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Top 15 Games of the 90s


Wiper
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5 hours ago, Siri said:

[Vagrant Story] 
That it was released in 2000;)

 

 

No worries, I was going from memory and didn't realise it snuck itself out of the nineties. It's not a problem though, I have billions! 

 

I'd like to mention one of three fighting games: Darkstalkers 3 (aka Vampire Savior), Last Blade 2 or (the one I'm plumping for)... 

 

Warzard, aka Red Earth

warzard.thumb.png.c6b5f9281d6176ac91d33c3a41889485.png

 

A test bed for the CPS3 system (which sported Street Fighter III) its a future-fantasy fighter with amazing sprite work and animation, subtle RPG elements and a nifty blocking system. 

 

Barely remembered (as it never got a home release) it has aesthetic echoes of Capcom's earlier stuff like Black Tiger and Forgotten Worlds and is a bit of a lost classic. 

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36 minutes ago, GamesGamesGames said:

Kick Off 2

 

I'll have a think about the rest.

Great game, but surely SWOS was better? A goal scoring superstar hero of a game. 

 

And speaking of theme songs, war has never been so fun...as it was in the original Cannon Fodder, which I'd also stick up there. 

 

Other 90s classics I forgot earlier:

 

Syndicate - another Bullfrog wonder-release and surely a precursor to many modern sandbox titles. The add-on Atlantic Accelerator was great but bastard hard. The sequel was more ambitious in that you could bring down entire buildings, but I didn't like it as much. The more recent FPS was highly underrated. 

 

Tie Fighter - I've loved the whole series, even X-Wing Alliance, but Tie Fighter was the best. One of the best space shooters ever, great use of the license and some lovely mission design. For my sins I've never tried the recent one. 

 

I also want to mention I-War, because the Newtonian space combat reminds me of the excellent Expanse. 

 

UFO Enemy Unknown

Or xcom as it came to be. Terror from the deep was so hard I could hardly do the first mission, but I loved the original. 

 

Other games that don't quite make the list for me:

Hired Guns

Alien Breed Tower Assault 

Worms (yep! Let's not forget what a great multiplayer game it was)

Super Skidmarks 

Pinball Dreams, Fantasies and Illusions

Chaos Engine

 

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9 hours ago, Wiper said:

7. Soul Calibur — 1998

After decades of promises, we finally got the arcade-perfect at home, and it was glorious. Gorgeous, easy to play but incredibly tactical, Soul Calibur was the perfect advert for the Dreamcast... which Sega completely failed to capitalise on. Alas.

 

This article is clearly NOT worth the bits it was written with. Any true gamer would know that the Dreamcast version was a fair step above the Arcade original. PAH!

 

 

 

 

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I mean, in reality everyone knows that the best thing about Soul Calibur Dreamcast is the unlockable edit mode for the intro video. That was just, the best thing.

 

And yes, I'm being quite serious, aside from the (admittedly quite good) fighting in SC, my most enduring memory of it is getting to tweak the intro to my liking. More fighting games with configurable opening videos, please!

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5 hours ago, Wiper said:

 

I really like the Kyrandia games, and particularly Hand of Fate,* but they would be near the bottom of my top 15 adventure games of the 90s! That's not a slight against them (indeed, they were infinitely superior to the awful King's Quest unforeseeable-deathathons); rather, it was just a ridiculously good era for the genre, absolutely packed with brilliant games.

 

Just off the top of my head, some of the adventure games I adored in that decade: Blade Runner; The Longest Journey; Beneath a Steel Sky; the Broken Swords; Lucasarts generally; Gabriel Knight; Discworlds 1, 2 and Noir; The Last Express; Simon the Sorcerer; Prisoner of Ice; Gobliins 2; Innocent Until Caught... God, I'm tempted to put together just a top 15 point and clicks of the 90s, now!

 

 

 

*I mean, note the second shelf of my first picture here

Well done that man. 

 

Even the horrible rip off that was Hook I think i enjoyed (well, more than the film).

