The Top 10 Video Games of 1999


Lately I’ve been feeling nostalgic, so I decided to count down the top 15 movies of 1999. Today I’m feeling much the same way, so I thought I’d give it a try with video games. And just like there were a ton of classic movies that came out a decade ago, the same is true for games. Many classic series got their starts this year, and you might have a laugh at what we thought used to be “cutting edge” and “graphically stunning.”

But even with technological advancements, there are some games on this list that have retained their playability to this very day.

10) Mario Party


Today, as this year Mario Party 8 has been released for the Wii, it can be safe to say that we’re exhausted of the Mario Party series. However, when the original came out for Nintendo 64 in 1999, we loved it because four player gaming was still a relatively new concept, and there were only a handful of games for the system that really took advantage of the opportunity. The original Mario Party was a good time, especially if you didn’t yet have any idea that seven nearly identical sequels were on the horizon.

9) Soul Calibur 


Not much in the graphics department, but the original Soul Calibur set the stage for one of the best fighting franchises ever. It improved upon it’s predecessor Soul Blade with new characters and moves. Unfortunately, this was before a complete boob-bouncing engine was developed for game systems, so we had to use our imaginations when we played with Taki.

8 ) Quake III Arena


Quake III was innovative in the sense that it mostly abandoned single player to focus solely on multiplayer action. It was minimalist, but an insane amount of fun, and ahead of its time, as allegedly the first game to invent “strafe-jumping.”

7) Final Fantasy VIII


Of course nothing short of the second coming of Christ would have topped Final Fantasy VII, but VIII was a great game as well, even if it is constantly overshadowed by its older brother. For it’s time, it had absolutely stunning graphics, as is tradition for each new installment in the series, and coined one of the coolest terms in video games, the “gunblade.”

6) Unreal Tournament


The original Unreal Tournament was met with bouqets of roses from almost every gaming magazine in existence upon its release. It’s graphics, gameplay and maps set it even above Quake, according to some. The game currently has an aggregated 94% rating, which makes it the eighth highest reviewed PC game of all time. Not too shabby for a decade ago.

5)  Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater


I will credit this game for making me buy a skateboard, realizing that it was way, way harder in real life, and promptly putting it in my attic for the next ten years. But THPS was simply a blast when it was released, and although the tricks and maps seem limited now, at the time you would grow to know every detail of the game like the back of your hand. I could draw you an exact scale map of the Warehouse to this day.

4) Everquest


A decade before World of Warcraft owned 10 million people’s lives, Everquest started MMO on a smaller scale. A widesweeping fantasy epic, the game was addicting to the point where players started calling it “Evercrack.”

3)  Counterstrike


Counterstrike will always remain a legend among tactical team shooters. It was one of the first online shooters to require a great deal of strategy and coordination to win a game, rather than just relying on who had the quickest trigger finger. Although that certainly helped.

2) Silent Hill


Alright, so as you can see the graphics weren’t astonishing, even for the time, but that didn’t mean the original Silent Hill wasn’t terrifying. One of the first games to rely heavily on both story and suspense, the result was a horror game that was so much more than running around shooting zombie. It was cerebral, smart and you would never, ever play it with the lights off.

1) Super Smash Bros.


What does it say about a game that I still play it with my friends on a Saturday evening before we go head out to the bars. The original Super Smash Bros. has perhaps the most replay value of any game ever made. Before the series added a deluge of characters and items, the original existed as an almost perfect entity, with each of its characters able to be perfected by someone with the necessary skill. Though it’s sequels have been among the best games for their respective systems, nothing will ever be able to touch the original, and that’s probably the way it should be.

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  1. It was interesting TRYING to read your top ten, but your font and background colors make it nearly impossible to read what you actually wrote. My eyes now hurt, so I can’t read more of your posts. Sorry.

  2. Hmmm, after I posted my comment suddenly I see the white background and formatted text of I guess how your site should look.

    So I retract my above comment.

    In its place let me suggest installing some method for editing comments!

  3. slowmotiony, from the rest of the internet: Shut the fuck up and go back to your stamp collection or whatever other obsessive- compulsive thing you do when you’re not scouring the web for slight errors to sound haughty. You only sound like a tool. And take that MMORPG fanboy there with you.

