The best retro and retro revival games for the ROG Ally

Jul 15, 2023 Written by:Whitson Gordon

The ROG Ally can play modern AAA games with excellent fidelity and performance, but sometimes you just want a blast from the past. Whether you're looking to relive specific games from your youth or play modern games built in the retro style, here are some excellent choices you can bring with you on the go. 

This is part of our ultimate guide to the ROG Ally series of articles. For more great games, check out our best-of roundups

The Mega Man Collections 

Screenshot of Mega Man shooting a robot snake.Image source: Gamesplanet

Mega Man has been a staple of gaming for decades, with dozens of games featuring Capcom’s Blue Bomber and his friends — with plenty of them on PC in Capcom’s Mega Man collections. Mega Man Legacy Collection houses six of the original 8-bit classics, while Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 compiles Mega Man 7 through 10. You can also pick up the Mega Man X Legacy Collection and Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2, the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, and the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. And if all that wasn’t enough, Capcom recently revived the franchise with a brand-new entry, Mega Man 11, with that classic sidescrolling gameplay built with a new 3D look. All the Mega Man collections are available on Gamesplanet using the links above. 

Sonic Origins & Sonic Mania

Screenshot of Sonic the Hedgehog running through a loop-the-loop.Image source: Gamesplanet

I didn't have a Genesis growing up, but I always wanted one solely to play the Sonic the Hedgehog series. While plenty of collections have been released over the years, Sonic Origins takes the classic games to new heights with fully remade widescreen levels, high-resolution graphics, unlimited lives, and new animations. Play the new versions or the classic versions as they were originally made, or explore the already-bustling modding community. The Sonic Origins Plus DLC adds 12 Game Gear titles and a few new characters to the Genesis games, making for a collection that’ll keep you playing for hours on end. And when you’re done with that, you can (and should) play Sonic Mania, a brand-new title that picks up right where Sonic 3 left off, both in story and in game play, perfecting the formula that made the Genesis games great. Sonic Generations is also worth a buy, if you want to play those classic levels in 3D. All of these great Sonic games (and more) are available on Gamesplanet right now. 

Pac-Man Museum+ 

Screenshot of Pac-Man traversing through an isometric video game map.Image source: Gamesplanet

It’s hard to get more classic than Pac-Man, and if you’ve got an itch to travel back to your days at the arcade, Pac-Man Museum+ has everything you need. It contains 14 total Pac-Man games, from classics like Pac-Man and Pac & Pal to excellent modern reimaginings like Pac-Man Championship Edition and Pac-Man 256 (both also available separately). Play by yourself or over local multiplayer, and collect items as you play to add to your virtual arcade. You can pick up Pac-Man Museum+ on Gamesplanet and on the Xbox store, or play it on Xbox Game Pass

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection & Shredder’s Revenge 

Screenshot of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fighting ninjas in the desert.Image source: Gamesplanet

There are plenty of retro beat-em-ups, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series will forever hold a special place in my heart. Konami’s legendary 8-bit and 16-bit games are now available on PC through the Cowabunga Collection, which compiles the two classic arcade games, four NES games, two SNES games, two Sega Genesis games, and three Game Boy games into one pack. For fans of the series, Tribute Games has also built a spiritual successor to the classics called Shredder’s Revenge, and it is truly a joy to play (especially if you’ve got a few friends to brawl with). Plus, the soundtrack absolutely slaps. You can pick up The Cowabunga Collection on Gamesplanet and Shredder’s Revenge on the Xbox Store or through Game Pass

Tetris Effect: Connected 

Screenshot of a Tetris game on a starry background.Image source: Microsoft

Few retro games have the lasting and widespread appeal of Tetris. It can keep you occupied for hours, insert falling blocks into your dreams, and prevent post-traumatic stress disorder (seriously). Tetris Effect, named for the aforementioned dream phenomenon, is a modern reimagining of the classic game with new graphics, new game modes, and an incredible evolving soundtrack that syncs with your gameplay. Many iterations and remakes of Tetris have been released over the years (like Puyo Puyo Tetris, also available on PC), but Tetris Effect is truly the definitive next-gen Tetris experience. If you’re a fan, you absolutely must play this game. You can buy the PC version, known asTetris Effect: Connected, on the Xbox store

The Castlevania Collections & Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night 

Screenshot of Simon Belmont of Casltevania swinging on his whip.Image source: Gamesplanet

When it comes to classic adventure games, few hold a candle to Castlevania, which sees you on a quest through a haunted castle to defeat Dracula and his minions. Konami has released many of the original Castlevania games on PC, with the NES, SNES, and Genesis titles available in the Castlevania Anniversary Collection. While the masterpiece Symphony of the Night is sadly unavailable on PC (though it is on mobile), Konami's subsequent games — considered by many fans to be superior evolutions of Symphony’s formula — are available on PC in all their glory through the Castlevania Advance Collection. And if you’re looking for a modern take on the series, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a 2.5D spiritual successor developed by Koji Igarashi, father of the latter Castlevania games that redefined the genre. If you’re looking for a bit of Castlevania fanservice, I also recommend the Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania DLC for a roguelike approach to the franchise. 

Metal Slug 

Screenshot of Metal Slug, the main character shooting a building until it explodes.Image source: Gamesplanet

Whether you were an arcade junkie or an at-home console gamer, run & gun games were a staple of the early scene. People still debate today about the best of the bunch, but there’s no doubt Metal Slug is near the top. With excellently detailed graphics and wildly hectic gameplay, Metal Slug truly defines what a great side-scrolling shooter can be (though if you’re a Contra fan, don’t worry — you can grab that series on PC too). Metal Slug, Metal Slug 2, Metal Slug 3, and Metal Slug X are all available to purchase on Gamesplanet. 

