Before the personal computer became an obsession that practically took over my childhood, video games were something that I could never pull myself away from. I was lucky enough to have parents that supported this hobby of mine, and I always had a cartridge ready in my NES, SNES, or Genesis. There wasn’t a day that I wouldn’t head straight for them right after school.
The games of today can’t even be compared to my favorites from way back then, and I couldn’t be happier that there are emulators and ROMs available that have managed to preserve them forever. More than just that though, the internet has managed to capture some nostalgic gaming memories in plenty of other ways. Let’s check out how with the following three websites.
The Video Game Museum
The look and feel of The Video Game Museum is as nostalgic and classic as the games you’ll find indexed in its many libraries. Despite not showing an update for nearly four years, the website remains running and is filled with memorable content.
I’d say that this website offers the most complete collection of classic gaming media on the web. It features:
- Console photographs and specifications
All of the content is incredibly visual and interesting. I’m not sure if there is another website that has screenshot-by-screenshot details of video game endings quite like The Video Game Museum does. The entire website does a great job of capturing and indexing screenshots.
The section that indexes advertisements for video games is another one of the coolest and most unique areas of this website. You’re able to browse through more than 900 total advertisements, most of which were found in gaming magazines at some point.
Similar to this section are the game scans, where you can find cover art, fronts and backs, manuals, inserts, and more. There are nearly 6000 of these indexed in total for a whole handful of consoles. It definitely took time to put together this collection.
The Video Game Museum should be your first stop for gaming nostalgia. The amount of content offered puts it at the top of my list.
VGMaps.com takes a really unique approach that otherwise probably wouldn’t exist if not for this website. The entire website is dedicated to bringing you maps and level layouts for some of your favorite classic games.
The effort required to put together this website is obvious and it deserves to be appreciated. There are hundreds of maps available, all indexed in order.
VGMaps.com accepts user contributions and and the vast majority of maps listed on this website are ripped directly from ROMs, so the accuracy is perfect and can be relied on.
If you’re a classic gamer, you know that games such as those in the Zelda and Dragon Warrior series require insane patience when it comes to passing through dungeons. Using the images that VGMaps.com makes freely available, your gaming experience could be much improved and made greatly smoother. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind website.
While our first two sites are visual, VGMusic clearly takes another approach. This website holds a collection of more than 30,000 audio files, all ripped from some of your favorite games.
Listings are broken down by console and are shown in alphabetical order. The song or stage title, file size, sequencer, and a link to comments are available for every single sound file in this archive.
Links are direct to the sound files, most commonly MIDI. VGMusic has their own forums, a Facebook group, Twitter, IRC chat, and even an online radio. The community has been around for quite a long time and its a close group. This archive is maintained very well.
In an age where 16-bit games are long gone and practically forgotten, these websites are awesome to look back on and remember how much we enjoyed gaming in the ’90s. It’s fun to even go back and look at some of the game endings of those classics you were never able to beat. You’ll probably end up finding that most of those ending scenes weren’t exactly worth it, but we’d have never said so back in those days! What do you think of these three websites? Let me know in the comments!