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Top 10 Reasons Why the 90s Was the Best Decade for Gaming

Top 10 Reasons Why the 90s Was the Best Decade for Gaming


1. Social Gaming

Social gaming was what 90s gaming was all about

The iconic GoldenEye 007 and Super Smash Bros on Nintendo 64 changed the gaming landscape with their groundbreaking multiplayer modes. Friends battling it out in split-screen mode became a cherished 90s gaming experience for gamers around the world, setting the standard for multiplayer experiences for decades to come.


2. Rise of 3D

3D worlds exploded onto our screens and into our imaginations in the 90s

The 90s witnessed the shift from 2D to 3D gaming, introducing us to immersive open worlds. Titles like Super Mario 64, Ocarina of Time and Final Fantasy VII showcased the power of three-dimensional graphics, taking our breath away and laying the foundation for the future of gaming. Consoles like the N64 and Sony Playstation pushed the performance of hardware to enable next level experiences.


3. Sega vs. Nintendo Rivalry

Sega and Nintendo battled for the hearts and minds of gamers in the early 90s

The fierce competition between Sega and Nintendo fuelled the creation of groundbreaking games.  Sega pioneered revolutionary 3D experiences like Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA and Virtua Cop Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros brought the battle into the home, becoming cultural phenomenons, captivating gamers and defining the era with their innovative gameplay.


4. The Birth of PlayStation

The Sony Playstation heralded a new era in gaming, a more sophisticated gaming experience was born.

Sony's PlayStation made its debut in the early 90s, pioneering the CD-ROM medium.  This new disc format enabled a larger storage capacity games with more sophisticated experiences, sound, music and textures.  The Playstation had a vast library of innovative titles, from iconic franchises like Metal Gear Solid to Final Fantasy, the PlayStation became a cornerstone in the golden era of gaming and helped introduce gaming to wider audiences.


5. Classic RPGs Flourished

RPGs hit the mainstream in the 90s, taking audiences on fantastical journeys

The 90s were a watershed moment for role-playing games (RPGs). Titles like Chrono Trigger, Baldur's Gate, and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time set new standards for storytelling exploration, character development, and non-linear gameplay.  Gamers were stunned by the expansive, cinematic story telling on offer. 


6. Arcade Culture Thrived

Arcades were the birthplace of social gaming

Video game arcades were the social hubs of the 90s gaming scene. Classics like Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat drew crowds, pushing the boundaries visually and creating a communal experience that's unmatched in today's gaming culture.


7. Iconic Franchises Took Root

90s gaming gave rise to some of video games most beloved franchises

Legendary franchises like Resident Evil, Smash Bros, Tomb Raider, Gran Turismo and Pokémon made their debut in the 90s, leaving an indelible mark on the gaming industry. These franchises continue to shape gaming as well as movie culture, spawning several blockbuster films.


8. Nostalgic Soundtracks

Some of the most iconic video game music of all time was created in the 90s

The 90s gave us unforgettable gaming soundtracks that are etched in our memories. From the irresistible rhythms of Donkey Kong Country and the catchy tunes of Sonic the Hedgehog, to the melodic sophistication of Ocarina of Time and the orchestral majesty of the Final Fantasy VII compositions. These scores would capture our hearts with their sophistication, nuance and beauty adding an additional layer of emotion and brilliance to our 90s gaming lives.


9. Technological Innovation

The 90s era was defined by innovation in hardware, gameplay and story telling.

The 90s is an unmatched decade of innovation.  From advancements in controllers, console hardware and performance, this era marked the transition from pixelated characters to lifelike representations. Advancements in gaming technology, such as CD-ROMs allowed for higher fidelity experiences and more sophisticated storytelling and advancements in microprocessors empowered game designers to push the definition of what a game actually was.  The industry never looked back.


10. Innovation in Game Design

The 90s spawned a plethora of new styles, genres and gameplay mechanics

The 90s saw a surge in innovative game design due to the leaps and bounds in hardware performance.  With this new power, designers were empowered to expand the tone, scope and sophistication of video game experiences, appealing to more mature audiences and delving into darker themes and producing higher levels of realism. Titles like Resident Evil, Grand Theft Auto, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and GoldenEye 007 redefined how we perceive and interact with virtual worlds. These groundbreaking designers and developers paved the way for the diverse gaming experiences we enjoy today.



GoldenEra showcases the creation and legacy GoldenEye 007, a game that broke all the rules and defined a generation of gamers. The story is told by academics, journalists, celebrities, fans and the game’s designers.

Check out the trailer here.