25 of the best 80s, 90s and 00s retro computer games to play during lockdown

As the coronavirus crisis keeps up confined to our homes, many of us are getting creative in our attempts to pass the time.

If you’re sick of the telly, had your fill of baking with the kids or need reminding of happier times, we can help.

Now is the perfect time to take your mind off the Covid-19 related doom and gloom by taking your old games console from your attic, shed, garage, cupboard or wherever it’s been gathering dust for years.

Once you’ve found it and dusted it off, you can play the games you’d forgotten you loved so much.

Here, 25 Daily Star writers have shared their favourite games for consoles including the N64, Sega Mega Drive, PS1 and Amiga 500.

If you’re lucky, you’ll have one just waiting to be plugged back in…

  1. Duck Hunt (NES, 1984) – chosen by Dan Saunders

    Put simply, Duck Hunt and the Zapper Light Gun were the game changers, separating the NES from the Sega Master System…and you could use it to batter your brother if he tried to jump the queue.

    (Image: Nintendo)1 of 25

  2. Sensible World of Soccer (Amiga 500, 1994) – chosen by Jon Livesey

    Sensible World of Soccer (SWOS) was even better than the original Sensible Soccer: European Champions (Sensi) thanks to the addition of manager mode. If you mastered the ‘banana shot, you could score from kick-off every time.

    (Image: Sensible Software)2 of 25

  3. The Simpsons: Hit & Run (PS2, 2003) – chosen by Sophie Blackman

    My strict mother wouldn’t let me play Grand Theft Auto when I was eight-years-old so to run people over I had to convince her The Simpsons: Hit & Run was much more appropriate.

    (Image: Radical Entertainment)3 of 25

  4. Total Drivin (PS1, 1997) – chosen by Rich Jones

    Great range of racetracks, from Easter Island dune buggies to sports cars around Moscow, complete with typical 90s techno soundtrack.

    (Image: Eutechnyx Limited)4 of 25

  5. Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (Amiga 500, 1991) – chosen by Alex Wellman

    The king of adventure gaming that took the format to another level with taxing puzzles, beautiful graphics and a genuinely funny storyline.

    (Image: Lucasarts)5 of 25

  6. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (Amiga 500, 1990) – chosen by James Wright

    One of the best sports games ever made (sorry, FIFA), a mix of sci-fi handball, team management and the classic Jean Reno film, Rollerball. Equally, the crowning glory of Bitmap Brothers, one of the UK’s best indy developers in the 90s.

    (Image: The Bitmap Brothers)6 of 25

  7. Gran Turismo 2 (PS1, 1999) – chosen by David Rivers

    Racing ahead as the benchmark of motorsport gaming in 1999, GT2 left rivals in its wake with slick graphics and endless customisation.

    (Image: Polyphony Digital)7 of 25

  8. Crash Bandicoot (PS1, 1996) – chosen by Nick Bieber

    Crash Bandicoot was my childhood! It didn’t need HD or cheats, it was a real 90s game – packed with plenty of levels, jumps and TNT to keep you on the edge of your seat! To this day nothing has scared me more than trying to run away from a speeding boulder behind!

    (Image: Naughty Dog)8 of 25

  9. Mario Kart 64 (N64, 1997) – chosen by Douglas Patient

    A go-karting Mario-themed game which was great to play with friends. It was exhilarating, frustrating and baffling at the same time.

    (Image: Nintendo)9 of 25

  10. Marathon (Mac OS, 1994) – chosen by Michael Moran

    It wasn’t quite the first shooter, but it was the first one with a gripping story and its own map-making tools – plus it gave the world Halo.

    (Image: Bungie)10 of 25

  11. Spyro the Dragon (PS1, 1998) – chosen by Aaron Flanagan

    The ultimate adventure game. Spyro was a little rascal who would do anything to get the crystal balls to free his pals. The overly addictive game of my childhood.

