This is the second time we’ve put together a list of our favourite old games of the year, and things have changed a little since 2018. The spate of remasters for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has dried up as both platform holders shift their focus to the next generation of hardware – and Microsoft brought its impressive backward compatibility initiative for Xbox One to a close in the summer. The good news is that all the preservation and restoration work undertaken this generation hasn’t been wasted, as both Microsoft and Sony have promised their next consoles will be fully backwards compatible with their current machines.
Over on Switch, however, the fervour both players and publishers have for back catalogue releases is undimmed. Nintendo’s luxury portable continues to be the ideal place to put old favourites, whether they’re current-gen classics or vintage curios. The retro micro-console fad is still going strong – and inspiring some pretty flamboyant expressions of nostalgia. And some of the world’s top developers, from Blizzard to Nintendo, are investing serious resources in remaking their past hits to an ambitious spec.
It’s still great to see the games business and audience continuing to take the preservation and availability of past classics so seriously. Long may it continue into the next decade.