Greatest Game of 1990: Runners Up

Dr. Mario

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Mario is my favorite puzzle game of all time. Although the single-player mode was fun and engaging, the multiplayer mode is what really makes Dr. Mario superior to Tetris in my opinion.  The impact of Tetris can’t be denied, but I had a lot more fun over the years with Dr. Mario. I still play the game to this day on the Wii, and hopefully we’ll get a version that’s playable on the next generation of online systems akin to Xbox Live. I’d love to play this game against friends with achievements, leaderboards, and voice chat.

Dr. Mario was the clear top runner up of 1990, but some other great games also came out that year.

Maniac Mansion

 

 

 

 

 

A cult classic, Maniac Mansion is, at heart, a puzzle game. Faced with the task of rescuing your girlfriend from the mansion of a crazy family, you first select two friends to bring along for the adventure. I always chose Bernard (the smart nerdy kid) and Razor (the musician). The puzzles were unique and interesting: for example, you’d have to check out a TV program that was looking for a new music star and use Razor to play something on the piano–but first, Bernard would have to fix the recorder. Or you’d use a microwave to steam stamps off a letter and then wait for a package to arrive that would help you get into the next room of the house. The game was a lot of fun to play with other people, as they could help suggest your next move. The replayability factor was also huge, as you could play with different kids or try to accomplish goals in new and interesting ways. Oh, and you could microwave a hamster. That was awesome.

Final Fantasy

 

 

 

 

 

Although the first Final Fantasy wasn’t that great of a game, it’s worth mentioning for the impact it had on the industry alone. Final Fantasy is the best-known RPG franchise ever and had a run of close to 20 years as the greatest group of RPGs ever made.

TMNT: The Arcade Game

 

 

 

 

 

TMNT was my personal favorite arcade game of all time. This is the only game for which I lined up quarters on the cabinet to signify that I was the next person to play. I would always use Donatello because he was my favorite, but the game is best known for allowing four people to play at the same time. TMNT was obviously designed as a quarter-eater because you die often and most of the time through cheap deaths, but this game hit at the height of the Turtles craze, and I was fully addicted at the time. The game eventually came to the NES and was a faithful port of the arcade classic.

Double Dragon II

 

 

 

 

 

Double Dragon II is generally recognized as better than the original because it provided co-op play. Although the arcade version of Double Dragon  had co-op play, the NES version cut it out. The sequel made up for this huge misstep. Personally, I always liked River City Ransom more–it provided RPG elements to a co-op beat ‘em up game–but Double Dragon II was fun if you were looking for a simpler experience.

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