The Best 16-bit Video Games for Nostalgic Nerds

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16 Jan 20

The Best 16-bit Video Games for Nostalgic Nerds

16-bit video games may look clumsy and clunky compared to today’s games, but back in the 1990s, they were at the height of gaming innovation. Many of the games from that era are still as playable and enjoyable as they always were. So, take a trip down memory lane, as you explore some of the best 16-bit games of all time.


Tetris may be the most famous tile puzzle game, but many cite Columns as being even better. It is your task to match different coloured jewels as columns of three symbols fall from the top to the bottom of the screen. If three or more jewels are connected horizontally, vertically or diagonally, those symbols disappear. It is your goal to play for as long as you can before the screen fills up with jewels and ends gameplay. The highly-immersive but straightforward 16-bit puzzle game is still as enjoyable to play as it has ever been. And you will find a lot of modern variations on the game today. For example, Starburst has become a favourite at online casinos around the world. You can play it, and various other fantastic puzzles, slot games and table games at Casumo.

Mortal Kombat II

Compared to some of today’s video games, the blood and violence of Mortal Kombat II could seem rather tame. But back in the ‘90s, this game caused major controversy because of its continuous depiction of graphic violence. After appearing in arcades in 1993, Mortal Kombat II was released on a variety of home systems, such as Super Nintendo Entertainment System, the Game Boy, and Sega Genesis. It became an unprecedented commercial and critical success and received many awards. The game’s story is about the Mortal Kombat tournament set in a dimensional realm called Outworld. Earthrealm representatives must fight Outworlders in succession as they battle their way to challenge the evil emperor Shao Kahn.

Super Mario World

Nintendo’s plumber mascot and his brother Luigi were already big names in the gaming world before Super Mario World came out in 1990, but this game was far more enticing than previous Mario games. The side-scrolling video game follows Mario on a quest to save Princess Toadstool from the evil mastermind Bowser and his minions. You can play as Mario or Luigi through a series of levels in which you must reach the flagpole to complete each level. Super Mario World is also notable because it introduced the infamous dinosaur Yoshi. With more than 20 million copies sold globally, it is not surprising to hear that this game is the best 16-bit platformer you can play.

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

In the 1990s, the main contender to Mortal Kombat II was the hugely successful fight game Street Fighter II. And the Turbo: Hyper Fighting game is undoubtedly the best of the Street Fighter II sub-series games. It came out in arcades in 1992, less than one year after the previous instalment, and introduced faster playing speed and new special moves for specific characters. It may seem old hat now, but the fact that characters could fight against themselves was a big selling point for this game. This 16-bit classic still holds up today as a worthy fight-for-the-title game.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The third game in The Legend of Zelda series, A Link to the Past, was a landmark game for Nintendo when it was released in 1991. It quickly became a commercial and critical success. With more than four million copies sold worldwide, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is considered to be one of the greatest RPG video games of all time. The story of the game features the hero Link as he travels to save Hyrule, rescue descendants of the Seven Sages, and defeat the dark overlord Ganon. As Link, you will journey through dungeons, collect a plethora of weapons and other items, and uncover secret missions. The gameplay returns to that of the first Zelda game, with a top-down perspective, rather than the side-scrolling play of Zelda II. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is also epic. It is one of the longest 16-bit games you can play.