Retrospective archive

Final Fantasy 8 Was Always Good

Reexamining one of the most divisive games in the series on its 20th anniversary.

How Crash Team Racing Challenged Mario Kart and Made Naughty Dog What It Is Today

We look back on the kart racing hit with Naughty Dog's co-founders and Crash Team Racing's lead artist.

From Super Fan to Producer: An Insider's Perspective on Silent Hill

GUEST POST | A Silent Hill producer reflects on what drew him to the perennially haunted series, and what it was like to work on it during its troubled years.

Latest articles

Final Fantasy 8 Was Always Good

Reexamining one of the most divisive games in the series on its 20th anniversary.

How Crash Team Racing Challenged Mario Kart and Made Naughty Dog What It Is Today

We look back on the kart racing hit with Naughty Dog's co-founders and Crash Team Racing's lead artist.

From Super Fan to Producer: An Insider's Perspective on Silent Hill

GUEST POST | A Silent Hill producer reflects on what drew him to the perennially haunted series, and what it was like to work on it during its troubled years.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Primer: Making Sense of Kingdom Hearts' Notoriously Complex Story

We try to condense everything you need to know about Kingdom Hearts, so you don't have to read five million Wikis.

Roguelikes: How a Niche PC RPG Genre Went Mainstream

HISTORY OF RPGS | Mystery Dungeon tackled the daunting task of making roguelikes friendly.

The Fall and Rise of the Xbox One

The Xbox One is the best pure console on the market right now, but it's been a hard road getting to this point.

Ultimate Success: The Rise of Super Smash Bros.

Few games inspire as much passion as Super Smash Bros. But why?

How Ultima 4 and Wasteland Ushered in a New Era of Maturity for RPGs

HISTORY OF RPGS | Inside Ultima 4 and Wasteland, two critical attempts to bring meaning to the genre of RPGs.

The Complex Legacy of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on its 20th Anniversary

Even after two decades, the importance of Link's first foray into Hyrule's third dimension can't be overstated.

Warframe's Journey From Just Another F2P Shooter to One of the Best Games of the Generation

Warframe is five years old, with a new expansion and Switch port under its belt this month. We look back on how it got to this point.

How Dragon Quest Inspired the First Big Console RPG Boom in Japan, Both For Better and For Worse

HISTORY OF RPGS | A survey of the innovative RPGs to emerge in Loto's wake.

Yuji Horii Remembers the Difficult Road to Liberating RPGs from Costly Computers With Dragon Quest

HISTORY OF RPGS | The great migration away from just PCs started with Dragon Quest in 1986.

The Bard's Tale Launched the Second Wave of RPGs

HISTORY OF RPGS | Welcome to Skara Brae, and to the future.

How Wizardry Cast Story Aside in Favor of Casting Spells

HISTORY OF RPGS | In Part Two of our monthly series, Robert Woodhead enlightens us about Wizardry's pursuit of systems over story.

How the Ultima Trilogy Took a Genre from Tabletop to Hi-Tech

HISTORY OF RPGS | In Part One of our new monthly series, Lord British shares his perspectives on the process of bringing pen-and-paper RPGs into the digital realm.

On Its 30th Anniversary, Revisiting the Original Metal Gear

Hideo Kojima's stealth classic debuted on MSX on this day in 1987, and Kat and Jeremy return to Outer Heaven for a fresh take on a landmark classic.

Before Rogue One: When Games Were Filling in the History of Star Wars

The veterans who worked on X-wing remember when Star Wars was still a relatively blank canvas.

"The Greatest Star Wars Game Ever": Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

The USG team recounts their personal favorite Star Wars through the years. Today: Mike on being a Jedi for the first time.

Why the Pokemon Anime is the Most Successful Adaptation of a Videogame Ever

Game Freak's marketing juggernaut owes much of its success to its television spinoff. And it's still going.

The Time a Japanese Famicom Game Tried to Simulate American Presidential Politics

As the 2016 presidential election finally comes to a close, we look back on Japan's optimistic take on American electoral politics.

Red Dead Redemption's Curious 8-Bit Origin Story

How 2017's Western juggernaut can trace its family history all the way back to the frontier days of 1985.

Paper Mario's Evolution from RPG to Adventure Game Draws a Line to a Forgotten Corner of Nintendo's Past

The series' gradual genre shift may be unpopular, but it's not unprecedented.

At 30, Castlevania May be Dead, But Its Influence Lingers Beyond The Grave

Happy anniversary, Simon Belmont! Too bad your bloodline is as deceased as Dracula himself.

10 Years Ago, Dead Rising Kicked off a Generation that Ended Up Choosing a Much Different Path

Capcom's take on Dawn of the Dead showed what the future would hold for last generation's consoles, even if few others would borrow its hardcore approach.

