In The Year 1999
During the last year of the 20th century, there was a lot of excitement about what the new millennium would bring. In its own way, 1999 was a very interesting time in gaming. It ended the ’90s in a very strong way, and it was a good time to play games. With the Sega Dreamcast making a good start, the PC getting better at online games, and the Sony PlayStation coming to an end before the PS2 came out, 1999 was a great year for games.
They are looking back at the games that closed out the 1990s and helped to make them what they were. Super Smash Bros. on the N64, Silent Hill, or Sonic Adventure and SoulCalibur were all big games in the 1990s. 1999 was a great way to end the decade of gaming, with all of these games.
To start with, here are our picks for the games that made 1999 a great year. If you want to see our roundups of other great years in gaming, be sure to check out the links below.
Silent Hill | January 31, 1999
When I got my first PlayStation, Silent Hill was one of the first games I bought. It opened up a whole new world for me when it came to both survival horror games and horror movies in general. Silent Hill was the game that made me nervous just by being in it. I had been a PC and Nintendo kid up until then. I had played the Windows version of Resident Evil (it was fine). Because of its thick fog, it made you always feel afraid. There was also the simple but interesting mystery of a lost daughter, and the first few clues that something was really wrong with this place.
Loved that Harry was a person who was like everyone else. Because he didn’t know how to aim and shoot a gun well, and because the melee combat mechanics always felt desperate and sloppy in a good way. Because of the fog and darkness, you couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of you at any point, so it was almost impossible to figure out where things were coming from. You had a small radio that would make a lot of noise when there was a monster nearby, and that made me feel very afraid. It wore its influences on its sleeve. I went to read Stephen King’s short story The Mist right away after I saw the game. As long as I live, I’ll always remember the phone in the classroom.
There are some things that keep it from being a great game to play again and again, though. In Silent Hill 2, it does better and is still great, but it isn’t the same. That’s not to say that the remake of Shattered Memories isn’t good. It was written by Her Story’s Sam Barlow, and it’s a lot of fun. Silent Hill has been going downhill for the last 15 or so years thanks to Konami. Silent Hill 1 will always be my favourite survival horror game.
Mario Party | February 8, 1999
To become “Super Star,” you have to play a game with a Bomb-omb and a Podoboo. Mario Party is the only Nintendo game where you can do these things, as well as play 2v2 basketball with a Bomb-omb. As it sounds, it’s just as silly as it looks. That’s a good thing! The multiplayer N64 game was a big hit because of its uniqueness. It has been a long-time favourite on every Nintendo console that has come after it. Nintendo made a dozen more of them, but none of them are as good as the first one.
The single-player games on my Nintendo 64 were until Mario Party. After that, all of the games I had were on my own. It was this game that made me fall in love with party games and couch co-op. It’s true that at the time, all console multiplayer games were local. But this style of game led to my love for titles like Sportsfriends, Castle Crashers, and the Jackbox TV games, which I still play today.
My cousins and I played games like Bumper Balls, Bobsled Run, Hot Bomb-omb, and Face Lift for hours. In Face Lift, you could stretch Mario’s face like in Super Mario 64. But in the Mario Party mini game, you had to copy a distorted version of Bowser’s face, with the closest match getting you gold. Mechanically, most of the challenges in Mario Party were easy. But they also required a lot of button mashing and joystick twirling, which makes me feel bad for my old controllers. Mario Party and the times I spent with my friends and family will always be in my heart.
Final Fantasy VIII | February 11, 1999
If you’re like me, Final Fantasy VII was your first step into the world of JRPGs. Getting to play such a complicated role-playing game on the original PlayStation at a young age was one of the most important things I’ve ever done. There was no other game like it. There were already a lot of people talking about Aeris’ last scene in Disc 1 or why Cait Sith was the worst character in the game when I came. I was already late to both of them. Final Fantasy VIII was coming out, and people were already excited about it. I was excited to be right there with them when it came out.
As many people found out, Final Fantasy VIII was very different from the game before it. It would be good to get rid of the boxy and distracting early polygonal-era character designs for more realistic and proportioned looks. FF VIII also made changes that may have thrown off too many trends, like level scaling and the weird magic system that turned spells into stat boosts. I had a hard time understanding the game myself, but there was something about the way Squall and his friends got into trouble that spoke to me. My goal was to keep going with it, and in the end, it worked out well for me. My friends didn’t like this because they thought “the other game” was better. This put me at odds with them.
The game is 20 years old, and I can say for sure that I was a fan. Despite how high-concept the story was, there was something special about how it all came together and the way the author tried to make sense of the weird twists and turns. As it turns out, I still don’t know all the ins and outs of the story. But I can’t deny that it made me feel for the characters at some important points, more so than many of the big twists in VII did. As Squall went through his arc, it was nice to see him learn and grow. This was a good thing to see! If those aren’t the signs of a good Final Fantasy game, most of which show progress, then I don’t know what else is. I don’t know what else is.
Syphon Filter | February 17, 1999
Syphon Filter was one of the best demo disc games back in 1999. It was one of those games that you could play for 20 minutes before having to go back to the main menu. During the demo for Syphon Filter, I was very excited about it, and I was able to buy the full game.
When I was 11, I was a big fan of The X-Files and its world of government conspiracy. Syphon Filter’s story was very interesting to me because of its dark government agency and characters, including a brazen copy of the X-Files bad guy, The Smoking Man.
That’s not all: It also has a style of stealth action that I found easier to get into than Metal Gear Solid’s more slow-moving style. While sometimes you have to hide, going guns-blazing is often a good (and more fun) way to get the job done. By today’s standards, the control scheme is hard to understand. At the time, it was impressive that you had so many tools to work with. As a result of a lock-on option and an optional first-person view, aiming was made easier. However, the roll to avoid enemy attacks is still a lot of fun.
As anyone who has played Syphon Filter can tell you, the taser is the best thing about fighting. This can be used from a long way away, and it causes a cinematic camera view to appear near the goal. The enemy bursts into flames if you hold the button long enough. A lot of people still remember how they used the taser to fight off enemies who came over this brick wall that you start on. Even 20 years later, I can still remember how long I spent putting it to good use against these people.
Today, the stealth parts of Syphon Filter don’t hold up very well. The fights and the taser are still a fun throwback to the early days of 3D stealth-action games.
The graphics aren’t very good, but the first Soul Calibur set the stage for one of the best fighting games ever. It added new characters and moves to its predecessor, Soul Blade, to make it even better than it was before. Before there was a full boob-bouncing engine for games, we had to use our imaginations when we played with Taki.
Quake III Arena
Quake III was new because it mostly stopped playing single-player games and instead focused on multiplayer games. It was simple, but it was a lot of fun, and it was thought to be the first game to use “strafe-jumping.”