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Yeah, there's a surprising number of... 'less good' adventure games that I still got a lot of enjoyment out of.

 

I missed out on Hook, but I can think of Dreamweb, Operation Stealth, and of course the seminal Grandad: The Quest for the Holey Vest (an ST exclusive for the ages, that), as games I enjoyed very much even as I was acutely aware that they were significantly flawed. Which sort of makes me want to go back and try other less well regarded adventures, see if I'd enjoy them anyway; maybe I could finally try B.A.T, whose adverts enthralled me as a youth, but which I for some reason never saw on sale.

 

(to be fair, Prisoner of Ice, and Innocent Until Caught and its sequel Guilty probably deserve to be in that list too, but I just enjoyed them so much at the time that I had to put them in my first list)

 

Thinking about it: there were an awful lot of horror-themed point and clicks, back in the day. Prisoner of Ice and Dreamweb up there, but also stuff like Curse of Enchantia, and crossover RPGs like (the admittedly pretty awful) BloodNet. Don't seem to see so many of them now; horror seems to have become more its own genre; and if crossed with other things falls more into the action than adventure. A shame.

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What, no Driver? I'm disappointed with you all so far.

 

Here's a list thing:

 

Zelda: LTTP

Guardian Heroes

Gunstar Heroes

Super Mario World

Half Life

Super Metroid

Bangai-O

Super Mario Kart

1080 Snowboarding

Chrono Trigger

Mario 64

Daytona USA (Arcade)

Doom (PC)

Quake III: Arena (PC)

Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo (Arcade)

 

I've got to agree with @Bennywith the amount of choice given the decade we're talking about. It's literally impossible to sort 15 games out. You're awful @Wiper:mad:

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19 minutes ago, Wiper said:

I mean, in reality everyone knows that the best thing about Soul Calibur Dreamcast is the unlockable edit mode for the intro video. That was just, the best thing.

 

And yes, I'm being quite serious, aside from the (admittedly quite good) fighting in SC, my most enduring memory of it is getting to tweak the intro to my liking. More fighting games with configurable opening videos, please!

 

I know everyone hates it when people just post "^this", but... ^THIS^THIS^THIS^

 

Hours of fun, putting Lizardman or Voldo in place of Sophitia's "girl in the wind" scene!

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You have to wonder at the lack of PS1 games in most people's lists. Sure it had a lot of rubbish on it, especially towards the end, and yet still!

It goes to show how strong the competition is here.

 

Having said that, in a brief skim, I'm surprised I haven't seen:

Metal gear solid

Castlevania SOTN

Resident Evil (who could forget the demo disk, amazing)

Tomb Raider

Xenogears

...and you could go on with many other RPGs if it was your bent.

 

Broadly it seemed better at those slower paced games didn't it?

 

As a side note not putting in Mario World, Mario Kart, and LTTP is a crime against all of humankind.

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11 minutes ago, Hamus said:

You have to wonder at the lack of PS1 games in most people's lists. Sure it had a lot of rubbish on it, especially towards the end, and yet still!

It goes to show how strong the competition is here.

 

Having said that, in a brief skim, I'm surprised I haven't seen:

Metal gear solid

Castlevania SOTN

Resident Evil (who could forget the demo disk, amazing)

Tomb Raider

Xenogears

...and you could go on with many other RPGs if it was your bent.

 

 

Indeed. I loved my PS1 (imported about a month after Japanese release). I even fininshed RE1 with Japanese text (with a little help from an ECTS visit that year, playing the PAL release demo :lol:)

 

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1. Super Mario 3 (1990 North America release)
2. Earthbound
3. Wipeout XL
4. Metal Slug
5. Castlevania SOTN
6. Resident Evil
7. Final Fantasy III
8. Virtua Fighter 3
9. Super Mario World
10. Mario 64
11. Zelda: A Link to the Past
12. Time Crisis
13. Wipeout
14. Chrono Trigger
15. Daytona USA 2

