Ok, can’t be bothered thinking of an interesting intro for this one so let’s just crack on!.
35. Soccer Kid-Amiga
This forgotten wee gem is a fun platformer with the gimmick of being able to kick a football at you enemies to neat them. Smacking a ball at enemies with a sweet bicycle kick is a great laugh and it’s a nice wee change from the usual jump on the head method.
34. Aero The Acro-bat-SNES
Another attempt at a mascot platformer….everyone was in on it and this was Sunsoft’s effort. It ended up being really good as you control Aero, a cute wee bat as he tries to save his circus from evil clowns. The music is superb too and it all adds up to a hell of a lot of fun.
33 (Tied). Jurassic Park-SNES
Based on the massive movie smash hit, this top down adventure where you solve puzzles, shoot dinosaurs and when you go into a building it goes into a first person shooter perspective. obviously it was a very primitive fps bit but I believe it was probably the first time I had played something like that so it blew my mind which is pretty funny to think of now.
33 (Tied). Jurassic Park-Megadrive
The Sega version is very different. It’s a side scrolling game in which you can choose either a human and shoot dinos or the real selling point was you could be a raptor and munch on humans. It’s a challenge and it was always fun to be able to play as a dinosaur.
32. Leisure Suit Larry 6:Shape Up Or Slip Out!-DOS
Larry Laffer is back and desperately trying to hook up with girls despite being a bumbling loser. This is the first entry in the series with voice acting and it’s a simple, funny game. The puzzles aren’t going to tax your brain too much but it’s all about the goofy fun and deliberately rubbish innuendo.
31. Splatterhouse 3-Megadrive
More horror themed scrolling beat em up action with horrific, grotesque imagery and nasty enemies. The Terror Mask entices Rick from his happy life and he ends up back fighting evil entities after an ancient evil is unleashed and Jennifer is kidnapped. Gory fighting action.
30. Cool Spot-SNES
Remember when 7-up had a mascot with 90s attitude and got his own game? Even more shocking than that was the fact it was a really good one. It’s a platformer (shock) with our dude with ‘tude using projectile soda bubbles as his weapon of choice. I’m pretty sure he was only a mascot in America. I seem to remember Fido Dido being on 7-up bottles during the 90s here.
29. Eternal Champions-Megadrive
It never lived up to the hype but I’ve always had a soft spot for this fighting game for it’s interesting characters and it’s attempts at fleshing out a story which was pretty rare for the time other than “evil bastard starts a fighting tournament for some reason”. Big, well drawn characters and a decent fighting system and “overkills” which was it’s version of fatalities. It wasn’t the Mortal Kombat killer it was hyped to be but it was a fine game.
28. Daytona USA-Arcade
GAME OVER YEEEAAAA!. One of the most successful arcade games of all time and the cabinet itself was enticing as you could sit in it be all VRRRROOOOM VRRROOOOM….which is what I did anyway. Graphically stunning for the time it was the first Sega arcade game to use the AM2 engine which would go on to become a staple for their games. It’s hard to express how impressive the 3d visuals were for it’s time. Oh and the hilarious music is legendary of course.
27. Ninja Baseball Bat Man-Arcade
A fun arcade beat em up with big colourful sprites and great hit detection that makes it a lot of fun to play. Four players can play together as you track down items that have been stolen from the baseball hall of fame so you know this game is all about the high stakes. Some utterly insane enemy design and locales make for a trippy ride.
26. Saturday Night Slam Masters-Arcade
Final Fights is one of my, if not my favourite game of all time for many reasons. Here we have Mayor Mike Haggar from that game in his natural habitat as a pro wrestler. Let’s be honest it was a clever idea from Capcom because they knew all of us fans of the game wanted to see him as a wrestler in the ring after learning of his character history. Anyway there are several other characters to choose from and it’s a mix of fighting game and wrestling game with the ability to whip out holds and hit the ropes but also just knock the tar out of each other.
25. Virtua Fighter-Arcade
I remember when this was first in the arcades and I couldn’t get enough of it. I was obsessed with fighting games anyway and this new, 3d polygonal game looked and played so different to everything else. It’s aged badly but thankfully it’s gone on to become a hugely successful franchises with some of it’s sequels being up there with the best fighting games of all time.
Based on a pen and paper rpg series, Shdowrun got a game for the snes and the megadrive but they were each donbe by different developers and were completely different. The megadrive version is closer to the source material but is very text dense and I spent a lot more time with the snes version so that one makes the cut for now. I love the cyberpunk world created in here and although the point and click interface is frustrating using a controller it gave a real pc vibe to the game which seemed like a big deal for the time. The presentation and music is awesome and has a world you can lose yourself in that was just hugely ambitious for it’s time on a 16-bit console.
