I grew up on the most venerable works of the gamers’ library. The year of my birth was the year the Nintendo Entertainment System hit North American shores. As I’ve matured, so has the medium that grew up with me: bright colors and polyphonic soundtracks in grade school, story games thereafter, tales told in three dimensions with ever finer visual flair into adulthood. When it’s in power (if it isn’t already), mine will be the first generation to have grown up with video games. They’ve spoken so much to me over the years that that has to have some deeper meaning.

Times have changed for me now, thirtysomething, family newly minted with children on the way. I no longer keep the pace of the new as capably as I once did. But the great games—the ones I think about years after playing through them—are with me still, their lessons and characters and impossible landscapes floating to the surface with just the right turn of the wind, or just the right scent of tea in the morning. Like the great novels, the stories persist, even though the time to sit with them is long since gone. Like the great novels, I’d be poorer without them.

It’s time I returned to my roots. This is a blog about old games, the ones that stuck. Replays, often, but replays with a full heart. And because I’m looking at the stickiest the medium has to offer, no doubt the exercise will reflect on me, too—the kind of man thirty years of gaming puts out into the world. Who knows what I’ll find there.

Let’s see. Come play with me.