    (Image: Insomniac Games)11 of 25

  12. Donkey Konga (GameCube, 2003) – chosen by Emma Parker

    Donkey Konga was one of the first interactive games I played. It came with a set of bongos which you would tap along to the tune of a song and if you had two, could race for the most points with friends!

    (Image: Namco)12 of 25

  13. RuneScape (PC, 2001) – chosen by Ariane Sohrabi-Shiraz

    I have so many good memories playing RuneScape with my friends for hours on end – trying to stay alive, exploring the seemingly endless map and perfecting my in-game skills.

    (Image: Jagex)13 of 25

  14. FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 (N64, 1997) – chosen by Andy Gilpin

    The first fluidly playable football game where everything came together. Fast and fun, even the commentary made sense. Well, some of the time. Even had Song 2 as an iconic theme. Oh, and Michael Owen was fassssssttttttt.

    (Image: EA)14 of 25

  15. Pro Evolution Soccer 3 (PS2, 2003) – chosen by Matt Clemenson

    Collina on the front despite the fact there weren’t even refs on the pitch in the actual game, an absolute classic

    (Image: Konami)15 of 25

  16. The Sims (PC, 2000) – chosen by Sophie Foster

    The Sims was great because everyone knew the cheat codes so you could do whatever you wanted.

    (Image: EA)16 of 25

  17. ToeJam & Earl (Sega Mega Drive, 1991) – chosen by Rory McKeown

    You take control of two alien rappers trying to find parts of their broken spaceship after crash-landing on Earth from the planet who crash-land on Earth from the planet Funkotron. And with a soundtrack inspired by Herbie Hancock and The Headhunters, what more do you want? Still playable 29 years on.

    (Image: ToeJam & Earl Productions)17 of 25

  18. Street Fighter II (Sega Mega Drive, 1993) – chosen by Matt Lawless

    Ken Masters was a pretty cool fella, wasn’t he? Admittedly, you wouldn’t want to cross him in a dark alley. The man could destroy cars with his bare feet. Animal.

    (Image: Capcom)18 of 25

  19. Sonic 3 & Knuckles (Sega Mega Drive, 1994) – chosen by Dom Peppiatt

    The best Sonic game, combining all the level design experience and fast-paced platforming expertise Sega had learned from the first three games and crunching it down into one, great-value package.

    (Image: Sonic Team)19 of 25

  20. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (PS1, 1999) – chosen by Simon Green

    Iconic songs, ridiculous stunts, brilliant cheat codes and pure unadulterated pleasure – what wasn’t there to love?

    (Image: Neversoft)20 of 25

  21. DOOM (PC, 1993) – chosen by Anna Savva

    Doom is a 1993 arcade style, shoot ’em up game developed by id Software for MS-DOS, and still managed to be terrifying despite the dodgy graphics.

    (Image: id)21 of 25

  22. Commander Keen (PC, 1990) – chosen by Sofie Jackson

    Commander Keen was an annoying eight-year-old who built a rocket out of tins of beans and killed lots of aliens. Was originally for DOS but now on Steam. Made by id software who went on to make DOOM.

    (Image: id)22 of 25

  23. Driver (PS1, 1999) – chosen by Gary Nicks

    Reversing a Ford Mustang or whatever it was into a tight underground parking lot space to finish the first round…brilliant. Not sure about being allowed to club hookers in dark alleyways though…no hold on, was that GTA??

    (Image: Reflections Interactive)23 of 25

  24. Pokemon Yellow (Game Boy, 1998) – chosen by Jack Wetherill

    Arguably the best ever Pokemon game, with the storyline following the TV show while your character was followed by Pikachu – and now available to download on newer handheld systems, like 3DS, if you got rid of that old school Game Boy.

    (Image: Game Freak)24 of 25

  25. The Getaway (PS2, 2002) – chosen by Dan Bird

    An action-adventure game inspired by movies Get Carter and Snatch. What a combo!

    (Image: Team Soho)25 of 25

  • Playstation
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