Miss the hell out of your beloved NES? Yearn for the days of the big fat gray Game Boy? What about all those marvelous pixel 2D shooters for the PC - could anyone else have been as obsessed with Commander Keen as I was? And I can't be the only one to have lost countless potential hours in the sunshine to head-to-head Wacky Wheels showdowns against a little brother.
The best of video and computer gaming from the 80's and 90's is slowly making its way to mobile. Here are 16 of our very favorite nostalgic and retro iPhone games that'll hearken back to the golden days of finger blisters from that blasted rectangular NES controller.
There is a certain sort of person that is going to get very, very excited upon finding out that the classic desktop test of fastidiousness in the face of the almighty void has made its way to mobile. Yes: Snake: Rewind is slow burn pixel bliss.
You can't have a retro games list without TETRIS. This is an especially satisfying version, complete with varying game modes and control schemes. The song that's now in your head is called "Korobeiniki." You're welcome.
What happens when you toss Square and Enix in a blender? Why, you get Square Enix, of course - purveyor of plenty of the very most popular and beloved RPGs of all time.
Work your way up from the incessant blue slimes all the way to warlocks and magic dragons. Dragon Quest was my first ever experience with grinding - what was yours? There are a bajillion sequels, but this one is the original and the best.
White mage or black? The Final Fantasy storyline got more and more complex over the years (oh, Cloud Strife! How my pubescent self was fascinated with your impossible blonde locks), but this first one is just the thing for a trip into the deep recesses of your gamer's memory.
The multiple endings, unique battle mechanics, and plot-driven sidequests of Chrono Trigger make it indisputably one of the top titles of all time, ever, no questions asked, let's forget it was ever called into question. This port is based off the 2010 version for the Nintendo DS.
Hand over that Bulbasaur, Professor Oak; I've got Pidgeys to slay. Team Rocket doesn't stand a chance - WHAT?! There's STILL no Pokémon for mobile? While Nintendo drags its feet, try one of these on for quenching your catch-'em-all cravings.
The iPhone-exclusive Micromon is as close as you can get to Pokémon on mobile, so much so that it reeks a bit of Xerox machine. There's a decently fleshed-out storyline to go with your collecting and battling, plus all the different type match-ups you know and love.
Loads of cute, charismatic monsters to level up in Haypi Monsters. It's battle-heavy, meaning you'll miss the RPG aspects of the original, but you'll enjoy a heaping helping of social features instead.
Grab yerself a box of ammo and don't forget the health kit - 90's action and shooter games were brutally violent, frequently reveling in an excess of pixelated alien gore. KABLAMMO.
Mow down the martians and absolutely everything else that crosses your path in DOOM Classic, a 100% faithful original port. Multiplayer mode is even better if you can all sit in the living room together and yell at each other just like the LAN parties of yore.
The official Duke Nukem 3D port brings you all three classic episodes - LA Meltdown, Lunar Apocalypse, and Shrapnel City - jam-packed with guns, blood, and classic salty quips from the Duke himself. Come and get some.
Point-and-click stories were probably my very favorite. Sometimes I have dreams of Monkey Island coming to mobile, and then I wake up and I simply weep.
Grim Fandango Remastered
Guide Manny Calavera through the film noir-ish afterlife speckled with Mexican folklore in Grim Fandango, a port that preserves all the wry humor alongside the absolutely impossible puzzles of the original. Bring a walkthrough with you.
This one's for folks who were a tad bit older than me in the 90's - the racy humor and saucy 2D ladies in Leisure Suit Larry will have your head spinning back to the days of illegal floppy disk copies in no time.
A little bonus for those who hanker not just for old titles, but 90's game dev culture as well.
Game Dev Story
Kairosoft's Game Dev Story is pixelated micromanagement goodness. Hire on programmers, graphic designers, and sound technicians to build the game of your dreams. The 8-bit isometric art style is icing on the nostalgia cake.