Remember having to ask permission from a parental figure to be able to sit on the computer and play games that they would turn on for you (in case you accidentally destroy the computer by typing gibberish into the DOS prompt or, more realistically, delete important system files on windows)? I’m sure the older ones among you do. For those who are younger or simply haven’t experienced the wonders the following games have to offer, these were absolute gems back in the day and still hold plenty of replay value. That being said, dated graphics alert - most of these were made when the average graphics card had between a few kilobytes to a whopping eight megabytes of memory.
10: Mortal Kombat 4 – Midway/Eurocom, 1997
After the unmitigated successes that were Mortal Kombats 1 through Trilogy, Mortal Kombat 4 was met with mixed reviews due to its low character count, ‘3D’ aspect, the introduction of weapons and the subtraction of fixed combos. The only reason this makes the list above its earlier, hailed-as-better counterparts is because it was the first variant of the game to include almost completely customisable combos, a much higher balance between characters and much less frustratingly unfair AI. Even Goro was far more manageable (even if you don’t count the few available exploits) than the maddeningly annoying Motaro. More than anything else, what really spurred on the popularity of this game is the fact that it was installed into what seemed like every computer to roll out after its arrival in Bangladesh.
9: Brian Lara Cricket 99 – Codemasters, 1998
Released at the end of ’98 with the ’99 world cup looming ahead, this is a game that’s still considered by most to be the best cricket game ever made. That may not be much of a compliment for a dry niche in an otherwise oversaturated genre, but for its time this was truly a masterpiece. With decent graphics and a revolutionary engine that remains unique to this day, the game had countless Bangladeshis trying and succeeding to win the Cricket World Cup as Bangladesh, albeit after uncountable hours of frustratingly and unfairly getting out in all kinds of ways despite playing good shots with good timing. For a nation that was only beginning to fall deeply in love with cricket, this was a godsend.
8: Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings – Microsoft, 1999
Barely contained within our timeframe, this game grew a fan following that lives on to this day, with people lining up to buy the HD remake and three recent official expansion packs which came 14+ years since the last one (The Conquerors). Although the immediate sequel was far more popular, this was the foundation on which one of the most popular RTS games of all time was built. With state-of-the-art graphics and a masterfully envisioned user interface, the game had an incredible set of campaigns as well as one of the best multiplayer experiences any RTS has ever offered. A massive array of units also helped the game become extremely complex with a nearly endless learning curve that was still lenient on casual players. Word of advice, though; if you think you’re really good just because you’ve completed the campaigns and beaten hardest AI 1 on 1 and buy the game for a multiplayer experience, prepare to have your medieval behind handed to you.
7: WWF: Wrestlemania – Acclaim/Sculptured Software, 1995
A staple for 90’s kids, this brilliant little number featured eight of the most famous wrestlers of the 90’s, exciting and often hilariously comical gameplay (including a plethora of glitches) and the incredible experience of either winning the Co-op mode with your friend or bashing his face in in the Versus variant. Despite its very dated graphics, the sound effects and theme music were brilliantly memorable, as were the various moves and combos each player could pull off.
6: Virtua Cop 2 – Sega, 1995
Who hasn’t played this? Who wouldn’t want to, after seeing others? This point-and-shoot masterpiece was an instant hit when it came out and with good reason. Granted, many friendships were broken over who got to use the mouse and who had to use the keyboard (the latter was noticeably clunky no matter how good you were), and granted that this is probably the only game in history where you end up hating the civilians more than the bad guys, this game was a stupid amount of fun.
You didn’t seriously think I was going to give you the whole list all at once, did you? Like an episode of Alif Laila, this one ends on a cliffhanger. Until next time, ladies and gents!
• Skyroads – Bluemoon, 1993
• Duke Nukem 3D – 3D Realms, 1996
• Resident Evil – Capcom, 1996
• Command and Conquer: Tiberian Sun – Westwood/EA, 1999
• King of Fighters Series, ’94-’99 – SNK, 1994-1999
• Paranoid – Bit Bucket Brothers, 1992
• Fifa 98 – EA Sports, 1997
• The House of the Dead – Wow/Sega, 1996