10 Classic ’90s Games That Can’t Be Played On Modern


With older games like Resident Evil getting modern re-releases and remakes as of late, fans of many classic ’90s titles have been left to wonder when their favorite games can get the same treatment. While many ’90s hits have been revived on modern hardware, there are still a few glaring omissions.

From N64 gems like Mischief Makers, to forgotten classics like The Neverhood, there is a slew of amazing ’90s games waiting to be ported. Despite the need for so many games to get revived, only a select few left a big impression on gamers and are the most desired titles to get remade.

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Ghostbusters (1990)

The character select screen from Ghostbusters 1990

Though the intrepid ghost hunting team didn’t fare well on classic consoles, the 1990 Sega Genesis title quickly became a fan favorite. Playing through various levels with bright graphics, the user controls the Ghostbusters as they fight an increasingly difficult series of baddies.

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By 1990, the heat had worn off from the franchise, but the game still managed to exceed expectations. Filled with smooth platforming and fun Ghostbusters tech, it was the game that many fans had dreamed of. While a host of Sega Genesis games have been collected into modern retrospectives, Ghostbusters is always conspicuously absent.

Dune II: The Building Of A Dynasty (1992)

A figure stands in front of the desert from Dune II

PC gamers were treated to an excellent array of sci-fi games in the ’90s, and the Dune franchise was responsible for one of the best. Dune II put the player in charge of one of the franchise’s main houses as they attempt to harvest spice while fighting off rivals.

While it may seem primitive today, Dune II was groundbreaking when it came to the world of strategy gaming. The game does an excellent job of pitting resources against a random series of events, and it draws cleverly from the book and movie franchise as well. Though the game has been duplicated and modded, it isn’t available to be played in its original form.

Flood (1990)

A green blob jumps away from a monster in Flood

The 1990s had plenty of obscure games, and a boom in the market meant that some of the best simply slipped through the cracks. Flood is an imaginative platformer that allows the user to control Quiffy, a green blob creature that navigates the levels collecting trash.

As the game progresses, the levels can fill up with deadly water which is where the game derives its name. Simplistic in its approach, Flood nevertheless had fun with the platforming genre and was truly a one-of-a-kind experience that isn’t available to play.

The Neverhood (1996)

Klaymen explores an empty room from Neverhood

The ’90s was a time of great imagination in video gaming, and The Neverhood was a prime example of a truly off-the-wall title. The game follows Klayman who journeys through his strange land to learn about his purpose in the universe.

The point-and-click adventure is generally considered one of the best cult-classic games ever, and it is seared in the memories of many gamers because of its weirdness. The graphics were derived entirely of claymation, and it has a cartoonish and yet appealing visual style. Though fans often demand it be put on platforms like Steam, The Neverhood is still AWOL from modern hardware.

WWF Attitude (1999)

A wrestler celebrates victory from WWF Attitude

Wrestling video games have come a long way since the 1990s, but many point to WWF Attitude as the turning point of the sub-genre. The user can choose from a variety of WWF wrestlers and compete in a plethora of different match types.

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Better wrestling games came after, but fans look back fondly on Attitude because it was many player’s first experience with a wrestling game. The roster is very memorable, and it truly captured the wild days of the WWE‘s supposed Attitude Era. Unfortunately for fans though, Attitude hasn’t been ported for modern systems, and it is unlikely that it ever will be.

Mischief Makers (1997)

Two heroes from Mischief Makers stand side by side

The Nintendo 64 has a wealth of underrated gems, and Mischief Makers has recently taken its place among other forgotten classics. The user takes control of a robot maid who journeys to rescue her creator from the clutches of an evil villain.

Featuring a 2.5D platform style, the game was a bit of the old and new on the N64. Visually the game featured stunning colors and character designs, and it took advantage of the full range of abilities that the N64 was capable of. Though many games from that era have been resurrected by Nintendo, Mischief Makers sadly isn’t one of them.

Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures (1994)

Indiana Jones stands in a temple from Greatest Adventures

Unlike the Super Star Wars series which gave each movie its own SNES game, Indiana Jones‘ Greatest Adventures wrapped up its trilogy in one game. The game brings to life the original Indiana Jones films through a series of exciting platforming levels.

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Truly the peak of what the 16-bit SNES was capable of, the game had a fun and exciting arcade style that also captured the pure essence of the movies. Though it was punishingly hard, Greatest Adventures was a rewarding game that was unlike most other movie adaptations. The aforementioned Super Star Wars has been ported, therefore it is seemingly only a matter of time before the archeologist gets the same treatment.

Illusion Of Gaia (1993)

Will, as Freedan, stands in front of Gaia in Illusion of Gaia

Having fun with history, Illusion of Gaia falls somewhere between fantasy and historical fiction in its narrative. The user takes control of Will, a young man who ventures out to the various wonders of the world to discover the secret of the Tower of Babel.

Unlike most RPGs which feature a complicated leveling system, Illusion of Gaia instead relies on post-fight power-ups that increase the player’s overall skill as the game progresses. The game was praised for its story and 16-bit graphics, but it was sadly overshadowed by bigger franchises. Even so, it is usually first to be mentioned among classic Nintendo games that need a modern remake.

Smash TV (1990)

The main title screen from Smash TV

Though it is unbelievably ’90s in its style, Smash TV was still an arcade hit that did pretty well on consoles. One or two players team up to take on hordes of enemies as they compete on a gruesome reality show that pits its contestants against each other in a battle to the death.

With a top-down view and run-and-gun style, Smash TV was just plain fun from start to finish. Though there wasn’t anything particularly complicated about the gameplay, the dystopian setting and strange boss battles were quite memorable. The game is a rare case in that it was available for modern download, but a rights dispute lead it to be removed.

Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu (1990)

Jackie Chan fights an enemy in Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu

By the early 1990s, the NES was on its last legs and was soon to be fully replaced by the SNES. Despite this, several great titles were produced for the legendary console well into its second decade. Jackie Chan’s Action Kung Fu starred the titular hero in an action beat-em-up style platformer with memorable NES graphics.

The moves are fluid and fun to use, and the overall presentation of the game was head and shoulders above the usual NES fare. The attachment of a likable personality like Jackie Chan was a nice touch, but the game shines on its own merits as well. Unfortunately, though a bulk of the NES library is available in modern forms, Action Kung Fu hasn’t seen any modernization.

NEXT: 10 Hardest NES Games We Still Can’t Beat Today

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