Chrono Trigger & The Final Fantasy Series 

Screenshot of a 3D Final Fantasy character walking through a small town.Image source: Gamesplanet

Ask anyone about the greatest RPGs of the retro era, and they’re guaranteed to mention both Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy. Square Enix’s RPGs are legendary to this day, and you can grab tons of them on PC to relive the best RPGs Japan has to offer. Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy I-IV have been remastered in all their pixelated glory, while Final Fantasy III and Final Fantasy IV are also available as 3D remakes. Of course, we’d also be remiss not to mention the exemplary Final Fantasy VII, also available on PC, or the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which expands the classic 3D title into a trilogy of modern games with all-new graphics, gameplay, and story elements. Whether you’re going for the 80s classics or the modern retellings, there's plenty of Final Fantasy to go around. 

Doom 

Screenshot of the original Doom, with a first-person shotgun pointed at a demon.Image source: Gamesplanet

Doom is one of those games that transcends gaming generations. It still feels as fresh and frantic today as it did 30 years ago, and with more levels, mods, and source ports available, you can play nothing but Doom games for years to come. If you haven’t yet played the 1993 classic, now’s the time, after which you can play Doom II and Doom 64 (or grab all three games in a bundle with lots of extra levels). For a more modern twist, Doom (2016) and Doom Eternal are also must-plays, and run beautifully on the ROG Ally. And if you’ve exhausted every Doom game available to you, the “boomer shooter” genre has come back in a big way, with spiritual successors like Prodeus paving the way for a new generation of retro-styled 3D shooters. You can grab all the aforementioned games at Gamesplanet or play them all on Xbox Game Pass

The Secret of Monkey Island & Return to Monkey Island 

Screenshot of a young man talking to three pirates at a table.Image source: Gamesplanet

I played my fair share of console games as a kid, but my fondest gaming memories are actually playing classic point-and-click adventure games on the PC, like Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and Day of the Tentacle. But the pinnacle of that era is undoubtedly The Secret of Monkey Island and its many sequels, in which you embark on a comedic pirate adventure, solving puzzles and talking your way out of scrapes. Many of these classic LucasArts games are available for modern PCs, some remastered with contemporary art, higher quality music, and gamepad support (though you can use the Ally’s sticks as a mouse for the games that don’t support controllers). You can even switch between the classic and hi-res imagery at will — a true example of a remaster done properly. Once you’ve played through the classics, you can pick up Return to Monkey Island for a modern revival of the genre, too. All of the above games are available for a few bucks a pop, while Day of the Tentacle and Return to Monkey Island can also be played via Game Pass

Shovel Knight 

Screenshot of a pixel-art knight jumping on an enemy with a shovel as a weapon.Image source: Yacht Club Games

If you long for the days of 8-bit sidescrollers but have played the 80s to death, Shovel Knight is a true love letter to NES-era gaming built for modern devices. Part Castlevania, part Mega Man, part Zelda II, and part DuckTales, Shovel Knight is somehow classic and fresh all at the same time. Shovel Knight released in 2014 but has since seen a bunch of DLC and extra levels, so if you haven’t already, grab Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove for the full experience on your PC or handheld. 

Octopath Traveler I & II 

Screenshot of 2D pixel art characters walking through a 3D town.Image source: Microsoft

At first glance, Octopath Traveler may look like a simple callback to 16-bit JRPGs like Final Fantasy, but it mixes old and new school in a myriad of ways, from its 2.5D traversal to its fully voice-acted script and multiple storylines. Most of all, though, Octopath Traveler uses a souped-up version of classic turn-based combat, with new levels of depth and strategy required that will engage even JRPG veterans. No matter your history with JRPGs, you owe it to yourself to play Octopath Traveler and its sequel, which you can pick up right now. 

CrossCode 

Screenshot of a pixel art character walking through a forest with enemies behind her.Image source: Microsoft

CrossCode is undeniably inspired by classic action RPG games like The Legend of Zelda and The Secret of Mana, but it’s so much more than a glance at its graphics might suggest. Taking place inside a fictional MMORPG, CrossCode is a game within a game, requiring you to solve puzzles, fight enemies through real-time combat, and complete quests to complete its twisting story. If you’re a fan of classic JRPGs and modern MMOs alike, you’ll find much to love in CrossCode’s unique narrative. CrossCode is currently available for purchase on the Xbox store

With decades to pick from, there are more retro games than we could even begin to list here — not to mention the incredible modern games they inspired, from Hotline Miami to Celeste, VVVVVV, Cave Story, and Axiom Verge. Check out more of our favorite ROG Ally games here, and share your favorites with us on our Discord

Model Type Where to Buy (US) Where to Buy (CA)
ROG Ally (Ryzen Z1 Extreme) Handheld Best Buy ASUS
Best Buy
ROG Ally (Ryzen Z1) Handheld Best Buy  
XG Mobile (Radeon RX 6850M XT) eGPU ASUS
Best Buy
 
XG Mobile (GeForce RTX 4090) eGPU ASUS
EXcaliberPC
ASUS
Memory Express
ROG 65W Gaming Charger Dock USB Hub Best Buy ASUS
Official ROG Ally Travel Case Case Best Buy ASUS
Best Buy