Commonly Used Sources
- Wikipedia, especially lists of games. Rarely exhaustive and inconsistently formatted, but covers many topics and easy to copy into a spreadsheet.
- The Internet Archive hosts a huge trove of preserved information, if you can find it. They also run the Wayback Machine, archiving old webpages.
- MobyGames is probably the largest and most comprehensive video game database site.
- Gamerankings.com was shut down and now redirects to Metacritic. I liked this site a lot because you could filter games easily and I have enjoyed quite a few games that I found browsing it. Thankfully, there are several archives: 1, 2, 3.
- GameFAQs has some data on obscure games and is a great place to learn about game mechanics.
- ESRB.org has most of the ratings it has given out since its founding.
- The official Nintendo Game Store has information about games currently available, but only one generation back, and not games pulled from the eShop.
- The official PlayStation Store has games from the PS1 era on, but only if they are available digitally.
- Microsoft Store has all the Xbox games available for purchase.
- YouTube videos showing something from a game that isn’t easily found elsewhere
Video Game History
- Retromags archives video game magazine scans, an indispensable time capsule showing how people talked about games before internet discourse took over, largely forgotten news, quietly cancelled projects, rumors that ended up being true, and what was being advertised to gamers. Includes magazines from around the world.
- Out of Print Archive focuses on UK magazine scans.
- The Video Game History Foundation posts some interesting articles about video game history.
- Game Data Library has a nicely searchable database of Japanese game sales.
- Game In Japanese translates previously untranslated interviews with Japanese game developers.
- Legends of Localization looks at how Japanese games are localized.
- Consolevariations.com is chronicling every variant of every console and handheld.
- ROMchip is run by media and history professors and publishes scholarly articles.
- The Cutting Room Floor archives unused content from games.
- Retronauts is a long running podcast that examines video game history.
- The GDRI researches the actual developers of games, from pseudonymous credits to contracted development teams.
- Gamepressure has a gameads section with over 20,000 video game commercials from around the world.
- Game UI Database is chronicling user interfaces.
- Gaming Alexandria scans books and magazines, preserves various game assets, and has informative history articles.
- Digital Press has manual scans and other mostly retro-focused video game media.
- Vimm’s Lair hosts a manual scan archive as well.
- Replacement Docs also has a large number of manual scans.
- The Internet Game Cars Database collects information about cars in video games.
- The Internet Movie Firearms Database has an extensive video game section.
- Unseen64 has lots of information on cancelled games.
- Videogame Morgue File is a wiki that collects resources related to video games, such as ads, reviews, interviews, and writings.
- Video Game Canon analyzes “best video games of all time” lists to find what are considered the best games of all time.
- The Video Game Library aims to catalog every book about video games.
- Shmuplations translates interviews from important figures in video game history.
- Glitterberri translates articles, interviews, and more.
Video game youTubers
These are some YouTube channels focused on video game history or thoughtful analysis of games. I know there’s a lot more out there.