23. The 7th Guest-PC
Something of an innovative and influential game of it’s time, this interactive horror puzzle game got a lot of attention with it’s live action actors and 3d rendered backgrounds which really added to the immersion at the time. It was also a very adult horror game for it’s time, unlike Night Trap which was considered adult and got a lot of attention from sections of the christian right wing trying to ban it but that game was all tongue in cheek, campy nonsense that those people had never even played. George Sanger’s soundtrack is also ace.
22.Mega Man X-SNES
Mega Man’s first outing on a 16-bit console was the beginning of a spinoof series and one that thrilled fans with loads of new moves, loads of weapons and big colourful graphics that made good use of the hardware. It was time for a change as well as the NES games were getting a bit stale and this felt like a fresh and entirely new, exciting entry into the legacy.
21. Simon The Sorcerer-Amiga
A point and click adventure about a wee boy that’s sucked into a parallel world and goes on a mission to save a wizard from an evil sorcerer. It’s a fun and whimsical story that’s great to look and a great journey to go on. Taking influence from Tolkien and the like, it’s dorky humour but if you’re into that you’ll get a kick out of it.
20.Shinobi 3:Return Of The Ninja Master-Megadrive
Apparently this sequel to The Revenge Of Shinobi was apparently criticized for being too easy but I sure as hell didn’t get the message….I found it to be nails when I was a young one, no doubt I still do. I locce some of the boss designs in this ninja classic.
19. Gunstar Heroes-Megadrive
Treasure’s run and gun cult classic is energetic, frenetic fun with great , colourful graphics, particularly for the megadrive. Fresh fast and extremely entertaining, arcade style gameplay makes for a full on action thrill ride.
18. Zombies Ate My Neighbours-SNES
This was one of the first games I remember actively following the buildup to it’s release. Me and my buddy Ewan were reading the magazines at the time and as huge horror fans we were willing this game that showed love to old school, zombie, slasher, hammer horror and universal monster to come out as soon as possible. I have to admit it disappointed me at first and I think that was it being down to it being too hard. It wasn’t really made for someone as young as me and I just didn’t have the mental or physical dexterity to deal with the amount of stuff going on. I’ve since grown to love and respect it.
17. NBA Jam-SNES/Megadrive
Damn everyone seemed to have this game, it was ridiculously popular and with good reason. It’s arcade style and hilarious multiplayer action was always such a blast to play with friends. Everything from the over the top announcer to the crazy special moves and dunks had everyone laughing and whooping their way through every match.
16. Cadillacs And Dinosaurs-Arcade
An obscure arcade beat em up based on an obscure and short lived comic book. It’s Capcom in the arcades so you pretty much know it’s quality and here we have fun characters and a crazy premise. You and two friends can take on a gang of twats that have taken peaceful dinosaurs and used them for their own means and have made them violent. It’s mental but it’s the best kind of mental.
15 (Tied). Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters-SNES
Of all the Street Fighter clones to come out of the early to mid 90s who would have thought that a licensed one based on the popular franchise. It’s not up there with Street Fighter 2 obviously but it’s a very solid Konami fighter with characters from the Archie produced comics and a playable Shredder which is awesome. I had a giant poster of this version of Rat King on my door as a kid. There’s a megadrive version that is just a disaster and a NES version that came out very late in the system’s run that wasn’t bad.
15 (Tied). Samurai Showdow-Arcade
The first in a successful franchise of weapon based fighting games. I’m very interested in feudal era Japan so the setting is right up my alley too and the visuals are lush and look like paintings. SNK had a knack for very solid fighting games.
14. Robocop vs Terminator-Megadrive
The controversy and media surrounding this game was pretty insane and it was a game everyone I knew was desperate to play. The hype was helped by the late night “adults only” episode of Games,aster that showed clips of it. Playing as Robocop in a super violent blood splattering game and going up against Terminators was just an idea of heaven for a kid like me. So when my brother bought it for his Megadrive I was all about it. So much fun but very challenging too. The snes version was thoroughly average so it’s all about the gritty Megadrive version….much better music too. It’s also on my top comic book games list. Check that one out.
13. Maniac Mansion 2:Day Of The Tentacle-PC
The affable Tim Schaffer and Dave Grossman direct this funny point and click adventure game along with the Lucasarts team. Lovingly influenced by the likes of Chuck Jones cartoons and 50s monster movies, it’s funny, the voice actin is great (especially for the time) and it’s a must play for adventure game fans.
12 (Tied). Aladdin-Megadrive
At the time this was one of the Seaga vs Nintendo’s biggest arguments. Which version of Aladdin was better? The snes or the megadrive?. Both different but similar, both very good but everyone had their favourite. The megadrive version here had sword play, beautiful animation and great music and is considered an all time great action platformer. Virgin made this version and I think it’s most people’s favourite.
