7 Video Games That Exploited Your Nostalgia (And WON)

Happy memories.

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NetherRealm Studios

Using the term "exploiting" in a sentence rarely sets a good tone for the conversation.

It's a word that by its accepted implication can mean someone or something is manipulating a situation for their own benefit, usually implying had they not done so, the transaction in question would be much more evenly split.

It's also a term that is bandied around a lot when it comes to the video game industry, and with good reason, as it seems that developers and publishers the world over love nothing more than taking pleasant childhood memories and wheeling them out for their own personal gain.

To give context to this, just take, I don't know the entire 80s as an example, as time and time again publishers will take movie and video game icons from this era and slap them into current video games in order to crowbar open our wallets under the guise of "Hey... you remember this little fella??"

Of course, you do, and simply by their sheer existence in their video game, publishers want you to take part in a rose-tinted transaction, no matter how shoehorned or forced the tie-in is.

Here though, that's not what we're going to talk about. We're looking at the times where nostalgia was still "exploited", but here it was in the favor of the player over the publisher.

7. Retro Skins - Resident Evil 2 Remake & Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes

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"Graphics will never get any better than this"

I remember saying this about Final Fantasy IX.

Now upon reflection, I was an idiot, but at the time I seriously thought that the likes of Zidane and crew were the best realized and most beautiful-looking sprites I'd ever seen.

Looking at the landscape of today where even trackside flowers on kart racing games have more fidelity than the best-looking moments of my childhood titles it's almost brain-breaking to think how graphics can improve further, and yet I, alongside so many will always get a huge nostalgia pop whenever a developer offers us the chance to play current-gen games with classic skins.

I honestly feel like blood Ed Gein for how much I crave these low-poly skins, and the likes of the almighty Resident Evil 2 Remake and MGS: Ground Zeroes are heightened immensely through their appreciation for what came before. It might seem like a small detail to many, but the fact that the devs chose to remind people of their title's lineage in a loving and humorous way shows a lot of thanks for the foundations built by these classic titles.

Hell in the case of Ground Zeros, the PS1-inspired snakeskin actually comes with a special mission that infuses the gameplay with a supremely retro tone that will send shivers of ecstasy through your blocky bones.


Jules Gill hasn't written a bio just yet, but if they had... it would appear here.