10 Classic Video Games That Turn 20 in 2021

The games on this list are now considered “retro“.  I don’t know why, but my brain is having a hard time processing that.  When I think retro, I think NES or SNES, not Playstation 2, Gamecube, or Xbox era.  It doesn’t feel like these games released 20 years ago, but they sure did.  I was in high school at the time and the only things that mattered were spending hours talking on the phone, typing on MSN Messenger to my friends, and playing video games…

…okay, I thought these games turning 20 made me feel old, but I just used MSN Messenger in a sentence and now my whole body is covered in gray hairs.

Quick!  Before I turn into dust, here are 10 games that turn 20 in 2021.  They’re all awesome too, so if you haven’t played any, definitely give them a go.

Twisted Metal Black

(Credit: Sony Computer Entertainment)

Arguably the darkest and most disturbing entry in the car combat franchise, Twisted Metal Black is also considered by fans to be the best.  There’s currently a TV series in the works from the writers of Deadpool, so maybe that’ll spur Sony into action, because I’d love to see Twisted Metal make its big return on PS5.

Mario Kart: Super Circuit

(Credit: Nintendo)

Released on the Game Boy Advance, this portable entry in the Mario Kart franchise featured all the tracks from Super Mario Kart on SNES, including brand-new ones.  It didn’t break any new ground in the kart racing genre, but it was still a solid game.  I guess this means the Game Boy Advance turns 20 this year too.

Silent Hill 2

(Credit: Konami)

Silent Hill 2 scared the crap out of me the first time I played it.  It was a panic inducing, nightmarish experience that also introduced us to the dreaded Pyramid Head.  The fact that it’s going to be 20-years-old makes it even scarier.  Maybe I’ll muster up the courage and revisit it again this year, but probably not.

Grand Theft Auto 3

(Credit: Rockstar Games)

I can’t believe Grand Theft Auto 3 is 20-years-old.  It was a literal game-changer in the video game industry, inspiring tons of knock-offs as well as numerous sequels such as Vice City, San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto V which has reportedly sold 130 million copies worldwide.  If they stop milking the cash cow that is GTA V, maybe we’ll see a GTA VI at some point in the next 20 years.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

(Credit: Activision)

Probably my favorite Tony Hawk game, THPS3 introduced the revert which allowed you to chain half pipe tricks into your score multiplier.  Darth Maul and Wolverine were even unlockable characters.  I spent way too much time playing this and hopefully we’ll see a remake just like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2 received last year.

Metal Gear Solid 2: Son’s of Liberty

(Credit: Konami)

Hideo Kojima’s sequel raised the bar with what was possible in video games.  Metal Gear Solid 2 delivered an authentic movie experience with great voice acting and cutscenes.  The gameplay was still fun and sneaking around each area made you feel like a badass.  Just like any Metal Gear game though, it felt like you were watching it more than playing it.  That was fine when I had time, but if I tried playing now when my 1-year-old goes down for a nap, I’d get through one cutscene before he woke up.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Halo: Combat Evolved

(Credit: Microsoft Game Studios)

This was the must-have game on the original Xbox and a bonafide system seller.  Halo: Combat Evolved is still a blast.  Featuring a campaign that could be entirely played through solo or co-op, and multiplayer that would be perfected in Halo 2, the first Halo is a landmark title in the history of video games.

Luigi’s Mansion

(Credit: Nintendo)

Extremely different from other Mario games, Luigi’s Mansion didn’t feature the platforming gameplay we’re used to.  Equipped with his Poltergust 3000, Luigi had to muster up the courage to vacuum up ghosts and save his brother Mario, despite the fact he was absolutely terrified the entire time.  Lucky for us, Nintendo would make two sequels, Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon on Nintendo 3DS and Luigi’s Mansion 3 on Nintendo Switch.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

(Credit: Nintendo)

Super Smash Bros. Melee launched on the Gamecube and was loved by all.  The end.  No, seriously, it set the bar pretty high.  Super Smash Bros. Melee played so good, Nintendo continued to develop and release Gamecube controllers for use with every new Smash Bros. game that has come out since then.

