Most Popular Games of the 1990s

The 1990s were a pivotal decade for the video game industry, as they were a time of great innovation. In the 30 years since their introduction, video games have gone through a number of significant changes, including the transition from pixel art to polygons and from rudimentary 3D to extraordinarily intricate virtual worlds.

In the ’90s, having a 16-bit console was the height of cool. The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Nat Geo, and Game Boy were all part of the fourth generation of consoles. Sega and Nintendo’s rivalry sparked the second console war and a fight for 2D supremacy.

In contrast to video games, where only a small group of people can play at once, board games are great for family bonding and quality time. You can relive happy times from your youth by playing these games with your loved ones.

Popular Board Games of the 1990s

Board games, along with some of the most influential forms of media and modern culture, saw a surge in popularity in the 1990s. Many consider the 1990s the golden age of board games, much like the 1980s were for arcade video games. Board and tabletop games of all shapes and sizes proliferated throughout the ’90s. Modern updates of most of these games are still widely available.

Catan (1995)

Catan, created by Klaus Teuber in the 1990s, is a cherished classic among board game enthusiasts. In the field of board games, it is commonly referred to as “the gateway game,” and its popularity has helped bring the genre significant attention. In Catan, players roll dice or make deals with other players to acquire resources to create a civilization from scratch, all while amassing points in the process. It’s a cinch to pick up and play, and it’s infinitely flexible, so you can show off your abilities in a variety of ways.


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Twilight Imperium (1997)

Invented by Chris T. Peterson and published by Fantasy Flight Games in 1997, the fantasy board game Twilight Imperium has seen several editions since its inception. This game is all about conquering the galaxy. Three to six players assume the roles of one of seventeen factions vying for control of the galaxy via military force, political maneuvering, and financial haggling.


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Mall Madness (1988)

The board game Mall Madness, by Milton Bradley, is based on the shopping experience and is often referred to as Electronic Mall Madness. The first edition was out in 1988, and a year later, in 1989, an electronic voice-activated version was launched. To illustrate a shopping mall with two levels, a bank, and the speaker in the middle, the board takes on the form of a three-dimensional playing field. Some shops and restaurants are only accessible through the elevator or stairs, as they are situated on the upper floors.

Jumanji (1995)

Similarly, the 1995 movie Jumanji inspired a fantastic board game. Playable with anywhere from 2 to 4 people, it is suggested for those eight years of age and up. The player must roll the dice and begin his adventure at the corresponding number. Players can lose if the jungle catches up to them before they reach their destination and escape the tense and dangerous situations they’ve found themselves in.


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Splat! (1990)

Players may splat each other in Splat!, which has room for two to four. Each participant receives two plastic bugs molded from a Play-Doh-like material. A bug generator and a plastic foot are included in the game. Successfully crossing the finish line with both of your bug pieces in one turn is the goal of the game.


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Don’t Wake Daddy (1992)

Originally developed by Parker Brothers, the two-to-four-player board game Don’t Wake Daddy is also known as SSHH! Don’t Wake Dad! in the United Kingdom. Participating players assume the roles of youngsters attempting to sneak to the fridge in the middle of the night without waking their sleeping father. If you land on a numbered square, you must hit the alarm clock button that many times, which might wake up your father and result in his sending you back to your room.


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Popular Video Games of the 1990s

As arcade video games, gaming consoles, and home computer games were made available to the general public, video gaming became a cultural phenomenon. Since then, video games have spread over the globe, becoming a staple of modern society. Here are some of the most-played video games of the 1990s.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)

Super Mario Bros. 3 is widely regarded as a classic video game, with many critics praising its difficult mechanics. It is the third best-selling Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game of all time, with over 17 million copies sold. The game expanded Mario’s armory with new abilities and outfits. Some of them are a super leaf that transforms Mario into a Raccoon so that he can fly, glide, and whip his tail, and a plethora of other items. Other powerups include a frog suit where you can swiftly swim across water levels and a Tanooki suit that can turn Mario into an invincible statue for a few seconds. 


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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992)

Compared to previous games in the series, this one features many fully drawn maze-like dungeons for players to explore. Kazuaki Morita, the creator of the game, reimagined the world’s geometry for Link, the main hero of the game, to explore, which features several interconnected levels. Each dungeon has challenging levels, a wide range of foes, and perplexing riddles. Essentially, it’s the pinnacle of dungeon-crawling games.


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Doom (1993)

Among the best and most iconic video games of the ’90s, Doom stands out. It may not have been the first FPS game, but its impact cannot be discounted. It remains a living memorial to the groundbreaking influence of id Software’s pioneering shooter. The game caused waves in the PC gaming market and raised the bar for 3D gaming. At its debut, Doom stood apart from other real-time rendered games due to its photorealistic 3D visuals, which were challenging to achieve on consumer-level technology.

Super Metroid (1994)

Nintendo also created the action-packed adventure game Super Metroid, which became a hit in the ’90s. The game’s success relies on its unsettling setting, with scientists dead and spread around the floor. The last remaining Metroid’s piercing screams blend with the reverberating ogling strings. The game environment gradually reveals its secrets and depths as the player grows in stature by gaining access to and using more advanced tools and equipment. Even decades after its initial release, the game still manages to captivate players because of its emphasis on exploration and world creation.


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Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

Sonic the Hedgehog is a video game that was first published in North America in June 1991. It was created by Sega for their Genesis video game system. In this game, you play as Sonic, a humanoid hedgehog on a mission to recover the Chaos Emeralds from the evil scientist Dr. Robotnik, who has imprisoned helpless creatures in robot cages. Sonic’s mission is to foil Dr. Robotnik’s nefarious plots by completing the level by collecting rings and jumping on foes.

Mortal Kombat (1992)

Midway created and released the popular arcade fighting game Mortal Kombat. To this day, it remains a fan favorite and a top seller among video games. Players compete against one another in a direct fight. The victor in a fight is the fighter who depletes their opponent’s health bar. If both players have remaining health after the round ends, the winner is the one with the most health. The game may start with two players, or one player can join another already playing.


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Resident Evil (1996)

In 1996, Capcom published Resident Evil for PlayStation, a survival horror game they had created. That game kicked off the entire Resident Evil franchise. The player can pick between Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine as their protagonists in the game. These two people are part of a special task force that goes by the acronym S.T.A.R.S.

In searching for clues as to the whereabouts of their missing teammates, they end themselves in a house overrun with zombies and other monsters on the outskirts of Raccoon City. To learn the estate’s mysteries, the player must explore it, where they will encounter something horrible.


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As the 1990s demonstrated, people’s attention and spending habits switched from board games to video games in that genre. The growth and development of the gaming business in the modern era are primarily attributable to technological advancements. The number of individuals working to improve and expand the video games that millions enjoy is constantly growing.