Best 90s video games

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Judit Llordés

In the last few videogame years, between remake and remastered, we are witnessing a real revival of the 90s. For this reason, today we are here with our best video games of the 90s for those who want to recover or finish for the umpteenth time some of the titles that have made history

In a decade dominated mainly by Sony and Nintendo, who fought each other with exclusives and games that would make history, the meat in the fire was really a lot for the kids of those years. Fortunately, the fashion of the 90s has returned for a while and with it the trend of re-proposing remastering and remaking of some of these titles for the next generation consoles. In this spirit, we have decided to offer you our own list of best video games released during the 90s.

Let's be clear

During that historical period, video games saw their first golden years. After the boom of the consoles, the first advances in the field have brought hand in hand innovations in the development of the games themselves. In a few years it has passed to the former games in 3D, stereo audio and worlds that are increasingly explorable. On top of that, the number of games released in those years is really highest, therefore making a list that can please everyone is almost impossible.

We anticipate that there will be excellent exclusions, and consequently some may disagree with our choices. For this reason we invite you to contribute in the comments of the article, and in the meantime we present our very personal list of video games that we have selected as the best of the 90s. So if you're ready, let's get started!

Metal Slug (1996) - Best 90's video games

Metal Slug (like many other titles of these years) needs no introduction. Probably the cabinet most famous ever, first comes out on Neo Geo to then be transposed to all other consoles subsequently released. Followed by numerous chapters (nine, to be precise), the shoot 'em up of SNK Playmore over the years it has presented some of the most famous characters (main and secondary) of all time, including the very famous and pluricosplayed "Prisoner" which has never officially had a name, but which has always reserved great surprises for our heroes.

Among soldiers, Arabs, aliens, mummies and many other strange creatures, the adventures of Marco Rossi and company certainly represent a milestone in the history of video games and platformers in general, strongly opening up this list of ours.

Crash Bandicoot (1996) - Best video games of the 90s

The "Spinning mouse" most famous ever? Obviously not. Arguably the most famous video game ever, Crash Bandicoot was (historically) the first major title for PlayStation, as well as the forerunner of numerous games in the genre. The title, which marked the entry of the glorious Naughty Dog into history, tells the adventures of Crash, a bandicoot engaged in his battle against the ruthless Dr. Neo Cortex, who after having created it in the laboratory tries in every way to use him to conquer the world. But Crash manages to escape, and confronts his enemies to foil their plans and brings his fiancée to safety, Tawna, who had been imprisoned by Cortex.

The first chapter is followed by Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997), Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped (1998) and the hugely popular kart game CTR: Crash Team Racing (1999) also for PlayStation. In 2017 the N. Sane Trilogy for PlayStation 4, which contains the three main chapters of the saga. It goes without saying that the game has aged beautifully and the HD bandicoot performs even better than the original.

Pokémon Red and Blue (1996) - Best video games of the 90s

How young and old will surely know, Pokémon Red and Blue are the first chapters of one of the most famous and long-lived franchises in history, developed by Gamefreak in 1996. Between video games, manga, anime and merchandising of all kinds, not knowing Pokémon is really impossible. The aim of the game is to explore the fictional region of Kanto, to catching creatures called Pokémon to train and use in battles against other trainers. The main purpose of the game is on the one hand to become the champion of the Pokémon League, on the other hand to complete the Pokédex, the encyclopedia that keeps the "register" of the 151 Pokémon.

In addition to the huge worldwide success of the series, the real innovation brought by Red and Blue lies in the "link" between the players. Gameboy owners, in fact, could connect their peripherals via cable to be able to swap Pokémon between the two versions of the game and thus complete the Pokédex. The series now boasts a large number of games, films and seasons of the anime, with now 8 generations of Pokémon.

