Pop Culture | Video Games | 90s

15 Annoying Things We Definitely Don't Miss About Playing Video Games In The '90s

Do we wish we could go back in time, and play all our favorite classic video games without worrying about jobs, family, or other distractions?

Absolutely. But while we're making wishes, there's a few other things we'd like to change. Yes, we made a lifetime of happy memories with our old games, but they could be a real pain some times. Technological limitations, bad design, and bizarre choices made gaming in the '90s a pretty stressful experience.

Here's 15 things we don't miss about gaming in the '90s:

1. Running out of batteries for your handheld consoles

Four AAs could get you about 15 hours of play time from a classic Game Boy, but you probably wound up with way less. And unless you carried batteries around with you like a walking Radio Shack, you had to wait to get home and swap them out.

Cyberia PC

And that was a console with a good battery life. Pour one out for the Game Gear owners, who only got 5 hours at most from 6 AA batteries.

2. Trying to reach a save point before your parents turned off the console

Giant Bomb

"Moooom! I can't just turn it off! No, don't hit the reset button, please!"

3. Games with insane difficulty levels

Yes, we like a challenge as much as the next person, but our fine motor skills had barely developed when we were playing these games. The last few levels of Battletoads still torture us as adults, so what chance did we stand as fourth graders?

4. When they made a Mario Bros. movie....and it sucked

GameSpotWhat a letdown.

"Who's this weirdo, and where's the real Bowser? What's the deal with the crazy mushrooms? Why don't the Goombas look anything like the characters from the games? Who thought this movie was a good idea in the first place?!"

5. Loading....screens

At least some were entertaining.

6. Trying to remember cheat codes with no help from the internet

At least we could depend on Nintendo Power.Planet Arbitrary

Now was that up, up, down, down, or was it down, down, up, up? I guess I'll just sit here entering codes until I remember it, or my fingers fall off. Whichever comes first.

7. Games that made you copy down really long level passwords


To continue this article from entry number eight, just enter this code: A7HQ24TYM98CY0QN8FNKC67.

Or you could click to the next page. Whatever's easiest.

8. Spending minutes blowing in cartridges to make them work

Spoiler alert: this probably won't work.

Or even worse: fooling yourself into thinking a CD that looks like the surface of the moon will still work if you rub it with a kleenex. Give it up kid, you'll just have to buy a new copy of Chrono Cross.

Remove and Replace

9. Renting games, then being forced to give them back

Despite playing it for the entire weekend, you barely made a dent in Final Fantasy 7, and it's got to go back to Blockbuster. Oh well, you can try again next week.

Retro Daze

Speaking of renting out games, remember that copy of Mario Kart you lent your cousin last month? Yeah, you're never gonna see it again.

10. Excruciating water levels


In the '90s, it seemed like there was a law mandating that every game needed one of these levels, and they were almost always the worst part of the game.

Zelda Dungeon

11. Trying to remember a Fatality and totally blowing your chance


"I swear I did the inputs but the game didn't do anything! Your copy must be busted or something."

12. Having to combine consoles to upgrade them

Looks totally normal to me.GamingHistory101

This was basically DLC for your gaming hardware, and if you were a dedicated Sega fan you had a small tower of consoles in your living room.

13. Deleting one of your save files by accident

Turtle Hermit WaspinatoR / YouTube

Ok, we still do this sometimes, but it was a lot more common (and emotionally painful) when we were young.

14. Game Over screens

We're really spoiled these days, because most games don't have traditional Game Overs like they once did. But if you're replayed any of your old games, you know how aggravating it is to see those letters over, and over, and over.

15. Trying to play your Game Boy in the dark with no backlight

What, you didn't buy one of those crazy monster lights for your handheld systems?


Oh, and let's not forget the psychic trauma we suffered after renting this game as kids:

Share this list if you remember playing games in the '90s!