Believe it or not, the history of video games began as early as the 1940s. However, what people typically associate with video games begins around the 70’s, with the creation of Pong, and later with the birth of systems -- the so called “game consoles” -- like Atari. However, one of the golden decades for video games was the 90’s. In the 90’s, many of the dramatic and dynamic series that are currently played today were born. Without these games as the forerunners, we would have never had some of the fantastic games that we love now. Without further ado, we’ll discuss some of the best video games from the 1990s.
Metal Gear Solid
As the game that kicked off a series that has a whopping eleven games to date, Metal Gear Solid was the magnum opus of Konami at that time. Metal Gear Solid introduced the audience to the espionage and spying master known as Snake, a former warrior pulled out of retirement to defuse a nuclear situation between the United States and the terrorist group FOXHOUND.
The reason Metal Gear Solid is a best game candidate is because it popularized the stealth game genre, as well as in-game cutscenes. Stealth games have expanded since Metal Gear Solid’s premier in 1998, but sequels and spin-offs of Metal Gear Solid continue to strike home.
Pokemon Red and Blue
Pokémon Red and Blue are two games released simultaneously during the 1990s, slotted for the Game Boy. Being released in Japan a year or two before they hit Europe and America, these games would kick off a multibillion dollar industry.
Pokémon Red and Blue were two different versions of the same game released on the Game Boy. They introduced RPG aspects as you hunt down different Pokémon and conquered gyms. These games were one of the first that had a fantastic “replay” value, and rewarded players for putting lots of time into them. It was also applauded for its multiplayer combat system, as well as the ability to trade Pokémon with other players. It has remained one of the best RPGs of all time.
What became one of the games that defined the First Person Shooter (FPS) genre, Doom is a game that has grown quite a bit from its humble beginnings. The first Doom offered nine levels where the player, controlling some sort of armored-up superhuman, guns and blasts his way through the vilest demons of Hell. This game went on to make a handful of sequels and remasters, which have grown in popularity throughout the years.
Although many developers from the industry continue to expand the concepts that Doom so wonderfully introduced, it was Wolfenstein 3D the game which inspired and guided Doom to be what it is now. In Wolfenstein 3D, you enter the shoes of a soldier, and take on wave after wave of enemies in a pixelated world. Wolfenstein 3D is one of the few games that really kicked off the FPS genre, paving the way for blockbusters like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Halo, and much more.
Warcraft, which later became World of Warcraft and other iterations of the same, was released in the early 1990s. What would later become a PC game, Warcraft is a real time strategy (RTS) game that originally pitted factions of Orcs and Humans against one another. The game grew with additional expansions during the 1990s, initially being released in 1994 with said expansions being released in 1995 and 1996. This game opened the world for strategy games online, and is recognized as an early precursor of current behemoths of their genre, such as League of Legends.