Y Magazine

Top 5 games from the 90s that we all love!

There’s something about old, glitch-ridden, two-dimensional games that appeal to the inner child in us. This week, Y’s geek squad member Alvin Thomas picks out the top five games from the 90s that helped give rise to a new breed of gamers.




Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit III


Year of release: 1998

People don’t rave about retro games for nothing. These games defined a whole generation of gamers – and they deserve credit for that! Sitting atop our list of favourites is Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit III, the game that began our relationship with arcade racing. It gave car-fanatics like us the hope of driving a Lamborghini or a Chevy Corvette without shelling out the big bucks, and also the thrills of slamming into gates and other cars to avoid the cops. Sure, the graphical interface was patchy and the physics engine was irritatingly glitch at times – but it gave birth to a new breed of car-racing games that we now love and adore.


Sonic the Hedgehog


Year of release: 1991

Kids from Gen Z (children born after December 2000) will never know the frustrations of playing on a console until they’ve given Sonic the Hedgehog a go. Negatives aside, though, the game gained popularity due to its catchy title-screen music and storyline. The spiky blue sprinter soon became a hit with the youth, with many even crowning it king alongside the classic Super Mario.


Mortal Kombat


Year of release: 1992

Mortal Kombat broke more friendships than any other game in the 90s. Apart from that, this one-on-one fighting game severed several norms in gaming; it brought blood, gore, and violence into the scene. Of course, many moons have passed since then, and newer titles have taken away any exclusivity that was left in this genre. But, the competitiveness of the game, coupled with the eerie in-game commentary etched a mark on the lives of those who played it.


Metal Gear Solid


Year of release: 1998

Metal Gear gave rise to a new genre: Stealth games. And if that isn’t worth a nod in itself, then we don’t know what is. Metal Gear Solid – the eighth game in the series – can be considered a relatively straightforward third-person shooter stealth game by today’s standards, but the twists and in-depth plot – though quaint now – were enough to have younger audiences in the 90s hooked. Also, you could smoke (at the expense of losing your health) in the game to help reveal laser beams. Brilliant!


Road Rash


Year of release: 1991

It’s safe to say that Road Rash is the game that gave Electronic Arts its footing in the gaming industry. This title gave gamers an opportunity to delve into – in staggering detail, we might add – the lives of bikers in the U.S. Leather clothing and heavy metal music galore (among several other details that we can’t quite mention here), this game was quite a hit among youth of the era.