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Summer has come and school is out. The only problem is the heat. It's wonderful to go outside and be active, but sometimes you just want to crank the AC up all the way and play some video games. Many of the biggest hits right now are expensive, so what's a gamer to do? Thankfully, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and a lot of other video game companies have been re-releasing some excellent classic games that you can buy in a store or download right onto your console. Here are some of the best old-school games that have held up well since their systems became obsolete.
1. The Legend of Zelda - Ocarina of Time
This groundbreaking 3D adventure game could have been a disaster. Link, the hero of many magical quests throughout the mythical realm of Hyrule, had always been represented in 2D. His leap to three dimensions on the Nintendo 64 catapulted this game to many people's lists of the best ever. Even today, over a decade later, it is still a complex but accessible adventure. Every dungeon that you, Link and your fairy companion Navi explore opens a whole new world that makes it virtually impossible to put the controller down.
Nintendo has recently re-released Ocarina of Time on the new 3DS handheld system. The game has had some graphical tweaks and control upgrades but overall remains the same as it was when kids and adults everywhere waited in line to be a part of the next quest to save Princess Zelda from the evil Ganondorf. Save money on your own copy now by searching online for FAO Schwartz Promotion Codes.
2. Super Metroid
Another high point in a long-running trilogy that began on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Metroid is considered to be the best of bounty hunter Samus Aran's adventures in space. This version appeared on the Super Nintendo and took advantage of the incredible graphics and memory that the SNES possessed. With the ability to save your game, revisit areas and collect new weapons, Super Metroid has influenced dozens of games since. However, most haven't lived up to the original, so check it out now!
3. Goldeneye 007
Even casual gamers will remember the smash hit Goldeneye from its release at the same time as the epic Bond movie. What could have been a standard movie tie-in quickly became one of the most influential and popular first-person shooters (FPS) in the history of video games. One of the things that set Goldeneye apart was the ability to instantly set up a death match among four friends. Relive childhood and frenetic running and shooting as M16's deadliest agent the next time you download a classic game.
4. Resident Evil
The perfect game to play alone in a dark basement on a lonely summer night is Resident Evil. One of the first "survival horror" games to appear on a major console (the Sony Playstation), the first Resident Evil pitted the player against a massive, spooky mansion filled with zombies. What made Resident Evil so interesting - yet frustrating - was how stacked the deck was. Bullets and health packs were few and far between, so even an encounter with a slow, shambling enemy could spell instant death! Download the game now, but bring a friend over if you don't think you can handle the scares alone.
5. Super Street Fighter II
There are many fighting games out there, and then there is Street Fighter II, which is unique enough to stand alone. The series that first propelled fighting games to massive popularity is available in its original form, as well as many sequels, remakes and updates. Super Street Fighter II may have been the best of many versions, featuring classic characters such as Ryu, Blanka, E. Honda and Chun Li. Starting a game and mashing buttons was fun and easy, but mastering the special skills and hit combinations for every character is another matter entirely. Be prepared to invest some time in this game.
6. Super Mario Kart
Lots of people play regular racing games, where the only goal is to go faster than everyone else. However, the real fun comes from games that enable you do more, such as hurl bananas at opponents and use power-ups to zoom through a course. The foundation for that type of racing game was laid twenty years ago when Super Mario Kart was released for the Super Nintendo. Since then, many racing games have come and gone, but most were simply improving on the original's model.
7. Dr. Mario
Puzzle games also come and go, but a good formula will stick around for a while. Dr. Mario was released almost 25 years ago and is still popular as a download on the Nintendo Wii. There's just something about helping Mario get rid of those pesky, three-colored viruses that's so compelling. Match up four blocks of the same color in a row to make them disappear, but be careful - don't touch the top of the screen!