The power of nostalgia cannot be underestimated. Experiencing something again that gave you pleasure in the past is a truly awesome feeling, whether it’s hearing a song that was playing during a romantic encounter, watching a movie that shaped your teenage years, or playing a video game that you once spent far too many hours tackling.
Classic games lose much of their appeal over the years. They look shockingly bad in hindsight, quite frankly, but then those of the current generation will also look shockingly bad when viewed in years to come. None of which matters. There are simple pleasures to be had in retro gaming, especially if the titles being played are ones you spent your formative years enjoying.
If you like retro games then you’re certainly not alone, and there are hundreds of YouTube channels dedicated to seeking out, playing, reviewing, and reliving old games that were the Mass Effects and Red Dead Redemptions of their day. Below are eight of the best currently residing on YouTube, all accompanied by a video chosen to show what they’re all about.
The Drisk Retro Games Channel is an uber-geeky trawl through the archives, with the channel owner and host literally taking us through the history of the video games industry from its humble beginnings to the present day. There are also reviews of retro games thrown in for good measure, and all of the videos are presented in a dull English accent which, to me at least, adds something extra to the whole thing.
For… geeks who want to learn how games got to where they are today.
Michael’s Retro Game Reviews is a strange mix of retro game reviews (as the name clearly suggests), hardware showdowns, and other geeky goodness. This guy knows his stuff, also recording a podcast in which he discusses different aspects of retro gaming. The host is another Brit, which says a lot about how those of us from this little island spend our days. In between drinking tea and eating cucumber sandwiches, of course.
For… retro game fans who want to see their favorite old titles reviewed once more.
Video Games Revisited looks at games all at least 10 years old, which, at the time of writing, means anything released before 2002. With 30 years of games to choose from the titles featured cover all the various platforms including the Sega Master System, the Commodore 64, and the Atari 2600. This channel hasn’t been updated in some time, but the videos that are already on it are well worth watching.
For… those with short attention spans and long memories.
UK Retro Game Addict offers a mixture of retro game reviews, retro console reviews, and details of recent finds at car boots and flea markets. This guy is passionate about retro gaming, and it’s a passion that shines through in every single video. These clips will make you want to start your own collection of retro games and games consoles, and thankfully they’ll also help you determine how to actually do so.
For… budding collectors who can sort the wheat from the chaff.
Retro Games & General Nonsense is a very fitting name for this channel, as it offers nothing but retro gaming and, er, general nonsense. Like the previous channel, this one offers a mix of content for the collectors of retro games and consoles, with recent pickups, tours through multiple titles for particular platforms, and roundups of the best games for certain systems.
For… those whose idea of Heaven is being surrounded by walls full of old games.
Old Classic Retro Gaming is about the most succinct title this channel could have been given. Thankfully it lives up to its billing with pure games footage from the very earliest days of the industry. The titles featured so far are ancient as far as video games go, being old enough to be classified as museum pieces. I’m hoping this channel carries on in the same vein, with the games featured slowly catching up to the current generation.
For… retro gaming purists who want to see new footage of some really old games.
Dig That Box RETRO [No Longer Available]
Dig That Box RETRO is very different than any of the other channels on this list, as it showcases the best old television commercials for retro games from around the world. Whether it’s the U.S. television spot for Atari or the French television spot for Colin McRae Rally, they’re all here. My favorite is perhaps the one embedded above; it’s for Crash Bandicoot, it’s from Japan, and it’s completely nonsensical.
For… lovers of both retro games and television commercials.
We end with Continue? but perhaps we shouldn’t as the whole point of this channel is to determine whether each retro title is worth continuing to play or not. We get to see a group of friends playing old games while making funny, normally-bitchy comments. Each video ends with them debating the merits of the games and declaring whether they would Continue or happily see the Game Over screen.
For… retro game geeks who don’t take their love for old titles too seriously.
Compiling this list of the best retro gaming channels on YouTube has rekindled my appreciation for classic games once more. And it was already fairly strong before I even began. Thankfully through a combination of eBay, emulators, and re-releases on PSN and Xbox Live, we can all relive these gems once more. And I intend to start by seeking out the six cult Japanese games I recently wrote about.
Are you a fan of retro gaming? Is it pure nostalgia that drives your love or do you genuinely think gaming was better in days gone past? Do you subscribe to any other retro YouTube gaming channels or other sites not featured here? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Luftholen