Final Fantasy X

(Credit: Square Enix)

We’ll cap off number 10 with the tenth entry in the popular Final Fantasy franchise.  Final Fantasy X was a huge leap forward from the PS1 Final Fantasy games in terms of graphics.  The gameplay was still turn-based, but you had the ability to swap between your party members on the fly during battle instead of just being stuck with three characters like the previous entries.  It also wouldn’t be the “final” Final Fantasy either in case you were wondering.  The 16th entry was announced last year for PS5 & PC.

Charlie Cox Confirmed To Play Daredevil in the MCU

Spider-man: No Way Home hits theaters in just a few weeks now, and it’s going to be hard-pressed to live up to all the hype and speculation that has been surrounding the film for months.

We know it’s going to involve the multiverse and multiple villains from across the various Spider-man franchises we’ve seen over the years, but everyone is still wondering if – and if so, how much – Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will appear as their versions of the web-slinger.

Some fans have moved past such obvious questions and have been asking about another character from the Marvel universe: Daredevil.

Daredevil, aka blind lawyer Matt Murdock, was last seen onscreen in Netflix’s Marvel series, which, is separate from the Disney+ shows. Those versions of Marvel characters – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, The Punisher, Iron Fist – have lived in their own televised universe, and fans have been wondering if any of that was going to be folded into the official MCU. Well, now we know that at least one of them is.

Kevin Feige, the MCU’s head honcho, says that Daredevil will appear in the MCU and that Charlie Cox, who played the blind lawyer in the Netflix series, will be reprising his role. He declined to say when or where that would be.

Speaking to CinemaBlend, Feige confirmed what many fans have been hoping for. “If you were to see Daredevil in upcoming things, Charlie Cox, yes, would be the actor playing Daredevil. Where we see that, how we see that, when we see that, remains to be seen.”

Many fans are speculating that Cox’s Daredevil will appear in No Way Home – in some early footage it seems that Peter gets into some legal trouble and may need a lawyer – but Feige continues to keep a poker face, as he’s done over the past year of speculation.

But this kind of confirmation seems like a pretty solid hint that Charlie Cox and Daredevil will be joining the MCU sooner rather than later.

Teaser for ‘Spider-Man Into the Spider-verse 2’ Brings Back Miles and the Gang

Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the next MCU Spider-Man movie. Spider-man: No Way Home hits theaters soon, and with it comes Marvel’s big-onscreen foray into the multiverse, with multiple Spider-mans (or so the rumors say), multiple villains from across different franchises, and far-reaching implications that will impact the future of the MCU.

It sounds awesome, and is going to be fun to watch, but for once, the MCU is playing catch-up. Because Into the Spider-verse did it first.

Back in 2019, Sony released Lord and Miller’s ambitious animated movie Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, which brought Miles Morales to the big screen alongside various other incarnations of the beloved wall-crawler, including a Gwen Stacy version, a film-noir version (Nic Cage!), a pig-version (John Mulaney!), and more. The movie was a sensation; it immediately vaulted to the top of ”best superhero movies” lists and even won an Oscar. A sequel was inevitable, especially after the movie teased the introduction of Spider-man 2099.

Now we have our first look at that sequel. Sony released a teaser trailer, and Spidey 2099 (Oscar Isaac!) is front and center. It seems he plays a big role in the sequel, somehow pulling Miles and the others back into the multiverse. There isn’t much to this new teaser but it still has us pumped!

Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse hits theaters in December 2022. Check out the teaser:

Brother’s Emotional Obituary for “A Special Sister” Goes Viral

Few things are harder to write than an obituary. But the way a brother summed up the life of his “special sister” was moving and emotional in a way that few things are, and it quickly went viral. A writer at the LA Times was so moved by Erik’s obituary for his sister Karen that he shared it on Twitter.

Erik started it simply enough: “In memory of my sister who never had wants or misgivings.” He wrote she was born with cerebral palsy and could only say three words. Mom. Donalds (she loved McDonald’s) and Piano (she also loved music).

Erik wrote about how hard it was to see her during the pandemic. And the most poignant part was explaining to her how their mom passed away in the spring. On his last visit with his sister, she started saying “mom, mom.”

“I held her hand and told her mom isn’t here anymore,” he wrote. “Karen totally out of the norm put her head on my shoulder and tears ran down her cheek. Yes she understood.”

Karen passed away two weeks later, and Erik said he thinks it’s because she “wanted to be with mom.”

“Karen, I wish I could have made you laugh one more time. I needed you too.

Love, your brother Erik.”

