultimate goal or end makes it replayable. You can try out different modes, such as Survival Mode, Creature Mode, etc.
Furthermore, you can even try out the multiplayer option, inviting your friends and family and playing with them for hours.
Clash of Clans
This is the first game I downloaded on my phone, and I’ve been playing it for years now. Not just me; millions of users worldwide have been playing Clash of Clans for a long while. The basic idea behind the game is to build and customize your own village, train troops, and engage in battles with other villages.
You can start the gameplay by gathering resources, such as gold, elixir, and dark elixir, to construct and upgrade buildings, train troops, and develop defensive structures. The best part of this game is to engage in strategic battles either individually or along with your friends.
Furthermore, you can even look into unlocking heroes such as Barbarian King, Archer Queen, Grand Warden, Royal Champion, and Battle Machine. Also, the game is entirely free to be played. You can still make in-app purchases and add more skins and weapons to defend your village.
Prince of Persia: Escape
Prince of Persia is yet another old-school retro video game that brings back cherished memories. The game revolves around different levels filled with spikes, enemies, obstacles, and collecting gems on the way.
You will be controlling the Prince, and by using simple controls, you can jump, climb, avoid getting spiked, and even slide to complete every level. The first few stages are easy and will be a good learning experience while you get familiar with the touch interface.
Once you move ahead, the levels will become more difficult with harder obstacles, more gems, and excitement. Speaking of the animation and the design, this mobile version remains true to its original pixel art style and gives a brilliant aesthetic overall.
The most addictive game of all time, Doodle Jump has kept me hooked for hours now, and I see no escape. The game is simple here; you need to guide the most lovable character Doodle on a series of platforms that is never-ending.
The controls are extremely easy, too; simply tilt your smartphone to move the characters. To jump to the left, tilt your phone to the slightly left side and vice versa. Furthermore, you can even tap on the screen to shoot at the monsters and UFOs. The simplicity of the game alone makes it suitable for every age group.
Doodle Jump has 11 different worlds to explore, with exceptional features such as jet packs, rockets, propeller hats, and so many more to help you fly. As you pass through every level and dodge monsters, black holes, and other obstacles, you collect points.
Sonic The Hedgehog Classic
The first ever Sonic The Hedgehog game was released back in 1991, and the new mobile version brings back the blast from the past. This game is all about speed, where you will be controlling the character Sonic on his adventures.
Sonic will start running through various levels, and with the help of touch controls, you can collect rings and battle your enemies. Above all, you will love the original soundtrack of the game that has been remastered from the past.
You can even play as other characters, i.e., Tails and Knuckles, who are Sonic’s friends, and master their unique abilities as well, such as flying, climbing, gliding, and many more.
Are you ready to build the farm of your dreams? Stardew Valley isn’t like your traditional strategic or action-packed game. Rather, it is more light-hearted and everything fun. You will play the role of a farmer who will inherit a farm that has been worn down. Your aim will be to restore the farm to as good as new and shiny.
By shiny, I mean you can grow crops on it, raise animals, and play your part in other activities such as fishing and mining. Not only this, you can even get married and settle down by choosing among the 12 possible candidates. Once the game progresses, you will pass through all the seasons and maintain your farm likewise.
This highly immersive game keeps you hooked in a virtual world where you have family, a farm, festivals, spend time fishing, and do everything to have a “normal” and calm life. Furthermore, you can even invite your friends over to work on the farm.
Dragon Quest is one of the best role-playing games of all time. As of now, there have been multiple releases in the series, and it has sold over 88 million copies worldwide. The major aspect of this game is its engaging storyline.
You are on a mission to vanquish the Dragonlord and save the world from darkness. Now, the gaming controls here are highly customizable and fit in perfectly with touch control. Start with controlling a group of characters and battle the original monster from the series. Every character has a unique set of actions, such as attacking, casting spells, or using other items.
From bustling towns and villages to treacherous dungeons and sprawling landscapes, the game world is filled with diverse locations and hidden treasures. You are journeying to explore a new world, leading to an epic adventure.
This is all we have in our epic list of the best old-school retro games for mobile gamers. Whether you are a veteran like me or a newbie, you cannot miss these. Now, you may not be able to download them all but try out some of them to get started.
Some of my favorites that you can try are Sonic, Mario, and Clash of Clans, which I play every single day. Most of the games here are free to download and play for as long as you want, while some do require a small upfront fee that is also affordable.
On a side note, did you know that you can play Nintendo Switch games on your PC?
Kanika is a freelance writer that is looking to add meaning to what you read and consume in the digital World for 7 years now. She loves writing about Gaming related content for both pro and casual Gamers. You can find hundreds of reviews, guides,… read more