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My list of "must play" games released before 1994 (PS1 release year).

greencoder

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145 titles from 1985 to 1993. I have another list for 1994-1999 games. If the game has a good official remake/remaster, then I put it instead. The brackets contain the platform or release date of the remake/remaster.

Final Fantasy III (2006)
Final Fantasy IV (2007)
Final Fantasy V Advance (2006)
Illusion of Gaia
Secret of Mana
Ys: The Oath in Felghana (2005)
Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete (1996)
Sega Ages: Phantasy Star (2018)
Phantasy Star II
Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (2017)
Dragon Quest III: The Seeds of Salvation (1996)
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen (2007)
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (2008)
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth Of Worlds
Ultima VII: The Black Gate
Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle
Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos
Wasteland Remastered (2020)
Betrayal at Krondor
Darklands
NetHack
Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon (2004)
Shining Force II
Shadowrun (SNES)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Mortal Kombat II (SNES)
Doom
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar
Salamander
U.N. Squadron
Gunstar Heroes
X-Men (1992)
Jackal
ActRaiser
Sunset Riders (SNES)
Contra
Super C
Contra III: The Alien Wars
Battletoads (NES)
The Simpsons (Arcade)
The Punisher (Arcade)
Cadillacs & Dinosaurs
Splatterhouse 3
River City Ransom
Streets of Rage
Streets of Rage 2
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES)
Another World - 20th Anniversary Edition (2013)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap (2017)
Wonder Boy in Monster World
Landstalker
Popful Mail (CD)
Rock N' Roll Racing (SNES)
Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster's Hidden Treasure
Disney's Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
DuckTales: Remastered (2013)
Disney's Aladdin (Genesis)
Disney's Aladdin (SNES)
The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
QuackShot Starring Donald Duck
The Revenge of Shinobi
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
Rocket Knight Adventures
Prince of Persia (PC)
Flashback (2018)
Blaster Master
Ninja Gaiden (NES)
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
Bionic Commando Rearmed (2008)
The Lost Vikings
Little Samson
Little Nemo: The Dream Master
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land (2002)
The Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Castlevania
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
Super Castlevania IV
Castlevania: Rondo of Blood
Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis)
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis)
Sonic CD
Mega Man Powered Up (2006)
Mega Man 2
Mega Man 3
Mega Man 4
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6
Mega Man Maverick Hunter X (2005)
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Advance (2001)
Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (2001)
Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (2003)
StarTropics
The Guardian Legend
The Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (2019)
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen
Metroid: Zero Mission (2004)
Metroid: Samus Returns (2017)
Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)
Lemmings (Amiga, DOS)
Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty
Syndicate (1993)
Master of Orion (1993)
Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters
Crystalis
ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron
ToeJam & Earl
Snatcher
Loom
Simon the Sorcerer
Sam & Max Hit the Road
Myst: Masterpiece Edition (1999)
The Legend of Kyrandia: Hand of Fate
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Conquests of the Longbow: The Legend of Robin Hood
Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero
Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire
Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder
King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow
Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers
Space Quest V: The Next Mutation
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders
Maniac Mansion
Day of the Tentacle Remastered (2016)
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (2009)
Monkey Island 2 Special Edition: LeChuck's Revenge (2010)

What else would you add?
 
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greencoder

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Last edited:

EightBit Man

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No love for the original Metal Gear OP?

Gradius I - III
Axelay
Parodius
Batman
Batman Returns
Kabuki Quantum Fighter
Low G Man
Gargoyle's Quest I and II
....

Sorry man, too many to mention. lol
 
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kingbean

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I know, but I have another list for games from 1994 to 1996. And starting with 1997 I separate every gaming year. In this post I just wanted to share REALLY old games.

In the list.

Too NEW.

Bloodlines March 1994
Beyond Oasis December 1994

Oh before 1994, not up to 1994.

I'm very tired.
 
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Lucumo

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Shadowrun on the SNES instead of the Shadowrun on the Mega Drive which is pretty faithful to the source material, yikes. Don't think I saw any text adventures either...same with dungeon crawlers like Wizardry, Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, Madou Monogatari etc.
 
