GWW Staff Picks – Top Nostalgia Based Games

Sep 2, 2021

The GWW gaming team has put together a list of feel good, nostalgia based games. Here you’ll find the games that takes us back to the good ol times. If you ever need a break, why don’t you check the games below?

Mario Kart 8

By: Nintendo
Released on: May 29, 2014

It has been a year of reckonings and reevaluations. In the midst of it all, I have sat back and relied on the first character I fell in love with at 8 years old, Mario! Lately, I’ve been playing Mario Kart, which didn’t come out until a bit later. However, it still counts!

Whether it’s the original released for the Super Nintendo or Mario Kart 8 released in 2014, I’ve been here or it this year just for the sake of nostalgia and having something comforting to fall back on. I’ve even purchased my mom a copy of 8, to which she promptly got addicted. Now, we have 3 generations enjoying playing the same game across state lines.

She soon discovered that all’s fair in love and Mario Kart.

I love how evolved 8 has become. Sure, Bullet Bill is a bit OPed, but know they only come around so often. Each iteration of the game has added an element. Now, I can jump off a ramp to get a boost and customize my ride with coins. But the premise is the same – Drive, Shoot, Conquer!

Heather Houston

Bug Fables

By: Moonsprout Games

Released on: November 20, 2019

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is a modern game based on nostalgic roots. Bug Fables pays homage to and plays like early games in the Paper Mario series. Satisfying turn-based combat with button presses in combat—flat paper-thin characters with humorous writing. Anyone with a fondness or connection to Paper Mario will enjoy this game. That fondness for the series brought my son and me to Bug Fables this summer.

Bug Fables brought memories back for us before he headed off to college. Fortunately, Paper Mario games brought us together throughout his childhood. I picked up the original N64 game on a Toys’R Us clearance rack shortly before he was born. As an early reader, The Thousand Year Door provided a parenting opportunity to advance his reading skills with the Nintendo characters he loved. Bowser’s Inside Story was the first RPG he finished on his own.

Understandably, as he grew up, we spent less time playing together, but gaming was always a common bond. Consequently, Bug Fables brought us together on the couch one last time.

We experienced the game not only as father and son but as two genre fans able to engage in discussion about the execution and inspiration of the game.

We loved our experience and encouraged everyone with nostalgia for Paper Mario to play Bug Fables (available on Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox Game Pass).

Percy Waelchl


By: Xbox Game Studios

Released on: November 18, 2011

I know, I know. You can’t scroll an inch on YouTube without seeing Minecraft pop up. It has its fans, and I’m certainly one of them. No, I’ve never gone up against the EnderDragon (or even made it to the end), and I die as soon as I enter the Nether. Caves also kill me. But I keep playing. There’s something about it that just brings me back.

I remember playing the game for the first time; only they were trial versions. I only got an hour and a half to play with each free trial, which hooked me. I think I played at least ten free trials before purchasing the game, finally. When I had the full version, I stayed up to two in the morning, exploring, mining, and the way the music just nuanced by actions, *chef’s kiss.* Sometimes, when I play, the music still hits me, bringing me back to that summer night, where I truly played for the first time. 

The start of a new world is something special. You can do anything! Nothing has been mined or placed yet. You can do whatever you want. And that’s just it.

It’s an ever-evolving open sandbox game with an incredible soundtrack. The first half of the Caves and Cliffs update has come out recently, so I’ve been playing around with the new Copper block. I can’t wait for the second half (which may be towards the end of this year or the beginning of 2022). However, while the new caves are A-MAZ-ING… I’m terrible with the caves we have now. I get lost so easily. Now? I’m going to be even more lost. I can barely fight the nighttime mobs. How am I going to survive the new Warden mob?

It’s a comfortable game. It’s a constant on my Switch and computer. While some videos may make the game seem cringe, it’s honestly what you make of it. You play it how you want to. And that’s the beauty. 

Jessica Chaleff

Enter the Gungeon

By: Dodge Roll

Released on: April 5, 2016

When it comes to comfort gaming, there is a game that always comes to mind, Enter the Gungeon. Enter the Gungeon was my first Nintendo Switch game and my most played game up to date. Every time that I run out of games to play or am simply not in the mood to dive into a big game, I jump back into the gungeon only to stay there for hours. Everything this game has to offer is fantastic.

Enter the Gungeon is a rogue-like game like no other. This game has enough pop culture references to blow your mind. From Ghostbusters to Star Wars, the easters eggs found here are enough to keep you coming back for more. Pop culture aside, Enter the Gungeon has one of the best gameplay loops I have ever experienced in a Rogue-like game.

What makes this great for comfort gaming is that you can spend fifteen minutes and be satisfied or spend hours and still want more.

You will never feel like you have wasted your time with this game since you will be unlocking new items, weapons, or characters even as you pass your 100th-hour mark. I have been playing this game since 2017, and I am still unlocking new weapons today. If you have never played this gem, I encourage you to do so. The game that you will find here is easily one of the best Indie games that you can play and one of the best rogue-like games ever. 

Jimmy Montoya


By: Konami

Released on: February 2, 1985

A retro game that has been with me since I first played it on the NES until now has been Gradius. Published by Konami in 1985 as an arcade cabinet and as an NES cartridge in 1986, this little spaceship shooter was a fun challenge in avoiding getting hit and trying to hit everything in your way. The game looks easy at first but when it really starts all hell breaks loose. Before Demon’s Soul and Bloodborne this was the unforgiving game. It wasn’t glitchy or broken like many games from this era but forced you to think differently in your approach. I used to play this game with all my family and friends. I was not good as a kid and just as bad as an adult playing the game. Each time I play it I learn something new or unique about it. We would challenge each other to see who can make it the further on one quarter or life.

Gradius isn’t a top tier title like Mario, Zelda, or Metroid, but it did push what a side scroller could do and was as influential for its genera as many NES games

Brian Villar