We’re at the overlapping era of the 16 and 32 bit consoles so it’s quite the change in the style of games you’ll be seeing going forward. Let’s see what 1995 has up it’s sleeve.
35. Battle Arena Toshinden-Playstation
I know,it’s aged horribly and it wasn’t even that great back then but when I was a kid and me an my bud only had a couple of games for our playstations we had a lot of fun with it. 3d fighting games were so impressive to see on a home console so we made the most of it.
34. Destruction derby-PS1
Like a lot of early ps1 game, the primitive 3d has aged poorly and it’s a pretty bare bones game but the idea of smashing cars into each other with bits flying off in 3d was such a thrill. We were more easily impressed back then, especially when 3d games were coming into prominence.
33. Star Wars:Dark Forces-DOS
A first person shooter set in the Star Wars universe in which you play a rebel fighter called Kyle Kattarn who is essentially a Han Solo ripoff. It was a cool experience to play through a story driven FPS blowing away storm troopers with your laser pistol.
32. Twisted Metal-Playstation
Heavy metal car combat with killer clowns in ice cream trucks with machine guns firing from the sides. Sold? Thought so. These games were very popular and with good reason, they were a great laugh and had an interesting cast of characters with a nefarious villain presiding over everything. You’ll be seeing more of this series as we go on.
31. X-Men: Clone Wars-Megadrive
My boiii Gambit is involved so it instantly gets my approval. I always thought the game was broken when I put it on because there would be no intro, it would just go straight into a snowy level with Beast dropped right in the thick of things. After the first level the intro kicks in so it’s an interesting change of scene. It;s a really enjoyable beat em up platformer in which you can play as Beast, Gambit, Magneto, Cyclops, Wolverine and more.
30. Fighting Vipers-Arcade
An over the top version of Virtua Fighter using the same engine as Virtua Fighter 2. It has characters who use guitars as weapons and wear rollerskates and incredibly 90s fashion. The characters aren’t as recognisable or distinct as the VF ones but it’s still a very good fighting game.
29 (Tied). Weaponlord-SNES
This underrated gem of a fighting game came at the tail end of the SNES’s life so it was sadly overlooked as everyone was moving on to the next generation of consoles. What we have though is an insanely metal fighter with a dark fantasy twist and big brutes wielding axes and swords smashing the shit out of each other. Great stuff.
29 (Tied). Eternal Champions: Challenge From The Darkside-Sega CD
Pretty much a beefed up version of the megadrive game with new super moves and better graphics. This is pretty much the definitive version of the Eternal Champions game but the bloom was off the rose by this time and the damage had been done. The hype was huge for the MD version and it failed to impressive as much as the hype promised plus not too many people had the Mega Cd so the franchise never took off the way it was supposed to.
28. Wrestlemania The Arcade Game-Arcade
A bombastic, over the top arcade game starring wrestlers from the much maligned New Generation era. I’m going to go off kilter here and talk about a magazine I used to subscribe to as a kid called PLAY. This is talking about the playstation version which isn’t this entry buI’m getting this off my chest. They mocked this game beyond belief and wrestling in general saying it was pathetic and for children yaddy yaddy ya and a couple of years later when it became they hottest thing in the world they were all over wrestling’s nuts. I never forgot their trend hopping ways and never forgave them!. Trendy bastards hopping on the hype. Remember that folks….PLAY was full of idiots.
27. Comix Zone- Megadrive
Another game that proved that the 16 bit wasn’t over yet. Insanely stylish and pushed the hardware to it’s limits, this beat em up saw you sucked into a comic book with an artist drawing the enemies in your way. So inventive and full of style. Thankfully it’s been on Sega compilations so it’s found the audience it deserves.
Roberta Williams’ splatterpunk gorefest FMV adventure game made an appearance on my top horror games so check that out. Controversial for it’s insane practical effects gore and over the top violence, this Sierra adventure game saw a writer holed up in a mansion being terrorised by supernatural beings.Terrible acting, unintentionally fun but still enjoyable exploitation stuff.
25. Real Bout Fatal Fury-Arcade
Another great SNK fighting game this time adding a ring out stipulation to the action. Terry Bogard and the crew are back to fight through a group of talented fighters on their way to taking down the evil (and massive pain in the arse) Geese Howard. Geese finally met his end in the storyline.