Tekken 3 (1997) - Best video games from the 90s

Tekken 3 is the third installment in the martial arts video game series “Tekken”, distributed by Namco since 1997. In 1998 the game also came out for PlayStation. Those familiar with Tekken's story will remember that the second chapter ended with Heihachi Mishima's victory over his son Kazuya. Years later, Hehiachi founds the Tekken Force, a military organization serving Heihachi society itself. One day, during an excavation in Mexico, a very powerful dark force attacks the men of Heihachi. The only survivor arrives exhausted at the company, reporting that it is the one who attacked them Ogre, the "God of Fights". Due to a series of circumstances, Hehachi will find himself hunting Ogre, aided by his nephew Jin.

In addition to carrying a respectable name, the key factor for the enormous success of Tekken 3 (6 million copies sold) lies in the graphics. The game in fact, making the most of the graphic potential of the console, it quickly became a must in the collection of Sony home users, as well as establishing itself as a milestone in the history of fighting games. The title is also the latest Tekken released for PlayStation.

Final Fantasy VII (1997) - Best video games of the 90s

Final Fantasy VII is (as you should already know) an RPG made by Square, before its merger in 2003 with Enix which gave birth to the now famous Square Enix. FF VII was the first chapter of the series made in 3D computer graphics, with characters fully rendered, as well as being the first to be distributed also in Europe. The story tells the story of Cloud Strife, a mercenary part of an organization called AVALANCHE, bent on stopping the evil company Shinra. As the story progresses, however, Cloud's group will remain involved in major conflict, coming to clash with the legendary Sephiroth.

Final Fantasy VII is considered by fans to be one of the most beautiful chapters of the saga, if not the most beautiful. Many characters in the game will also have a cameo in the series Kingdom Hearts, developed by Square Enix itself a few years later. The game was subsequently released on PC, PlayStation 4 and digitally distributed through PlayStation Network and Steam. Final Fantasy VII Remake is currently in development, a remake for PlayStation 4 whose release is scheduled for March 2020.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) - Best video games of the 90s

This title really needs no introduction. Ocarina of Time, as well as being one of the most beautiful chapters in the saga of princess Zelda, sits powerfully (and deservedly) on this list of the best video games of the 90s. The title of Nintendo, in addition to being one of the most interesting action adventure games of its generation, brings a real innovation thanks to the use that is made of music in the game. Link, in fact, will have to learn to play some melodies on a 'ocarina to be able to reach certain areas of Hyrule, or to solve the puzzles we face. In addition to having to "play" the pad like an ocarina, the melodies we will learn are an integral part of the soundtrack, creating a perfect harmony between gameplay and technical sector.

The story is perfectly in line with the standards of the period: in Ocarina of Time the adventures of Link, the famous hero of the saga, intent on stopping the evil sorcerer Ganondorf. The bad guy on duty tries to take possession of the Triforce, a sacred relic that grants any wish. Link, therefore, will travel through time in search of the seven sages who, with their powers, will be able to seal Ganondorf forever. Ocarina of Time has seen numerous remakes over the years, including one in 3D for Nintendo 3DS, all very successful.

Spyro (1998) - Best 90's video games

Spyro (the Dragon) is a platforming series developed by Insomniac between 1998 and 2000 for the PlayStation. The story is about the wicked Nasty Norc, exiled by dragons to a distant world, once their landfill. Over the years Nasty has changed that territory, renaming it Nasty world, and has developed powerful spells to turn dragon gems into henchmen and imprison the dragons in the crystal. One day, after being insulted on live TV by a dragon, Nasty becomes furious and transforms all the dragons into crystal statues. But Spyro escapes the spell thanks to its small size and prepares to defeat the fearsome enemy.

The gameplay of the game is typical of the platform games of those years, but what makes it special is the number of "skills" available to the dragon. Indeed, Spyro can breathe fire or ice from his mouth, glide, charge enemies, climb, throw warheads or even fly freely. The general objective of the game is to reach the end of the levels by completing some secondary objectives such as finding talismans or spheres, freeing the other dragons and much more. The first chapter has been followed by numerous chapters over the years, only to be remastered for the current generation in Spyro Reingnited Trilogy, which includes the three main chapters of the game.