The tribute went viral and was shared tens of thousands of times. Erik was able to tell more of Karen’s story on TV and in other interviews. And thousands of readers thanked him for sharing some of his sister with the world and shared how his story affected them.

The original tweet and the thousands of replies are full of similarly touching stories and tributes to others who have gone too soon, or who left us wanting one more laugh.

Chris: Complicated

“Growing up, the father figure situation was… complicated.

For years, I struggled with finding direction, a purpose. I went from living in a car to graduating nursing school.

I now have a wonderful wife, a house, a career and a purpose. I’ve been a dad for three years now, I have thousands of pictures on my iPhone, and I look forward to taking many more.

I will do my best to take in every moment, and never forget to say I love you.”

– Chris Riden

Big-Hearted Dad Spends 44 Thanksgivings Serving Free Dinners to People in Need

Thanksgiving is a time for reflecting on gratitude. But for Marty Rogers, a dad and Bronx native, focusing on gratitude served as a call to action of sorts. As a life-long resident of the Bronx, Marty feels a deep connection to his community. He sees his neighbors, both strangers and friends, as family – and on Thanksgiving, no family member is turned away.

In 1977, Marty and several of his friends from church floated the idea of serving Thanksgiving dinner to residents of the church’s senior center. 44 years ago, a crew of volunteers came together to turn the idea into a reality. Ever since, Marty has continued the tradition – at first, Marty and his fellow volunteers served their free Thanksgiving dinner to seniors in the community. They eventually expanded their efforts, extending the offer to those experiencing homelessness.

“They come in the door, they get welcomed, they get a name tag,” Marty told TODAY. “And I get to play maitre d’. ‘How’s the food?’ ‘Is everything OK with you guys?’ And at the end, they come around with seconds of pies. I love to see people (say) ‘I can’t eat no more.'”

Marty’s two kids, Joe and Maria, grew up participating in their dad’s beloved tradition. Even as young children, the eager volunteers helped out in any way they could. They saw the value in building a better community, and felt the joy of watching people leave happier than they walked in. Even as adults, both Joe and Maria look forward to Thanksgiving with their dad, and roughly 250 of their extended family members.

Around his community, Marty goes by many names. Some refer to him as “Mayor Marty” or “Saint Marty,” both titles he’s more than earned. The 44-year-long Thanksgiving tradition is just one of Marty’s many projects, each one improving the lives of those around him. And by showing his kids how good it feels to give back, he’s passed those same values on to them.

“I would describe my father as someone who truly embodies the spirit of giving, in every aspect,” Maria said, “and just knows the importance of community, of treating people with dignity and respect.”

Shaun: Never Let Me Down

“My husband Shaun has been by my side 23 years and he has never let me down.

We met in 1998, when he was 19 and I was 18. He promised to call me at a certain time on a certain day and ever since that day, he has kept his promises to me.

He promised he would marry me, we got married in 2004. He promised we would own our own home; we purchased our home in 2013. He promised we would have a child; after 13 years of trying, we had our adored son Jesse in 2016. He promised to always be a good, honest, and loving man to us. He promised that nothing, no matter how difficult it was to overcome would break apart our family. He calls us “the triangle.”

2021 has been the most trying and heartbreaking year of our relationship. We lost both his mother and my stepdad on the same day (02-14-21); two separate places, two hours apart. In one day, he lost the unconditional love of a mother and the unwavering support of my stepdad (a friend and confidant). Just six months later, his father passed away (07-22-21).

Our immediate family went from a party of seven to a party of four. He lost his whole family in the matter of 6 months. Gone.

I know he hurts and misses them daily, but I can tell you this: he is amazingly strong and he does his family proud. He still gets up every day, puts his boots on, and goes to work and manages 10-15 guys that look to him for guidance and leadership. He comes home and always greets me with a kiss. He is always ready for a hug from our son and picks him up and kisses him on his head.

Thank you, Shaun, for being the kind of man our son can look up to, to strive to emulate. Thank you for being strong for our family in the worst of times. Thank you for loving us so much that you put us first before yourself. But thank you for making that promise to call me 23 years ago.

We love you to infinity, Shaun. I know our son will be a great man one day, he has to best example showing him the way.”

– Celeste

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

New ‘1883’ Trailer Showcases Rough Road to Yellowstone

Yellowstone is huge.

