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5 Video Games From the 90s That Changed the Industry

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.
Dedicated to my two older brothers, R & D

90s video games changed everything when it came to gaming. It was the decade of challenging limits, new genres, new consoles, and new graphics—they changed from 2D to 3D! What is there not to like? This decade was the starting point for everything else that would follow. After all, these games established characters that would define the industry during the following decades. It is that legacy that allows many gamers—pros and casuals alike—to immerse themselves into these worlds. Let’s travel back into the past and see what the 90s had in store for gamers back then.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

If you ask any Legend of Zelda fan which is the series’ best game, Ocarina of Time will surely cross their minds. Launched for the Nintendo 64, it made history for its engaging story and impact on its audience. Through its musical charm, gameplay, and extensive lore, Ocarina is the perfect way to start if you have not played any game within the franchise. Similar to its previous installments, it follows Link and his adventures in the kingdom of Hyrule, on his journey to defeat Ganondorf who is trying to steal the Tri-Force’s power.

Super Mario 64 (1996)

Super Mario 64 is an essential game in the Mario franchise. As its title alludes, it was created for the Nintendo 64. It follows the same plot as always: our plumber Mario has to save Princess Peach from the treacherous Bowser! Yet unlike the other games prior to this installment, Super Mario 64 had a semi-open-world concept in addition to being the series’ first 3D game. To this day people still talk about it!

Final Fantasy VII (1997)

Another classic in a well-established franchise, the fact that Final Fantasy VII was remade for the Playstation 5 should be enough of a reason to know why it was so groundbreaking for its time. You play as Cloud Strife, a mercenary who is part of an eco-terrorist group called AVALANCHE, with the goal of defeating the Shinra Electric Power Company, a corporation that seeks to drain all of the planet’s energy. With an amazing cast of characters and villains (looking at you, Sephiroth), engaging gameplay, and adorable Chocobos, Final Fantasy VII remains a fan favorite almost 25 years after its initial release.

Sonic Adventure (1998)

Sonic Adventure was one of the most successful Sonic games ever. This platformer was released on Sega’s console, the Dreamcast, and it was the first 3D game in the franchise. Of course, you play as the speedy, iconic, blue hedgehog Sonic, and his friends who are trying to acquire the seven Chaos Emeralds to defeat Doctor Robotnik. Within the game, you speed through multiple levels and defeat enemies with different abilities depending on the character you are playing as. If you want to take it more on the easy side, say no more. Visit the Chao Garden and raise your adorable little Chao! Why save the world when you can take care of an adorable virtual pet!

Pokémon Red and Blue (1998)

Originally released in Japan in 1996, Pokémon Red and Blue were the first installments for this revolutionary franchise on the Nintendo Gameboy. Thanks to these two games, we had some semblance of world peace when Pokémon Go! first came out in 2016. You initially play as Red with the starter Pokémon of your choice (Squirtle Squad, if you have taste), traveling through all of the Kanto region trying to become the world’s best Pokémon trainer. These two games settled the well-loved formula of the game series. Branching out from video games to animes, movies, and even card games, Pokémon has become timeless, always stirring up excitement with every new addition.

If you played any of these games during your childhood, you should know why they still remain in your memory to this day! If not, well, now you know. Have you played any of these classics? Let us know!

A sour patch kid raised in the small town of Villalba, Puerto Rico (she'll argue that she's from Ponce though). She's a total geek who takes everything one fandom at a time. Her major is Creative Writing.