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Wow 15 quite a narrow window so many great games of the era. Here is my list - probably the games I played and enjoyed the most over the 90s. What an era though. Young and care free at Uni.... Oh seems an age ago! :D

 

Super Mario 64

Zelda Ocarina of Time

Frontier (Elite Ii)

Street Fighter Ii Turbo

Super Mario World 

Sega Rally

Virtua Fighter 2

Tempest 2K 

Doom

Donkey Kong Country

Sim City 2000

Shenmue

Soul Calibur

Day Of The Tentacle

The Dig 

 

Over the 90s I had a range of gaming kit. Mainly PC followed by an array of consoles SNES, Jaguar and the Saturn.

 

Never had a PlayStation though. Because back then for me it was an electronics company that made TVs and Walkman. Didn't want them muscling in on my gaming hobby so I was a bit of a purist I guess. How things have changed. :) Granted Ridge Racer was bloody impressive though and nearly broke me into buying a PlayStation.

 

On reflection Sony coming into gaming was one of the better things that happened. They brought a more mature edge to gaming and firmly put it into mainstream culture.

 

Also wanted to add Metropolis Street Racer but that just missed the 90s by 11 months. Dreamcast will always be my console of the 90s. A machine whose light burned twice as bright for half as long (to quote a line from Blade Runner). What a way to bough out of the 90s and what a machine for Sega to bough out of the home hardware market. They went out on a high. Incredible machine.

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The 90s includes everything from the tail end of my childhood gaming on ZX Spectrum and Atari ST, a break as I left home for University, and then the resurgence of my interest in the hobby starting with the original PlayStation and going right up to Dreamcast. It’s too much… you almost have to pick an angle to approach it from. With that said, the games that hooked me the most in my personal history would include some things that probably wouldn’t be on a typical top 10-20 list (and some that definitely would). In hindsight I should have left off any speccy stuff even though I was definitely playing it in the 90s, because I can’t be sure when it was actually released. Also I should have included Dreamcast stuff, but it’s kind of self evident (and everyone has mentioned the obvious ones anyway).

 

In roughly chronological order then;


Bloodwych

Lords of Chaos (unbelievably I think I only ever played the demo, but I played it a lot)

Speedball 2

Cadaver

Lemmings

Thunderhawk

Another World

Megalomania

Heimdall

FFVII

TOCA touring car championship

Metal Gear Solid

Parappa the Rapper

Gran Turismo

Guitar Freaks/Drummania (just squeezing in there although I probably got into it after the decade had passed)

 

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This thread has brought back some serious nostalgia!  And told me that yes the ‘90s was (were?) the best decade for games.  My list?  Crumbs it’s a tough one!  Soooo much good stuff:

 

1: Ocarina of Time

2: Super Mario World

3: Street Fighter 2

4: Sonic The Hedgehog

5: Final Fantasy VI

the rest?:

Gunstar Heroes

Radiant Silvergun

Tactics Ogre

Virtua Fighter 3

Bare Knuckle/Streets of Rage 2

Super Metroid

Ridge Racer

Metal Gear Solid

Castlevania SOTN

Super Mario 64

 

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Starting at my favourite of the decade:

