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Even though we hate to admit it, the ’90s are nearly three decades away from us now. This period of great alternative music and memorable films also saw the rise of computer technology and, consequently, video game industry. What’s so great about the 90s is the fact that the game developers managed to do so much with such limited resources. It was a time when ingenuity and imagination were essential for making games, which is why most of these titles aged so well. Here are some of the best 90s games we still freaking adore.
One of the pioneers of the FPS genre, Doom, was released way back in 1993. This amazing 3D game introduced a whole new concept of gaming that relied on big guns, scary monsters and an absolute adrenaline rush with, for that time, incredible graphics. The plot of the game was always irrelevant – a vicious marine set on destroying all of the monsters he encounters. However, it’s the gameplay, which is still as fun as it was back then, that counts. There were a number of sequels over the years, but the most hyped one is certainly the 2016 reboot that brought the game to its roots with an insane amount of action and pure video game fun.
While the Doom pioneered the FPS genre, Quake introduced a whole new level of entertainment with their mindblowingly fast multiplayer experience. Quake was simple, quick and straight to the point. You run, grab a gun, kill one of the slower players and repeat. It was obvious that the id Software group had a vision that many tried to imitate over the years unsuccesfully. Nowadays, reboots are more popular than ever and Quake is also getting a whole new makeover. The upcoming Quake Champions that is currently in closed beta mode is bound to bring back some old players and let some nostalgia kick in.
Myst was a completely different experience from the two games mentioned before, but it still introduced a whole new genre that is among the most popular ones today. In 1993, the two brothers Robyn and Rand Miller decided to create a new gaming experience that relied on the atmosphere, puzzles and a subtly told storyline. Because of its passive nature, Myst is usually called a walking simulator and inspired a number of indie hits like the Stanley Parable, Gone Home, Dear Esther, Beginner’s Guide, and other amazing games of that type. If you’re curious about the game, but aren’t quite the fan of the outdated graphics, you can get the same experience with the remade version from the 2015.
During the late 90s, the developers from the LucasArts studio have already established themselves as great storytellers, able to captivate the players with truly humoristic scripts, as seen in the The Secret of Monkey Island franchise starting in the 1990. Their spiritual successor was a weird little game by the name of Grim Fandango that showed their uncommonly natural sense of humor and vast imagination. In the game, you play as Manny Calavera, something of a freelance detective in the world of the dead. The memorable design based on Mexican calaca figures along with the engrossing story made this an instant classic.
Sure, the first game that really started the fighting genre was the Street Fighter with laughable premise and colorful characters, but Mortal Kombat really took it to another level when it was published in 1992. The game featured one-on-one combat with characters that were designed using real photographs – something that gave the game its unique look and made it stand out. Although the story of various fighters coming all over the world to fight for the universe isn’t much to go by, the creators managed to establish a canon that fans grew to love, resulting in numerous sequels and a couple of (extremely horrible) films.
Age of Empires II
Real-Time Strategies are nowadays, unfortunately, a dying genre. Back in the 90s and for at least a decade and a half, RTS games were amazingly popular and relevant. However, if you were to ask a true gamer to tell you what the best RTS game is, chances are he’ll say Age of Empires II, a game that was released in 1999, just as the decade was nearing its end. AoE II offered a great historical experience with amazing campaigns, interesting yet simple units and great storylines. The game has aged so well that many people still turn to it when they’re in need of a good strategy.
Finally, there’s the unprecedented Half-Life that came out in 1998 and revolutionized the whole gaming world with this epic release. In this FPS (in case you somehow don’t know), you play as Gordon Freeman, a surviving scientist who tries to make his way out of a secret, alien-infested facility called the Black Mesa. This grand adventure continued sometime after with Half-Life 2, as well as episodes 1 and 2, before it ended on a cliffhanger and was never heard off again. Fans still hope to see the Half-Life 3 come to existence, but until then, the original is still an exceptional game.
What is your favorite among these 90s games? Anything you would like to add to the list?