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Why Do People Still Play Retro Games Today?


As much as retrogaming has picked up Steam in recent years, one of the most annoying questions that most retro gamers have to answer is why they don’t play modern games instead.  According to avid connoisseurs of classic titles, there are a whole bunch of problems with modern games that we’re going to cover in today’s article.

Lengthy Intros

One of the main problems that jump out with modern games is that they just don’t have that pickup and sensibility to them. A lot of time you have to sit through these long winded introductions. And it can take hours before you’re actually playing the game. Once you can finally start playing, it can take quite a while for the game to guide through the subtleties of the gaming process, tell you about the abilities your character possesses, etc. It can take forever and detract from the quality of your gaming experience. Sure, it can be setting up for a story that is actually engrossing. But if you’re just looking to get into the gameplay, it can be a huge turn off.


There is also monetization that occurs in modern games. The most egregious example is the notorious loot boxes, like those you could find in Star Wars Battlefront 2. Loot boxes bring gambling-like feel to the game, which runs counter to the overall philosophy of console gaming.

Micro transactions are another considerable concern. Lots of gamers complain about tons of in-game content being walled off so that players will fork out. But retro gamers might still remember the good old days where the way to unlock extra content in the game was actually by playing the game. It was really cool to use that trial and error method to progress to the next level. You could spend long hours trying to figure out how to complete all objectives in such legendary PS1 games as Spider-Man or Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. But it seems that modern game publishers have long since forgotten about the universal video game values and focused on money making. And even if there is some ephemeral chance of unlocking some extra content by actually playing, they would intentionally make it very tedious and painstaking in the hopes that you’ll just cave in and pay the money instead.

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Annoying Updates

Another problem that most retro gamers hate about modern titles is that tons of them are released in an unfinished state. This often leaves you waiting to download an update to eventually fix your game so that it can play as intended. And since we’re talking about annoying updates, let’s talk about the updates required for consoles themselves. It seems like every time you’re going to turn on your console, there is some two-hour update that needs to be installed. Needless to say, this all can outshadow the pleasure you can derive from your game.


The general consensus is that modern video games are just not as difficult as they used to be, say, some 15 or 20 years ago. That might seem pretty normal, but the problem is the way this happens. Modern games seem to literally hold your hand throughout your gaming sessions. There is almost no penalty for death because of the way the checkpoint system works. You just die and respawn right where you were without putting much effort into your gaming. This makes progression feel more hollow and less emotionally rewarding, which is definitely not the case with retro games.

Lack of Color

Another thing that seems to stick out to people in modern games is when they are really colorful. You might have noticed that a good many modern titles have gone for very dark, brownish, grey tones in order to try to appeal to the older demographic. This can indeed have a grittier, darker, and more mature type of feel in the games. But most retro gamers like their games to be colorful and optimistic. Most retro titles are imbued with bright, vivid colors. This may sound ironic, but this may be due to the limited color palette. So, they didn’t skimp on the juicy contrasting colors that made your gaming experience truly exciting. And we daresay it’s exactly what we need in the gloomy days of the pandemic.