The 1990s was a decade in which video games were transformed. While the move from 2D and 3D was not smooth, it led to the games that we know and enjoy today, some of which were not only commercially successful but ahead of their time in their use of emerging technologies.
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StarCraft was released in 1998 as a science fiction real-time strategy (RTS) game. This game led the way for other game developers to follow. The gameplay is still so good that it was remastered and re-released in 2017. StarCraft retained a strong player base thanks to the competitiveness in the game which had not previously been seen in an RTS game. In 2010, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty took the best of StarCraft and refined it into a masterpiece of competitive gaming.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2
The Sonic the Hedgehog 2 game sequel for Sega Genesis is one of the best games of the 90s, with designs that create an almost perfect mix of challenge and enjoyment. Ahead of its time, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 saw the game make a jump to 3D which was considered a technical achievement, even though frame rate issues remained a problem.
Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 is another game from the 90s that is recognized for its innovative incorporation of new 3D technology in gaming. The integration of free-flow motion was new in the industry and Super Mario 64 is considered to have been well ahead of its time. With the addition of intricate levels, the game offered great replay value, since it is likely something is missed on first play. Despite some concerns about odd camera angles, software developers were strongly influenced by Super Mario 64.
Final Fantasy VII
Originally launched in January 1997, Final Fantasy VII is a role-playing combat system that has attracted new players through its remake in 2020, still set in the dystopian cyberpunk metropolis of Midgar. The original graphics were well ahead of other games launched at the time. It also has an intriguing story, grueling battles, and substantial exploration. Whilst not as popular as other games in the 90s, the remake has made Final Fantasy VII popular to a new audience.
Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft transformed gaming and became a 90s icon. At the time, the Tomb Raider series was one of gaming’s biggest draws, outselling the competition tenfold. The game climbed straight to the top of the charts within hours of its release and stayed there for months, selling seven million units in the first few years. In 2015, a more grounded Lara was seen in Rise of the Tomb Raider in which players experience the trauma of her first kill, the gritty realism of makeshift first aid, and other great action to be expected from the best gaming titles today.
Caroline is doing her graduation in IT from the University of South California but keens to work as a freelance blogger. She loves to write on the latest information about IoT, technology, and business. She has innovative ideas and shares her experience with her readers.