When it comes to the history of the gaming industry, the 90s were a golden age. So many iconic video game franchises have had major installments, debuts, and/or helped fuel the industry’s technological ambitions.
These titles were undoubtedly products of their time, especially in hindsight, as they reflected what was so popular in the medium at the time. From the impressive impact of the original. Pokemongames on the Game Boy to the revolutionary solid metal gearfor PlayStation, these beloved titles are emblematic of that decade.
10 pokemon red and blue
In 1996 in Japan and in 1998 internationally, the Pokemon the franchise was born and conquered the world thanks to Red and Blue. In the games, players took on the role of an ambitious trainer as they sought to learn about Kanto’s 151 species and become the region’s league champion.
Easily some of the best games available on the original Game Boy, Red and Blue it broke new ground both culturally and mechanically for the medium. In addition to being the poster children of the ’90s “Pokémania” craze, the games were pioneers for handheld gaming and local multiplayer.
9 final fantasy 7
While the main line Pokemon games are the most commercially successful JRPGs, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy The series is a mainstay of the subgenre. The ’90s were even a golden age for JRPGs specifically, and final fantasy 7 it was a mainstream giant that helped bolster PlayStation’s young reputation.
One of the most acclaimed Final Fantasy games to date, it was also one of the first examples of heartbreaking video game deaths for avid gamers at the time. The Active Time Battle system helped keep turn-based combat fresh, and its transition to 3D graphics was a major turning point for Final Fantasy.
While not quite on the level of home consoles in terms of overall appeal, PC gaming has come a long way as a major platform. However, the then Blizzard developed a classic in the form of Devilan action RPG that saw the playable hero embark on a quest to defeat the titular demon.
Devil He was arguably the face of the subgenre, helping to popularize it throughout the ’90s and beyond. It was the kind of grim, edgy fantasy befitting the decade, with countless accolades directed at its dynamic quest assignments and multiplayer capabilities.
7 Super Mario 64
One of the most praised Nintendo 64 games, Super Mario 64 it’s a leap forward in more ways than one. The game has players take Mario to Princess Peach’s castle to rescue her from the invading Bowser.
And while that premise isn’t inventive, even in the ’90s, it’s the gameplay and technical aspects that made it such a hit. In addition to showing the Super Mariogreat brand presence then, it was also revolutionary game design. It raised the bar for what was possible in both the platforming genre and 3D game design in general.
6 resident Evil
The 90s weren’t all about platformers, JRPGs, and action-adventures, as Capcom would also introduce one of the most influential game series. resident Evil was released in 1996 for the PS1, and took players on an ominous investigative mission turned escape from a zombie-infested mansion.
resident Evil it was widely acclaimed for pioneering the survival horror genre in gaming, and the rest of the decade used it as the standard to abide by and build on. resident EvilThe haunting atmosphere, unique fixed-camera perspective, and cheesy dialogue also lived up to the B-movie camp of horror movies.
5 super metroid
Although there has been a welcome return to form in recent years, the ’90s were one of the strongest times for metroid. super metroid was an impressive sequel to the SNES, featuring bounty hunter Samus Aran on a mission to recover a Metroid stolen by space pirate Ridley.
It was a brilliant showcase of what made action platformers so popular in the ’90s, to the point of spawning a subgenre named after it and castlevania. Building on the solid foundation of the original and The return of Samus, super metroid it was applauded for its meticulous level design and tighter action platforming mechanics.
4 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Nintendo has some of the biggest properties in the middle, and The legend of Zelda was another force to be reckoned with in the ’90s. The Nintendo 64 installment The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time it still ranks among the highlights of the series.
Link’s quest to save Hyrule from the evil King Ganon was another milestone, as it was the evolution of the series towards 3D just like Super Mario 64. Ocarina was a testament to how revolutionary 3D graphics in games was, as well as the new nuance of ZeldaCombat, puzzle solving, and storytelling.
3 pokemon yellow
For almost any other video game, a tertiary installment that retains most of the elements of its predecessor would not define an era. However, pokemon yellow it managed to do just that while becoming another landmark of the ’90s, capitalizing on the runaway success of the franchise.
Yellow it was the first true “third version” Pokemon game, and was a standout of the ’90s for being a multimedia tie-in. The original games paved the way for the equally lucrative television anime series, with some of YellowStory elements taken from Ash’s journey. It was yet another example of the franchise being an inescapable icon of the decade.
2 super mario world
For as fantastic as he Super Mario The franchise’s transition to 3D has been in the decades since its inception, some of Mario’s best outings being 2D installments. And between them, 1990 super mario world is perhaps the most important title.
Super Mario 64 is deservedly credited as one of the biggest boosts for 3D game design, but World on SNES refined the 2D format with which the brand began. super mario world it pushed the technical limits of the SNES and easily became the face and benchmark for other platformers of its kind.
Hideo Kojima is one of the best-known game designers today, and solid metal gear it was a huge step forward for the iconic stealth action franchise. The PlayStation classic starred Solid Snake as he infiltrated a facility to quell a nuclear terrorist threat.
Very similar resident Evil I did it for survival horror, solid metal gear it defined the stealth action genre in the late ’90s. The game was revered for its game-changing stealth mechanics, and also demonstrated how games in that decade were making continued strides toward cinematic storytelling.
NEXT: 10 Game Boy Games That Defined The ’90s