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greencoder

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Shadowrun on the SNES instead of the Shadowrun on the Mega Drive which is pretty faithful to the source material, yikes. Don't think I saw any text adventures either...same with dungeon crawlers like Wizardry, Dungeon Master, Eye of the Beholder, Madou Monogatari etc.
No love for the original Metal Gear OP?
I can’t love what I didn’t play. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Bloodlines March 1994
Beyond Oasis December 1994
List of the games released before 1994.
 
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eot

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Sid Meier's Civilization

Anyway, that many Mega Man games are _must play_?
 
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greencoder greencoder cool, fair enough.

Well, I'll nominate Cosmology of Kyoto (DOS, 1992). Highly atmospheric point-and-click adventurer with very strong horror overtones and stooped in Japanese mythology and history. Even has entries for detailed descriptions on many of the things which appear in the game itself. Very easy to play on modern systems thanks to a fan patch you can download by simply searching for it on Google.

If you did truly unique games (especially with strong horror elements), PLAY THIS GAME!!!





 

TexMex

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Really recommend Breath of Fire 2. It’s on Switch Online now too.
 

Evil Calvin

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142 titles. Just wanted to share it. If the game has a good official remake/remaster, then I put it instead. The brackets contain the platform or release date of the remake/remaster.


Sid Meier's Pirates! (2004)

I would much rater go with Pirates! Gold from 1993

You need a LOT more PC games!!

Descent, Myst, X-Com, 7th Guest, Under a Killing Moon, Kings Bounty......etc.....
 

DadEggs

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nba jam

edit: actually, maybe just make a new list for best MP games and put this one on that.

is 94 the last year or no games in 94?

donkey kong country is 94
 
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NOLA_Gaffer

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Nightmare in Dreamland is fine, but Kirby's Adventure is really something special and I'd take it over the remake any day.
 
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DadEggs

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superhero league of hoboken ?
ecoquest ?
Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist ?
lands of lore?
champions of xanth?
death gate?

also, i think the original Shining force 1 is superior to the remake. the remake breaks a bunch of shit imo
 
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Rubberwald

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Glad to see Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters. That was probably the game I played the most at the time, even though my favorites where Lucasarts adventures.
 

Traianvs

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Dark Sun : shattered lands and it's sequel, wake of the ravager.
Two great old school SSI rpgs.
Anyway, great list and amazing suggestions.

God I love this forum sometimes
 
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xpresstuning

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Nice list, you've even mentioned Popful Mail, which is an underrated gem of a video game. And Lightening Force: Quest for the Darkstar ... hm, no, that regional name should not be mentioned - list it as it deserves: Thunder Force IV (one of the greatest shoot 'em ups ever made).

I'd also highly, highly recommend you try out these as well, and add them to your list:

Battle Mania Daiginjou ( ['93, SEGA Mega Drive] one of the greatest shoot 'em ups ever made along side Thunder Force IV and one of the best games on the Mega Drive period)


Alisia Dragoon ( ['92, Mega Drive] part shooter, platformer and RPG, incredibly good video game with surprisingly varied level design and another essential pick as one of the best of the 16bit gen, easily)
 

greencoder

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Bakkus

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Sweet Home for NES? Also, I find it weird to include remastered versions of games when many of them are inferior. Like those SNES to GBA ports.
 

DadEggs

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whats your criteria for "must play" just wondering....

like do hte games have to have aged well? or are just perfect examples of genres that gamers should experience to appreciate the evolution of the industry
 
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Old ass Eye of the Beholder games on PC that came out in the early 90s. They should be Abandonware games by now.

They are real time-ish kinds of games where you got to click on attacks and spells.

Excellent graphics for it's time.

If you want to skip the party system (cumbersome for some gamers), find the game Dungeon Hack which is similar to these Eye games. It gets repetitive as it's a random SP dungeon crawl with zero story.



 
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