  1. Gran Turismo 2 (PS1 – the JP version came out mid December 1999, so just sneaks in). Puts an actual game around the technically brilliant first GT. So much content, so amazing to look at, fantastic to play. What else could you want?
  2. Tony Hawks (PS1) Came out of nowhere, this. I loved skateboarding, loved the music, loved this game. I’ve played it again recently and it still stands up, though was bettered by some of the sequels.
  3. SFII (Arc) The only game where I can remember where I was when I first played it (on holiday in the South of France). It was like something from the future. Really got me into the arcades.
  4. UFO: Enemy Unknown (PC) I still play this today. It’s a fantastic strategy game with an amazing universe. Lost weeks to this.
  5. Tie Fighter (PC) I was tempted to put the original X-Wing in here, but this was definitely the better game.
  6. Transport Tycoon (PC) Another one I still play, albeit in a vastly improved version. Always played in sandbox mode and just set up huge transport networks. Uber geeky.
  7. Final Fight (Arc) Another one that had me coming back to the arcades. One of the few games I’ve beaten in the arcade
  8. Command and Conquer (PC) I know the sequels are better, but I had such a good time with the original, that I can’t help but include it
  9. Turrican (C64) Played this to death and is, I think, the first game I sat and played all the way through. Top platform and shooting action. Might have to give it another go on my TheC64.
  10. Mortal Kombat 2 (SNES) I know this isn’t the best game in the world, but I had so much fun with it back then. Spent hours trying to do all the finishing moves and seeing all the endings.
  11. Darkstalkers (Arc) Street Fighter with horror characters. What else could you want?
  12. Settlers III (PC) Another sandbox game I love. Just peacefully set up my village and let it run.
  13. Speedball 2 (Ami) Ice cream! Never been much of a sports game fan, but this was a hoot to play. Especially two player.
  14. Mario Kart (SNES) Having played this recently, it doesn’t really stand up, but it’s another game that I played non-stop for weeks on end.
  15. Lemmings (Ami / PC) Fiendish puzzle fun. So much character.

 

It's astounding that there is a single decade that includes Turrican on the C64 and the technical marvel that is GT2 on PS1. What a time to be a teenager!

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8 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

Speedball 2 (Ami) Ice cream! Never been much of a sports game fan, but this was a hoot to play. Especially two player.

 

You tried Knockout City? Feels very much like Speedball in 3D with Fortnite visuals! Its fantastic fun.... :) On GamePass/EA Play etc also on Switch and PS5.

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15 hours ago, Nick R said:

I always preferred playing GE with auto-aim on (and the same goes for PD, on both N64 and 360). The generous auto-aim was part of the appeal: running directly forward along a corridor, with Bond's wrist automatically flicking between left and right to target the guards' torsos... :wub: Yes, it was the CPU giving the player a massive helping hand, but it was so, so satisfying!

 

I also always left auto-aim on for both 00 Agent and Perfect Agent, even though it meant I needed to rely more on R-trigger manual/zoom aiming to get headshots. (Especially in PD, where ammo conservation is more important, and where headshots are instant kills and therefore more advantageous than in GE.)

 

I did have a separate save file where I completed GE with auto-aim off, but it was never my first choice of how to play it.

 

That's cool. I don't want to take away from another person's enjoyment. You make it sound way more appealing than it did in my head.

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1 minute ago, MattyP said:

You tried Knockout City? Feels very much like Speedball in 3D with Fortnite visuals! Its fantastic fun.... :) On GamePass/EA Play etc also on Switch and PS5.

 

Yeah, it is excellent. Try it! (but goddamn, a version of Speedball with those controls and feel would be something else)

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1 hour ago, ScouserInExile said:

It's astounding that there is a single decade that includes Turrican on the C64 and the technical marvel that is GT2 on PS1. What a time to be a teenager!

Yeah this.  So many are amazed at the pace of innovation in games nowadays, moreso if you're on the outside looking in.

But the '90s?  Man!  Starting with perhaps the pinnacle in tech at the start of the '90s - Final Fight arcade version?  OK it officially released at the end of '89, but only really got distributed during the start of '90.  Compare that against the most technologically advanced game of '99, which was what, Shenmue?  Which really set off the '3D open world explore-em-up' space.

Such a ridiculous pace of innovation in that decade - no wonder my impressionable mind got even more hooked!

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So my list like I said is going to be heavily geared towards rpg's as that's always my go to genre and I'm picking from games i've played rather than 15 games that are the best of the era :) Also I was only born in 1990 so played some of these a bit later on i.e. as I hit my teen years.

 

1 - Final fantasy IX - Still my favourite game to date and whilst there is nothing overly new it has such a charm to it that I didn't feel many other games could match at the time.

