Total Nerd 13 Things Every '90s Gamer Will Instantly Relate To  

Robert Carnevale
416 votes 95 voters 1.9k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the best '90s gaming tropes that are no longer around.

Being a '90s gamer is something special; a real badge of gaming honor. If you played any of the best classic video games in the '90s, you were essentially a pioneer alongside companies like Nintendo and Sega, journeying across new frontiers of entertainment. You saw the insane growth of an industry so big that it surpassed film as the most lucrative entertainment form. So if you were unboxing a brand new Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo Entertainment System back in the day, congrats: you're part of the cool kids club.

It's not all about gaming street cred, though. The reality is, many aspects of gaming were just objectively superior back in the good old days. Gaming in the '90s was a time before the over-simplification of video games, a time when you could game on the couch with your best friend, and a time before companies decided gouge you with seedy DLC tactics. Take a look at the list below and vote up the things you miss about the '90s gaming scene.

1 46 VOTES

Blowing On Cartridges

Blowing On Cartridges is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 13 Things Every '90s Gamer Will Instantly Relate To
Photo:  Nathan Rupert/Flickr

There's a whole bunch of ancient technology that went into making the ye olde gaming cartridges of yesterday produce their 16-bit magic. From time to time, the games would bug out and every kid knew what to do: pop the cartridge out, blow on the insertion slot, then shove 'er back in to watch the game magically spring to life.

Did you know why this was supposed to fix the problem? Nope. Was there any science to even back it up? Probably not. Was it a fun little bit of easy troubleshooting that's now a long-lost gaming tradition? Yep.

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2 28 VOTES

Flipping Through Paper Instruction Booklets That Are Included With The Cartridges

Flipping Through Paper Instruc... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 13 Things Every '90s Gamer Will Instantly Relate To
Photo:  kafka4prez/Flickr

In the pre-Internet era, video games would include a paper instruction booklet in the case. The booklet would feature background information on characters, concept art for the game, and a straightforward description of how the controls worked. It was always fun to flip through the booklet and see pictures of what those 8-bit heroes on your screen were supposed to look like. 

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3 50 VOTES

Couch Co-op Only, No Online Play

Couch Co-op Only, No Online Pl... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 13 Things Every '90s Gamer Will Instantly Relate To
Photo:  Konami

Without the Internet, there was only one way to get your digital kicks with a friend: couch co-op. After school, you and a buddy would sit down and fight over the better controller, who had to be Player 2, and who got to sit in the cooler bean bag chair. It was classic buddy-bonding at its finest, an experience born from the limitations of '90s hardware and the lack of online gaming. It was a blissful, innocent time when gaming was an actual social experience, not just kids sh*ttalking each other from behind anonymous screens and immature Xbox Live gamertags.

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4 46 VOTES

Getting The Complete Game At Launch

Getting The Complete Game At L... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 13 Things Every '90s Gamer Will Instantly Relate To
Photo:  Imgur

No DLC, no season passes, none of that bullsh*t. The '90s were a simpler time, one without the Internet and therefore without modern gaming's "we'll fix it later" mentality. Before the ability to patch games post-release came along and enabled a level of corporate greed the world had yet to meet, games were sold as a complete, fully functional product. 

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