Many people out there have told us here at Honey’s Anime that the current age of gaming is a great one. Now, it is true the current generation has a ton of amazing games we always like reminding people of another golden age of gaming. In particular one of our favorite eras of gaming came out in the 1990s. It was here that the world of gaming saw titles that truly changed the gaming landscape forever. If you’re sitting there in slight disbelief, we have a means of proving our point.
Welcome everyone to our list of Top 10 Games of the 90s! Our team here at Honey’s Anime jotted down our favorite games that released from 1990 all the way to 1999 and after a lot of outspoken thoughts, settled on a conclusive list. These games are not only amazing—even by today’s gaming standards—but they truly showed the world games that hadn’t been done before. Now if you’re ready to be thrown back in time let us begin our list of Games of the 90s without any more delay. Don’t worry, you won’t need a time machine either, our Top 10 Games of the 90s list will do all the work for you.
10. Crash Bandicoot
- System: PS1
- Publisher: Naughty Dog
- Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
- Release Dates: Sept 9, 1996
An odd experimental bandicoot has just escaped Doctor Neo Cortex’s lab. Named Crash Bandicoot, this odd marsupial runs away to a far-off island to escape Cortex but when he discovers his love Tawna is now destined to be subjected to similar experiments, Crash goes off to rescue her. With an ancient power mask known as Aku Aku behind him, Crash must now fight his way to Cortex. However, standing before Crash is Cortex’s minions who wish to defeat Crash and stop him from reaching their master. Though Crash won’t let them stop him and he spins his way forward with an unshakable resolve.
Starting our list of the Top 10 Games of the 90s, we felt it fitting to begin with Sony’s huge mascot franchise Crash Bandicoot. While adventure platformers weren’t new by the 90s, Crash Bandicoot was considered to be one of the best for the PS1 console. With vivid graphics and fun—but challenging—gameplay, Crash Bandicoot sold incredibly well and thus became Sony’s original mascot. We here at Honey’s Anime love Crash Bandicoot and hope you guys and girls will try it out for yourselves. If you want an updated version for the PS4 we then recommend Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy which offers the original title and two of the sequels for one low price.
9. Final Fantasy VII
- System: PS1, PSN, PC, Android
- Publisher: Square
- Developer: Square (JP), Sony Computer Entertainment, Eidos Interactive (PC)
- Release Dates: Jan 31, 1997
Ex-Soldier Cloud Strife has long forgotten his days of battle and has become a mercenary. Willing to do any job if the price is right, Cloud joins up with a group known as AVALANCHE who plans on stopping Shinra—Cloud’s former employer—and their evil energy stealing ways. However, during the mission Cloud ends up learning more about Shinra and decides to join Barret and Tifa—Cloud’s childhood friend—in their mission to save the planet and their homes. During this adventure Cloud will learn the true power of Shinra and also learn of the real past he seems to have left behind…
In the late 80s, Square was a dying company and created Final Fantasy and while most know of this tale, it’s important to remember that the RPG genre owes a lot to this miracle title. After several releases in the franchise, Final Fantasy VII would release on the PS1 in 1997 and blow not only fans of the series but newcomers as well thanks to its amazing graphics and impressive turn based gameplay. Cloud and his entourage of teammates would become loved in the world of RPGs and many would argue Final Fantasy VII as being the best of the series. While we don’t argue, it is an amazing game, Final Fantasy VII for us is more about the impact it left in the 90s and how even modern RPGs use some of its themes to this very day for their games. Love it or utterly hate it, Final Fantasy VII was a big game for the 90s and thus is an important entry on our list of the Top 10 Games of the 90s.
8. Metal Gear Solid
- System: PS1, PC
- Publisher: Konami Computer Entertainment
- Developer: Konami
- Release Dates: Sept 3, 1998
In 2005, rogue special forces unit FOXHOUND has begun something terrible. Taking control of a remote Island named Shadow Moses, FOXHOUND has taken nuclear weapons into their custody. Thus, FOXHOUND threatens the US government that if their demands aren’t met within one day, they will unleash the nukes. The US responds with reactivating an old special soldier code named Solid Snake and tell him his mission is to save two high value targets and stop FOXHOUND. With little support and weaponry, Snake heads into the base under the cover night and begins his mission…
Many older gamers know of the famous Metal Gear series. That being said though, many who grew up in the 90s only know one specific Metal Gear title called Metal Gear Solid. This third person action/stealth title would wow gamers with impressive gameplay, a brilliant movie-like narrative and jaw dropping polygon visuals. Many gamers—including us here at Honey’s Anime—know developer Konami became a big thing in the 90s and onward because of Metal Gear Solid. That’s why if you want a true example of what amazing games the 90s held, all you have to do is look at Metal Gear Solid.