2 - Chrono Trigger - Surprised this isn't in more people's lists even if you aren't a fan of the genre

3 - Final Fantasy Tactics war of the lions - I didn't play this until very late really but it was a great game, much better than the ds / gba variations

4 - Pokemon Red / Blue - I dread to think how many hours I put into this series, I still have the original games and a lovely boxed pokemon yellow ^_^

5 - Secret of Mana - One I have such a fondness for and still have a boxed copy on my shelf, have just ordered the switch collection, just so colourful and fun :)

6 - Zelda a link to the past - Another I have a copy of, probably still the only zelda I've completed ^_^

7 - Final Fantasy Vii - I mean being a jrpg fan it was going to crop up somewhere... I'm planning to replay the original in the coming weeks.

8 - Age of empires 2 - My first forray into rts games and played the hd version loads (though i'm rubbish online), in fact there was a fantastic game of thrones mod I absolutely loved :)

9 - Diablo - I mean this has had a lot of influence over the years and is still good fun today.

10 - Suikoden 2 - Has a game had so much choice in your first team outside of fifa? Was a brilliant game

11 - Wild arms - Western style shooting in a jrpg, what's not to love

12 - Alundra - A charming little game that I don't think many have really enjoyed but it has a brilliant story

13 - Command & Conquer - Loved these games, though none of my friends were aware of them back at school

14 - Settlers - Like any of them, such a chilled out game but it looks wonderful and plays well

15 - Theme Hospital - Some much wanted humour in amonst all my serious choices :)

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15 hours ago, the_debaser said:

Because there are two analogues and fewer face buttons. That’s why. Not because it’s better. 
 

2 analogue sticks for FPS is still a really hampered control system that’s difficult for new players to learn. It’s not a great way to play. 

 

I really don't agree with this. The original controls just had the basic function of a right analogue stick just on the c-buttons, right? They even offers an alternative control method where you could play the default honey controls but the c-button function was on a separate second controller. Also, I don't think two analogue sticks in a "hampered" control system at all. I agree it isn't really accessible for new players, but doesn't mean its "not a great way to play".

 

Splitting function between axis / buttons is always going to be inferior. If someone released a first person shooter where the default controls where tank controls on the left stick, while strafe and look up and down where on the right stick, they would be review bombed in an instant. Does even Halo offer legacy controls on the newer titles?

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18 hours ago, PeteJ said:

 

Populous 2

Right back to the start of the 90s and another Bullfrog stunner. I could have mentioned Bullfrogs other title, Powermonger, or Sensibles Megalomania, but let's face it, Populous 2 was the king of the genre. 

 

 

So close.

 

But since nobody else has remembered it, it falls to me to bring up the greatest game of all time.

 

Populous The Beginning is superb; a significant departure from the first two games in the series but with a really well thought-out risk:reward mechanic.  You can no longer cast spells to the other side of the world, but instead you now need to take your shaman into danger in order to attack.  Amassing an army of fire warriors and preachers, then descending on an opponent in a fleet of balloons, casting confusion spells to make the enemies attack themselves - it is still a fabulous game and one that deserves a remake more than any other.

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9 minutes ago, Xevious said:

 

So close.

 

But since nobody else has remembered it, it falls to me to bring up the greatest game of all time.

 

Populous The Beginning is superb; a significant departure from the first two games in the series but with a really well thought-out risk:reward mechanic.  You can no longer cast spells to the other side of the world, but instead you now need to take your shaman into danger in order to attack.  Amassing an army of fire warriors and preachers, then descending on an opponent in a fleet of balloons, casting confusion spells to make the enemies attack themselves - it is still a fabulous game and one that deserves a remake more than any other.

Damn, have to admit I never tried that, but it does sound good. 

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Such a tough decade to narrow down. I'm going for the personal approach focusing on games that I loved then and still hold up today. So many classics missed a place in my list like Super Castlevania, Super Ghouls n Ghosts, Secret of Mana, many Neo Geo fighters and Capcom arcade games. I owned and played on loads of consoles and computers over the 90's so there is an overwhelming amount to pick from. Here is what I'd chose today, but that could change tomorrow. In no particular order:

 

Tetris Dx- for my money the best version of "pure" Tetris. 