Creator Taylor Sheridan’s tale of the intrigue and infighting among a family of cattle barons in Montana is one of TV’s most-watched shows. The season 4 premiere blew up, which has done nothing but stoke excitement for the forthcoming prequel series, which promises to show how the Dutton family first staked their claim way back in the late 1800s.

It’s called 1883 and stars actual living cowboy Sam Elliott, along with country stars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Angelina Jolie’s ex Billy Bob Thornton, Isabel May and LaMonica Garrett.

According to Deadline, “1883 follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains toward the last bastion of untamed America. It is a stark retelling of Western expansion, and an intense study of one family fleeing poverty to seek a better future in America’s promised land – Montana.”

We got a tease a little ways back, and now, just ahead of the series premiere on December 19th on Paramount+, we get a full trailer with all the drama you’d expect. Get hyped!

Cobra Kai Season 4 Poster Hypes Up All-Valley Conflict

Somehow, its almost 2022. It’s been a bumpy ride the last few years, but if there’s been one constant that’s kept us sane, or at least kept us distracted from all the insanity, it’s been streaming. And one of the gifts that streaming has given us is the unexpectedly great Cobra Kai series.

Bit of a spoiler alert if you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon. If you don’t want to know about the tensions leading up to the new season, go back now.

It started on YouTube before moving to Netflix, and after season three’s intense developments and rollicking finale, we’ve been anxiously awaiting the next season, which promises a clash between the evil Sensai Kreese’s Cobra Kai and Daniel and Johnny’s newly united dojo at the All-Valley tournament, which is where it all began back in the 80s.

The cast is out there hyping everyone up with the new poster, with the tagline: “Fight for the soul of the valley.” The poster – shared across social media by Willam Zabka, Martin Cove, and more members of the cast and crew – highlights the warring factions of karate in the valley. They even and put Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), who terrorized Daniel in the unintentionally hilarious Karate Kid III, in a prime spot before he’s even made an appearance on the show!

The poster does a good job of reminding us what side the kids are on – Hawk flipped back to the good guys, Johnny’s son remains under the sway of Kreese – and sets the table for what should be an exciting season, especially if it actually culminates in another classic Karate Kid tournament.

Can’t wait to watch and see what happens. Who else is wondering if Hillary Swank is going to show up?

November 2021: Phil Pinti

We are honored to announce The Dad of the Month for November 2021: Phil Pinti. Phil is a wonderful example of a father who goes above and beyond, even while suffering through grief and heartache. His good friend, Sara, wrote his nomination entry and if it doesn’t inspire you, too, we’ll be shocked:

“Phil and I have been besties since 2011. In that time, we have both experienced trauma, triumph, setbacks, and major wins. Specifically, Phil has been able to turn setbacks and trauma into resilience and tenacity.

“In 2016, Phil’s beloved wife, Jennifer, succumbed to stage-4 lung cancer. Losing Jenn meant Phil became a full-time single dad overnight. He has used this devastating loss to propel him into being the best dad to his two children. He has also motivated those around him through his story and his triumphs.

“Phil gives the world to his two children. Nothing—and I mean nothing—comes before them. His quiet battles, which are not easy as a single dad, inspire so many. Whether it’s a social media post, a funny story he tells, or some other anecdote, Phil sparks joy wherever he goes.

“No matter what is going on in the world, Phil makes sure his family traditions stand the test of time. While it’s simplistic in nature, ‘Red Robin Wednesdays’ are now a weekly thing. Every Wednesday, Phil takes his daughter and son to Red Robin for burgers and broccoli (yes, they really do order broccoli as their side!). It’s these small touches that I adore about Phil.

“Phil runs in his spare time. Phil isn’t just any runner- he is THE runner. This man runs 30+ mile races like it’s an easy Sunday stroll. The way he makes huge hurdles disappear amazes me daily. The way he motivates and inspires others is unlike anything I have ever witnessed.

“His dedication, his ability to bounce back, his humor, and his amazing way of handling everything makes me nominate him for dad of the month.”

To honor Phil, his commitment to family, and his inspirational lifestyle, we’re sending him $500. Phil’s tenacity and courage are amazing characteristics in and of themselves, but in light of such tragic losses, they are even more commendable. Cheers!

Click here to read more or nominate a special dad in your life.