Best Old Games I Completed in 2017

For my first list of 2017, I present the best games I completed that are at least 18 years old. These games are adults!

List items

  • I know, I'm the worst for only finishing this recently, but bear with me. I played tons of this game as a kid, but I rarely made it very far. Well, I decided I'd rectify that, as well as play all the Marios before it. Lo and behold, Super Mario World stands tall among the rest as the best Mario game. Between Yoshi, the cape (the cape!!!), incredible level design, excellent music, and the pure joy that only Mario games can arouse, this game is one of the all-time greats and it holds up beautifully. Oh, and the last boss is great.

  • I don't think anyone will blame me for having not completed this game up until now. This game is a bitch of the highest order, but my god is it great. After the incoherent drunken stupor of Simon's Quest, Dracula's Curse reminds you of why you liked the original so much in the first place. The branching paths, different characters, and even higher difficulty make this the clear winner among the NES trilogy, and maybe the only downside is that it can be a little too punishing at times. (Nobody likes the falling blocks level, right?) Add to those an amazing soundtrack even by castlevania standards, varied locations, and some great bosses, and you have one of the best NES games out there.

  • Again, I'm sorry. I know everyone's already played this, but I have an excuse. I refuse to play series out of order, and in some cases this is a problem. For instance, I forced myself to play Mega Man in order to play the rest, and I nearly died in the attempt. Fortunately, Mega Man 2 was awaiting me on the other side. This game has possibly the best soundtrack of any game on the NES, one of my favorite Mega Man boss lineups, and the best balanced difficulty of all 6 NES titles. BY removing the rage inducing elements of the original, Capcom really made something special with this one.

  • This is a game that I went into with incredibly high expectations. After replaying the original, and being pleasantly surprised by how much the sequel was, I knew I was going to experience true greatness with 3. What I got was a very good platformer with some absolutely bullshit moments and one very angry sun. I'll admit I came away a little underwhelmed, but that's not the game's fault so much as it is the absurd amounts of praise that has been heaped onto it. I don't want to sound too negative though, it really is a fantastic game. I was especially fond of the inventory system, which SMW unfortunately did away with. Overall, this is the second best 2D Mario, and while 3 does not reach the heights of World, it holds up remarkably well almost 30 years later.

  • This game is pretty fucking rad. The famed opening cinematic is still cool, and the cutscenes are very impressive considering what else was coming out at the time. Once you get the hang of the controls, making Ryu jump from wall to wall and carve up goons is a lot of fun. For 5 levels, at least. The 6th and final level of Ninja Gaiden is so unbelievably difficult that I nearly gave up playing. I persevered all the way to the final boss only to be quickly killed and sent back to the start of 6-1. This game disrespected me in a way few games have, and in a way I respect it. But I will never forgive it.

  • It was a very busy year for Sonic, and after loving Sonic Mania I decided to go back to the classics. I know Sonic the Hedgehog like the back of my hand, but the second entry has always eluded me. Not this time. Sonic 2 is exactly what a sequel should be, in the same vein as games like Mega Man 2 and Street Fighter 2. Everything is better, from the music to the maps to the art to the spindash. After playing the wonderfully nostalgic Sonic Mania, it was refreshing to go back and see that this game is just as good despite its age.

  • I know this list is mostly NES games, but I thought I'd give Baldur's Gate a little love. This was my first foray into genuine cRPG territory, and I can thankfully say it was a good one. While I understand the original BG isn't quite as revered as its sequel, I thought it was a smart, well designed RPG that did a great job of teaching me the mechanics of D&D. The story is rather by the numbers, and the gameplay is nothing to cry home about, but the writing is solid and I enjoyed exploring every inch of the world with my party. Needless to say, I have high hopes for when I dive into Baldur's Gate 2 in the near future.

  • Aliens Vs. Predator (1999): This game isn't as old as most on this list, but I thought I'd include it solely for being the only good game that allows you to play as the Predator. While I mainly bought and played this to take control of my favorite movie monster, I actually found a lot to like in the other campaigns. They're unwieldy at first, but running along ceilings and eating heads as the Aliens is a blast, and trying to simply survive as a colonial marine is one of the most tense FPS experiences around 18 years later. If you're a fan of wither franchise, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up, if only to laugh maniacally after hitting a xenomorph with a fully charged shoulder cannon blast.

  • Wow, this game. I had never heard of this until Jeff and Dan played it on the Old Games Show, and after playing it I wish it was more popular. It is an incredible mixture of driving, platforming, shooting, and stabbing. While it is clearly very derivative of Ninja Gaiden, it manages to create its own identity and be just as enjoyable. Anyone who hasn't heard of this game should check it out to find out what's in "The Stuff".

  • Woof, this was a challenge. NES RPGs are not exactly known for being forgiving, and the original Final Fantasy is no exception. I expected to bounce right off this game, but once I got past the annoying bits I was happy to see the series' future greatness was visible from the start. The primitive version of the famous Job system is intuitive and fun to experiment with, and I pity anyone who didn't get a chance to upgrade their classes. After playing and greatly enjoying this game, one can imagine my disappointment upon playing FF2. Any fans of the new entries should give this game a look sometime, it holds up surprisingly well.