 

Super Mario Kart-Never been beaten and still plays amazingly well. Battle mode was a way of life. 

 

Street Fighter 2 Turbo - The best version of the "2" series, picking up on the faults of the earlier entries but avoiding the bloat (and the shite announcer) of the Super games. 

 

Mortal Kombat 2- Yeah it's not as good as the Street Fighter games, but I have always loved this series. This is the best old school MK game and I still enjoy a blast of it today. The characters and atmosphere summed up the differnce between the US and Japanese fighters nicely. 

 

Point Blank- a criminally underrated game and quite possibly the best most fun lightgun game ever. Like Warioware with a gun. Shooting the falling leaf was a staple before a night out! 

 

UN Squadron/Area 88- My favorite 16 bit shooter. Tough as nails but better than the arcade game. Some stunning music in there too. Not the most frantic game ever but a cartridge that I've spent a lot of time playing over the years. 

 

Super Mario World - Maybe the best game ever. 2D platforming perfection. 

 

Streets of Rage 2- The best home brawler ever? Quite possibly. Loved this and Final Fight back in the 90's but this was just that wee bit better. That music too! 

 

Tony Hawks Pro Skater-A revolution when it arrived. I've never spent so much time playing a demo, and I finished the full game over and over. Still playing it thanks to the remake from last year. The 2nd game was better but came out in the next decade so this has a well deserved spot on the list. 

 

Crazy Taxi- The game that sold me the Dreamcast. Looked like the arcade was finally at home. Addictive, daft and brilliant. I'm still chasing high scores on the Xbox 360 version but missing the amazing perfectly suited original soundtrack. 

 

Revenge of Shinobi- One of the Megadrive greats. Still the best Shinobi game for me and although it's tough it's nicely balanced. One of the best soundtracks on the Megadrive. 

 

Street Fighter Alpha 2- Significantly different from Turbo and warrants a place on the list in it's own right. Better than Alpha 3 and built on everything that the first had. Fantastic version on the Saturn and also a commendable effort on the Snes which pushed it to the limit. 

 

Sonic The Hedgehog 2- I never had much love for Sonic 3 but this is still my favorite Sonic platformer to this day. It was never as good as Mario, but as the Megadrive's flagship it was perfect. 

 

Tekken 2- The first 3D fighter that truly made an impact on me. I enjoyed the first Tekken but this took it up a few levels. Never clicked with the 3rd in the same way. 

 

Suikoden- I thoougt hard whether this or Vandal Hearts deserved the last slot but this just pips it. I picked this up 2nd hand at the time pretty cheap and didn't know much about it. Was drawn into it's world and I adored every second of the game. I never got to play the sequel but would love if they updated this and re released in a twin pack. 

 

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1 hour ago, Benny said:

Are you going to make this into a top games of the 90s results thread @Wiper? Maybe we need to do the the Rllmuk top 100 games again...

 

I can honestly say I hadn't considered it; I was just after some conversation on the subject! Might not be a terrible idea, but would probably need a new thread with stricter formatting, as a good portion of people have understandably answered this one informally. That might not be a bad thing anyway, as this thread might give people a chance to think more on the subject before committing to a proper vote thread!

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37 minutes ago, Xevious said:

 

So close.

 

But since nobody else has remembered it, it falls to me to bring up the greatest game of all time.

 

Populous The Beginning is superb; a significant departure from the first two games in the series but with a really well thought-out risk:reward mechanic.  You can no longer cast spells to the other side of the world, but instead you now need to take your shaman into danger in order to attack.  Amassing an army of fire warriors and preachers, then descending on an opponent in a fleet of balloons, casting confusion spells to make the enemies attack themselves - it is still a fabulous game and one that deserves a remake more than any other.

 

Oh man I completely forgot about this and I don't know if anyone knows of it but the sequel to baldies as well - Skull caps :D  Man I'd love to play these again today ^_^

 

Oh and @Benny brilliant post :)

 

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