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SOLE OBSESSED PRESENTS: ELEVEN GAMES FROM THE ’90S

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With the ’90s featuring a number of video games which were considered cutting edge, we decided to turn back the hands of time and highlight some of our top picks from that era.  Of course we couldn’t include all of the popular titles from this period, but here’s a look at 11 memorable games picked by our staff.

Super Smash Bros. (N64)

The N64 in itself was a game changer when it was released. But when Super Smash Bros was released in 1999 it made the console an instant classic. The game to me was just amazing. It allowed me as a kid to actually play with Nintendo characters and Pokemon characters and actually fight with them. To me this game goes down in a top 5 list somewhere. This game was so much fun that I spent hours with friends having tournaments to see was the best at the game. This game will forever be a classic to me. – Alex

 

Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

Playing Donkey Kong Country on SNES to me would go down as one of the best games that I’ve played as a kid. It had great graphics, great gameplay and the music score in the game is legendary.  Everyday after school I would play it with my friends and play for hours. Donkey Kong Country would go down as one of Nintendo’s best games to ever be created. – Alex

 

NBA JAM

NBA Jam was a 2-on-2 arcade style basketball game developed by Midway in 1993. It was unique because it was one of the first sports games to feature NBA licensed teams and players. I enjoyed it most for the exaggerated gameplay. Players could fly high and perform acrobatic dunks that one could only dream of seeing in an actual dunk contest. The game was just as fun on the defensive end letting you slam your opponents to the ground, something that would surely get you a lifetime ban in today’s NBA. Let’s not forget the entertaining play-by-play commentary which featured memorable catch phrases like: “Boomshakalaka”, “He’s heating up”, and “He’s on fire.” NBA Jam is a personal favorite of mine and the reason I grew passionate about playing sports games. – Didiel

 

Triple Play 2000 (Playstation)

What more can I say? Before there was MLB: The Show or MVP Baseball, this here was the home run king. In my opinion, Triple Play Baseball never received the credit that it rightfully deserved having created the blueprint for what a smooth baseball play should play like. EA Sports went the extra mile on this installment of the series after the previous title received many criticisms due to a poor framerate and unresponsive engine that made the game seem more cartoon-like than realistic. All these issues were not only resolved in Triple Play 2000 but bar was set infinitely high. The game featured all 30 licensed teams and accurate representations of all 30 major league stadiums. Triple Play 2000 introduced a much deeper and sophisticated trade and free-agent mode. It’s pretty prevalent nowadays but at the time it was unheard of to assume the role of a GM. The commentary was top notch and arguably the best in any baseball franchise which featured Jim Hughson and Buck Martinez. In addition, the presentation of the game was so realistic that one could easily suspend disbelief and act as if they were in the stadium itself. Fan comments, hot-dog vendors, and PA announcements were all introduced to create an authentic baseball experience.  If that wasn’t enough, the gameplay was exceptionally sound and the controller mechanics were simplified making it accessible to casual gamers. The best part was hitting a home run and the camera slowing down and repeating to accentuate the achievement. Who could forget about the unlockable teams that one could unlock by pressing several buttons at the main menu screen? One of the players in those teams could bunt home runs and the only way to do avoid so would be to bean him. In conclusion, the game was phenomenal by all standards and it doesn’t hurt that it featured my favorite player on the cover – Slamming Sammy Sosa. – Jose

 

WWF No Mercy (N64)

This is the Godfather of all wrestling games and to this day is held in mighty high status by both wrestling fans and video gamers alike. At the time, it was believed that Wrestlemania 2000 was the greatest wrestling game of all time and many critics felt it would be impossible to top from both a mechanics standpoint and a graphic one. However, all those claims were deemed unfounded when  THQ published WWF No Mercy back in 2000. The graphics were amazing at the time (and I stress at the time) and the gameplay was smoother than ever.  Wrestling games were infamous for seeming unrealistic in that there was no correlation between what was going on on the screen and the button that you pressed. There was always a noticeable lag between moves and those made it difficult as a gamer and fan to enjoy the game. However, No Mercy got it right. Their mechanics system was point and no delay in reaction time was present. Several new features were added such as the ladder match, championship modes, and a larger roster of your favorite WWF superstars. Customization was also key as you could change up your wrestler’s attire to your liking. WWF No Mercy was the BOMB (90s reference) and I find pleasure in popping it into my N64 and layeth the smackdown on their candy asses. – Jose

 

NFL Blitz 2000 (PS)

For those who were sick and tired of the rule abiding Madden NFL franchise, the NFL Blitz series was your answer. For those who wondered what an NFL game would play or feel like if all the penalties and refs were thrown out the window, well then here was your answer. NFL Blitz played at an incredibly fast pace and the hits were as bone crushing as ever before. Clotheslines and hits after the play were the highlight for some. It was the equivalent to just ignoring missions on GTA because you find it more exciting to drive around and run people over. Turbo charged running and passing as well as a super hero like vertical attack made the game a human highlight rule. NFL Blitz 2000 introduced a plethora of new features including audibles, 4-player mode, new stadiums, play editing, blitz passing, etc. However, what’s amazing is that all of these new features played second fiddle to the hardcore gameplay we all knew and loved. With all due respect to Madden, NFL Blitz 2000 is the best football game ever created. – Jose

 

GoldenEye 007

This game is one of the most memorable from my childhood during the 90’s. I have fond memories of getting together with my brother, and our family friends and playing this game for hours. We always put in the cheat code for big heads, and setup a dummy controller just to explore all the different ways to kill Natalya. Poor Natalya. The storyline was great but this game put multiplayer modes on the map. I’ve never been a fan of first-person shooters but GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 is a classic that will never lose its luster. – Skyla

 

Harvest Moon 64

Don’t laugh. I was obsessed with Harvest Moon 64. I even asked my mom for a gaming magazine that had a story about it for my birthday. The Harvest Moon series still holds a special place in my heart, as I bought the Sony PlayStation port on my PS3 last year. How can you not love it? The graphics are so Japanese! Despite their simple cartoonish nature, the game is an absolute joy to play. Many hours have been spent toiling in the virtual farmlands of Harvest Moon 64. But hey, I bet working on a real farm isn’t as fun though! – Skyla

 

NBA Live ’95

With the introduction of many elements such as an isometric on-court perspective, the “T-meter” for shooting free throws and the turbo button used to give players a temporary burst of speed, NBA Live ’95 is arguably one of the most influential sports games to date. – Stess

 

Mortal Kombat

No explanation needed. From ground breaking graphics to controversial finishing moves, this may be one of the most popular games ever! – Stess

 

Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII was praised for its graphics, gameplay, music and story. It’s retrospectively been acknowledged as the game that popularized the japanese role-playing gaming style  outside of its home market, and has often times ranked high on numerous game lists. – Aaron

 

 

 

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