The playstation was a console that got the “cool” crowd into games. It wasn’t just for geeks anymore which has it’s good points and it’s bad points. It was games like Wipeout that helped solodofy games as cool with it’s soundtrack featuring hot dance acts like Leftfield and Orbital and the game was played in clubs here in the UK. It was a launch title over here and my bud Ewan got it with his ps1 so we were blown away by the speed and graphics at the time. A solid intro to the new generation.
23. Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3-Arcade
Midway went all out with the third part in the controversial gorefest fighting game series with loads of characters and oodles of over the top fatalities. The bloom was beginning to drop off the rose by this point and fighting games had moved on a little by this point. The shock tactics weren’t enough anymore and although it’s still a fun game I think the series originally peaked with MK2. Plus I’m just bitter that my buddy Steve annihilates me with Smoke every time. That stupid damn teleport punch!.
The fun, turn based military strategy game starring anthropomorphic worms. It was developed by a British company and it shows with the hilarious sense of humour and fun. It went on to be hugely popular and started a long running franchise of inventive ways of killing your worm enemies.
21. Clock Tower-Super Famicom
A survival horror point and click adventure about a young orphan sent to a new home with several other orphans as they are hunted down by Scissorman, a serial killer midget running around with a massive pair of sheers scaring the shit out of you. Admirably atmospheric and scary for a 16 bit game.
20 (Tied). Discworld-DOS
Based on the fantasy novels by Terry Pratchett, this point and click comedy adventure captures the spirit and whimsical fantasy of the source material. Eric Idle voices Rincewind the wizard as he goes on his adventure to stop a dragon. It’s not without it’s issues, the dialogue goes on and on at times and some of the puzzles are so ridiculously obscure that without a walkthrough you’ll be stuck forever. With a walkthrough it’s a blast though.
20 (Tied). The Dig-PC
This Lucasarts point and click adventure went in a different direction than most of their funny and whimsical stuff. Instead it went for a more serious, sci fi a drama approach and had an impressive orchestral score and voice acting from the likes of Robert Patrick. The goal in this one is to stop an asteroid from crashing into Earth.
19. Ridge Racer-Playstation
There may have only been one track which seems insane now but having this arcade perfect racing game in your home was incredible. It was also the first time I realised you could put the disc in a cd player and it’d play the soundtrack. What a soundtrack too, any fans of early to mid 90s rave music will dig it but that kind of thing certainly isn’t for everyone.
18. Beavis And Butthead In Virtual Stupidity-PC
A surprisingly awesome point and click adventure starring the dumbarse duo. The aim of the entire game is to try and impress Todd and get him to let you join his gang. It stays so true to the show, it’s not reinventing the point and click genre but if you’re a fan of the show you will absolutely love the authenticity of the humour and aesthetic.
Don’t be fooled by this colourful cutesy mascot platformer, it’s brutally difficult but it’s a fun challenge. It went on to be series after the popularity and success of the game and the character. Well animated with beautiful graphics and a great soundtrack, Rayman became a much loved loved series and it started here.
16. Chrono Trigger-SNES
Uh oh the jrpg police will be after me with this one. Considered on of the best of all time in the genre, I only played it a few years ago so I had no nostalgic attachment to it despite it being great. It’s typical jrpg fare with a plot about time travel and saving the world. It’s great.
15. The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery
Ginger Michael Hutchence is back and this time he’s caught up in a German murder mystery involving werewolves, castles and Bavarian history. Unlike the first classic point and click game, this one uses FMV throughout the whole game much like Sierra’s other classic Phantasmagoria.
14. The King Of Fighters ’95-Arcade
SNK had brought all their characters from their various fighting games together for a giant tournament the previous year and it went over so well that they decided to make it a series.It features characters from the likes of Fatal Fury, Art Of Fighting, Ikari Warriors and more. You pick 3 characters to form a team which became a staple ion fighting games down the line but it was perfected here.
It would normally be higher because of my emotional attachment to it but I put the arcade version on the list last time so don’t want to over saturate the top ten. I got this with my ps1 at Christmas 1995. We had to sell my snes and 32 games to be able to afford it which made it feel all the more sweet because I knew we weren’t a wealthy family. I played this to death and I had been so excited about it for months, it was essentially an arcade machine in the home.
12. Panzer Dragoon-Saturn
This rail shooter where you ride on the back of a dragon was one of the early must have games for the ill fated Sega Saturn along with Virtua Fighter 2. Great art direction and a fun dystopian fantasy story. Think Space Harrier for the new (mid 90s) generation.
