Even though video games became mainstream in the 1970s and 1980s, they experienced the real boom years in the 1990s. This was a turning point for the video gaming industry because personal computers became more powerful and accessible, just like video game consoles.
Some of the stories and characters appearing for the first time in this decade appear again in new games. This makes sense because these titles have become iconic among avid gamers. If you want to learn more about the greatest video games of the 1990s, keep reading this article because we prepared a list that reveals the best titles of this decade.
Did you know that the first FIFA video game was released in 1993? It was available on Mega Drive/Genesis, PC, Sega CD, Game Boy, Amiga, and other platforms. Today, this is the most popular sports simulation video game series and includes 30 installments.
Back then, FIFA had a humble beginning and didn’t offer many chances to adjust the gameplay and choose players. Still, it was pretty exciting and became an instant hit. This was especially true for FIFA 95, which practically established it as a leader among sports simulations.
One of the things that make FIFA special is the chance to play with your favorite footballers and teams. Still, it’s worth noting that starting from July 2023, EA Sports (the developer behind the series) will lose the right to use the name FIFA and will use EA Sports FC instead.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
The Legend of Zelda is another example of a successful video game series. This time, we have an example that started in the 1980s, but we will focus on one of its greatest hits – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, released in 1998.
The Tears of the Kingdom title was pretty big in 2023. Still, the Ocarina of Time was the best in the series, according to many reviewers. This action-adventure game became first available for Nintendo 64 users, followed by Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo 3DS.
The fifth installment of the series is focused on Link, a young guy determined to prevent Ganondorf (a thief) from acquiring all magic relics known as the Triforce. The smooth gameplay, unique story, world size, and other things make The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time an icon game.
GTA and GTA 2 (1997/1999)
Some might argue that the first two GTA video games were not as good as the others, but the fact is that if it wasn’t for these two, the sequels would not have seen the light of day. Like their predecessors, the first two GTA titles were action-adventure video games that take you to a fictional world where you must get involved in illegal activities to progress.
The action-packed gameplay, side missions, and many other things that made GTA, brought massive success for its publisher – Rockstar Games.
Additionally, we will mention the open-world concept that leads players to various places. For instance, GTA 2 was the first game in the series to feature a casino within its gameplay. Even though you couldn’t play mini-games there, the fact that it became one of the favorite places for players to visit. The rising popularity of slot games gave the publisher the idea to include gambling mini-games in the following releases as well, allowing players of GTA 5 to exchange their money for casino chips, spending them on horse racing, poker, and roulette.
Super Mario World (1990)
Here’s an example of a video game everyone has heard about. So, even if you are not a fan of video games, you must have seen an image of Super Mario World. This platformer game was designed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console, which was one of the main reasons people started buying it. In this game, the main objective is to save Princess Peach. You will have a chance to do this with the help of Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi. All the jumping, running, and mushroom collecting made players stay for hours in front of their TVs. The simple yet entertaining game mechanics and the hidden areas inspired many other video games.
If you are into real-time strategies, you’ve probably played or at least heard of StarCraft. This PC game is based on Blizzard’s Warcraft video game. Still, you are taken to a futuristic 25th-century world instead of a medieval fantasy world. There they will find three unique races: Terran, Zerg, and Protoss.
As expected, each race has specific strengths and weaknesses, and it’s up to the player to choose the race that matches their gaming style. The challenging gameplay segments and fun missions made this video game even better than some of Blizzard’s previous titles. So, it’s no wonder they sold over 11 million copies of this game.
Also, we shouldn’t forget the online components that helped the game spread worldwide.