Abe, a green creature, giving two thumbs up

4 Video Games That Conjure Up Real Nostalgia

Video game nostalgia is a bittersweet feeling we can all relate to as gamers.

Whether it’s replaying a classic Sega platformer like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 or a third-person shooter like Army Men: Air Attack for the PSX, we all know the feeling.

What has been quite interesting in my experience is that many people feel nostalgia for the same video games fairly often – some titles must just have that certain je ne cest quois! With that in mind, I wanted to list 4 video games that conjure up real nostalgia with the aim of bringing almost everyone back to a simpler time sitting on the couch having a blast.

Let’s begin with a classic that everyone should’ve played at some point; if you haven’t, you know where your next port of call is.

Oddworld Abe’s Oddysee

Nothing brings me back to my childhood quite as much as surviving glukkon tyranny as the ever-heroic, yet awkward, mudokon Abe. This 2.5 sidescrolling platformer helped define the genre to this very day and still resonates with many of us who grew up with the original PlayStation.

If you’re not familiar with the Oddworld series, I’ll give you a brief summary. You play as Abe, a member of a species who is enslaved by big business to make and package meat products. After finding out that these executives plan on killing you and your species to sell as food, you play as Abe trying to lead all his cronies to freedom from the factory.

Even just a description gets you excited to play this gem again, am I right?


Psychonauts is another title that gets me yearning back to a time when adult life didn’t get in the way of videogames. Sadly, this game is very underrated and a lot of people don’t know much about it at all. However, the ones who did play it will know the feeling of nostalgia it brings.

At its core, Psychonauts looks like your average everyday story-driven 3D platformer, and in a lot of ways, it is. But, Psychonauts brings so much genuine life to the gameplay, characters, and overall universe that it really sucks you in. You look back at this game and feel like you’ve left some friends behind in a weird kind of way.

Long story short with what the game entails; you play as a young psychonaut in training named Raz. Raz wants to learn to become a psychonaut as a way of getting away from his strict circus family but ends up getting caught up in a big conspiracy which takes the story in all manner of directions.

If you haven’t played this game yet, pick it up cheap now. You won’t regret it.

Age of Empires

Moving further away from platformer-type titles, the very first Age of Empires game was one every friend of mine had installed between the ages of 8 and 11. There was something about the progression from a small rundown shack with one builder to a mega-empire that really stuck with us over the years.

The graphics are one element that gives this game a serving of real nostalgia as they are unmistakably AoE, you would notice them a mile away. Those of you who have played Age of Empires in your earlier years won’t be able to purge of minds of priests chanting “Wololo!” or typing “cheese steak jimmy’s” cheat in chat for 1,000 food. These memories are eternal.

The first Age of Empires is like any other real-time strategy game where you build a large base or city, raise an army, and attack other civilizations, so it may not appeal too much to people who haven’t played it before. Still, it may be nice to see what RTS games were actually like back in the day – why not right?

Crash Team Racing

You probably expected Crash Bandicoot to appear in this list right? Well, you’re in for a treat. However, I’ve chosen the first Crash Bandicoot racing game as this gem never gets enough attention. Sure the classic crash games are top class, but then this list would just be like every other, so let’s give CTR the love it deserves.

While everyone was enjoying Mario Kart, we Playstation fans were deeply entrenched in the wonders of crash team racing. In many ways, this racing game had improvements over Mario Cart; personally, I think some of the tracks and bonus pickups were more fun to play with – there, I said it.

I think one of the biggest influencers of nostalgia from Crash Team Racing was finally being able to play as the heroes and villains we all loved from the previous platformer games. I can remember fondly the first time playing as Pinstripe Potoroo, my favourite boss from the first Crash game, and thinking I was unbelievably cool. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, don’t even pretend.

What Video Games Give You Real Nostalgia?

As you can see, my list of nostalgic video games is only made up of 4 games which bring back memories for me – the list is by no means exhaustive. So why not tell us what video games give you the most intense feelings of nostalgia?

Some more titles I expect to hear are:

  • A Bug’s Life
  • Hexen
  • Pokemon Red/Blue
  • Medal of Honor: Rising Sun
  • Worms: Armageddon

Those are 5 more video games I get real nostalgic about. What are your top 5?

Author Bio: Jamie Peutherer is a long-time gamer who grew up loving platformers, shooters, and RPG’s throughout the Sega, PSX, & Xbox generations. He now plays primarily on PC and runs Gung-ho! Gaming, a hobbyist and comparison site for video games, PC hardware, and technology.