In the 1990s, there were more 3D games than ever before. It was possible to play 3D games in the ’70s and ’80s, but the level of refinement in the ’90s was humbling to see. It was hard for the gaming industry to stay afloat in the early 1980s, but in the 1990s, the most profitable games were made.
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It was a good time to make platformers, but only a few made this list. Some 3D platform games haven’t aged well. Modern 3D platform games like Yooka-Laylee can’t compare to games like Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. Despite this, there are many examples of great ’90s games in many different genres. We’ve ranked the best games from the 1990s.
GoldenEye 007 – 1997
As we said before, most of the games on this list are famous for their single-player campaigns. However, GoldenEye 007 is remembered for its great multiplayer feature that changed the way consoles played multiplayer games. ’90s gamers found out that fighting their friends to the death was a weird but fun thing to do.
Gamers don’t just love GoldenEye 007 because it lets them play with other people. Its single-player campaign was a solid 9.5 hours of FPS fun. This campaign is still relevant in games today, because speedrunners like it.
Resident Evil – 1996
Resident Evil: Village is the latest main series entry in the series, and fans and critics love it. The Resident Evil 4 remake and the Resident Evil 2 remake, as well as the Village, are very different from the first game. Still, they wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the 1996 release.
When it comes to video games, the original Resident Evil doesn’t hold up well. This is mostly because it has a camera that doesn’t change its angle of view. Even so, it still deserves to be on this list because it had such a big impact on the survival horror genre that gamers still feel today. This is why it made the list.
Banjo-Kazooie – 1998
After a game that had a big impact on the survival horror genre comes one that set the standard for collectathon games. Banjo-Kazooie was different from other platform games released in the 1990s because it had open levels, which felt huge in 1998.
Not only were the levels big, but they were also filled to the brim with things to find. Each level had a lot of collectibles, but it never felt like a chore to find them. Many of them were hidden in interesting places, or required players to use new game mechanics to get them.
DOOM – 1993
DOOM (1993), like GoldenEye 007, was a leader in multiplayer games. This was thanks to the game’s “Deathmatch mode,” which was the first to use the term “Deathmatch.” This term is still used today.
There was more than just multiplayer gaming that DOOM changed. One of the most important things it did was set a standard for the FPS genre in general. It also led to a lot of “Doom-like games.” Wolfenstein 3D may have been the first game to use the FPS formula that DOOM used, but this 1993 game made it better and made it more popular.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past – 1991
Next, Nintendo made a big change in direction with the Legend of Zelda sequel. It was very different from the first game. You can’t play Zelda II: The Adventure of Link without changing the way you play the game. A lot of people didn’t like the style of the second game.
During 1991, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past came out on the SNES. As a result of this game, gamers could finally get the bigger and better Legend of Zelda that they had been waiting for! A Link to the Past is one of Link’s most memorable adventures, with dungeons that were carefully planned and a memorable world to explore.
StarCraft – 1998
There were no more RTS games that looked like this after StarCraft came out. The popularity of many RTS classics has waned over time, but StarCraft still has a lot of people who play it. There are three races in StarCraft that have been given extra attention: the Zerg, Protoss, and Terran.
There is a big difference in skill between professional players and people who play the game for fun, like kids. Competitiveness was never before seen in an RTS game. This is a game that requires both small and large-scale decisions to be made. Going into a StarCraft game without a plan is a bad idea.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – 1992
Paramount isn’t making a movie sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog. This is about the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 game sequel for Sega Genesis, which isn’t being made. Because this game is so fun to play again, it has been made for many different platforms. The level designs are almost perfect. They are a good mix of challenge and fun. This game was one of the best of the ’90s.
Since Sonic The Hedgehog 2 came out, many fans of the series hoped that Sega would make a game that was like the old side-scrolling games, because the 3D games haven’t been very good. Fan games have become very popular. Sonic Mania, which was made by a team known for making fan games, was released by Sega in 2017 and was made by the same group.
Metal Gear Solid – 1998
It was released in 1998 and is known for making big changes in the stealth genre. Before he left Konami and started his own company, Hideo Kojima made the game. Many people think the game is way ahead of its time because of how well it plays.
As a video game, Metal Gear Solid is one of the best of all time. It changed the genre in more ways than one. Due to its popularity, many sequels were made.
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck’s Revenge (1991, LucasArts)
When people think of LucasArts’ point-and-click adventures, they think of Monkey Island 2. This is a good thing, because it’s one of the best point-and-click games ever made. A lot of the puzzles, characters, and music in this book were very interesting but not very easy to figure out. It still causes people to talk about it 30 years after it was written.
Gran Turismo (1997, Sony)
It doesn’t matter that Ridge Racer and Daytona USA helped the world see 32-bit, textured, 3D graphics for the first time. Polyphony Digital’s painstakingly accurate racing game deserves to be here. Gran Turismo changed the way console racing games were made. It had a wide range of accurately modelled cars, a complex handling model, and a lot of emphasis on improving the player’s driving skills through a variety of licence tests.