  4. Is that Soul Calibur from arcades? Cause that for sure isn’t the DC version. In fact, it looks like Soul Blade/Edge more than Soul Calibur…
    And while SSB64 rocked, it definitely sucks next to the (much more balanced) sequels, which also removed the fucking irritating “THROW WINS GAME” and the 0-to-death combos and added the air dodge, which prevented characters with weakly prioritized down airs from being raped while in the air.

  5. gunblades where actually weapons that saw some use in the real world around the 16th~19th century. they never saw much use since most variations jammed often.

    But still.. they where not a creation of Square. They where brought more into the current spotlight by them, but that is all..

  6. Strafe Jumping was certainly present in quake2(and its derivations like Half Life games). Also, it was never really “invented” but a consequence of the physics engine(just like rocket jumping was a mistake where they failed to reduce the acceleration over distance). It is obviously purposely preserved in quake 3. Which is why it is my opinion that Q3 had superior strafe jumping than Q2. The phenomenon was known and maps were adjusted to take advantage of it.

  7. That “Counterstrike” (it’s Counter-Strike, sport) screenshot is from 2004’s Condition Zero. This is why you bozos don’t deserve to be called journalists.

  8. marktheknife: That is definately Soul Blade. And Soul Blade did have boob-bouncing! They just hadn’t perfected the technology yet.

    While I haven’t played Soul Calibur very much, I think Soul Blade is a much better game than Soul Calibur 2 (and SC4).

  9. Author here-

    – Changed the Soul Calibur and Counterstrike screens. It’s hard to tell which version is which sometimes

    – I don’t care about when strafe jumping was actually invented

    – Halo came out in 2001

  10. “Not much in the graphics department, but the original Soul Calibur set the stage for one of the best fighting franchises ever.”

    WTF, Soul Calibur for Dreamcast was EASILLY the best looking game on the whole list. And yes, even better than Q3 Arena on a tricked out PC of the time. Furthermore…

    “Unfortunately, this was before a complete boob-bouncing engine was developed for game systems, so we had to use our imaginations when we played with Taki.”

    Soul Calibur refined the flesh physics engine originally started in Soul Edge. In fact, Soul Calibur for Dreamcast not only has chest bounce, but butt jiggle and big muscle jiggle (Astaroth). Soul Calibur IV ONLY has chest bounce, Project Soul actually took a step BACK in the overall momentum feel Soul Calibur for Dreamcast had. But now the boobs do bounce independently now… Anyway, SCIV models look STATIC by comparison to SCone to III.

  11. Planescape: Torment won just about every award an RPG could win in ’99 and is on just about every “Hall of Fame” or “Best of All Time” list. Better writing than just about any other game, including those written over the last 10 years. Tremendous atmosphere, spectacular music, and one of the most fascinating story lines ever.

    Still, I’ll overlook your *cough* obvious error and say… not bad, not bad at all.

  12. Wow, strafe jumping invented in Q3???? Stick to console games k? Cuz you obviously don’t know your ass from your elbow when it comes to PC games. Here’s a quick lesson: Quake 3 revolutionized online gaming as much as CS did. No Q3 didn’t invent death match, it merely perfected it. To put Quake 3 so far behind CS is asinine. But then again, to put Unreal Tournament ahead of Quake 3 is even more asinine. The breadth and depth of Q3 blows UT right out of the water. Congrats, you’ve really outdone yourself. Here, just to prove my point: you can probably guess which of UT or Q3 is a mere afterthought and which has a thriving international community with presence at all the top money tournaments.

  13. Any reason why System Shock 2 didn’t make the list? It was a groundbreaking cyberpunk-in-space FPS/RPG hybrid with a fantastic storyline, a dark and horrific atmosphere, and immersive gameplay. It even featured co-op, weapon degradation, and the harder difficulty levels were insanely challenging.

  14. This list really blows, 1999 must have been a pretty poopy year for games. It’s no 1998 😛

    My favourite game of 1999 was probably Silver. Fantastic gesture based RPG released for the Dreamcast and PC.

  15. Agreed on #2 and #1. My buddy and I used to play with the lights off (that’s what she said) and are still rolling through the SH series (4 and 5 are giant disappointments, if you ask me–sticky controls, gory has replaced story). We have drunken smash64 tourneys at least once a month.

    Also, I forgot how much fun unreal tournament was to play. I’m gonna go find that thing.

