10. Killer Instinct
There hasn’t been a version of this Mortal Kombat-y fighting game since 1996, which means that it is entirely likely the kid on the left in the above photo was in kindergarten — or younger — when this game was first popular. #oldfeels
9. The Pinball Arcade
Why go to a local arcade to play the great pinball games of the ’90s and ’00s when you can play a digital simulation — like the Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball game, above — instead? This game’s been available for several platforms for over a year, but I saw this version playing on the graphically superpowered PlayStation 4. And I gotta say, this looks so real in person, I did a double take when I first passed by.
8. The Super Mario 3D World Display At The Nintendo Pavilion
Nintendo’s entire business model is built on nostalgia — there were at least five new Mario-related titles at the Nintendo booth this year, including Mario Kart 8 and Super Luigi U. So I’m actually a little surprised that they haven’t always had a display allowing visitors to have their picture taken coming out of a green Mario pipe. Seems like a no-brainer, really.
(Yes, that is Princess Peach in a catsuit on the left.)
7. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Speaking of Nintendo, there wasn’t a playable version of the new Super Smash Bros. on the show floor, but the addition of Mega Man to the franchise was enough to make it the buzziest title for the company this year. Which isn’t exactly saying a lot.
6. Disney Infinity
In which a cavalcade of Disney characters from across the company — from Pixar to Capt. Jack Sparrow — all live inside one giant Disney-fied Disney game of Disneyesque Disneyocity. Yes, that is The Incredibles villain Syndrome in the candified landscape from Wreck-It Ralph.
5. Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection
This collection of all the major Metal Gear games since 1987 (!!!) is for all those MGS fanatics who revere Solid Snake as one the premiere characters of their childhoods. If you aren’t one, it’s best just to move along and not dig too deep into the psyches of those who are.
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD
Those of us geeky enough to have played the 2002 version on the Nintendo GameCube have fond memories of watching the cartoony Link ride his trusty sailboat…for…so…many…minutes between islands. The new Wii U version allows you to do so in crisp HD, which is gorgeous to behold — if you actually happen to own a Wii U.
3. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD Remix
More Disney nostalgia, and more HD updates, this time of the beloved 2002 RPG game — which is really just meant to whet fans’ appetites for the still-in-development Kingdom Hearts III, which, alas, did not have a playable version on the show floor.
But at least there’s a Kingdom Hearts III trailer:
2. The DuckTales Remastered Theme Song Booth
The completely updated version of the beloved NES game was announced a few months ago, and to celebrate, Capcom had this booth where you can record yourself singing the original theme song to the afternoon cartoon series — which everyone between 27 and 37 will now have running through their head for days and days and days…
1. The Video Game History Museum
This collection of bygone video game consoles and bric-a-brac has become a mainstay of E3 — and there is still nothing more effective at exploding the nostalgia centers of the brain than seeing one of those old plastic joy boxes (like this classic Atari 2600 system, above) live and in person once more.