You may or may not ever succeed in buying a Super NES Classic. But I'm not sure there will be another package of throwback Nintendo quite as good as... well, the .
As cool and fun as theis -- and as amazed as I am that I was -- I keep thinking about the 3DS. I keep going back to playing it. It's simple, it's tiny, it's sturdy. I still play it, even though the exists.
And it's mostly because it has a crazy-large back catalog of retro games.
Yet I still think it'll be a long time before any Nintendo system has the library that the 3DS does. At this point, for throwback games, it's my go-to option. The 3DS can't be beat.
Retro gaming nirvana
Before I detail my favorites, however, there are a couple of important caveats. When I say "Nintendo 3DS," know the following:
- The 3DS platform also includes the 2DS -- effectively the same product, but without the 3D screen that quickly became superfluous to the experience.
- Only the more recent
Those same Super NES games on the 3DS play really well, and have restore points that allow a single quick-save between plays. Games cost $8-10, which is a bit expensive. But many of these addictive titles are totally worth it, and some are available as collections. I ended up buying about seven over the last two years.
With that out of the way, here's a lightning round recommendation on some of my favorites from each generation of classic games:
NES: Most of the NES Classic's games are available on the 3DS Virtual Console, and plenty more. Other options include classics like Konami's Lifeforce.
SNES: As mentioned above, any of the "New" Nintendo 3DS/2DS portables (one with a second, tiny control stick on the right side) can play up to 30 SNES games currently available. That includes a lot, but not all, of what's on the SNES Classic (Super Mario World, Super Metroid, Zelda: A Link to the Past) and a few that aren't (Pilotwings).
N64 games: There aren't many, but they're fantastic. Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Starfox 64 are stellar.
Sega Genesis and arcade games: Sega's collection of 3D classics on the 3DS are the best arcade and Genesis ports I've ever played, and a far better experience that you'll get on the AtGames. I recommend most of them, especially the arcade-perfect Outrun, Afterburner II and Galaxy Force II. Sonic and Sonic 2, Ecco the Dolphin and Streets of Rage are fun, too.
Game Gear games: You can also get a small collection of games from this old Sega handheld. They're weird, but it's also fun to just try one again.
Game Boy games: Old black and white and color Game Boy games show their age. You won't find any Game Boy Advance games, sadly -- at least not as far as I can see.
Old Nintendo DS games: The 3DS works with nearly all DS games going back to 2004.
And also, all of the great 3DS games. Metroid: Samus Returns is one of the best 2D Metroid games ever made, and it just arrived earlier this month.