The 90s were a transformative time in history. The availability of the internet has given people a level of connectivity and access to information never seen before. The rise of multiculturalism has given people of different ethnic and sexual backgrounds the opportunity to rise to positions of influence. In the gaming world, the industry was taking bold steps into uncharted territory.
This decade saw the refinement of 16-bit gaming and the first timid steps into the third dimension. Many of these titles are just as fun to play today as they were then and are readily available for purchase on modern platforms.
ten The Hog learned new tricks in Sonic The Hedgehog 2
sonic the hedgehog 2 This is where the series really took off. It introduced several of the franchise’s hallmarks, like Tails, the spin dash, and the blue blur super transformation. It also featured some of the best levels in the series, such as the Chemical Plant and Casino areas.
Sega has reliably re-released its Genesis classics on nearly every gaming platform imaginable, with early Sonic titles being no exception. Many of these titles are available to play for free with ads through Google Play, and Sega recently released a remastered collection called Sound origins with widescreen support and brand new animated cutscenes.
9 Players would be bananas for passing on the original Monkey Island titles
The first two monkey island titles represented a substantial leap in the graphic adventure genre. Deviating from the well-established fantasy setting, The Secret of Monkey IslandThe swashbuckling locations, razor-sharp writing, and timeless humor have resulted in one of the greatest gaming narratives of all time.
Players who were tired of the trial-and-error design of Sierra’s adventures could experiment as much as they wanted without penalties such as instant deaths or unwinnable situations. Both games have been given an HD makeover and are available to purchase on Steam for less than 10 eights.
8 Quake has secured Id’s place on the FPS throne
Following the success of the Wolfenstein and Loss titles, Id Software had everything to lose with its spiritual successor, and titles like Duke Nukem 3D and shadow warrior were eager to win the first-person shooter crown. Against all odds, Id once again achieves the impossible with earthquake bringing the genre fully into the world of polygonal graphics.
The original title has seen re-releases on Steam and GOG, but due to licensing issues its iconic Nine In Nails soundtrack has been omitted altogether. Luckily, a completely remastered version of the game has found its way to modern platforms with updated visuals, multiplayer, and a fully restored soundtrack.
seven Chrono Trigger is a JRPG that stands the test of time
Designed by Hirinobu Sakaguchi with character art by Akria Toryiama, the trigger of a stopwatch served as a great demonstration of Square’s storytelling chops. Its unique combat system, fascinating time-traveling premise, and diverse cast of interesting characters have resulted in one of the best games for the Super Nintendo.
the trigger of a stopwatch saw re-releases on PlayStation and Nintendo DS with all-new features and animated cutscenes. Its initial Steam release was plagued with a garish graphics filter, an interface clearly pulled from an earlier mobile port, and game-breaking bugs. Thankfully, several fixes and tweaks have made this the definitive way to play one of Square’s best RPGs.
6 Super Metroid saw the intergalactic bounty hunter at its best
Samus’ 16-bit debut was the ultimate refinement of the formula introduced in the very first metroid. Super Metroid’The added ability to shoot in all directions ensured that enemies couldn’t get away with a cheap shot, while the map feature made exploration less tedious and easier to find hidden upgrades.
Super Nintendo hardware allowed for a level of atmosphere not possible in the bounty hunter’s 8-bit entries, with more dynamic areas and a haunting ambient soundtrack. The game has seen re-releases on Virtual Console, SNES Classic, and Nintendo Switch Online.
5 The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time Is The Former And Future King Of Openworld Titles
After the success of Super Mario 64Nintendo has changed the landscape of 3D gaming yet again with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. The Third Dimension brought a new level of interactivity and immersion not possible with previous entries, and dungeons took full advantage of this new perspective.
New additions to the formula also included Link’s trusty steed, Epona, and the eponymous ocarina, which could be used to perform certain spells. Ocarina saw a re-release on the Nintendo 3DS with updated visuals, reworked controls and a re-orchestrated soundtrack while the original title saw ports on the Gamecube, Virtual Console and Nintendo Switch Online.
4 Players Could Get Completely Lost In Fallout’s Nuclear-Ravaged Wasteland
Black Isle crafted one of the most influential Western RPG series of all time with their post-apocalyptic To fall securities. Its very robust character creation system gave players a level of freedom to tackle quests unmatched by its peers. Skills rewarded players for specializing in a certain category, while traits had both positive and negative consequences for players, leading to delightfully unpredictable results.
The nuclear-ravaged wasteland was populated by a fascinating cast of characters with their own philosophical viewpoints and ideologies. Gamers who love the series and want to see its roots can purchase the first two titles through Steam and GOG.
3 Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night Brought New Blood To The Franchise
Deviating from the level-by-level structure of previous entries, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night gave vampire hunters the entirety of Dracula’s castle to explore and thwart as they pleased. Additionally, Alucard’s half-vampire nature allowed him to gain new abilities that gradually opened up more of his father’s mansion and could be used to uncover hidden secrets.
All of this was bolstered by a haunting score and some of the best 2D pixel art PlayStation had to offer. The game has been re-released as a digital download on XBLA, PSN and on PS4 in a collection called Castlevania Requiem.
2 Half-Life demonstrated the unlimited potential of the genre
Valve has changed the expectations of single-player first-person shooters for years to come with their historic first title, half life. While other shooters opted to put the narrative on the back burner or used intrusive cutscenes, half life boasted well-crafted prose without ever giving up player control.
At the time of its initial release, its visuals, physics, and technical skill were second to none. Although its first-person platforming has become less palatable in recent years, and the Xen section is a little fiddly, it’s still well worth the ten bucks it costs on Steam.
1 Super Mario World was a giant leap into a brave new world
Super Mario World was the culmination of everything Nintendo had learned in creating 2D platformer titles. The structure of the map Super Mario Bros. 3 was more refined and interconnected in this episode. The Cloak Feather and Yoshi provided players with new ways to approach levels and uncover hidden secrets that would lead to the elusive Star Road and the even more elusive Special Zone.
Super Mario World also took full advantage of Super Nintendo hardware with a higher color palette and more sound channels. The game has seen re-releases on the GBA, Virtual Console, and is currently playable via Nintendo Switch Online.
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