Catch Our Super NES 25th Anniversary Stream Series [Next: EarthBound]

Nintendo's 16-bit behemoth has hit the quarter-century mark, and we're celebrating with live streams of the system's 25 best games! Our anniversary showcase continues next week with EarthBound.

With Yoshi's Island, the Mario Series Broke Its Own Rules

Nintendo's iconoclastic platformer defied expectations and became all the more memorable for it.

Pokémon Ranger Arrives on Virtual Console to Remind Us That Not Every Spin-off is Pokémon Go

Without a multiplayer component, is there really much point to Pokémon?

Argonaut's X, the Rough Draft for Star Fox, Highlights the Compromises of Game Design

The most technically impressive work ever to appear on Game Boy reveals a harsh truth about the realities of making games.

A Game Design Near-Miss: Double Dragon for Game Boy

Why the classic brawler's handheld version was almost (but not quite) its best home port.

Nintendo 64: Was It Phenomenal or was it A Flop?

20 years ago, Nintendo's final cartridge-based console launched in Japan. The USgamer team reflects on what the system accomplished, what it meant, and how it struggled.

How Mother 3 Escaped Development Hell to Become a Modern Classic

While this EarthBound sequel may never see an official English release, it still stands as one of Nintendo's greatest achievements.

The Legend of Zelda's Only Cartoon Aspired to Competence in a Landscape of Trash

It might not have been the most faithful adaptation, but Link's animated adventures stood slightly above typical kids' TV dreck.

The History of RPGs: How Dragon Quest Redefined a Genre

COVER STORY: 30 years ago, a small team of Japanese game designers changed the way the world looked at role-playing games.

10 Years Ago, Half-Life 2: Episode One Began Valve's Biggest Broken Promise

While it set us up for disappointment, this first Half-Life 2 episode remains one of the few treasures from Valve's most interesting era.

Virtual Spotlight: StarTropics, the Zelda-like that Kinda Hates You

This short-lived Nintendo series never escaped the 8-bit era, but its two games—now available on Wii U—bring plenty of memorable moments (and lots of pain).

The New Mutants: Four Games that Changed Drastically During Development

Things don't always go according to plan—especially when it comes to video games.

10 Years Ago, New Super Mario Bros. Made Old-School Cool… or Profitable, Anyway

The only thing truly "new" about Nintendo's DS blockbuster was the notion that maybe classic platformers still had a place in the world, but that was enough to make a difference.

Comfort Food Games: Dungeon Keeper

When it comes to Peter Molyneux's brilliant RTS/god game mashup, close to two decades later, evil is still good.

How an Unexpected Pairing Gave Super Mario RPG a 20-Year Legacy

Square and Nintendo's 1996 experiment might have seemed strange at the time, but it birthed a long line of weird and wonderful RPGs.

The Strange Origins of Your Favorite Japanese Game Developers

We all had to start somewhere—and these directors started in some pretty inauspicious places.

PlayStation 4K, Xbox "Neo," and the Unhappy History of Mid-Cycle Console Upgrades

Sony and Microsoft's plan to refresh their current consoles has become the industry's worst-kept secret, but they'll be fighting uphill against history.

Stranger of Sword City Turns Out to be More Familiar Than Its Name Suggests

While its intriguing premise isn't the only novel element this dungeon crawler brings to the table, it's ultimately business as usual.

How Nintendo Saved Baseball in Seattle

An odd chapter in Nintendo's history is coming to a close. Here's how they ended up with the Mariners in the first place.

Star Fox's History of Innovation, For Better or Worse

Star Fox Zero will be the latest game in the series to lean on innovation. Here are a few of the previous attempts, and whether they were ultimately successful.

The Day the Dreamcast Died

Fifteen years ago today, Sega ended production of the Dreamcast. We talked to some of the people who witnessed its rise and fall firsthand.

Last of the Line: Game Boy Advance Ended One Legacy as It Began Another

15 years after its debut, Nintendo's final single-screen handheld stands out as a herald of transition.

A Trip to the Graveyard of Lost Game Technology

They say the medium's the message, but let's hope that's not true of these dead formats. The good and bad of video game tools that have fallen into obsolescence.

Behind the Art of Day of the Tentacle

COVER STORY: LucasArts alumni Peter Chan and Larry Ahern chat about the challenges of making a "cartoon adventure" under the constraints of early '90s technology.

For Great Justice: A Partial Origin Story of Gaming's Original Internet Meme

A look back at our collective fascination with a threat in broken English, as an alien took possession of all our base.

On Discovering the Famicom Disk System: Nintendo's Alternate Reality Version of the NES

On the occasion of the Japan-only peripheral's 30th anniversary, Jeremy takes a journey through its twisted rendition of the familiar NES experience.

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