7. Resident Evil 2
- System: PS1, PC, Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, GameCube, PSN
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Dates: Jan 21, 1998
Any first day on the job can be rough but for Leon S. Kennedy, his first day as a police officer isn’t what he had in mind. Instead of dealing with rowdy civilians or even a robbery, Leon instead must deal with a situation straight out of a nightmare. The civilians of Raccoon City—Leon’s new home or was to be his new home—have become infected with a virus known as the T-Virus and have turned into flesh consuming zombies. Luckily, Leon isn’t alone in his survival as he is joined by a young woman named Claire Redfield who is looking for her brother somewhere in the city. With their wits and skills, both must now fight their way through the city and somehow find a means of escaping alive.
In the 90s, the survival horror genre was still in what many would consider its infancy. Though one of the most popular survival horror games that would cause a boom for the genre would come in the form of Capcom’s Resident Evil series but namely Resident Evil 2. Released on 1998, Resident Evil 2 would give players a true sense of horror with various creatures to survive against and zombies to kill. Even today with its weak graphics and tank controls, Resident Evil 2 still impresses and fans of the franchise consider it the best of the original three to release. Sure, Resident Evil 7 and 4 are amazing entries in the series, but if you owned a PS1 in the 90s then you knew Resident Evil 2 is and was an awesome game.
6. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
- System: Arcade, NES, Various Consoles
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Dates: 1991
Warriors, get ready. The legendary tournament returns in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior! Witness various fighters from across the world use their different fighting styles to tackle their opponents in brutal fights. However, only one warrior will be crowned the victor. Will that be you or will you end up bruised and bloody? Find out in Street Fighter II: The World Warrior!
As we look upon the last decade or so it’s quite easy to see that fighting games still release quite often. Amazing fighters like the Tekken series and Mortal Kombat series still have success even today, which is impressive seeing as both originated in the early 90s to mid-90s. However, still one of the best—and most successful—fighting games has to be Street Fighter II: The World Warrior which released to arcades in 1991 and home consoles around 1992. Boasting some of the most robust fighting mechanics for a game back then and an impressive roster of fighters to choose from, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was hands down one of the best fighting games ever to be conceived. If you somehow missed Street Fighter II: The World Warrior when it released back in 1991 don’t worry too much as there are numerous console ports of it that are relatively affordable and still amazing to play even today.
5. GoldenEye 007
- System: Nintendo 64, Wii
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Rare
- Release Dates: Aug 25, 1997
You’ve seen the movies but that isn’t enough. Now it’s time to become the legendary spy James Bond in GoldenEye 007. Use various spy equipment and a wide array of weapons as you defeat the villains and save the world. The world needs a spy and you’re the only one who can do it. If you’re ready become the famous Agent 007 in GoldenEye 007.
In 1997, Nintendo 64 was already blowing up in the gaming world showing off impressive titles left and right. However, easily one of the best games for it was a FPS title based on the legendary James Bond movies called GoldenEye 007. With the ability to play with several friends in deathmatches and various other modes and a decently long single player story, GoldenEye 07 was easily one of the best FPS titles in the 90s. Trust us folks, if you have some friends and want to experience a good time then you need to hook up your old and dusty Nintendo 64s and boot up GoldenEye 007. Though wait till you finish this Top 10 Games of the 90s article first and then go and play GoldenEye 007.
4. Super Mario 64
- System: Nintendo 64
- Publisher: Nintendo EAD
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release Dates: Jun 23, 1996
Mario has broken out of the 2D realm and enters the 3D world in Super Mario 64. Once more players will take on the role of legendary hero to the Mushroom Kingdom—Mario—and save Princess Peach who has been taken prisoner by King Bowser. Using his power and the stars within Peach’s castle, Bowser now has made Peach’s once normal palace into a prison. Mario must use his skills to gather the Stars and free Peach as well as return her castle back to its original state. Get ready for a 3D adventure as Mario’s in for one tough quest.
