The Best Games of the Late ’90s

The late '90s had some really classic games. Here are my top 5.
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The late 90’s was a great time to be a gamer.  Many of the most classic games of all time were created during this era.  In fact, several gamers would say their favorite game of all time comes from this era.  I’m gonna go over what my top 5 games of the late ’90s are.

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5. Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. was an instant classic, and the world’s first real “party fighter.” It was the first fighting game that let you and three of your friends jump in the ring and duke it out, as opposed to just one on one matches.Of course, what made it an instant classic was that it was also the first big crossover game, bringing in characters and locales from all over the Nintendo universe to beat each other up. It’s a game that truly lets you answer the age old question “Can Mario beat up Pikachu?” That’s totally an age old question, right?

4. Banjo-Kazooie


 Banjo-Kazooie makes the list because it is a massive platformer that’s just a whole ton of fun to play.  Yes, there’s a lot to be said about the story, which was pretty good back in the day, though is a bit less so now.  However, the game is still by far one of the best platformers. It had an excellent collection of moves and abilities to help you overcome the game’s challenges, and it had a whole ton of stuff to do.  Plus, collecting puzzle pieces had a purpose that made sense with the story, unlike collecting stars in Mario.  You have motivation there, and that’s key.

 3. Metal Gear Solid

While the Metal Gear series is quite a bit older than many of the others on this list, Metal Gear Solid is revolutionary in that it was the first game to offer three-dimensional stealth.  It was a whole new way to play games, and it helped popularize stealth games, which today are a wide and diverse genre. It also had an excellent story involving one man versus an army that had nuclear powered mechs, and what part of that doesn’t sound awesome? However, perhaps the best part about Metal Gear Solid is that it still holds the distinction of having the most unique boss fight in all of gaming.  Beating Psycho Mantis requires a very unique method that most gamers wouldn’t have thought of at the time, plugging your controller into the other slot. While it’s common knowledge now, at the time it was incredible, and shows that the developers had some real creativity on their side.

2. Final Fantasy IX

While all three of the Playstation era Final Fantasies are amazing games that deserve a slot, I chose Final Fantasy IX because it chose to do several things the other two didn’t that benefit it a lot.  

First of all, each party member is unique, which is really the way to go if you’re trying to build character. It’s important to create a reason for the player to want to use each character, and in Final Fantasies VII and VIII, there wasn’t really a reason to switch after you got the games’ best three party members. 

IX  has unique part members that all have their own specific use, and if goes a long way towards making the game better.  The focus on a bigger fantasy story also helped IX feel a bit better than the others. It achieved a more interesting balance between fantasy and high technology than the previous games in the series, which made it a really interesting world.  

All in all, Final Fantasy IX is one of the best RPGs of all time, and is almost certainly the best of its era.

1. Pokémon Gold and Silver

I said almost certainly last time because, well, these games exist. The Pokémon series is a phenomenon, there’s no denying it.  It was a hard choice between these games and the previous set, but I ended up choosing Gold and Silver because they took the foundation laid in Red and Blue, refined it, balanced it, and made a much more penultimate game.  

Plus, it included a large amount of the content of its predecessors, as you could travel back to the original region after you beat the game’s new one, something the new titles in the series should really think about going for. In the case of these games, more content is good content.

What I really have to give it credit for, though, is that it finally solidified the art style the game was going for. Red and Blue had some really contrasting art, and while Yellow’s sprite updates helped, Gold and Silver did truly solidify the style. Pokémon look like they do now because of this game, and it’s a really good thing, because they look great.

So what do you guys think? What’s your favorite late ’90’s game? Sound off in the comments and stay tuned to Gameskinny and the Team Timelords Facebook page for more.

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Lifelong gamer, heavily dedicated to Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Sonic, and Pokemon. Will also flip out over hardware related stuffs.