My Favourite Games EVER Part 3: 90s edition

by GregFahlgren

Going back to a time before online multiplayer, HD graphics, and rumble packs to make your controller vibrate (seriously, we bought those, look it up).

Hello again everyone! Welcome to Part 3 of My Favourite Games EVER! Today, I’m going really old school with my selection today, bringing back a ton of childhood memories. Those of you who grew up in the 90s like I did are going to have huge smiles on your faces as we work our way through the list. So, without further delay, let’s get started!

Mario Kart 64

Damn Blue Shells...

Oh, good old Mario Kart.  Nintendo’s signature racing series has been around for years, and even from its very beginnings was immensely popular with fans.  However, that popularity sky-rocketed with the series’ most successful entry, Mario Kart 64.

Having been a Nintendo kid I have many a fond memory of playing Mario Kart 64 growing up.  Any time my brother or I rented an N64, or a friend of ours either loaned it to us or brought it over, it was a requirement to have Mario Kart.  If they didn’t they were dead to us.  The hours upon hours we logged at that game truly defies logic, and may be a primary reason why our school marks declined whenever it was in the house.

The gamplay was simply put, a blast, with multiple modes including versus, the game that destroyed friendships.  My goal of winning every single trophy with every single character was borderline obsession, something that never went away.  If could ever get my hands on an N64 again, Mario Kart 64 would be among the first games I would seek out.

Sadly, the Mario Kart series never reached the same heights again, but in a world where there are multitudes of racing games, Mario and his friends for a brief moment, drove to the top of that mountain (good damn blue shells knocked every else off).

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Your Favourite X-Wing Game

Another throwback to my childhood, is probably the game that got me really into the Star Wars Expanded Universe (RIP canon).  The game, which takes place in between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back (with some bonus levels for some of the more famous battles in the movies), is a fun flying simulator featuring all the greatest star fighters in the Star Wars Universe.

I honestly can remember vividly playing every mission over and over again, trying out each fighter in turn, working my ass off to complete the missions with each one.  Of course, I did have the DEADDACK cheat (thank you whoever told me about it... and remember cheat codes? They were awesome weren’t they?) so I could play all the levels as many times as I wanted without consequence. Bottom line, I loved this game so much, it has haunted me that I never bought it outright.

I also never got a chance to play the sequels either, but I don’t know if anything could out do that first experience with Rogue Squadron.

Final Fantasy VII

Yes, THAT Final Fantasy

In my first post in this series, I mentioned Final Fantasy IX as being my favourite Final Fantasy game (perish the thought!). However, that doesn’t mean that Final Fantasy VII ranks right behind it. I love Final Fantasy, I just love it, and VII was the game that truly made the franchise go from respected and liked, to an international phenomenon.

The story, which was the first time for many North American gamers to experience something like it, was a tragic, exciting, and emotional tale, filled with death, intrigue, pain, love and a whole lot of laughs. The characters are still as loved today as they were when they first came into existence, some even considered to be among the greatest in video game history.

 In addition to the amazing story, the battle system was top of the line, Limit Breaks and Materia adding new depth to Final Fantasy’s traditional spells and weapons. The mini games (most found in the Golden Saucer), were fun in itself, to the point where you could spend hours playing them instead of the main game and not be unhappy.

But I think the biggest reason why Final Fantasy VII is ranked up there among the greatest games of all time is because it wasn’t just another JRPG. Unlike many games, there was no “One way to play” or “Missions that HAVE to be completed or you don’t get the full thing”.  You could deviate from the main story, go into side quests at the drop of a dime, or just sit there and breed chocobos for a few weeks to try to get the fable GOLDEN chocobo to the rare KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND material (never did it, seriously time consuming).  There was so much in the game, much more than many America gamers were used to. The game was so deep that one could play that game for months, even years on end, and never truly be finished. I myself have NEVER completed all the secret quests, despite my best efforts in trying (ADHD attention span, never fails to force me to move on).

