What are the Best Retro Games of 2022?

Big yellow pac man eating four colored pac man ghosts

With so many new games on the market where gameplay is immersive, realistic, multi-player-enabled, simulating, and otherwise stimulating, why do so many gamers spend so much time playing old-time video games from years gone by?

The old games lack the believable simulations of reality and fantasy that today’s games feature. You won’t find sophistication, lucrative casino bonus codes or advanced capabilities when you play retro games. What you will find are games that evoke escapism, positive emotions and a journey back into the simpler days of yesteryear.

Early Days of Gaming

In the ‘80s and ‘90s games were much more limited in terms of what was possible given the technology of the times. Gameplay was shaped by what you could and couldn’t do. The graphics were simple – if they existed at all – but the gamemakers were inventive and combined good design with accepted principles of what makes for good gameplay. Those early games combined novelty with game mechanics and rules along with some type of challenge to create activities that were fun and mildly demanding.

Those were the days when the best gaming technology was at the arcade, not on your home TV screen. Not all of those early games were good but many were and those games are still sought out today by retro-gaming enthusiasts who believe that the good gameplay that the retro games deliver outweighs the high-tech opportunities presented by today’s games.

Today’s retro games aren’t necessarily the originals from the ‘80s and ‘90s but are those that incorporate the elements of those early games that fans of the early games love. Some retro games can be played exclusively on old consoles but most are available for PC and even mobile gaming.

What are some of the best retro games that you can play today?

Thimbleweed Park

Thimbleweed Park takes up where its predecessors, Maniac Mansion (1987) and The Secret or Monkey Island (1990) left off. Thimbleweed Park is a similar graphic point-and-click adventure game to the earlier games, both in design and in gameplay, but it has a more sophisticated storyline and task set.

The plot centers around a murder that takes place in the town of Thimbleweek Park. FBI agents Angela Ray and Alberto Reyes investigate persons of interest including Ransome the Clown, computer programmer Delores Edmund,  Delores’s father Franklin.and vagrant Willie T. Wino.

The fun continues when Chuck reveals that everyone in the town is trapped inside a video game that keeps repeating. In order to free themselves the group must delete the game. Even the FBI agents seem to be under suspicion.

Sonic Mania

Sonic Mania takes up where Classic Sonic left off as as Sonic, Tails, & Knuckles race through re-imagined classics and all-new Zones to confront powerful bosses and face Knuckles’ climbing abilities that are needed to overcome the evil Dr. Eggman’s robots and Tails’ flight.

Lots of new secrets hidden paths and more in this retro-adventure 60 FPS gameplay. The world’s fastest blue hedgehog is up and running.

Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami was released in October 2012 but it’s set in Miami and features graphics and gameplay of that era. The game focuses on the Jacket who receives messages that instruct him to carry out hits on the Russian mafia.

The surreal storytelling combines with a top-down perspective and extreme violence which, ironically, is a commentary on the extreme violence in video games. Hotline Miami is often cited as a highly-influential video game and has gained cult status.


Cuphead is… well, a cuphead-shaped character who must pay back a gambling debt incurred after he lost big at the Devil’s casino. The Devil tasks Cuphead with repossessing the souls of runaway debtors so Cuphead and his brother Mugman must wade through boss fights and missions to get to a point when they can confront the Devil himself.

The game is basically a run-and-gun game with a variety of difficulty modes, branching level sequences and role-playing elements. In-game purchases provide additional weapons and abilities to unlock levels and deliver the players to the end of the gameplay.


Dusk was released in 2018 and was stylized as a retro-first person shooter. Protagonists in the town of Dusk Pennsylvania must evade sentient scarecrows, possessed soldiers, robed cultists and demonic livestock as they try to reach the exit of each level.

Players have weapons such as pistols, double-barrel shotguns, hunting rifles, crossbows, magic swords, mortars, sickles and a “Riveter” that shoots exploding rivets. The y-axis allows players to rotate with flips and backflips while in mid-air.

The game incorporates design staples from 1990s first-person shooters such as the ability to carry multiple weapons simultaneously, an emphasis on movement and speed and non-regenerating health.