11. Marvel Super Heroes-Arcade
Before Capcom switched to the Marvel vs Capcom series they released this gem of a fighting game staring heroes and villains from the Marvel universe. The big hitters like Captain America, Hulk and Spider-Man are here but there are some deep cuts like Blackheart Shuma-Gorath and Juggernaut are there too for those who want a change from the usual.
10. Earthworm Jim-Megadrive
Jim is back again and this time he’s in even better form. More run and gun fun starring a crazy cast of characters like Psy-Crow, Princess What’s-Her-Name, Bob The Killer Goldfish and more. Bob The Killer Goldfish is the first time I’d seen a boss fight play with the concept of bosses and ended up being a hilarious piece of action.
9. Tekken 2-Arcade/Playstation
The hugely popular 3d fighting game series returns and with slight improvements over the already solid mechanics of the first game. This one introduced popular fighter like Baek the tae kwon do practitioner, Bruce Irvin the Muay Thai beast, Lei Wulong who was based on Jackie Chan and more.
8. Night Warriors: Darkstalker’s Revenge-Arcade
Capcom’s horror fighting game returns and improves on the original with better graphics and animation with new characters Donovan Baine and Hsien-Ko coming in. Another very solid entry into the Capcom fighting game catalogue with our favourite Scottish succubus Morrigan returning.
7. Street Fighter Alpha-Arcade/Playstation
I clearly recall picking this game up from Woolies after football training and for some reason being slightly disappointed with it. I don’t know if it was because of my 3d obsession at the time or what but I quickly grew to love it. It’s a prequel to the story of Ry and Ken featuring new characters and some from my favourite game ever, Final Fight. Sodom and Guy enter the fray as playable characters along with street punk Birdie from Street Fighter 1 and more.
6. Super Mario World 2:Yoshi’s Island-SNES
The SNES was definitely not done yet and it still had this blockbuster to unleash before it wandered off into the sunset. You play as Yoshi with little baby Mario on your back as you save other Yoshis and poop out eggs and platform your way around loads of beautifully realised and sometimes trippy levels. So much colour, so much cuteness and overall just a brilliant game with a soundtrack that matches up to the original.
5. I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream-PC
A dystopian point and click sci fi horror based on my favourite short story of all time by Harlan Ellison in which a supercomputer has wiped out the entirity of the human race save for five unlucky people who he keeps alive and tortures for eternity. In the game you must work to overcome your fears and take down the computer. It deals with topics such as rape, mental health, the holocaust and more. It’s heavy stuff but serves the source material well. It’s even narrated by Ellison himself.
4.Final Fight 3-SNES
The final part of the great beat em up trilogy uppped the game by adding loads more moves and the return of Guy along with new characters Dean and Lucia. You could do hadouken style moves in this one rather than just punch kick and throw. Haggar is still in there bossing things with his unfortunate ponytail reminding us that pro wrestlers are always a few years behind the trends.
3. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest-SNES
The sequel to the massively popular platformer that pushed the snes to it’s absolute limits does the same again but the level design is even better. It’s largely considered to be one of the greatest 2d platformers of all time but the snes was coming to an end so it didn’t get the hype that the original did. This game had you playing as Diddy Kong and his wee girlfriend Dixie. who both have different strengths and weaknesses.
2. Full Throttle-PC
Lots of point and click games on this list and Lucasarts are at it again with this Tim Schaffer classic about leather wearing, hog riding, heavy metal listening bikers, one of whom is framed for murder and must clear his name. It looked great and had the voice talents of the likes of Mark Hamill. Such a fun game with an enjoyable plot and loveable characters.
1(Tied). Time Crisis-Arcade/Playstation
I hate hate hate doing this bu I can’t split these two so we have a draw at the top spot. Tis came out at a time I was obsessed with light gun games and this one was an absolute belter. Using the foot pedal to pop in and out of cover was innovative and fun. The bosses were great and the animations of the villains being hit was awesome and made you feel like a total badarse. The ps1 version with the namco light gun was also brilliant and the best game of the genre on that system. I still pop money into this if I see it at an arcade.
1 (Tied). Virtua Cop 2-Arcade/Saturn
Another fantastic light gun game that I played so much in the arcades. Me and my pal Traynor beat it in Florida years after it’s heyday when i actually had enough money to pump into it to get to the end. As well as Time Crisis, the animation is fantastic and blasting away the bad guys with your light gun was just an absolute hoot. I still perfectly remember the layout of the first level and I haven’t played it in years.
Ha;f way through the decade and I’m in nostalgia heaven. So many great games from my youth. Check back in soon for 1996 and get me @swing_kinker until then cheers x.