I was someone who grew up heavily influenced by video games and it became a means to unwind and have fun during my free time. While I do have my favorites now, there are ones that have stuck with me, despite not having played them in years. That’s how much of an impact they have made on developing my love for video games.
So, with that being said, here is a short list of blasts from the past that I played during my childhood!
For ease, games under the same series name will be put under one spot.
- “Super Mario Sunshine, Super Paper Mario, Super Mario Galaxy” on Wii
Super Mario is without a doubt, the most popular character and games series when it comes to Nintendo. Recent installments like Super Mario Odyssey or 3D World show just how much the studio has improved in terms of game mechanics and such, though it should be mandatory to acknowledge Sunshine, Paper Mario, and Galaxy.
Not only do each of them have their own specific game style and unique traits, but they were integral in building the lore and reputation of Mario.
Personally, I’m most fond of Super Mario Sunshine for its OST(write out the acronym the first time it is mentioned), Super Paper Mario for its art/stylization, and Super Mario Galaxy for both.
- “Super Monkey Ball” on Game Cube
I can say with confidence that this was the very first game that got me to rage quit. For my brothers and I, this was our first platformer which gave us a considerable challenge. Think of those marble toys where you need to meticulously make sure the marble is tilted in a certain way to work through a maze but transformed into a video game. With an extremely long play time (mostly through endless retries), Super Monkey Ball was addictive for ten-year-old me.
- “Animal Crossing: City Folk” on Wii
According to most fans of this franchise, Animal Crossing: City Folk is the least favorite of the main three installments. Contrary to popular opinion though, this one is a close second for me after Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It was a soft introduction to the franchise, and I was instantly in love with the game. From spending hours customizing my house’s interior, speaking with villagers, and last but not least, fishing and catching bugs, Animal Crossing immediately became one of my favorites. The second image shown above was a screenshot circa 2010, which I (apparently) drew when I was six years old.
- “Wario Ware” on Game Cube
I’m gonna be honest, this is definitely an outlier compared to the others on the list. I don’t expect many to recognize this title. This certainly is an odd one out when it comes to traditional games. Ribbit King is a golfing game where you go head-to-head with other players.
Don’t be deceived by the definition, however. The game isn’t plain nor is it boring. There are many other aspects that factor into the points system, such as flying bubbles with eyes, giant snakes in the ground, and random events.
It’s the quirks and stylization that separate it from the rest of the golfing video games. Not your run-of-the-mill golfing game!
- “Ribbit King” on Game Cube
I’m gonna be honest, this is definitely an outlier compared to the others on the list. I don’t expect many to recognize this title. This certainly is an odd-one-out when it comes to traditional games. Ribbit King is a golfing game where you go head-to-head with other players.
Don’t be deceived by the definition however. The game isn’t plain nor is it boring. There are many other aspects that factor into the points system, such as flying bubbles with eyes, giant snakes in the ground, and random events.
It’s the quirks and stylization that separates it from the rest of the golfing video games. Not your run-of-the-mill golfing game!
- “Petz Wild Animals: Dolphinz” on DS
While this may look like a harmless, cute-looking DS pet game, don’t be deceived. Dolphinz was one of, if not, the most difficult game I’ve ever played on the DS. Tasked with maintaining animals on a resort island, this game is never short of uneventful.
Busywork is a must, and stages get harder and harder as you progress. Personally, I never made it past the fourth level, and I still don’t think I ever will.
- “Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness” Game Cube
To my surprise and disappointment, this game is not as popular as the others in its franchise. Owning a considerably different style than any other Pokémon game on the DS during the 2000s, Gale of Darkness is more focused on plot. This doesn’t make it any less of a Pokémon game however, and instead adds dimension to the Pokémon universe.
Whether or not you’re free to give this one a spin, I beg of you to check out the OST. This game has one of the best and most catchy soundtracks you’ll ever listen to — you have my word.
- “Kirby Air Ride” on Game Cube) and “Kirby’s Epic Yarn” on Wii
Kirby in general as a franchise, likewise to Mario, is one of the faces for Nintendo’s reputation. As a kid, I was able to experience two vastly different games from the series on both Game Cube and the Wii.
These were definitely one of the cutest and fun games to play (though the stylization in Kirby Air Ride was a little intimidating). While Kirby Air Ride focuses on a free-for-all royale battle, Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a platformer game that is plot-focused. I would recommend playing these with friends!
- “Pikmin” ON Game Cube
I had a field day collecting items and information about the various, endless list of creatures in this game. Players assume the role of an adventurous spaceman in Pikmin, who lands upon an unknown planet after a comet collides with his spacecraft. The space traveler must gather the ship’s missing components from all across the planet, relying on his silver spacesuit to shield him from the planet’s environment.
- “Donkey Kong Returns” ON Wii
When I was younger, this was one of the only platformers I engaged in. I spent hours upon hours attempting to complete levels with my younger brother — and let’s just say, there were a couple of moments where raging and quitting were involved. If you want to get into platformers, I recommend this as a starter!
- “Shrek 2” ON Game Cube
In all honesty, Shrek 2 isn’t special or unique in any way. The game itself is pretty short for play time and the plot itself doesn’t stray much from the entirety of its movie counterpart. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean it was dull.
I consider this a throwback due to how funky and random the stages and mini-games are. For a co-op on gamecube around the 2000s, this was a blast to play with my siblings and cousins. As long as you have the people to play with, this will be a fun play-through.
- “Lego Wii Games (Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, DC)” on Wii
Virtually almost any of the video games published under the LEGO franchise were iconic for the Wii. While all the games focused on their own story and premise, the base game mechanics of LEGOs were always included. The puzzle solving as well as the combat was nothing short of fun.
This game shown in the figure above served as the first public viewing of Revenge of the Sith, providing an intriguing LEGO-ified first glimpse at the exciting finale to the entire trilogy and Anakin Skywalker’s descent into darkness.
- “De Blob” ON Wii
Last but not least, De Blob is yet another nostalgic game on the Wii. As a kid, almost everything about this game piqued my interest. From the stylization, interface, distinctive appearance, to its extremely unique premise, everything intrigued me. It would be an understatement to say I was eager to see the game in action after seeing its disc cover. The bottom line is gameplay did not disappoint.
Puzzle-solving as well as traversing the vast city is the main gimmick of this game. Seeing its glaring similarities to Nintendo’s Splatoon series, maybe it was De Blob that kindled my interest in Splatoon’s aesthetic.
Are there any games that bring nostalgia to you? Let us know @HerCampusSJSU.