8 of your favourite childhood video games you can play on your phone
(Picture: METRO/MylesGoode)

There are a lot of things you hold dear about your childhood. The films, the music and, most definitely, the toys.

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But for many of us, it was the video games that really defined it.

As you packed away your Nintendo 64 or Game Boy many eons ago, you probably thought you’d never get those nostalgic pleasures ever again. But thanks to smart phones, now we can.

And we shouldn’t be surprised. ARM Tech executive Nizar Romdan only said this year that by 2017, high-end smartphones will be on par visuals-wise with PlayStation 4 and XBox One.

They’re very powerful things, meaning that apps of your favourite games now exist for you to buy and download for a decent price (or for free!).

Looks like our console game days aren’t completely over yet.

Here are eight of your beloved video games that you can still play thanks to the power of your smartphone.


(Picture: Namco LTD)

The world’s iconic arcade game now available from the either the App Store or Google Play.

Now you can spend hours running away from ghosts and chomping on dots with easy swipe controls, or do it old-school style with an onscreen joystick.

Along with the original maze you remember, the app version has loads of of new mazes that the developers are regularly adding to.

All the joys you remember of PAC-MAN and more in one app for £3.99 (or freemium on Android).

2) Crash Bandicoot

(Credit: Sony)

Well, sort of.

This version of Crash Bandicoot takes your favourite characters from the game and puts them in a racing environment. So it’s like Mario Kart, but a bit wackier and with more explosives.

Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D (available on the App Store) tries to give you a really immersive experience of this game, with 12 thrilling tracks to test your racing stripes.

You can tilt and twist your phone to direct the kart, so it’s like you’re really driving it.

While not the original game itself, it is a lot like this:

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So in a way, at a young age you were practicing so you’d ace this new version of Crash Bandicoot.

3) Sonic the Hedgehog

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Just when you thought you were done fending off Dr. Eggman, the world needs saving from him yet again.

Or, in this case, still. Unlike Crash Bandicoot which is an updated version of the original game, SEGA has actually allowed users on both iOS and Android to play the original Sonic the Hedgehog game.

The one that started it all – the running, spinning and hurling through loop-de-loops and collecting rings in your quest against evil.

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It has some new cool features too such as challenging your friends with Time Attack Mode who also use the app, and new characters. It only costs £2.29 also.

4) Rollercoaster Tycoon

(Picture: Mike Overall/Flickr)

Thank the video game gods for letting us to live out literally our childhood dream – which is, owning and building our own theme park.

The iOS app Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 probably most closely resembles the PC game you used to love. It’s not available for Android but Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 is available for both Android and iOS. 

It allows you to play though all 18 scenarios from the original at £3.99 with no in-app purchases needed.

The touchscreen controls might take some time to get used to. But as a game that’s likely to eat all your time away we’re sure you’ll get the hang of it.

5) The Sims

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Remember the hours and hours you spent making houses, families and relationships on The Sims. Only to tear them apart with fire, starvation and deleting the swimming pool ladder so they all drowned to death.

You know you would do it all over again, and now you can. Best of all, for free.

The Sims FreePlay is by the makers of Sims 3, so it most closely resembles the look and feel of that particular game (and yes, both iOS and Android get their own versions).

Those craving the grainy graphics of the original The Sims as shown above will have to dig out their old CD copies.

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Sims 3 is also available if you have an iPhone or an Android device but the reviews have not been very kind about it.

6) Grand Theft Auto

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It’s not just one Grand Theft Auto game you can buy. There’s gaming ports GTA III, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas along with bespoke titles GTA: Chinatown Wars and GTA Liberty City Stories.

For when you just can’t get enough Grand Theft Auto.

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Each game follows very different characters and stories, with lots of side missions, mini games and collectibles to keep you busy.

All have customisable touchscreen controls. If you’re playing the San Andreas or Chinatown Wars, you can alternatively use your wireless MFi or iOS game controller, if you have one.

GTA III: iOSAndroid
Vice City: iOS / Android
San Andreas: iOS / Android 
Chinatown Wars: iOS / Android
Liberty City Stories: iOS / Android

7) Soulcalibur

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(Picture: Namco)

At almost £10.99, the price for this app available on Android and iOS might be a little hard to stomach.

But then again, it is the greatest fighting game of all time, and it’s every bit as classic as it used to be.

Re-live your best battles with 19 playable characters and all character moves recreated. It has a pretty smooth game-play also, running at 60fps.

It’s largely single player, though there is a VS mode that you have to use Bluetooth to play with your friends. It’s a bit of faff though as you have to turn WiFi off.

Bonus: Minecraft (it’s not old but it feels like it’s been here forever)

(Picture: Microsoft)

You’re right, this game isn’t old but some of our teenage years were defined by this game.

Some of us were fighters; some of us were racers. And some of us were builders. A lot of us still are.

And the pocket version for both iOS and Android means we can take it with us wherever we go.

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The latest update on the update seems to have caused a few bugs and made the game laggy in places interrupting game play. But the Minecraft love is mainly still strong among reviewers of the app.

But…what about Pokemon and Super Mario?

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Sadly, Nintendo is yet to release app versions of their classic games.

We all got excited in February when they said they were bringing out a game, but it turned out to be some social media network called Miitomo instead.

Those who roam the dark corners of the internet will know that you CAN play Nintendo on Game Boy and console emulators that you can download from your mobile’s internet browser, and then download ROM files of the game onto those.

Though, naturally, Nintendo takes a rather dim view on this practice, stating in their FAQs that they view it as the ‘greatest threat to date to the intellectual property rights of video game developer’.

Even if you have the original version of the game in your attic or bedroom, it’s illegal to download a secondary copy.

So, you can. But you probably shouldn’t.

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