Video games have been around for a long time, but perhaps the 1990s was the decade that really helped them become mainstream. With more affordable and accessible games consoles, video games took off in a big way during the ’90s. These are our top picks for the best games of that decade.
Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)
There was one thing about ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ that made it stand out above all other video games at the time, and that was speed. Gamers controlled this alien hedgehog that sprinted his way from one side of the map to the other in the blink of an eye.
It was up to you the player to figure out where all of the hidden dangers were and avoid or destroy them at lightning speeds. Sonic was the only true rival to Mario during the ’90s, and perhaps in that decade he was arguably the winner.
Pokémon Red and Blue (1996)
When Nintendo released ‘Pokémon Red and Blue’ in 1996, they stole the attention of pretty much every gamer who owned a Game Boy. The game was portable, which meant you could play it on long car journeys or on vacation.
Collecting every single Pokémon was the goal of the game, as well as beating all of the gym leaders to earn your badges. To become the greatest Pokémon trainer of all time, you had to keep leveling up your Pokémon until they were so strong no one stood a chance against them.
Crash Bandicoot (1996)
When the PlayStation One first hit stores, it quickly became the next big thing in gaming. There were a ton of classic titles, but none were as universally loved as Crash Bandicoot, developed by Naughty Dog who went on to make ‘Uncharted’ and ‘The Last of Us.’ ‘Crash Bandicoot’ was so colorful and wacky, but the gameplay was addictive and had people coming back for more, even if it was challenging.
Metal Gear Solid (1998)
‘Metal Gear Solid’ changed what gamers expected from video games when the stealthy action game was released in 1998. Players were tasked with sneaking through various military bases without getting captured while doing their best to prevent the dawn of a nuclear war.
You played as Solid Snake, a battle-scarred war veteran who had yet another mission to take down evil all on his own. The game was creative, and no other video game has used a cardboard box in quite the same way since.
Mario Kart 64 (1996)
For many cart-racing fans, there is no better series than ‘Mario Kart.’ The game was given a huge upgrade when ‘Mario Kart 64’ came out for the Nintendo 64 in 1996. Mario and pals were now available to race in full 3D, and the colorful maps kept players entertained for hours at a time. With the N64’s ability to put four players against each other on one screen, this version of ‘Mario Kart’ quickly became the ultimate party game for friends.
By today’s standards, ‘Doom’ is way behind the first-person shooters on current-gen gaming systems. ‘Doom’ was one of the first 3D shooters, and it brought adults to the gaming market like never before. With the scary monsters and seemingly endless corridors of enemies, the action was non-stop, and gamers found themselves unable to put their controllers down.
As soon as these games were released during the 1990s, they became instant classics. Decades later, they are still some of the titles that gamers of the ’90s will never forget and look back at with fond memories.