Parents, how many time have you had this conversation with your kids:
Kid: Mom or Dad, I need the new Sony PlayStation 800 Billion. There’s no new games coming out for the stupid PlayStation 60 Million.
You: Okay fine. Here’s $7,000.
Kid: Damn straight!
It’s a pretty clever scheme videogame makers have going on here: crank out a new game system every three or four years and force kids (rather, their parents) to keep shelling out enormous wads of cash for the latest and greatest technology. Game developers are usually pretty quick to jump ship from the older systems.
But thanks to the work of smaller game developers and fans of older systems, brand new games are still being made for videogame systems introduced 20 years ago. Assuming your game hardware is still in playing condition, you can simply whip those old consoles out of the closet and drop in some of these brand new releases for out-of-production videogame systems.
Stop using your Commodore 64 as a doorstop and feed it a copy of Silo64 by Seth Sternberger, a two-player shooter which places you in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in a race for survival. $9.99 at oldergames
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
While perhaps a bit legally dubious, you can explore dozens of NES titles never released in North America. Titles include Adventure Island 4, Super Contra 7, and many other. $25 plus a donor cartridge at NES Reproductions
Beggar Prince is an absolutely gorgeous role-playing/adventure game from Super Fighter Team. Released late in 2006, the game quickly sold out, but its maker promises more copies will be manufactured soon. The game has received decent reviews, but the fact that it’s the first commercially released Genesis game in nearly a decade should be all the reason that Sega fans need to pick this one up when it’s re-released.
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
The SNES featured some of the greatest videogames of all time, so it’s a shame there aren’t more new games coming out for it. I was able to find Frog Feast, coming soon to the SNES but already available for other systems like the Sega CD and Atari Jaguar CD.
All five of you 3DO fans out there have a lot to cheer about with several new games available. There’s ICEBREAKER 2, a sequel to the original cult favorite puzzle game by Magnet Interactive Studios. (The original Icebreaker was highly addictive, so anyone still in possession of a working 3DO system should definitely grab a copy of this official sequel.) Sports fans will enjoy OnSide Soccer, an older but previously unreleased title from Elite Systems. And Off Road lovers will definitely want to give Powerslide a try, though the game’s website does indicate that the software is in an unfinished but playable state. $24.99-$29.99 at oldergames
Not exactly an ancient system, the Dreamcast is still considered by many of its fans to be the best videogame system ever made. In Japan, the Dreamcast following is so strong that big-name publishers are still releasing games for it with official support from Sega. You won’t be able to play these titles on your North American Dreamcast without stopping by your area import videogame store for some hardware modifications, but they’re still worth mentioning just to show that the Dreamcast lives on.
Under Defeat is a helicopter shoot-’em-up game from G.rev with beautiful graphics and a riveting war story (or at least it looks like one; I can’t read Japanese).
Radilgy, another overhead shooter game, was originally released for the Dreamcast in Japan in 2005 and was supposed to make it to American shores on the Gamecube, but falling interest in Nintendo’s previous-generation system led to its cancellation.
Trigger Heart Exelica is yet another Japanese Dreamcast shooter title based on the immensely popular arcade game.
Karous is—you guessed it—another shooter title from the makers of Radilgy. If you don’t have a modified Dreamcast at home, fear not; a Wii version of Karous is in the making.
There are a few titles available to unmodified American Dreamcast owners, like the four-player puzzle game Inhabitants from S+F Software. Then there’s Maqiupai, a Mahjong variant. Probably the most promising of the late-breaking American Dreamcast titles are Cool Herders, a multi-player sheep-herding game, and Feet of Fury, inspired by Dance Dance Revolution with 22 songs from which to choose and the ability to use swap CDs to dance to your own tunes. $14.90-$19.90 at The GOAT Store
So now when your children ask for the newest videogame system, here’s how your conversation can go.
Kid: Mom or Dad, I need the new Sony PlayStation 800 Billion.
You: What, did they stop making games for all your old systems?
You: Don’t lie to me you little punk. Here’s a huge list of newer games for older systems.
Kid: Wow! I’ll click on that hyperlink you just spoke right now to find out more!
Do you know of any other new-release commercially available videogames for these or other out-of-production systems? Comment here and they’ll be added to the list.