For many of us, our childhood memories are filled with long summer holidays spent playing our favorite video games from dawn until, well, the next dawn if we’re being really honest. And, as amazing as all these new games are that we’ve been getting our hands on recently, sometimes we longingly look back to those school holidays with rosy-tinted memories and wish we could relive them once more.
Thanks to an influx of remakes and remasters, some of our favorite titles have even been given a refresh so we can enjoy the nostalgia without having to relive the very, very dated graphics they bring with them. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best childhood games we can rediscover this summer.
One of my all-time favorite franchises, and also home to the first game I ever completed, are the Final Fantasy games (It was Final Fantasy 9 if anyone wants to know). These JRPG classics have been regulars in my play cycle for as long as I’ve been gaming. The first title, Final Fantasy, was released way back in 1987 and is available to play again on iOS, Android, and Windows Phones. The first game is not available on PC at the moment though, so you’re stuck with mobile gaming if you want to go that far back.
On Steam, you can get your hands on every title from Final Fantasy III onwards though, so fans can still enjoy playing through these classics on a screen bigger than your hand.
And, for those that want a great nostalgic experience with updated graphics and new moments to discover there is, of course, the Final Fantasy VII Remake on PS4.
Bringing the most loved installment of the series into the 21st century, and doing away with those blocky character designs, it has received rave reviews across the board since releasing. For those that fondly remember the original, you’ll find great moments to bring forth that nostalgia. And, for those new to the series, it’s a great way to experience the beauty of Final Fantasy without having to plow through old-fashioned game mechanics and pixelated graphics.
Another game franchise that I have poured hours and hours and hours into is The Sims. I still remember sending my Sims to work in the original game trying to save up enough simoleans for a zebra-printed sofa. Ah, memories. While we can’t get our hands on the original game anymore (unless you’ve saved your game disks from years gone by), with EA Games recently releasing their back-library onto Steam, it’s now even easier to get hold of the game, including The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 - so you can have at least a little nostalgia.
Even if you choose to go with The Sims 4, the nostalgia is still there. It’s still just as kooky and strange, Bella Goth, Nancy Langrabb, and co. are still living in your neighborhoods, and you can still find inventive and fun ways to torture and kill your sims.
One of the stories we always love to tell in our family is the time my Dad was playing DOOM on the Playstation and got a bit too into it, falling off his chair as he tried to dodge a bullet in real life. He now argues that he was just ahead of his time, and was playing the game as if it was VR. Sure thing Dad.
But, the reason I still love DOOM is because of this nostalgia. It’s the first FPS game I ever played, and I was just as terrible at it then as I am now. And, with the release of DOOM Eternal this year, we have the option of diving back into the original game, pixel graphics and all, or indulge in the new upgrade. The original DOOM game is available on multiple platforms as well, so whether you’re a PC gamer, or want to take it on the go with your Nintendo Switch, you can shoot your way through the game however you want.
The original horror survival game is still going strong today with the Resident Evil 3 remake only recently being released. The first installment, Resident Evil, is also available in all it’s remastered glory on Steam, so you can go right back to start and relive all those jump-scares once more.
Unlike some other games that have received the remaster treatment, Resident Evil comes with glowing feedback from fans of the original, so you know it does a great job of transporting back to those simpler times.
Mortal Kombat has always been the fighting game with the big personality. While fighting games are always violent, none of them stack up to Mortal Kombat. The finishing moves are always on a whole other level, and that’s what I remember from playing it as a kid (when my parents weren’t watching, of course).
The latest addition, Mortal Kombat 11, is available now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch - so you can enjoy it however you game.
Transport yourself back to your Sega days with a playthrough of the original Sonic, available on Steam. That classic Sega sound welcomes you and brings with it a flood of gaming memories. Or, treat yourself to the Sonic the Hedgehog: Ultimate Bundle and play through racing, platform, and fighting titles from across the years.
I’ll admit something - I’ve never played Worms. Both my brothers used to play it and my Dad and I just remember never really understanding what the game was about. But, when I was researching this article and saw it there on the Steam store, I knew the time was now. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this chaotic strategy game all this time.
The original female video game hero, pointy boobs and all, will always hold a special place in my heart. As a female gamer, there really weren’t that many characters available when I was younger who were female too, so I loved Lara Croft from day one. Mixing combat and puzzles, you too can steal priceless artifacts from a tomb in all its pixelated glory. Or, go more modern and indulge in the newer titles.
For a game that is entirely inappropriate for children, GTA surprisingly makes a lot of appearances in my childhood gaming memories. Being absolutely terrible at driving, running over prostitutes, and generally not doing anything you were supposed to do was pretty much how my friends and I used to play.
While the graphics may have improved and the locations may have changed, the essence of the game has stayed the same throughout every version.
Civ 5 is the game I’ve clocked the most hours in on my Steam account (currently on 221 hours which, as primarily a console gamer, is pretty impressive for me). While I do also own Civ 4 and Civ 6, I feel like 5 just can’t be beaten. This turn-based strategy game is a classic for a reason, and even the most recent versions still hold on to the style of the original. You can easily lose hours in this game each time you play and relive those intense gaming sessions of your youth. And, with the ability to play with friends, you can all enjoy the memories together.
What are your favorite childhood games? If I had to go with a top three, I’d have to choose The Sims, Final Fantasy 9, and Pokemon Crystal. All of those made me fall in love with video games, and I love being able to revisit those (or at least newer versions of them) time and time again. Let us know which games you wish you could play from your childhood in the comments!