September 9th, 1999 – one of the two most memorable gaming dates I’ve experienced (Mortal Monday for Mortal Kombat in the early 90’s was the other one.) The Sega Dreamcast launched on that date, which began quite an interesting generation of games. The Sega Dreamcast was underpowered compared to the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and even Gamecube that were all on the horizon, yet produced a myriad of exceptional titles that shouldn’t be passed up. Thanks to a series of factors, including the lack of key third party support, the Dreamcast was phased out and only left the Nintendo Gamecube, Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2 to occupy gamers in the US.
While the Sega Dreamcast is one of, if not possibly my all-time favorite gaming console, it only produced five titles for this console generation that fit my top 25 list. The quality overall of the titles selected could almost be the strongest out of any generation I have experienced, especially with no singular dominance in genres present. Lats take a look at my Top 25 128-bit Games:
I kinda cheated with Twilight Princess. It was first released alongside the Nintendo Wii in November of 2006, with the Gamecube version being released a month after that. I spent a bit less time on the Gamecube version overall than the Wii version, but I felt it should be represented on this list, mostly because it’s not on the next list. Mindless waggling was changed over to button presses, though the gameplay as a whole, and even the visuals in many respects, changed little. The wolf portions might be a bit grating, but Twilight Princess was yet another installment in the Zelda franchise that managed to capture my heart and steal away plenty of my time.
14. Mario Kart Double Dash (GCN)
Double Dash is often passed over as the “best kart racing” game out there, and that’s a crying shame really. I know the whole two rider gimmick didn’t resonate with fans of the franchise as much as the single riders did, but that added layer of depth really went a long way in differentiating its self not only from other Mario Kart titles, but any other kart titles in general. Most of the maps felt just right as well, sporting some bright and colorful tracks to drive through. Even the roster seemed more diverse and fleshed out.
Even I can admit that Knights of the Old Republic II wasn’t anywhere near as gripping and memorable as the first installment, but it was still an interesting adventure in its own right. There were bugs, a lot of content didn’t make it in, and most aspects to the game felt exactly the same as the first game, but it was still a story that had its unusual moments, enticing me to keep soldering on to see how things develop. Definitely give Knights of the Old Republic II a whirl, but be sure you played through the first game beforehand.
Rating: 8.9 (PS2)
At the peak of the crossover craze in the late 90’s/early 00’s, Capcom vs SNK 2 was a bombshell combination. A mammoth roster of Capcom and SNK brawlers were enhanced by six different gameplay styles, each with their benefits and disadvantages. The number of combinations possible can lead to a mind boggling number of possibilities. Add in a second player and you have one of the most chaotic, yet gratifying fighting games ever created. Even though there are licensing issues, Capcom vs SNK 2 is the perfect candidate to receive a HD visual makeover and re-released onto Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network.
11. Star Wars Battlefront 2 (XB)
A blissful combination of the Star Wars universe and third person shooting, with a healthy dose of vehicular combat. Each map was huge, providing numerous areas to battle and chaos to ensue. The only thing that ever held back the on foot melees was a combination of weapon variety and weapon pick ups. The heroes that were unlocked mid fight did add a bit of spice to each ground foray though, which were balanced quite a bit all considering. The aerial combat was a thrill and a half, especially the Hoth battles. The online portion might have been shut down, but even offline, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is still as addicting as ever offline.