National Video Game Day
It's hard to believe how far video games have come since I was a kid. Back in the '80s, I was all about The Legend of Zelda, Punch-Out, and Mario Bros. A lot has changed since then. These days, the video game industry makes over 120 billion dollars a year.
I don't play video games much anymore, but when I do, I go old school. Here's a list of some of the best video games of the '80s and '90s.
ExciteBike, 1984 (Nintendo): This was the first game I remember playing as a kid. It was released in 1984, but I didn't play it until a few years later while visiting a friend. As far as games go, this is not an easy one to master. I recently decided to give it a try again and I'm worse now than I was as a 5-year-old. Slower reflexes maybe?
Punch-Out! 1987 (Nintendo): This was the first game I truly loved as a kid. I remember having to ask my friends at school how to beat certain opponents, then writing down what they said. These days you'd just look it up on YouTube. Beating Mike Tyson was one of the highlights of my childhood and something I'm still proud of. That guy was tough!
Super Mario 3, 1990 (Nintendo): There had never been so much hype around a video game before. It was even featured in a movie before its release in the U.S., The Wiz, starring Fred Savage from the Wonder Years. The movie isn't that great, but the game still holds up to this day. In fact, it remains one of the best selling games of all time.
World Class Track Meet, 1989 (Nintendo): This was the Wii decades before the Wii existed. You played this game on a Powerpad and actually got a good amount of exercise, which was a plus for parents.
Tecmo Super Bowl, 1991 (Nintendo): Two words: Bo Jackson. If you played as the Raiders you were probably going to win. The guy was invincible in this game.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 1992 (Sega Genesis): The first game I ever played on the Sega Genesis, and boy was it a breath of fresh air. The fast-paced moving and superior graphics made this game a huge hit.
Greatest Heavyweights, 1993 (Sega Genesis): I spent hours and hours trying to beat Muhammed Ali in this game. The best part about this game is the fighters talked back to you if you were hurting them. That was a first for games in the '90s.
NBA Jam T.E. 1994 (Sega Genesis): "He's heating up... He's on fire!" Originally a hit in the arcade, this moved to the home console in 1994. My team was the Bulls.
Goldeneye 007, 1997 (Nintendo 64): In the late '90s, the N64 took gaming to an entirely different level. This was one of its first games and was based on the Pierce Brosnan Bond movie with the same name.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, 1998 (Nintendo 64): One of the first open-world 3d games and also a game that took me almost a year to beat. No one had ever seen anything like it at the time, and it still holds up to this day.