I fondly remember the 32/64 bit gaming era. I started it with a bundle purchase of a Sony PlayStation, Ridge Racer and Tekken from Toys R Us. It wasn’t for a few months that a memory card was purchased, but that never saw my enjoyment cease. A year after the Nintendo 64 was released I had one in my possession. Unfortunately it took me until 2008 to call a Sega Saturn system my own, as the price and library never seemed enticing enough. While there were a few Saturn titles I enjoyed, none reached my top 25 list.
The 32/64 bit era also gave birth to my all-time favorite game, Suikoden. I know that seems like a spoiler, but the number of times I’ve mentioned my man crush with Konami’s RPG have been well documented, so sorry if that ruins any kind of non existent anticipation. But with that, lets take a look at my Top….25 – 2 32/64 Bit Games:
10. GoldenEye 007 (N64)
GoldenEye wasn’t supposed to engross people like it did. It was a movie licensed video game – how many of those actually succeeded over the years? But the company behind such marvels as Killer Instinct and Donkey Kong Country managed to create a console first person shooter that I still consider one of the benchmarks. The single player was captivating in its own right, with higher difficulties enabling added objectives, but the multiplayer was considered one of the greatest throughout any platform and any genre for quite a while. A bit dated these days in terms of visuals and controls, but still a blast, especially with three other enthusiasts.
09. WCW/nWo: Revenge (N64)
While WWF No Mercy and WWF Wrestlemania 2000 did offer more in various ways, WCW/nWo: Revenge always meant quite a bit to me. From recreating matches I had just seen the night before on WCW Nitro or Thunder so I can keep the champions up to date, to booting it up for the hell of it these days, it’s always been a captivating experience. Movement was slow, but it was actual chain wrestling, with a gameplay system that still far outshines anything THQ and Yukes have tried to provide since the PS2 WWE Smackdown days.
Boasting over 80 endings (which was a bit misleading with how the endings were made), Star Ocean 2 provided a stellar showing with each facet. Memorable music, intriguing combat, a fascinating game world and so on. Star Ocean 2 was definitely one of the longer RPG’s I’ve played as well, with each playthrough usually lasting me at least 80 hours, but those were some of the more satisfying 80+ hours I’ve spent with a game, each time I played through it.
07. Resident Evil 2 (PSX)
I remember when Resident Evil 2 was first shown, it was a completely different game than it turned out. What was shown at first looked incredibly promising, yet what we got was what i still consider the premiere installment in the franchise. The visual detail improved over the first, as did that voice acting (somewhat.) The one neat feature that really hooked me was the “zapping system” which was playing the game first with Leon and then changing over to Claire at some point, and vice versa. It doesn’t sound like a big deal today, but it was a big deal back then, and it did add some replay value as well. Each of the Resident Evil titles on the Sony PlayStation were memorable, but Resident Evil 2 has the edge overall, thanks to each piece falling into the right place.
06. Street Fighter Alpha 3 (PSX)
Rating: 9.3 (JP)
Capcom fighting game ports on the Sony PlayStation were….okay they were craptacular. Piss poor load times, tons of frames of animation axed, mere shells of their immaculate selves. Street Fighter Alpha 3 tried to right a lot of the wrongs committed previously, with more fluid animations, as well as just a slight less load time. The gameplay remained as addicting as ever, with three different ways to play each character. The console exclusive World Tour mode remains one of the greatest bonuses added to a fighting game, allowing players to pick a character and run the gamut against characters with certain win restrictions placed (only supers can damage your opponent, a gauntlet battle against a handful of the same character on one health bar, etc.) All together, it’s still one of the best packages in the genre, and a must play.