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The first video game I ever played was Space Invaders back in the 1980s on a friend’s ZX Spectrum computer.

It was a novelty back then because very few people could afford to own one. Nowadays, almost every household owns a computer, phone, iPad and games console of some sort.

Over the years, video game graphics have improved greatly, yet, we often can’t help but want to go back and play our old games again because they bring back happy memories from our youths, even if the graphics look terrible!

Read on to see our family favourite video games with suggestions of where you can buy low-cost games and play games online for free.

Girl and boy playing video games

Pac Man

During the 1980s, I spent hours playing Pac Man, either at home or in arcades with friends. If you’ve played Pac Man, you’ll know it can be a frustrating game, yet extremely addictive.

The video below shows the exact handheld game I had and I remember that start-up tune so well! If you still own one of these, keep hold of it as they are worth a bit of money now and will only increase in value.

Super Mario

In our house, we are fans of the Super Mario Bros and Mario Kart games. I remember first playing Super Mario cartridge games in the 1980s.

We still own Super Mario games for the Wii, Wii U and now have games for the Switch Lite. Mario Kart Wii is my all-time favourite and always will be.

Destroy All Humans

Destroy All Humans is a fun game to play I loved this one. You play an alien character called Cryptosporidium 137 who has mind control abilities.

Crypto is sent to earth to infiltrate and destroy the human race. You get to fly around in his UFO and cause massive destruction. If you haven’t ever played this game, I highly recommend you try it.

MDK

I originally bought this game to play on my computer and became absolutely hooked! I managed to complete all the levels too. MDK stands for ‘ Murder Death Kill’. It’s a 3rd person shooter game and was created for windows in 1997.

Playing the main character, ‘Kurt Hectic’ your mission is to save the Earth from alien invaders. Kurt wears a ‘coil suit’ of armour which also has a “ribbon chute” that allows Kurt to glide through the air.

I lost my original game but managed to find a second-hand one with a broken cover on eBay. It still works perfectly, so if I ever feel nostalgic and fancy a game, it’s there ready to play.

The Legend Of Zelda Games

These are our all-time family favourites. My daughter has grown up watching and playing Zelda games. She has gone from being scared of the twilight realm shadow monsters in Skyward Sword, throwing the controller at me in fear, to being a dedicated player.

She can now complete all levels in both normal and hero mode on all the Zelda games. In fact, she’s better at playing than me now. The latest game is Breath of the Wild.

We’ve spent many hours, or should I say years, playing The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess. This game draws you into Link’s world, the music is fantastic, and it’s sad getting to the end of the game because you want it to go on and on…

Where to Get Free & Low Cost Games

Not everyone has the money to keep paying out for expensive games and consoles. Fortunately, there are free alternatives where children can safely play fun games online and places where you can buy more affordable second-hand games.

We regularly buy used games from CEX. They often have second-hand Amiibos in stock. These are game figures that give the player extra items when scanned. Try searching in charity shops for old games and on eBay too.

Plays.org have a large range of free online video games where you won’t be prompted to pay for upgrades. Play arcade games like Neon Invaders, inspired by the classic Space Invaders. All games are browser-based and can be played on all devices and modern web browsers.

Neon Invaders

Microsoft has a list of free downloadable games available on the website. These include popular games like Roblox, Angry Birds 2 and other titles. Be prepared to be prompted for in-app purchases.

Free games for Fire tablet users are downloadable from Amazon. Android and IOS users can download free games to their devices from Android and Apple stores. Most of these games will require in-app purchases.

Look After Your Games

Take care of your games and game consoles. I’ve lost games and even thrown them out to reduce clutter, which I wish I hadn’t, as I’ve often had to search online to find a replacement when I’ve felt like playing them again.

The older the game and console the more valuable they will become in the future. Save them all for your kids!

Read about our video game favourites and where you can buy low-cost games or play games online for free.


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