12 (Tied). Aladdin-SNES
The snes version was developed by Capcom which makes you automatically think it should be the better version but not the case for most people. This one had no sword play but instead you threw apples at enemies and was more platformer based. A young man by the name of Shinji Mikami was the designer on the game….you’ll be seeing a lot more of him in a few years. Beautiful animation again and great level design that made you feel like you were playing scenes straight from the movie.
11. The Punisher-Arcade
Another game from my best comic book games list and one that was a fantastic two player beat em up. One of you plays big Pun and the other plays Nick Fury, agent of S.H.I.E.L.D and you smash thugs with your fists, feet or anything you can get your hands on until you make your way to fight The Kingpin.
10. Cannon Fodder-Amiga
This strategy shoot em up from Sensible Software was a killer app for the Amiga around my way and it was infinitely playable fun. You take control of a troop, all of who, have names so you bond with them. When they die their gravestones are added to the graveyard at the end of the level and it’s heartbreaking. A lot of people, mainly conservative commentators, missed the black humour and anti war message as is their standard reaction.
9. Sam And Max: Hit The Road-DOS
The loveable detectives from the underground comic star in their first game here and it’s a fun point and click adventure. The anthropomorphic duo are hot on the trail of a missing bigfoot from a carnival. The mystery takes them on a journey across America finding clues and meeting all sorts of people in this hilarious adventure.
Also known as Starfox everywhere else because games loved to confuse the hell out of us back then. Using the innovative snes super fx chip to put polygons into the game that have aged badly but were mind blowing at the time. Fox Mcleod and his team of fighter pilots must work together to protect their home planet of Corneria from Andross and his evil minions.
7. Final Fight 2-SNES
Mike Haggar flexing as he nails a dropkick on a knife wielding thug there, standard Tuesday. A SNES only sequel to one of the greatest games of all time and one that doesn’t match up to the original but one that is still a lot of fun. Out go Cody and Guy and in come Maki and Carlos, meh they haven’t gone on to be as well remembered but they are a fine change to accompany Mayor Haggar on his journey to save Guy’s fiance and teacher from a reformed Mad Gear gang. Unlike the snes port of the original this one supports two player co op.
6. Gabriel Knight: Sins Of The Fathers-PC
A superbly atmospheric horror detective thriller point and click game that changes the usual whimsical and funny style of the genre for a dark, grimy and disturbing story. It’s taught, well told and completely engrossing. It has the voices of Mark Hamill and Tim Curry too. I really hope the recent remake comes out on consoles so more people can become aware of this classic just like Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island games did.
5.Rocket Knight Adventures-Megadrive
An action platformer starring an opossum called Sparkster that sees you fighting pigs and robots who are commandeering mechs. Video games are mental but what a well put together game this is from the mind of Nobuya Nakazato. Very inventive platforming physics and great music make this an incredibly solid entry into the mascot genre.
4. Super Bomberman-SNES
For anyone who had the snes multitap and could play four player bomberman they had a goooood life. One of the most fun multiplayer games I’ve ever played as you run around mazes planting bombs and trying to trap you opponents. When my band were gigging with a group called My Awesome Compilation who were getting a bit of a media push at the time they had a rider and the venue had left a snes with bomberman in the dressing room so we had a blast playing it with them. Everyone was having such a good time.
Well then, this first person shooter caused quite the stir didn’t it? It’s still getting mods made for it and there was a recent remake that did really well. A massively….and I mean MASSIVELY popular pc game that every kid wanted to play because it was violent, gory, full of demons and metal music….sold. Unbelievably influential, even to this day. Put on your armour and travel to hell to kill some demons!.
2. Mortal Kombat 2-Arcade
By the time the second game came out the gaming world was completely in the grasps of MK fever and people were so ready for it. When the first one came out it was a surprise hit so this was the first time people were actively awaiting the new entry and they weren’t disappointed. Way up until MK9 years later this was my favourite entry into the series. Great new character, an awesome but insanely frustrating boss, brilliant fatalities and overall better presentation. Still limited in terms of the actual fighting mechanics but it makes up for it in other ways.
1 Super Mario All Stars-SNES
OOOFT talk about value. This collection of games took the original NES trilogy plus the Japan only “Lost Levels” and gave them SNES upgraded graphics. 4 full games and not just any old games we’re talking all time classics and they’re given upgraded graphics and are all on one cartridge. A stunning piece of value in a time where games were ripping everyone off. When people tell you and complain about the price of games these days tell them that my parents very kindly spent 80 quid on Spider-Man and X-men: Arcade’s revenge for my birthday which was a big pile of shite…..EIGHTY F*****G QUID!.
There we go folks, another one down. Join me back here for the next one. Catch me @swing_kinker