We all get nostalgic from time to time.
You know that feeling, when you’re looking back on the days you didn’t have to pay bills, fix dinner, or be very responsible whatsoever. Instead, you could go to a friend’s house and get your gaming fix. Or, on a Saturday morning, spend three hours trying to beat that level that was driving you crazy.
Instead of getting your kids the next Call of Duty game (which he can already play at a friend’s house), get him something better: a game you can play with him while secretly laughing when he struggles at the same points you did.
Spyro the Dragon (Playstation One)
It’s a classic. Purple dragon frees all the other dragons and saves the realm. Filled with plenty of levels and a wide variety of enemies, the variety’s there — shorter levels and simple controls mean that your young one can pick it up and play, too. And having two top-quality sequels on the PS1 helps to keep the fun going.
Crash Bandicoot (Playstation One)
Full disclosure: This was the first game I ever owned. And it took me a year to beat it. But this was part of platforming’s heyday, when avoiding enemies, timing your jumps, and reading a boss’ pattern was the norm.
As with Spyro, the Crash Bandicoot series has plenty of games following to keep the fun coming — all challenging your child to think their way through the level instead of blindly pressing the right trigger.
Jak and Daxter (Playstation 2)
Another platformer, although with enough length and more dialogue that someone closer to teenage years would take to it. With plenty of challenges and puzzles (not to mention, better graphics than anything else on this list) and some snarky dialogue mixed in, what could go wrong?
Sonic the Hedgehog
If you hate your children, that is.
Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64)
It’s still popular in college dorms around the world, and why not? The iconic racing game took the genre to an entirely different level, introducing us — nay, every gamer ever — to the concept of weapons helping you actually win a race. The cartoonish aspect helps it appeal to the younger folks (and, I’ve found, my wife), while the competitive nature helps you realize that not everyone gets a trophy.
But everyone can have that lightning when you fall behind.
Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)
If this has to be explained, then YOU need a lesson.
What would you recommend?