Metal Gear Solid (1998) - Best video games of the 90s

"What's the situation, Snake?" If you know this quote, then the game it absolutely needs no introduction. For everyone else, Metal Gear Solid is a stealth action video game released in '98 by Konami, as well as Hideo Kojima's first masterpiece. Considered (rightfully) the father and king of all the stealth games in history, MGS combines the war context of war with characters with incredible abilities thanks to genetic modifications, all surrounded by a rich and engaging storyline.

The actual development of Metal Gear Solid began in 1995, with a team that over the years came to count 30 developers. Only five of these had experience in video game development. Kojima's intention was to create "The best PlayStation video game ever". In this regard, Kojima aimed to make the game current and realistic, without sacrificing its playability and the mere pursuit of fun. MGS boasts more than 25 releases, including main series, spin-offs, comics and additional content. However, the main series of the game has 5 chapters, distributed over the years from PlayStation up to PlayStation 4.

There would be so much to say about this series that it would take hours and hundreds of words, so we stop here. However, if for any unfortunate reason you missed this saga, you have the obligation ethical and moral to recover it without delay.

Resident Evil 2 (1998) - Best video games from the 90s

Resident Evil 2, known in Japan as Biohazard 2 is a survival horror, the second installment of the Resident Evil series released in 1998 by Capcom for PlayStation. In the wake of the first chapter, the game tells about the adventures of Leon e Claire, two survivors of the epidemic caused by a pharmaceutical company that is turning people into zombies. What makes this game special, in addition to the story and context, is the variety and explorability of the game world compared to the videogame context of those years. In RE2, the player is led to explore different and curated environments, ranging from city streets to the police station, to an underground laboratory by solving puzzles, recovering primary or secondary objects and facing bloodthirsty enemies. 

The pace of the game alternates moments of calm with terrible jumpscare, the creatures become more and more difficult as the game progresses and the bosses are challenging and fun. Furthermore, the remake of 2019 makes it a perfect title to recover even for those who turn up their noses in front of dated graphics and gameplay. Absolutely to play and replay. The remake of the third installment of the series is currently in development, in which the famous villain made his debut Nemesis.

Silent Hill (1999) - Best video games of the 90s

With Silent Hill, we close this list of the best video games of the 90s in full survival horror genre. This title is a real milestone of the genre, in addition to being the first chapter in depart from traditional survival horror guidelines. Developed by Konami in 1999 for PlayStation, it is the first chapter of the series of the same name. Additionally, it is one of the first games to use a third-person view with 3D computer graphics components in real time.

While in the survival horror tradition the player found himself decimating hordes and hordes of zombies with gun and rifle shots, as already mentioned, Silent Hill changes slightly the cards on the table. The story of the game is about the writer Harry Mason, who must cross the town of Silent Hill to find his missing daughter, Cheryl. The setting is that of traditional horror movies and video games, but the main mechanic of the game is not to blow the brains out of creatures. The players, in fact, will be intent on more than pulling the trigger find key objects to solve the puzzles that the game offers us. His inexperience in the use of weapons means that his aim, and therefore that of the player, is often unstable. Additionally, a portable radio alerts Harry to nearby enemies, helping the player to get around them.

With a great variety of creatures, a respectable soundtrack and a dark, anxious, and suffocating atmosphere, Silent Hill can only be part of our list, with the merit of being probably the title of survival horror. more engaging and distressing of the history of video games. The absence of HUD finally, in addition to anticipating the times by several years, it helps immerse the player in the mood of the game, giving an experience indimenticabile for fans of the genre.

Amarcord in spades

So, dear reader friends, this was our very own list of the best 90's video games. We are curious to know if you share our choices or would have made others, then do not hesitate in commenting with your views. We have tried to make you drop the tear, and we hope to have succeeded. As always, we invite you to stay connected on Holygamerz for more specials, guides, reviews and much more on the world of video games and beyond. Hello and good retrogaming at all!

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