Although I was an almost 80s (1979 to be precise) child, it was the 90s where I developed my love for video games. It was also a decade where the market began thriving. Iconic gaming heroes were born and kids began putting down their Transformers and Ninja Turtles, locking themselves away in their rooms for hours on end. Here are five games which I hold dear to my heart, many of which I’ve since downloaded on my iPad.
5) Streets of Rage 2 (1992)
So I get the Streets of Rage series was inspired by Street fighter and blatantly stole from it’s much more successful predecessor. The character of Axel was clearly a splicing of Ken and Ryu, and Blaze was a western take on Chun-Li. The game play style was different however, scrolling through seedy NYC back streets, beating up a variety of bad guys, before facing the end of level boss. It was fairly easy to complete, but incredibly addictive all the less.
4) Super Mario 64 (1996)
Mario was the undisputed console King of the 90s, with no less than six of the decade’s top 10 bestsellers featuring his name. An early entry in the 3D platform genre, it was easy to become completely absorbed in the strange world in which the characters existed. Using the simple, tried and tested ‘rescue the Princess’ formula, it was sheer brilliance and the graphics still hold their own today.
3) Street fighter 2 (1991)
This game exploded on to the consoles in the early part of the decade and literally wiped the floor with other fighting games of the time. It was the sequel that really took off, selling 6.3m and ranking at #1 in the top-selling games of the 90s. What made this game so good was the range of brilliant characters, all of whom had their own uniquely ingenious moves. It also coined many catchphrases which were all repeated in playgrounds the world over. Remember ‘Sho-Ryu-Ken’, ‘Yoga Flame’ and ‘Spinning bird KICK!’?
2) Gran Turismo 1997
Here we have a gaming franchise which has managed to move with the times and is still with us today. The classic original version got petrol heads in a spin at the time, combining great visuals, desirable cars and a much more realistic feel than other, inferior games. Selling a staggering 8.6m and 2nd only to Mario Kart in terms of 90s sales, Autoweb ranked it their number 1 driving game of the decade. Genius.
1) Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
My parents couldn’t afford to buy me a Megadrive when this little beauty was released, buy my best mate had one, so I practically moved in for a few months and couldn’t’t get enough. Who’d have thought the humble and rather rubbish hedgehog would end up such a gaming legend? Better graphics followed in the sequels and so did Tails and the rest of the gang.