No Time to Die is finally in theatres in the UK and the US. This is Daniel Craig’s last time as the superspy James Bond. It’s the end of an era for one of the most popular 007s. It’s too early to say where the long-running franchise will go next, but Hitman studio IO Interactive is getting ready to bring James Bond back to video games, so now is a great time to look back at the history of 007 in video games.
Like the movies, some Bond video games are much better than others, just like the movies. There are a few stinkers, but there are also some classics that will never be forgotten. If you want to play more 007 games before No Time to Die comes out, these are the best ones for consoles and PC:
Even though 007 Legends is the newest Bond game, it has some major problems that keep it from being higher on this list. You play as the version of Bond played by Daniel Craig, and you get to relive his past adventures. In theory, that sounds like fun, but it never feels right to see the current Bond and modern gadgets used in missions based on Goldfinger and Moonraker.
Worse, the whole campaign feels less like a Bond game and more like a copy of Call of Duty. Most of the time, you can be sneaky, but it doesn’t even work that well. In a game of spy! There are worse ways to waste a few hours, but there are also much better Bond games out there. Even with all of that, this instalment is a great way for both new and old Bond fans to see some of his best movies.
There have been so many great chase scenes in James Bond movies that a game where all you do is drive seems like the perfect fit. But the results were not all the same. There are a lot of cars from movies in this game, including the famous Ashton Martin DB5, and it’s a fun game when you just have to drive as fast as you can. If you find yourself in any kind of combat, you’ll have more problems.
007 Racing’s biggest problem is that it tried to do too much for a PS1 game. They didn’t have the right tools yet. If you made a new version of 007 Racing with a good budget, it could be at the top of this list in a few years. But if you really like James Bond’s cars, this is the best way to drive one.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
Rogue Agent is on this list because it tried to do something different with the Bond series, even though it didn’t work out in the end. First of all, you don’t play as 007 at all. Instead, you have a cybernetic eye and used to work for MI6. The game is also called GoldenEye because of this. It has nothing to do with the movie or the 1997 video game, which was much better.
Putting aside the weak ties to James Bond, Rogue Agent is a pretty standard first-person shooter from the time, but it has a few cool tricks up its sleeve. With your “golden eye,” you can see through walls and stop bullets. There was also a really good multiplayer mode, but it’s been offline for years now, which is a shame. If EA had just given it a different name or not tied it to James Bond, people would probably remember it more fondly today.
Tomorrow Never Dies
Tomorrow Never Dies has a great soundtrack, which is the best thing you can say about it. It has the classic Bond theme and the movie theme by Sheryl Crow, but it also has a lot of fast-paced tracks that would fit right in with any of the movies in the series.
As for how it works, it’s fine. Tomorrow Never Dies is a lot like Syphon Filter in how it lets you shoot and sneak around, but it’s not as good. And Syphon Filter hasn’t really gotten better with age. The skiing and driving levels are at least pretty fun.
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded
Even though you should never say “never,” GoldenEye 007 probably won’t get a new official release. This is because of the complicated rights issues, even though millions of gamers who grew up in the ’90s would love to see it come back. Activision didn’t want to deal with legal issues, so they made their own version of GoldenEye with a different story and Daniel Crag as James Bond instead of Pierce Brosnan.
And GoldenEye Reloaded is pretty good. It has a lot of different goals and is well made. It really does feel like a real James Bond adventure. There’s even a good multiplayer mode that brings back a lot of what was great about the original. Still, the level design doesn’t quite reach the heights of the N64 classic, and the AI in the single-player campaign isn’t very good, so this isn’t a great Bond game that will last forever.
James Bond 007: The Duel
The Duel is a really stupid game, but it’s also a lot more fun than it should be. Timothy Dalton gives Bond his “likeness” for the last time as the secret agent sneaks into enemy bases with just his pistol to plant bombs and save the same damsels in distress. There are a lot of generic bad guys to shoot, but Oddjob and Jaws also show up, with Jaws using one of Dr. Eggman’s old boss machines.
Even though it sometimes feels like it’s been done before, the controls are tight and the 16-bit music is surprisingly good. A licenced platformer from the early 1990s could be a lot worse.
James Bond 007
Everyone remembers Rare’s N64 Bond game from the year before, but this gem for the original Game Boy was passed over. James Bond 007 is played from the top down, and it was never even released in colour. However, Saffire was able to fit more of a Bond experience into this tiny cartridge than many games with more advanced technology.
The story is original and has a lot of jokes and hints. You can sneak around or use karate moves, and the studio even put in baccarat and the James Bond theme. This one is still a good one to find.
007: Licence To Kill (1989)
Based on one of the most controversial James Bond movies, License to Kill, 007: License to Kill holds up better than any other James Bond game from the 1980s. 007: License to Kill is a top-down shoot-em-up that keeps things simple with six short, mostly fun levels based on scenes from Timothy Dalton’s movie.
007: License to Kill is a short and sweet adventure that is bright and sometimes scary. Even though it wasn’t great, this was one of the first licenced games that was actually worth playing.