Ali Amjad takes us on a video game trip down memory lane, looking at 10 classic games from the 90’s to early 2000’s.
The ’90s gave birth a the era of video games as the industry transitioned from style low-bit graphics to full-fledged 3D graphics, giving gamers a greater feel and sense of absolute control over the game and its environment. From adventurous travels to first-person shooters, video games finally came closer to realism than ever before.
The ’90s and early 2000’s helped to build the foundation of the industry that we have today, and these are 10 of the best games released during this period in gaming history. Enjoy.
1. Tomb Raider
Being among the first 3D games, Tomb Raider gave players more control than the 2D titles that had come before, putting an extra emphasis on considering your movements through the 3D world. Reflexed were tested in the games gun sections and the level design was revolutionary. The sense of being Lara was immense and overall, Tomb Raider was head and shoulders above what gamers had previously experienced. Certain cutscenes and gameplay give shivers down the spine; especially the T-Rex encounter in the lost valley.
2. Metal Gear Solid
Who doesn’t remember Metal Gear? Among the first gaming hits, Kojima’s creation took the gaming world by a storm. Enemies like Revolver Ocelot and Psycho Mantis changed what games came to expect of villains, and Solid Snake remains one of the most iconic characters in the industry.
3. The Secret Of Monkey Island
The Icon Tim Schafer was the mind behind this legendary and beautiful game. Monkey Island was a tale of twisted puzzles, ultra-neat video quality and inventive ideas of the Landscape Island was phenomenal. The artwork and graphics were hand-drawn from a basic point and click interface making it user-friendly. While the music; even if played right now could trigger many memories from the famous Michael Land’s iconic tunes composed for the game.
4. Indiana Jones and the Fate Of Atlantis
Everyone loved classic Harrison Ford’s character in Indiana Jones and the movies were a huge success due to their combination of action, exploration and adventure. Imagine all that in a game. Gamers were thrilled to play the mysterious arcane excavations with amazing cinematic brain-teasing puzzles and desert brawls one expects in the Sahara. LucasArts hit the jackpot with Indi Adventures point and click fantasy world. What hooked the gamers was that the Plot was taken from the original story and no levels were fabricated, making it a must to play it.
5. Alien vs Predator
When it comes to Sci-Fi, Alien vs. Predator became an instant hit throughout the world with an interesting plot. Bringing the movie into a game, Alien vs Predator was among the best approaches ever used. It was every kid’s classic playground to battle the venom dripping aliens with Predators. The ability of the alien of cocooning the Humans and Predators was inspirational. Bring a variety of gadgets and levels was a frightening onslaught survival filled game.
6. Tekken 3
After the jaw-dropping kicks and K.Os of Tekken, Namco’s impressive epic fighting series was close to being the perfect deathmatch game ever. While the Third release of the game redefined the fighting genre to the next level. How? The new game modes like Survival and a Streets Of Rage style scrolling, beefed up the game to the ultimate fighting machine making the gamers glued to their chairs. Hands down, Tekken 3 was an all in one gamers paradise with more unusual fighters and combo rich gameplay.
7. Mortal Kombat 2
Mortal Kombat may not have the best fight attacks but it sure did create a vivid image of the dark underworld fights. But Mortal Kombat 2 came back with a bang, bringing new fighters that redefined the fighting games in the 90s. Mortal Combat 2 didn’t have the depth of Street Fighter but it surely had ‘Fatalities’, ‘Brutalities’ and some strange ‘Babalities’ worth attempting.
8. Pokémon Red & Blue
For all you Gameboy lovers, it’s time to go back in time with Pokemon Red and Blue, bringing those tiny little monsters all over the field. From the 90s, Pokemon created a cult following among every gamer who owned a Gameboy which spread from TV screens to Hollywood. The game got attention by the media. It was way back when people didn’t have to use gaming tools to spoof their location to play Pokemon. Rare Pokemon to catch was a real feast and treat for the gamers since catching them was hard. From the Video game came the Pokemon cards which took the game to new heights and many gamers switched to playing and purchasing those Pokemon cards as well. This was definitely a game to remember.
9. Super Metroid
This game opened doors for kids to imagine how meteoroids work with a mix of bloodthirsty Dinosaurs. Rad combo, right? The game was a point and run fun-filled mania where through the collection of power-ups you could be virtually unbeatable. The thrill was combined with unstructured landscapes and the big toothed T-Rex making it one of a kind. The astronaut looking character jumped through obstacles to avoid any hits and collected power-ups to kill the dinosaur. Gamers were hooked with the simple functions of the game while enjoying the hurdles coming along.
10. Cannon Fodder
On the surface, this game didn’t get much attention but it was filled with deadly jungle war missions comprised of enemies and allies scattered all over the place in a violent fashion. The game had a plain field which you had to conquer. The white crosses that ended up dominating were a good touch to the catchy game.
Gamers used to say ‘War has never been this much fun’ since the game plot was hilarious which added a pinch of flavour and excitement to it.
While this list had no chance of being definitive or exhaustive given the number of exceptional titles released in the ’90s and early 2000’s, I hope that this article has brought back some memories of the truly exceptional games released just a few decades ago.
Ali Amjad is a nineties kid who has been obsessed with video games since childhood. After breaking many gaming controllers on perfecting combos in Tekken and Street Fighter, he now practices zen in a VR environment and tells tales about his video gaming experiences in life. He can be reached on Twitter & Facebook.