1997 was another solid year for retro video games. Plenty of long-running franchises came out with fun entries, and some unexpected gems stole gamers’ hearts worldwide. This was also the year 3D Realms began developing the game that ended up taking an eternity to release – Duke Nukem Forever.
But, that is another discussion for another time. Without further ado, let us take a look at the Best video games from 1997.
GoldenEye 007 gave everyone’s favorite spy a video game that was worthy of his lofty achievements. This game has a lot of things going for it, but it is perhaps best known for creating the first effortless multiplayer shooter experience. Sure, there were other games before it that allowed you to play with your friends online. But, there was something especially delightful about inviting your friends over and shooting each other in the face for hours in the split-screen multiplayer mode.
Couch gaming with your friends might be a sure thing now kids, but there was a time when it wasn’t. Thanks GoldenEye 007.
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is, without a doubt, one of the most talked-about video games of all time. Even today, the hype for the modern remastered version of this game is unreal.
Back in the day, FF7 was a true trendsetting game. It delivered lush, gorgeous graphics and a rich, meaty storyline that kept players engrossed throughout. It also had a fantastic battle system that has since inspired a whole generation of role-playing games. FF7 really took the Final Fantasy franchise to the next level and deservedly sold an insane number of copies.
Castlevania Symphony of The Night
Castlevania Symphony of The Night is one half of a pairing that created an entirely new genre of games – Metroidvania. After the release of Super Metroid and all its awesomeness, it was tough to see how something might come along that gave players a similar kind of experience. Enter Konami, and Symphony of The Night.
This game has a massive map that players can explore and a plethora of different weapons to slay all manner of ghouls and demons that you’ll run into on your journey. The game’s protagonist – Alucard – and his whip have become part of gaming lore. The beautiful gothic graphics, challenging gameplay and massive boss fights make this a brilliant game. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, give this one a try.
When Quake first come out, if you told someone that the sequel would completely up the ante in every single aspect, you might’ve been laughed at. It is a testament to how good a game Quake II is, that even though the original was such a pathbreaker, Quake II totally overshadows it. The graphics (especially if you were running the 3Dfx version) are beautiful – intricate hallways, complex lighting and environmental effects.
And, as you would expect from a Quake game, the combat is pitch-perfect. Deathmatches and combat situations may get tough, but they’re always fair. Skill and strategy matter above all else, and that’s how a good arena shooter should be.
Age of Empires
Even though the Age of Empires franchise might have lost a lot of steam in recent years, there was a time when it was a titan of the RTS genre. And this was the game that launched it all. Age of Empires put players onto sprawling maps, each with their own unique geography and resources, and had them compete against each other in a battle of conquest. If you’ve played an RTS game before, you know how it goes – you build a base, have laborers collect resources to construct buildings that spawn upgrades and units, and you then use your units to wipe any other contenders off the face of the earth.
Age of Empires looked great (for the time) and gave players a deep, challenging strategy experience that really shined in multiplayer. There have been friendships and romances won and lost through Age of Empires games, and for good reason. This is a damn good game.
That’s it for Part 1. In Part 2, we will be taking a look at some more Top games from 1997 that deserve to be hailed for their retro gaming greatness.
Let us know what you thought of our list in the comments. Until next time, happy gaming
Did You Know: In 1990 game, Golden Axe from SEGA was voiced entirely by prisoners on death row.