The 90s is often considered the decade where the best video games ever created were published and I firmly consider this to be true. The gamers of that era like myself saw and experienced the release of 3D video games like never before.
Also, the 90s is considered the resurgence of the video games industry because the industry nearly went bankrupt in the 1980s. It’s funny because in the 80s the industry was almost over but the next decade were released some of the best video games ever made… That’s how you should make a comeback.
Today we are going to select the 10 best video games of the 90s, so let’s begin.
10. Metal Gear Solid – 1998
Metal Gear Solid is often considered one of the best video games of all time because it influenced the stealth genre more than you can imagine. The game quickly became one of the most important video games of the 90s and set the bar high due to its top narrative, B-movie storytelling, and amazing plot twists.
This was probably the first time that Kojima shocked the world with his ideas and acclaimed unorthodox style. Thanks to its commercial and critical success, multiple Metal Gear sequels were created and we are happy with that.
9. Starcraft – 1998
Real-time strategy video games were never as popular as racing or adventure video games but everything changed after Blizzard released Starcraft back in 1998. The funny thing is that throughout the years the RTS video games popularity has faded but Starcraft has maintained it popularity. In fact, Starcraft is one of the leading video games in the South Korean esports scene.
I have never played Starcraft before and I was amazed the first time I watched a professional gamer playing Starcraft, there are so many mechanics that it surprises you. Seriously, one of the best ever.
8. Goldeneye 007 – 1997
Goldeneye 007 is frequently considered the best video game based on a movie, and to be honest, this game deserves that title. Many of the video games present on this list are remembered for the single-player campaign, however in this case, the thing is a little bit different because Goldeneye 007 is fondly remembered for its revolutionary multiplayer that changed the history.
But hey, the single-player campaign is amazing and gave us a solid 9.5-hour experience. This campaign is still relevant to this day because is quite popular among speedrunners.
7. Resident Evil – 1996
The Resident Evil franchise is one of the most popular and beloved video games franchises of all time and not long ago, Resident Evil 4 received its remake. The thing is, the last Resident Evil games have significant differences from the first game, but that doesn’t mean this game is bad.
The first Resident Evil is one of the best survival horror video games of all time and despite it hasn’t aged well as some video games on this list, it is still one of the best video games released in the 90s.
6. Pokemon Red and Blue – 1998
The Pokemon franchise is incredibly popular everywhere because at least one of its games was part of our childhood and without Pokemon Red and Blue the franchise wouldn’t be what it is. Right here we have two games in one because each version features differences; mostly exclusive Pokemon.
Whether you are just exploring, uncovering secrets, delving into the Pokemon Mansion or becoming the best Pokemon trainer that ever was, you will have lots of fun because this game is extremely good. It would be a crime to not include this game in the list to be honest.
5. Final Fantasy 7 – 1997
It is really hard to define which Final Fantasy game is the best in the franchise but without a doubt, Final Fantasy 7 is probably the most popular one because it spawned its subseries, movies and a well-received remake. Final Fantasy 7 is also the first one in the series that used 3D computer graphics and full motion video, and also the first to feature composer Nobuo Uematsu appeared.
Final Fantasy 7 received universal acclaim and also, was a commercial success, and it is considered one of the most influential video games of all time.
4. Half-Life – 1998
Valve Corporation is one of those developers that are recognized for raising the bar too high with its video games, and the first Valve’s game that did that was Half-Life back in 1998. The first game of the greatest video game trilogy that never existed is frequently considered one of the most influential video games ever created; the game revolutionized the FPS genre and to be fair, it never goes out of style.
Without Half-Life there is no Counter-Strike, and if you are picky and you don’t like 90s graphics, you can play Black Mesa, a fan made remake made in the Source game engine.
3. Chrono Trigger – 1995
Back in mid 90s, Chrono Trigger changed everything when it was released by Square. Frequently considered one of the best video games of all time and also one of the best RPG ever created.
Chrono Trigger was developed by a team that included three specific designers considered the “Dream Team”: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Final Fantasy’s creator; Akira Toriyama, Dragon Ball’s author and Dragon Quest’s character designer; and Yuji Horii, Dragon Quest’s creator.
If you take those three guys and have them create a video game, you know it is going to be a masterpiece.
2. Super Mario World – 1990
The Mario franchise is one of those video games franchises that could appear in any video game list and nobody would argue about it because this franchise is pure art and Super Mario World is an example of that.
It was between this one and Super Mario 64, but in the end, I decided to go with this one because Super Mario World is the main reason why the video game industry was “resurrected” in the 90s. Super Mario World is a love letter to the industry and it holds a special place in any gamer’s heart.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – 1997
Considering Ocarina of Time as the best video game of any given list is just like considering Lionel Messi as the greatest football soccer player of all time: a fact. Ocarina of Time offers everything you ever wished when you were a kid but at the next level; you have exploration, boss fights, character development, large areas, difficult puzzles… Everything.
Almost all the features this game contains became “industry standards” in the future and thanks to Ocarina of Time, many of your favorite video games were created. Without a doubt, the best video game of all time.