Ranking the Nostalgia

Ranking the Nostalgia

Erika Lewis

As a young child, I was practically raised playing video games. My dad would always play video games for my siblings and I to watch him and when I was older, I too started playing video games. The spectrum of games was all over the place going from Legend of Zelda to Littlest Pet Shop Games. Since all of these games hold good memories I decided to revisit them and see if they were just as good as I remembered them. After replaying them all I also decided to give them rankings. 


1) Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Wii)

Not exactly a surprise but my favorite game was Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. This was probably the game that I played the most when I was a small child and one that holds the most memories. It was the one I jumped on when I had a chance to replay it and it was definitely an adventure. This will be something that comes up a lot but the levels were definitely much easier than I remember them being. I had managed to play through, in story mode, an entire episode in just a matter of hours. In the past it would have taken days to get that much done. It was fun however to relive some of the memories that I had. Something I noticed however was just how glitchy the game could be sometimes. (Another common theme I’ll be mentioning.) There were several times when the game ultimately just glitched and froze on me forcing me to restart. 

While I was playing the game I decided to also pay a visit to my childhood game file. I was surprised to find out how much of the game I had completed. I had unlocked all of the characters from Luke Skywalker to Ghost Obi-Wan to a small mouse droid. It was fun to go through and see just how much of the game tiny me had managed to complete, and I was quite impressed with myself. 


2) Wii Sports Resort (Wii)

The next ranked game was another that I had fond memories of. Wii Sports Resort is a game that I often played with my friends and family and it’s one that holds a lot of good memories. There are several games you can play on there such as table tennis and golfing as well as bicycling and plane dog fighting. All of these games you were able to play single player but they were so much more interesting to play with other people. That’s why, when I replayed the game, I had my siblings play with me. Especially my older sister. We enjoyed friendly competition in bowling, to which I lost every single time (I never was good at that). And we struggled to work together while we competed in the tandem bike race. It was a struggle mainly because one of us (me) wasn’t exactly pulling our weight. Overall this one was extremely fun to play and I was able to bond more with my sister and have a lot of fun that reminded me of when I was a wee lass. 


3) Super Mario 3D World (Wii U)

This is another game that was one of my favorites to play when I was a kid. Although it didn’t come out until I was about eight years old, it was still one I would play for hours at a time. When I was little I had played it with my sibling but when I went back I decided just to play solo. Much like Lego Star Wars, the levels were a lot easier than I remember them to be when I was a kid. To make things more difficult I made it my personal goal to collect all of the green stars which I, and not to flex, was able to do. However, by the time that I approached the fifth world my nerves were frayed and it was only after two levels of the fifth world that I rage quit and gave up the game. My patience is not what it used to be. However, it was fun to play through half of the game and concur some of the levels I used to struggle with.


4) Wind Waker (Gamecube)

The next game that I decided to take another chance at was Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. Although I have the HD version for the Wii U I decided to go all the way back to the one that I played when I was a small child. That’s right, I went back to play the wonderful original Wind Waker on the Gamecube. Now, the thing with this game is I didn’t get very far in it and thus don’t have many memories except that I wasn’t ever able to make it through the fortress the first time because I was an actual coward. My goal going into it again wasn’t to beat the game but just to one up my seven year old self. (It wasn’t that hard if we’re being honest). I have to admit it was a lot more fun this time around and I was able to enjoy the story as well as the gameplay. 

I would like to clear something up, when I say that I didn’t get very far that doesn’t mean I didn’t play it a lot. I would go on my sister’s file and just run around and explore. I loved sailing the ocean and hopping from island to island and walking around. I would make up small stories where Link had to leave his grandmother to live with his parents but then he got lost at sea… it was a whole thing. It was strange but it entertained younger me enough. I promise though, that’s not how I played it this time around; I played it the correct way. 


5) Mario Kart Wii (Wii)

This was another one that I would play all the time with my family when I was a small child. I was constantly either racing my siblings or parents or sometimes my uncles. Not to brag about this either but I was an amazing player. I constantly was beating my siblings, parents, ect…and was the master of Rainbow Road aka the hardest racing course. That was my one flex as a kid. When I went back to play this one I wanted to see if I was still the racer that I was and, to help my confidence, challenged my sister to some races. It was so strange to go back and play this game after at least five years and it was nice to play through some of the courses that I enjoyed when I was younger. Anyway, back to the competition with my sister. I don’t mean to say that I killed it but that’s exactly what I did. While my sister was struggling to remember the controls, everything came back to me like it was a hidden muscle memory. I maintained first place throughout all four races while my sister struggled to stay in the single digits. It was just like old times. 


6) Super Mario Brothers Wii (Wii)

This was another game that I hadn’t touched in at least five years. I remember that when I was younger it wasn’t exactly my favorite and became even less so after I got a taste of the 3D Mario World. However, going back and playing it I realized the game was still quite fun. I wasn’t able to be toad like I prefer but as Mario I didn’t feel as guilty when I died. I will admit that it took me a hot minute to figure out the controls and how to do certain maneuvers (I wish I could say I mastered them but I was never able to) but eventually I started getting the hang of it. It was nice to feel some of the nostalgia from when I used to play with my dad and sisters but I wasn’t about to relive the memory because now we would have just ended up fighting and we didn’t have as much free time as we used to. It was definitely a fun experience however and, although I probably wouldn’t play it again, it was still enjoyable to replay a few levels. 


7) Littlest Pet Shop (Wii)

Alright, so these final two games were ones that were some of my ultimate favorites when I was younger but when I replayed them I realized they weren’t quite as remarkable as I remembered. This one was a game my siblings and I got for Christmas and it was a Wii game that was a spin off of these small toys known as Littlest Pet Shops. I was obsessed with the toy and was so excited to get the game. It was something I would play for hours upon hours and I would have so much fun coming up with “super original” names for the pets. When I went back to play it though it was apparent that my sense of humor and entertainment is extremely different. Instead of giving the black horse a name like Midnight his name was instead, for some reason, Credit Card (honestly I don’t know either and I named the thing) and a different Dog was named GlobeWar instead of Paws. The games you could play with the pets were also either incredibly easy OR extremely glitchy. I wasn’t even able to make it very far because I eventually got bored. Honestly, I have no idea how I was able to play the game for hours. 


8) Disney Princess: Enchanted Journey (Wii)

The final game on this list was another that I remember being able to play for hours on end either by myself or with one of my sisters. It was a game where you were this random girl who found herself in a broken castle and had to save different Disney Princesses from these evil creatures. When I first went back to play it I thought it was an incredibly strange story line but me and my older sister continued anyway. It was quite interesting to play such an innocent (and frankly kind of boring) game while being the chaotic person I am today and there were several times we would turn things a little to a more dark side. However, that helped with the enjoyment. Something that I had to go back and try was this one minigame that was incredibly glitchy which made it incredibly hard to play and almost near impossible. Not to my surprise the minigame was just as glitchy and it took me and my sister, and later my friend, several tries to finally beat it. (It was embarrassing to get defeated several times by a game meant for 7 year olds.) Much like the Littlest Pet Shop game it was frankly a kind of boring game and I wasn’t able to beat it because I ended up getting too tired of it. 


Replaying all of these games was definitely an experience to say the least but it was also incredibly fun. It was nice to experience some of the nostalgia and also realize that I am, in fact, superior to my younger self. Despite the glitches and struggles it is definitely something I would do again with more games and hopefully I’ll get the chance to do so.