Getting hold of a game is a simple process today. Just hop on to a platform like Steam and you can purchase and download the game to your PC or console instantly, using any number of payment gateways available.
Rewind 30 years, and it wasn’t as straightforward as it is now. You would have to queue outside your local game store to get your hands on the latest cartridge or CD (if they stocked it) and that could sometimes mean agonizing waits. Anyone who grew up with a Dreamcast or Genesis knew the struggle. But which games were worth the wait?
Mortal Kombat II
While the initial Mortal Kombat combined excessive gore and violence, introducing it to arcades worldwide (much to the ire of shocked parents), the sequel took that concept, removed it from public spaces and lodged it firmly into living rooms. The sequel expanded the available cast of characters, introduced new moves as well as improved the trademark “fatalities” – the coup de grace that finished off opponents. It was a revolution for fighting games that would go on to inspire the genre for decades.
A worm, in a robotic suit, chasing after a nameless princess through various levels of space. It may not sound like an award-winning combo but that’s exactly what it was on its released in 1994. A classic platformer, what set Jim apart was the gameplay versatility, such as the ability to use a gun or use Jim’s head as a whip which functioned as a weapon but also a tool. In addition to that, the level design was particularly impressive, and the storyline so bizarre that everyone at the time was hooked.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Undoubtedly the most popular thing that SEGA ever created, Sonic the Hedgehog was a hit from its inception in 1991. The franchise’s crowning jewel came with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 in 1992. The music was once again composed by Masato Nakamura – the same composer as the first game – with the same unusual rhythms and iconic melodies.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was all about speed, and the environment catered and emphasized that with intricate layouts including loops and different tiered levels. This title also allowed for multiplayer action, introducing Sonic’s almost-as-revered sidekick, Miles “Tails” Prower (a pun on miles-per-hour), with his own abilities for getting rid of enemies. All of this, combined with the beautiful graphics of each level, came together to make Sonic the Hedgehog 2 SEGA’s best game to date, and one of the most revered of all time.