Let’s be frank for a moment folks, if you had a Nintendo 64 in the 90s, one game you had on it was Super Mario 64. Though trust us that wasn’t a bad thing by any mean. Super Mario 64 was a truly wonderful game that changed the 3D gaming scene using the power of the Nintendo 64. This would in turn revolutionize games going forward for not only Nintendo but even its competitor as they saw Super Mario 64’s success in the gaming marketplace. While Super Mario 64 is dated in terms of graphics and even controls one thing is for certain, it still is one heck of an amazing game that shouldn’t be missed by anyone.
3. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- System: Sega Genesis, Various consoles
- Publisher: Sonic Team, Sega Technical Institute
- Developer: Sega
- Release Dates: Nov 21, 1992
The fastest animal around is back! Once more Dr. Robotnik returns and plans to resume his evil world conquering ways! Sonic and Tails must team up to defeat the Dr. before he can create a new space station and gather all of the Chaos Emeralds. Can Sonic and Tails defeat Dr. Robotnik or will his plans finally become a reality?
Sonic the Hedgehog may have released originally in 1991 and seen some success but the sequel—Sonic the Hedgehog 2—would be what caused Sega to truly have a mascot solidified in the annals of time. Once more players could enjoy one of the fastest 2D side scrolling platformers around but with even nicer graphics and an awe-inspiring soundtrack. While the Sonic franchise suffers slightly in the current gaming age, back in the 90s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was the game everyone wanted to play. That’s why Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was a unanimous vote for our Top 10 Games of the 90s list and we’re sure many of you 90s kid will agree with us here.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
- System: Nintendo 64, GameCube, 3DS
- Publisher: Nintendo EAD
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release Dates: Nov 21, 1998
A young boy named Link has been having a recurring nightmare where a man in dark armor takes a young girl and rides off with her, despite his attempts at stopping him. Though Link soon learns that this dream is actually a vision. Soon Link will go from being an ordinary young boy to a hero who must save the land of Hyrule from the dark warrior Ganon. With a small sword a strong will, Link begins his epic quest.
Many fans of The Legend of Zelda franchise are torn between which game is the best. Though many will always stand behind the Nintendo 64 game known as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. With impressive graphics—which still hold up well today—and amazing adventure gameplay, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is easily one of the most famous gaming titles to release back in 1998. Thankfully, if you haven’t played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time there are a multitude of consoles its now available on. Thankfully we here at Honey’s Anime have our Nintendo 64 systems always ready to replay The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time whenever we need a nostalgia fix.
1. Pokemon Red and Blue
- System: Nintendo Game Boy
- Publisher: Game Freak
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release Dates: Feb 27, 1996 and Oct 15, 1996
In the small town known as Pallet Town, a young Pokémon trainer is about to finally get his first Pokémon from Professor Oak. Now the trainer must go across the region collecting Pokémon and training them to do battle against other trainers. As the trainer gets stronger he can then take on trainers known as Gym Leaders who are each city’s strongest Pokémon trainers. If he can win against all 8 of the Gym Leader it will allow the trainer to then enter the Indigo League. However, that is a far-off adventure and for now the trainer has many trials and tribulations awaiting him.
At number one on our list of Top 10 Games of the 90s, we have Pokémon Red and Blue. When both of these titles released in Japan back in February and October 1996, they were met with such fanfare that a US release was only natural. Pokémon Red and Blue have led to people becoming huge fans of not only the Game Boy but of the whole Pokémon franchise. Love it or hate it, Pokémon Red and Blue revolutionized the gaming landscape back in the 90s. That’s why it clearly wins the number 1 spot on our list of Top 10 Games of the 90s list.
The 90s truly was an incredible time in the gaming world. Whether you wanted a nice simple adventure game or a scary survival horror game, the 90s gaming age had you covered. Now we know we mentioned a ton of games but maybe you think you have some other games that could have made this list of the Top 10 Games of the 90s? Comment down below and share your thoughts with us here at Honey’s Anime. While you’re at it, if you loved this top 10 Games of the 90s—and who wouldn’t—search our site as we have tons more here for you to enjoy.