The 90s can be considered the decade for some of the most important technological discoveries such as the World Wide Web, DVD players, and the Hubble telescope. However, the 90s is also known for producing many of today’s most iconic video games. Talk to any millennial and most of them would agree that the 90s was truly an interesting time for kids back then. In a heartbeat, many millennials would want to experience again the nostalgia of playing these 90s games.
Who could forget about the iconic Mario Bros.? Although the original version came out in the 80s, the popularity of this video game series reached its peak in the 90s with Super Mario World and the game changer Super Mario 64. The latter was the turning point of the video game series. It was the first of the series to feature 3D gameplay, and was included in the launch of the Nintendo 64. Featuring open-world playability, Super Mario 64 is Nintendo 64’s best-selling game gaining nearly 12 million in sales.
Released in 1998, Sonic Adventure was a Sega Dreamcast platform game and was also the first of the series to feature 3D gameplay. Aside from the main game, players also have access to mini-games such as racing and interacting with a virtual pet. Standing out as one of the few 3D games of its time with linear gameplay, Sonic Adventure remains to be one of the most iconic games of the Sonic series.
This video game series published by Square Enix features several spinoffs, sequels, and prequels since its original release in 1987. The series has become so popular that it has released several games nearly every year. This unique series features role-playing games with varying plots and settings. Each installment also has recurring elements such as character names and goals. It centers on a group of heroes or do-gooders battling a great evil. Final Fantasy is one of the highest-grossing video game series of all time, garnering $10.9 billion as of 2019.
Street Fighter II
The second installment of the Street Fighter series brings out the competitiveness and virtual combat skills of its players. Developed by Capcom, the unique game features special command-based moves. This allows players to get creative with their own fighting style. Because of this, Street Fighter 2 is highly regarded as one of the most important 90s games. It influenced and sparked the popularity and spread of the fighting genre.
First released in 1994, Tekken was also one of the first video games of the fighting genre to feature 3D animation. Focusing on hand-to-hand combat, Tekken stands out with its unique characters and complex moves and combos. Since 2017, the series has had several releases and spin-offs, and has even had three film adaptations.
Some people may be surprised to find out that Tomb Raider actually started out as an action-adventure video game. Just like its film adaptation, Tomb raider follows archaeologist Lara Croft on her adventure to find an artefact known as the Scion of Atlantis. The game features 3D design with the main character navigating through ancient ruins and tombs, while fighting off adversaries and solving puzzles.
Counter Strike is probably one of the most unique 90s games, allowing multiple players in its platform. It features an exciting first-person shooter experience with players divided into teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists. The team of terrorists can drop bombs, assassinate enemies, and take hostages. On the other hand, the team of counter-terrorists try to stop the terrorists by diffusing bombs and saving hostages. It may come as a surprise that Counter Strike was developed as an improvement to Half-Life. However, the developers of Half-Life acquired the rights of this product and turned it into what it is known for today.
Pokémon Red and Blue
What kid nowadays hasn’t heard of Pokémon? This ultra popular media franchise could be more well-known among the kids of today as an anime television series, card game, or even a movie. However, Pokémon actually began in the 90s as a video game series. Its first installments are the Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue (earlier released as Pokémon Red and Green) for Game Boy.
Critics were eager to praise the games especially for its multiplayer features that allow players to trade and battle their Pokémon. Today, Pokémon has turned into a multi-billion dollar franchise, surpassing most, if not all, of its competition.
Crash Bandicoot is a video game franchise set in the fictitious Wumpa Islands. It centers on a genetically-modified bandicoot protagonist named Crash. The game centers on Crash and his creator, the main antagonist, Dr. Neo Cortex. Throughout the game, Crash must defeat and prevent Dr. Cortex’s plans for world domination while completing each level, gathering collectibles, and overcoming obstacles along the way.
Half-Life is another first-person shooter (FPS) video game wherein players get to take over the role of its main character Gordon Freeman as he tries to escape a research facility taken over by aliens. Its main objective is to fight off aliens and humans and solve puzzles. Critics and consumers alike consider this game as one of the best FPS video games of all time. Because of this, the gaming industry classifies this game as one of the most influential 90s games ever made.