Now that we’re in the fourth..? fifth..? sixth week of lockdown – who really knows at this point – gaming has become an important distraction from what is going on in the world.
So to help you pass the time we’ve decided to compile our top 5 retro-inspired games to play in lockdown. We’ve tried to keep a mix of titles, and they are in no particular order.
For the sake of transparency, all titles in this list I have purchased myself, no publisher has asked to have a title included on this page. Affiliate links to each game on Amazon and ebay are included, any purchases made using these links go directly to the running of this site.
Sonic Mania Plus (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
No list that I create about classic games would be complete without a Sonic the Hedgehog title in there somewhere – so here it is.
For those of you who were living under a rock in 2018, Sonic Mania is Sonic’s triumphant return to the old-school Sonic the Hedgehog formula. With 13 stages, five characters, four-player versus mode and a new remixed ‘Mania’ mode.
For fans of classic 2D Sonic action, you cannot do better than Sonic Mania Plus. For those who already purchased Sonic Mania, the ‘plus’ features can be picked up as downloadable content for less than £4!
Stardew Valley (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, Android)
Looking for a title to relax to while in lockdown? Then look no further than Stardew Valley, the best Harvest Moon game that isn’t Harvest Moon!
Stardew Valley sees you take ownership of a dilapidated farm in a new town. Here you can spend your time tending to the crops, looking after the livestock, landscaping around your farm, building new structures, exploring the dangerous caves, befriending the local townspeople… *phew* let’s just say there’s plenty to do in this excellent farm simulator.
Stardew Valley is available on any modern device, including mobile. Priced at around £11.99 this game has hours and hours of gameplay – as well as an online co-op for up to four players!
Streets of Rage 4 (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
The most modern title on this list, Streets of Rage 4 is the sequel that took over two and a half decades to be released! Featuring the original cast; Axel, Blaze, and Adam, along with newcomers Cherry and Floyd, you’ll be exploring Wood Oak City to track down the mysterious new crime syndicate that’s taken over the city.
Featuring silky smooth 60 frames per second action, a new combo system, unlockable classic characters, battle and boss rush modes, as well as 4 player local co-op for the first time in the series’ history.
Streets of Rage 4 can be purchased digitally and is available as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for both Xbox One and Windows 10 gamers. A physical release by Limited Run games is also available at launch.
Megaman Zero/ZX Collection (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
While not technically ‘retro inspired’, Capcom’s Mega Man Zero/ZX Collection is a fantastic compilations of six excellent Mega Man titles. Featuring the Game Boy Advance Mega Man Zero 1, 2, 3 and 4 titles, as well as the Nintendo DS’s Mega Man ZX and ZX Advent, there’s a lot of brutally difficult 2D action to be had here.
On top of six full games you have the all-new Z Chasers mode, allowing you to compete in time attack style challenges against your friends, as well as a gallery and music player allowing you to view content from all six games.
Also, did I mention that this collection contains SIX GAMES? A must buy for any Mega Man and 2D action-adventure fans.
Wargroove (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
Back when the Game Boy Advance came out, the first game I had purchased was Advanced Wars. This little strategy game kept my glued to my little purple console for hours on end and now it’s spiritual successor, Wargroove, is available for Xbox, Switch and PC.
With four unique factions, 12 commanders and over 40 hours of content across single player, multiplayer co-op and competitive maps, there’s a plethora of content to keep you coming back again and again.
So that’s my top 5 retro inspired games to play while in lockdown, what are yours? We’d love to hear in the comments below.