Features | LSi's Top Five Nineties Games

Features | LSi's Top Five Nineties Games

We’re all suckers for nostalgia and, as nineties kids, we can’t help but beam with joy as we reminisce about our childhoods spent playing Pokémon and various cute platform games on our Gameboy Colours and PlayStation One consoles. If only we could forget about our degrees and go back to the simpler days of hunting for Pokémon and collecting apples. Instead, LSi offer you some escapism with our top five nineties games.

 

Pokémon

 

What platform?

Pokémon Yellow was published by Nintendo for the Game Boy.

What’s the deal?

Released right at the height of the anime’s popularity, Pokémon Yellow gave us what Red and Blue had deprived us, a little Pikachu to follow you around everywhere. While you had to sacrifice the choice of starter Pokémon that the other games in the series offered you, you could emulate the hero of the TV series, Ash, and have a Pikachu of your own.

Why so iconic?

Combined with the popularity of the TV series, the card game, and all the other merchandise, this era of Pokémon has reached an almost legendary status in the collective consciousness of those who grew up in the 90s. Pokémon has a winning formula; gym badges and the Elite four for the competitive, and the ‘catch-them-all’ mentality for the completionists. With Pokémon X and Y, the most recent games in the series, being as popular as ever, it is easy to see why Pokémon Yellow has a rightful place in the list of most influential 90s games.

 

Mario Kart 64

 

What platform?

Mario Kart 64 could be played on the (you guessed it) Nintendo 64.

What’s the deal?

This was the game to play when you went round to a friend’s house for tea. As well as the newly introduced 3D graphics, this addition to the franchise also brought with it the functionality of having up to four players at once.

Why so iconic?

The Mario Kart games have a refreshingly simple premise; win the race. The friendly graphics and the ability to play as your favourite Mario character helps to secure the franchise’s long running popularity, and it must be working! Guinness World Records awarded Mario Kart the Best-Selling Racing Game record. While Mario Kart 64 wasn’t the first game in the series, it can be argued that the Nintendo 64 was a far more popular and influential gaming system than the SNES was.

 

Crash Bandicoot 

 

What platform?

Crash Bandicoot was exclusive to the PlayStation.

What’s the deal?

Crash Bandicoot follows the eponymous anthropomorphic marsupial through dozens of platform levels after being the subject of a scientific experiment go wrong at the hands of the antagonist, Doctor Neo Cortex. Although everybody’s favourite bandicoot has a somewhat limited amount of moves, especially in the first game of the series, but the varied worlds and all they contain are more than enough to keep even the most seasoned gamer happy.

Why so iconic?

Although it’s hard to believe almost 20 years down the line, at the time of its release, Crash Bandicoot had some of the best graphics in the entire gaming industry. It also spawned multiple sequels, and is even one of the few Western games to become a best-seller in Japan, an accolade which speaks for itself.

 

Tomb Raider

 

What platform?

The original 1996 of Tomb Raider was released on MS-DOS, PlayStation and Sega Saturn, but several months ago it was also released for iOS.

What’s the deal?

Tomb Raider follows the scantily clad archaeologist Lara Croft as she searches for ancient artefacts. On her way through these tombs, she must kill enemies, collect objects, and solve puzzles in order to retrieve said artefacts.

Why so iconic?

While some of Lara’s fame may be attributed to some of the astounding polygons she had on her chest, I’m sure that the 2001 film starring gorgeous Angelina Jolie might have helped secure Lara’s place in the public consciousness. However, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the game most likely became so popular due to Lara Croft’s good looks, with people even going as far as to call her video gaming’s first sex symbol.

 

Spyro the Dragon

 

What platform?

Like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon was also exclusive to Sony PlayStation.

What’s the deal?

The first game in the Spyro the Dragon series, it tell the story of the eponymous purple dragon and his dragonfly companion Sparx as they make their way through progressively more difficult ‘realms’ in order to progress to the next homeworld. The realms all utilise Spyro’s various specialist skills, such as gliding, charging, and breathing fire.

Why so iconic?

As well as the exclusivity to PlayStation, Spyro the Dragon has another similarity to Crash Bandicoot; graphics ahead of its time. As well as a trail of sequels, the little purple dragon has also managed to spawn multiple spin-offs, including appearances in the Skylander franchise. Both the game, and Spyro himself, particularly appealed to children. As the children of the late 90s are now in their 20s, it is easy to see how a game so popular with those children will now have taken a firm spot in the generational mentality.

 

Brigitte Phillips

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