10 nostalgic Apple Arcade games that will bring you back to a simpler time
Miss being a kid? These Apple Arcade games are a fun trip down memory lane.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Apple Arcade has a slew of games to play if you're missing yesteryear, offering everything from remastered classics to fresh takes on old favorites. The service also houses newer titles with '80s and '90s aesthetics, or games that tip a hat towards iconic game franchises like Final Fantasy and Zelda.
The service's inclusion of these games, as well as fun adaptations of board games like chess and checkers, lets older players take a walk down memory lane and share classics with younger players, all on a single platform.
You can explore these games in Apple Arcade's catalog, which now houses over 220 games -- and more are added weekly. If you're interested in trying out the service, you can subscribe through the App Store.
Here are some of our favorite nostalgic Apple Arcade games.
Tetris Beat keeps the traditional game play of rotating and dropping Tetriminos (blocks) with the goal of creating a combo chain to score. The twist with Tetris Beat? You have to keep time with the song's beat. The exclusive Apple Arcade game features songs from musicians like Alison Wonderland, Octa Octa and Garza.
Pac-Man Party Royale
Pac-Man Party Royale is a fun refresh of the original arcade game that lets you play with up to four friends in Battle Mode. Gobble Pac-Dots to gain speed and get to the Power Pellet first, but watch out for ghosts and the 265 glitch. If there's no winner, the glitch will try to destroy the maze.
Frogger in Toy Town
Embark on a quest inside a human's house to rescue lost "froglets" after they're blown away in a storm. You'll navigate a toy-filled terrain -- avoid toy cars, climb block buildings and collect jelly beans to save the froglets. When you rescue a froglet, it hops on Frogger's back (which is just as cute as it sounds). Carrying the froglets adds an extra challenge during the obstacle courses because they can fall off. If you liked the old-school Frogger, this game's worth a look.
The Lego brand has stood the test of time, making the jump from plastic blocks to the silver screen to video games. Lego Brawls is a mobile fighting game that's easy to start playing. The game offers countless ways to create your Lego character in a fast-paced 4v4 multiplayer. Every stage of the game brings new challenges, goals and quirky power-ups, like a pie launcher, a cactus suit, a snake car or a hot dog stand. Jump into a party or a brawl, or keep training.
There are many iterations of Oregon Trail to play, but all of them mostly have the same premise -- load up your wagon and travel some 2,000 miles west in search of a new life. Apple Arcade's version of the game features 15 different journeys to play, which you can further mix and match with your traveling companions, who each have specific items, skills and personalities. The journey is long, so plan ahead and think quickly to ensure your party's survival.
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm
Oceanhorn 2 is an open-world action fantasy RPG that tells the story of a young knight on a quest with his friends to save the world from an evil warlock. The knight ventures out with Trin, the granddaughter of Arcadia's leader Archimedes, and Gen, a robot armed with a Samurai weapon. The trio must unite with the Owrus, Gillfolk and others to save the world from Warlock Mesmeroth's Dark Army. The game's design gives a significant nod to the Legend of Zelda game series with a touch of Fable and Kingdom Hearts.
Rayman Mini, based on the classic '90s game franchise, is set in a magical world in need of saving. You'll jump, bounce off of flowers and slide down streams of water as you gather lums (little firefly-type bugs), coins and other special prizes. The revamped platformer doesn't use a timer and lets you try as many times as you need to progress.
Sonic is another classic '90s game, like Rayman Mini. There's a good chance you know who the speedy little hedgehog is, even if you've never played the games. Maneuver your car to grab as many rings as possible, avoid traps and win. The game is fun, and the controls aren't hard to pick up on. You'll race on teams with Sonic, Tails and Knuckles at the start, and you can change your team to other characters like Shadow, Amy and others as you level up.
Cardpocalypse, a colorful coming-of-age story set in the '90s, casts you as Jess -- a new kid in school who accidentally gets the popular card game Power Pets (think Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon) banned. When the monsters from the card game invade the real world, you have to defeat them with your cards.
The Get Out Kids
The Get Out Kids mixes mystery with nostalgia, taking players back to 1984. Molly, Salim and Molly's dog Moses sneak out one night to catch a late showing of Ghostblasters at the local drive-in. Along the way, they have to navigate creepy woods and sneak past a surly cemetery worker. When Moses suddenly goes missing, Molly and Salim begin an adventure to find their canine friend. This narrative-driven game includes puzzles, hidden object searches and more.
Watch this: iOS 15 best features: How Focus mode improved my iPhone