  16. hahah….you loser fanboys trying to either bump up a game bc it’s YOUR favorite or putting some other game down bc YOU don’t like it. I bet if you polled 100 people all around the gaming community(not just ramen-noodle, not leaving your apt’s losers…like yourselves), you’d find that this list is pretty much on par. Get a life!

  17. unreal tournament wins by a mile. that was quite possibly the best game i have ever played in my life. the submarine level. the guns. the guns….. Unreal Tournament will always be class but the first is the best hands down. Made me fall in love with FPS……… Then Half Life came along……… Brilliant

  18. Smash brothers is still awesome, my freinds and I still have hours of joy from it, that and micro machines 64. The N64 still stands up as a social console.

    Also look at all the angry nerds you offended by not fact checking everything you wrote! For shame! that you should leave your readers with the dignity to appreciate the gist of the article …for shame!

  19. You gotta have Resident Evil 3 on that list, its easily the best game out of the franchise, and it had the perfect balance between the old “survival horror” style and more action orientated gameplay. The Nemesis was a great big bad too. I like Res 4 and 5 but they’re just action games and you get a feeling of “is that it?”, they retain very little of the old George Romero inspired “horror” moments of Resi 1,2 and 3. Resident Evil 3 was the last great game in the Resident Evil franchise, its a shame that Capcom have ditched the cinematic “horror” moments and goofy puzzles, thats what made Resident Evil.

  20. are you guys really getting this mad over a list, do you know if it is opinion or fact based, i have to agree with denis you guys need a life if your getting mad over this

  21. Good work, man. Great games up there. I dropped Smash Bros. in high school, but I picked it up again in college and I’ve been hooked ever since!

    I don’t understand why everyone hounds everyone else’s people for top ten lists. If you don’t like it, create your own website and make your own damn list. It’s that simple.

  22. I agree that Mario Party was a great game – however, I think that successive games were definite improvements. For some games with the original, such as the one in the picture, you had to push the joystick in a circle really quickly. My sisters and I figured out the best way to do this was to use your palm to push it, but I can’t begin to count the number of times we got our palms rubbed raw because of it. We always hated when one of those games came up.

    Not to mention, later versions had practice mode – it made things a lot easier!

  23. I remember playing the first counter-strike mod thinking this was pretty cool, one of my more favorite mods at the time. Who’d a thunk just how HUGE Counter-Strike was going to become – craziness. Still Action Half-Life was my favorite mod for Half-Life – hands down best.

    Unreal Tournament was pretty damn fantastic and Quake 3: Arena graphics wise was pretty sweet for the time.

  24. “strafejumping worked way better in quake 2.
    the q2dm1 map alone has tons of jumps you really have to master. quake 3 was disappointing for that.”

    So true.
    Q3 didn’t invent the strafejumping. It actually dumbed it down.

  25. Quake III was not the firs game to create strafe jumping at all. Strafejumping and the Bunnyhop technique first came about in QuakeWorld due to bugs in the engine code. With each sequel Quake’s movement has become more and more simplified and slower that is until Raven took over and made Quake IV. Quake IV added the crouch slide and brought back the incline jumping from Quake 1. Quake III actually has the most simplistic movement in the Quake series and the slowest. Quake III was probably where the majority of gamers learned about strafe jumping due to the fact that playing Quakeworld in it’s prime wasn’t all that accessable to most people due to internet limitations and the heavy system requirements the game had.

    Would be nice to see that corrected under the picture above. Being a very avid Quake player who has played since the day tho original Qtest was released I can’t help but get annoyed when people make this very common mistake.

  26. SoulCalibur had probably the best graphics of ANY game in 1999, plus it DID have bouncing chesticles, too, so I disagree with what you wrote for SC.

  27. I actually think Final Fantasy 8 was better than Final Fantasy 7. Final Fantasy 7 is completely overrated and is no where near as good as Final Fantasy 6.

  28. I understand how popular SSB was, but it is NOT the 1 game of 1999. Let’s see, where are system shock 2, Homeworld, Age of Empires 2, Oddworld, Planescape: Torment and Medal of Honor??? I’m sorry but when you have games like that out at the time, games like Tony Hawk, Mario Party, Soul Calibur and Super Smash Bros, can be omitted from the list.

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