The only drawback of this wonderful game was the graphics. Even for its time, Final Fantasy VII’s graphics were... ugly. The cut scenes weren’t so bad, but for the majority of the game, the oversized forearms and mouthless faces (creepy) made you either laugh or cry. Thankfully, Square Enix announced a few weeks ago at E3 that a remake, not a remaster, a full remake of Final Fantasy VII is under way, to be released within the next few years. Final Fantasy fans around the world rejoiced, not only because they’re going to get to play their favourite game again, but because the characters can finally come alive like they were always meant to.

Final Fantasy VII will always hold a special place in the gaming pantheon, and I don’t know where the industry would be without it.

007 Goldeneye

Prepare for Battle!

Goldeneye. The Godfather of FPS multiplayer. The Bond game that all successors must be judged by. The game that defined a generation of jerks who wouldn’t take auto-aim off. This was the game of choice for my generation, from the campaign, to the cheats, to the endless hours of multiplayer (ODDJOB IS CHEATING ASSHOLES!), Goldeneye set the standard for all games to follow

Released in the wake of the immensely popular movie of the same name, the game was an instant hit with Bond fans and gamers alike, telling a slightly reimagined story of the film, adding in layer after layer of new content, weapons, adversaries, and all manner of hidden goodies. The Cheats were among the first of their kind, from the ridiculous “Big Head Mode” and “Slow Motion Mode”, to the God-like “Infinite Ammo”, “All Guns”, and “Invincibility”.  With four levels of difficultly, the final making the player able to adjust enemy’s health, aim, and lethality, the game was so deep it puts modern FPS to shame.

SO many memories playing this game, it’s hard to nail down where I fell in love with it. I played it for probably thousands of hours over the years, even long after the N64 had passed its prime.  They made a remake a few years ago, and I’ve played a bit of it, but it’s not the same game. I liked what I saw, but I guess I’m still just too enamored with the original that ANY remake could ever do it justice.

Turok 2: Seeds of Evil

Turok's Apex

Of all the games I played in the 90s not one, and I mean not one, ever compared to Turok 2. I never owned it, despite my best efforts, instead renting it every single time there was an N64 in my house. The God-Cheat – BEWARE THE OBLIVION IS AT HAND – unlocked all weapons, levels and modes, which was a good thing since I never had a memory card for the N64 (Turok 2 didn’t have a game save of its own).  I never even got CLOSE to finishing the game in reality, but that didn’t stop me from playing it over and over and over again, cycling through the ridiculously awesome weapons featured, something that I think modern FPS severely lack.

Turok 2 also set itself apart from many FPS of the time with an outstanding story that spanned across the universe, Joshua Fireseed fighting across ancients cities, alien ships, and weird ass insects hives to stop the evil forces of the mysterios Primegan from destroying it all.  The goal was to defend the Energy Totems while completing a number of side quests, and the levels were INSANELY long, but it hardly mattered. The game was fun, plain and simple, fun, which is what games are supposed to be about.

Sadly, the Turok franchise peeked with this title. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, its predecessor, was good, but the sequel Turok 3: Shadow of Oblivion, though expanding the universe, and a great game itself, failed to recapture the wonder of Seeds of Evil. Every Turok since has been good to sub-par, the latest in the franchise a reboot where you’re just a guy killing dinosaurs. If any franchise deserves another shot, it was Turok, and I still hope one day it will get resurrected, hopefully by someone who loved Turok 2 as much as did.


Until we meet again

Well, that wraps it for another round. Share, comment, follow, all that good stuff. Will be a little bit until my next installment of this series, so until then, HAPPY GAMING!


Listing of five of my favourite video games of all time featuring Mass Effect, Halo and Call of Duty
Part 2 of my listing of my favourite games featuring Arkham, Gears of War, and Donkey Kong.
Updated: 12/13/2015, GregFahlgren
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