back to top

22 Painful Gaming Memories Only '90s Kids Will Have

Best decade in gaming history? Maybe, but we had to put up with a lot of crap.

Posted on

1. Staying up until sunrise because your game had no save or password feature.

Nintendo / Giphy

The sun would be rising, your NES would be about to melt because it had been on for 10 hours straight, but damn it, you were going to finish Super Mario Bros. 3.

3. Your dusty Mega Drive and SNES carts refusing to work no matter how many times you blew in them.


"Blow in it again, it still looks like a messed-up nightmare." Ninety per cent of the time it was a magic fix, but if not you'd end up hammering the reset button repeatedly.


4. Not being able to see your Game Boy's screen on a sunny day.

You'd bug your parents for Handy Boy magnifying glass, light, and speaker system, then you'd realise it looked terrible and didn't even work anyway.

5. The sheer anguish when you heard Channel 4 had cancelled GamesMaster.

Channel 4 / Giphy

Or Bad Influence! if you preferred ITV. Remember their video blast with all the cheat codes you could only read by playing your VHS in slow motion? Amazing.

7. When your PlayStation memory card was full, so you'd have to agonise over which save files to delete.

Sony / Giphy

You'd delete your best Gran Turismo cars and the Metal Gear Solid tuxedo, only to discover your new game actually needed four blocks, not three. Fuuuuck.


9. The sheer rage when a Tekken n00b beat you by mashing Eddy Gordo's kicks.

Namco / Giphy

On the other hand, this was also the best way to have a laugh by making your pals go insane with fury. Just mash X and O. Simple.

10. When you'd been rinsing multiplayer on 56k dial-up, and your parents opened their phone bill.


Quake 3, Chu Chu Rocket, Unreal Tournament, and Doom players will remember legging it out of the house as fast as possible.


12. When you found a save room in Resident Evil and didn't have an ink ribbon.

For some reason explosive grenade rounds took up the same inventory space as the hexagonal crank, heart key, or ink ribbons, because logic.

14. And when the Time Crisis gun wouldn't calibrate properly no matter how hard you tried.

"Looks like I'm just holding it right up to the screen, then."

15. When you realised the SNES version of Mortal Kombat had no blood or fatalities.

Konami / Giphy

What was the point playing it if you couldn't plunge your fist into someone's chest and rip out their still-beating heart?


16. Your "friend" taking both chickens when you were about to die in Streets of Rage.

Sega / Giphy

You'd be on your last life and about to fight Mr. X, but your pal with the full life bar would inevitably eat your life-saving snack. Friendship deleted.

18. The moment you realised you have to complete Ghouls 'n' Ghosts TWICE to get the good ending.


At this point you either turned off your console and binned the game forever, or you committed to the long haul.


21. The soul-crushing disappointment of the Super Mario Bros. movie.

Buena Vista Pictures / Giphy

Do you remember feeling baffled when they revealed their names were Luigi Mario and Mario Mario? What the actual hell was that all about?

22. And, worst of all, when your pal would make you player two, and force you to use the shit controller.

We all remember the one: It was generic and sticky, the plastic coating would be coming off, and it was covered in random turbo buttons. Some friend, huh?

But hey, it wasn't all bad.


Because the odds were stacked against you, finishing a '90s game was a truly euphoric feeling – one the youth of today will never understand. So, in short, we win.