Do you feel like video games have been part of our culture since recent times? Indeed, it is the case. Still, despite being a rather young industry, some games will already be celebrating their 20th birthday this year and it does not make us feel young yet. 1998 was a major milestone for the gaming industry, as some legendary games were released, such as Half-Life, Grim Fandango or Metal Gear Solid just to name a few. Today we will be doing a short trip into nostalgia to re-discover, or discover for the younger people, 10 games turning 20 in 2018.
Release date: 19/11/1998 – Windows
The iconic game from Valve originally was released on Microsoft Windows and heavily influenced the next first-person-shooters games, such as Counter-Strike or Team Fortress. What can be said about this game? That it was elected PC “Game of the Year” for over 50 times? That it is still highly popular after 20 years of existence? We could say this, indeed. But Half-life does not need to be praised, as its name speaks for itself. Immerse yourself into the life of Gordon Freeman, a highly skilled scientific, and defeat evil aliens coming from another dimension. You can also try out the multiplayer mode and challenge players from the whole world into an old-school FPS.
2/ POKEMON RED & BLUE
Release date: 28/09/1998 – Game Boy
I WANNA BE THE VERY BEST… LIKE NO ONE EVER WAAASSS!! Okay, you got the song in head now, sorry about that. But this just shows how much Pokémon has integrated our culture. Following a good year in Japan, the first Game Boy games of the Pokémon series got released in North America in 1998 and instantly triumphed all around the world. Nowadays everybody is aware of Pokemon and it is still highly popular, especially thanks to Pokemon GO. Are you ready to go for some Pokemon hunting?
3/ TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX
Release date: 21/08/1998 – Windows
The tactical shooter game is the first of the Rainbow Six series. As part of an American special unit, your goal is to fight terrorism. It is with this concept Ubisoft has met important success in the last 20 years. Organize your team and participate to a wide range of missions that will directly impact political situations of the country. The highly realistic plots gives us an incredible gameplay experience. It is the father of the amazing Rainbow Six: Siege and a lot more.
4/ METAL GEAR SOLID
Release date: 21/10/1998 – PS1
Wait, does it mean Snake has been fighting terrorists for the last 20 years? I would not be surprised as this guy is just so badass. Seriously, his weapons are just too cool, he was the most quiet secret agent in the world, and could defeat anybody with ease. He’s to me the most complete secret agent you’ll ever meet. Have you been playing it? If not, you should absolutely check it out.
5/ GRIM FANDANGO
Release date: 30/10/1998 – Windows
A true masterpiece. This adventure game published by LucasArts not only has mindtroubling graphics and a great soundtrack, but also an incredible plot. Jump into the life of Manny Calavera, a “travel agent” of the world of the dead, guiding recently arrived souls to the path they deserve, according to the sins they did during their time on Earth. A fantastic game regarded as one of the greatest noir games ever produced. It was recently remastered and is available on GOG.com, we highly recommend to take a look at it.
6/ THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
Release date: 23/11/1998 – Nintendo 64
Described as “the best game of the decade” by the videogame media IGN 20 years ago, I’m not sure there is another way to describe it better. One of the most, if not the most, complete Zelda ever, Ocarina of Time has been one of the most successful game worldwide, and definitely gave a boost to the career of LinK, who is now considered as one of the most known videogame character in the world. Zelda’s success keep going and recently reached its peak with Zelda: Breath of the Wild, on Switch.
Release date: 31/03/1998 – Windows
StarCraft is a real-time strategy game created by a giant of the industry, Blizzard, and is one of the first game to implement different races into a game. Definitely one of the best game ever produced.
8/ COMMANDOS: BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Release date: 31/07/1998 – Windows
It might not be the most known game of the list, but it has quite a particular story. Created by Spanish developers from Pyro Studios, the company admitted it was only expecting to sell only about 15.000 copies. In May 2000, the game had reached 1.5 million copies sold. An impressive result that can be explained by the great game mechanics and a nice plot: assuming the role of an allied officer during WW2, your objective is to complete various missions, including assination, sabotage, or rescuing your allies, and much more. The game is available on Steam.
9/ BALDUR’S GATE
Release date: 21/12/1998 – Windows
A fantasy role-playing game using the rules of Dungeons and Dragons. Create your own character and travel through the kingdoms of the forgotten realms, seek for answers to your past and form a group of adventurers that should accompany you until the end. Baldur’s gate is a classic role-playing game and an addictive adventure. Its success eventually led Black Isle studios to create an extension to the game, Tales of the Sword Coast, as well as a second edition: Baldur’s Gate II: Shadow of Amn & Throne of Bhaal. The game has recently been remastered and is available on Beamdog.
10/ RESIDENT EVIL 2
Release date: 21/01/1998 – PS1
One of the most entertaining game ever, said Ryan Mac Donald from Gamespot. More than a game, Capcom has created a totally incredible experience and remain one of the reference of horror games. If you have the opportunity to get your hands on it, we highly recommend to do so, as it’s always a pleasure to get back to classics.