I’ll list the games in order of release date from earliest to latest. It was hard enough compiling a list of just ten so putting them in order of preference would just be too much to ask! I went for EU console release dates predominately but had to use first release dates for a couple.
This game was so good they named it three times! The game went by the name ‘Out Of This World’ but was changed to avoid confusion with a TV series of the same title. It was also called ‘Outer World’ in Japan. I personally much prefer ‘Another World’ anyways. The game had incredible visuals for it’s time and was played out before a stunning backdrop. The game possessed an original storyline and simple controls but great challenging puzzle action. It had a great cold, isolated but at times threatening atmosphere. The probable only down side for me was the amount of longevity it provided.
2.Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (16bit)-Nov 24th 1992
Everyone knows Sonic, and I think we reached a gameplay pinnacle with the second installment. The game introduced the turbo boost feature and Tails arrived too! The gameplay really flowed in this one and it had a great learning curve. It wasn’t as challenging as the first game and you could speed through the early levels, but the game had re-playability for more hardcore fans in it’s newly designed bonus stages, which you had to complete in order to collect all chaos emeralds. Brilliant, simple but addictive gameplay at its very best.
3.Super Street Fighter II-The New Challengers-June 1994
Again little needs to be said about the Street Fighter franchise from Street Fighter II-The World Warrior onwards. The New Challengers came out at a productive and special time in gaming for me (No online console gaming back then though goddammit!) and this game introduced four new faces, Cammy, Dee-Jay, T-hawk and Fei-long (for those who don’t know). I was already a fan of the series and had the original Street Fighter on the Atari ST and the four new characters were a definite draw missing from Capcom’s previous turbo upgrades.
4.Mortal Kombat II-Sept 1994
I was only young when this was released and got simply obsessed with this game. I loved fatalities and although this principle had been explored with the first Mortal Kombat and Eternal Champions, this took it to another level. Even without this novelty it was still a great game with a great engine. It expanded on, and had more variety than the first and I feel was a better more enjoyable game than the third installment with it’s comedy ‘run’ feature.
5.Doom II-Hell On Earth-Oct 10th 1994 (PC first release)
In my humble opinion this game is not only the best version of Doom but is also one of the best and most addictive games ever made. The gameplay is so simple but you can’t stop playing! I couldn’t anyway. Doom at the time it was originally released was revolutionary for the gaming industry and I see John Carmack, the designer of the game’s software engine, as a genius! (Bill Gates is also a fan btw). The game has more monsters, more levels and great design what more could you want.
I continue to play and create doom levels with the source port ZDoom, if you like Doom check it out!
A much loved survival horror franchise that is still going strong today and for me this first installment is a classic. It’s a great survival horror game fleshed out with a decent storyline, nice puzzles and some great shocking set pieces, there’s also a nice twist at the end. For me the early Resident Evil games are less scary more polished looking versions of the original Silent Hill but with more of a shock factor. I still don’t like the parts with the giant spiders though!
7.Final Fantasy VII-Nov 17th 1997
The gem in the Final Fantasy crown and the first epic, sprawling role-playing game I properly got into. It’s not the type of game I would normally play and it’s testament to how good the game is that I like it so much. It all fits together perfectly and provides hours of gameplay and a high replay factor for those wanting to hang out at the Gold Saucer and master the game through side quests.
8.Tekken 3-Sept 12th 1998
I’d played Tekken from it’s first release on the Playstation and I feel it continued to improve, with graphical improvements, additions to the roaster of fighters and tweaks to it’s amazing game engine, to reach it’s peak at Tekken 3.
9.Silent Hill-Aug 1st 1999
You may have already guessed that I have a bit of a thing for sci-fi and horror and I’m going to continue my bias with Silent Hill in at 9! I have many very happy memories attached to this game and although the combat isn’t up to much, the graphics are glitchy and the character’s mouths don’t even move when they speak, the storyline, soundtrack and effects are chilling. The game makes up for it’s flaws by being just downright errie! When I played this game I got genuinely scared.
Galerians is definitely the game on my list that would, and did at the time of release, receive the worst user and critical reviews. The gameplay and combat can be ridiculously frustrating at times and some would class it as feeling repetitive and sparse. It divided fans however and it holds a place in time for me. I love the storyline, the settings the game plays out in and the cold and lonely atmosphere and the general feeling of isolation. It is low on replay value however.
I know this is only a top 10 but I also need to give a mention to the early ‘Chaos Engine’ on the Atari ST and, from a different era, the underrated ‘Silent Bomber’ and ‘Twisted Metal’ for arcade junkies.