Top Retro Games That Are Still Popular Today

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Playing games is a popular activity, enjoyed by millions of people every day and by almost all of us at some point in our lives. A multi-billion dollar industry has formed to create new content for gamers, giving them variety in what they get to play.

It’s not just video games either. The market for tabletop (board and card) games is still strong and growing. Between 2020 and 2026, it is expected to expand by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13%.

Over the years, video games have got bigger, more complicated, and seen their graphics improve drastically with popular titles like PUBG and Cyberpunk 2077 pushing the boundaries of what is possible. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve become more fun. Retro games have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity recently as players reminisce on the titles they played in years gone by.

Of all the retro games that are enjoyed today, here are some of the most popular.

top retro games 2021

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

At nearly 20 years old, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City now falls under the category of retro games. Released in October 2002, the game was a follow-up to the incredibly popular Grand Theft Auto III which helped to make the franchise what it is today.

Vice City is available in digital marketplaces for most modern consoles, smartphones, tablets, and computers and is still played by millions each year.

Set in a fictional version of Miami during 1986, the game stood out at the time for its bright colours, retro fashions, and a killer soundtrack. Although some of the songs have been replaced in more modern versions due to licensing restrictions, it remains just as fun to drive along the beach in an open-top car listening to 80s synth-pop.

Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the oldest games that is still enjoyed today. It has a fragmented history, with similar games popping up in various countries, including France, England, and Spain.

There were some minor differences across each of these formative games, such as having different target hand values. For example, Trente-un required players to build a hand of 31 while Quinze set a target of 15. Aside from that, most games shared the same basic principles as blackjack, with players competing against the dealer rather than each other.

There are many ways to enjoy blackjack today, including in a casino and at home with your own deck of cards. However, online casinos are where most blackjack games take place.

You’ll find almost every online casino offers at least one (though usually several) version of the game through their desktop and mobile platforms, making it easy to access.

Mario Kart

Mario is one of the best-known and most-loved characters of all time. He has survived nearly the entire history of video gaming, having first appeared in a Donkey Kong arcade game in the early 1980s.

He’s been featured in more than 200 titles in the four decades hence, though one of the most popular series is Mario Kart. The arcade racing game sees the characters from the Mario universe compete in cartoon go-karts.

mariocart retro game

The first version of the game was Super Mario Kart and was released on the SNES in 1992. There have been 10 console versions since then, including Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart Wii, and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. Nintendo has also released several arcade versions and Mario Kart Tour, a free-to-play mobile game.

The premise remains the same across all versions, and newer releases let players access classic tracks, making the new versions just as retro as the older titles.

Monopoly

Monopoly is a board game that first went on sale in 1935 and has been enjoyed by almost everyone in the eight and a half decades since. Over the years, it has been adapted for each country it has been released in and has also seen a range of special editions created like Harry Potter Monopoly and Fortnite Monopoly.

Its fame and familiarity make it an easy go-to board game for special occasions, parties, and other events. Like blackjack, Monopoly has also been brought into the 21st century with PC and mobile-based versions that remove the need for setting up and packing away.

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