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All the Games From 1992 You Should Still Be Playing

All the Games From 1992 You Should Still Be Playing

It seems as if every year in the 1990 decade has been pivotal for where gaming is today and 1992 is no different. Street Fighter II continued being the highest-grossing video game worldwide and Europe received the SNES home system. It was a year of lawsuits such as Atari Games Corp. v. Nintendo of America Inc., Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of America, Inc., and Sega v. Accolade. The gaming industry was booming and many influential releases were released this year. Here are all the games from 1992 that you should still be playing today!

Romancing SaGa

©Romancing Saga screenshot

The fourth entry of the critically acclaimed SaGa series, Romancing SaGa was developed and published by Square for the very popular SNES.

The storyline follows eight different protagonists on quests through the world of Mardias, all culminating in a fight against the dark god Saruin. Many fans of JRPGs credit this game with popularizing the SaGa series and even introducing mechanics that are present in later titles. It was the second SNES title released by Square and sold 970,000 copies in Japan and over 1.3 million copies worldwide. If you’re a fan of the SaGa series or even just a fan of retro JRPGs this game is a must-play.

Kirby’s Dream Land

©Kirby’s Dream Land Game Boy cover

The Nintendo Game Boy was the year’s best-selling home system and Kirby’s Dream Land sold just as well.

This title is not only the debut of Kirby but it was the highest-grossing game in the series, with over 5 million copies sold. This game maintained its status as the best-selling Kirby game for 30 years before it was beaten by Kirby and the Forgotten Land. This game was also the debut of admired game designer, Masahiro Sakurai, he intended for this title to be simple enough that anyone could play it. Today, the game is perfect for casual gamers of all ages and is a perfect, accessible, gateway game for those interested in the medium.

Super Mario Kart

2 Player Gameplay of Super Mario Kart.

©Super Mario Kart screenshot – Original / License

Super Mario Kart today is one of the best-selling game franchises of all time and it started humblely with this original release for the SNES.

This title created the mascot/go-kart subgenre of racing games. Super Mario Kart has been ranked among the greatest video games of all time by seemingly every gaming publication. The game was praised for its presentation and use of Mode 7 graphics. In this game, the player takes control of one of eight Mario series characters, each with differing capabilities. The gameplay can still compete with modern racing titles today and with its rerelease on the Nintendo Switch through Nintendo Online, it’s accessible to racing fans today.

Dragon Quest V

The logo of Dragon Quest V.

©The logo of Dragon Quest V. – Original / License

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride was the first game in the series to not be released in America.

The title made it overseas with its Nintendo DS remake but despite being Japan only it was still a very successful release. Dragon Quest V uses basic role-playing video game mechanics seen in the rest of the series, which include leveling up by gaining experience points through battle, first-person turn-based battles, and equipping weapons and armor. This game also introduced the ability to tame monsters and add them to the party. Just like the other games in the series, Dragon Quest V was very popular in Japan on release, the game was so popular people were breaking into stores on release day. With the success of Palword and other monster-taming games, this title should fit right in.

Mortal Kombat

©Screenshot of gameplay – Original

With the success of the series reboot, Mortal Kombat 1, fighting game fans might want to check out the game’s roots.

Mortal Kombat arrived at the perfect time for it. While the arcade release was critically panned, the game thrived on home systems. The developers were able to achieve similar graphic fidelity to the arcade cabinet which is something its contemporaries couldn’t do. Every gamer remembers the first time they saw a Mortal Kombat fatality and this title can be credited with the formation of the ESRB. Alongside Lethal Enforcers and another entry in this article. Today, Mortal Kombat is a window into the early 1990s and a fun nostalgia trip for gamers.

Mega Man V

The Main Menu of Mega Man V.

©The Main Menu of Mega Man V. – Original / License

It should be a no-brainer that multiple Game Boy exclusives would be present in this list. Mega Man V is unique to other Mega Man games in the Game Boy era because it has bosses exclusive to it.

Mega Man V is an action platformer in which the player selects stages in a non-linear fashion and acquires the weapon of each boss defeated to use as their own. Although it plays nearly identically to other games in the series, Mega Man V features a new default weapon, the powerful Mega Arm, and introduces Tango, a new assistant character. Overall, reception to Mega Man V was positive with some critics thinking the game didn’t evolve enough. All in all, if you’re a modern Mega Man fan then you should give Mega Man V a try.

Alone In The Dark

Alone in the Dark Cutscene screenshot.

©Alone in the Dark Cutscene screenshot. – Original / License

Alone In the Dark is the first survival horror game and went on to inspire the heavy hitters of the genre.

Without Alone in the Dark, there would be no Resident Evil. This title is still praised to this day for its eerie music, grim animation, and narrative. The game took inspiration from horror film cinematography with its fixed camera angles. Today, fixed camera angles are seen as a thing from the past or something only available in horror indie games trying to appeal to nostalgia. If you’re a fan of classic survival horror then Alone in the Dark is a must-play.

Wolfenstein 3D

©Wolfenstein 3D title card

Wolfenstein 3D was a critical and commercial success and is considered one of the greatest video games ever made. It garnered numerous awards and sold over 250,000 copies by the end of 1995.

Wolfenstein 3D is a first-person shooter presented with rudimentary 3D graphics. Many fans, see this game as the grandfather of 3D shooters. It can also be credited as one of the games that popularized FPS games. This game has seemingly endless content especially since Apogee, the game’s publisher, released a pack of over 800 fan-created levels. This is THE CLASSIC SHOOTER and if you’re a fan of the classics this game should be in your backlog.

Streets of Rage 2

There are always more enemies to defeat in Streets of Rage
There are always more enemies to defeat in Streets of Rage 2.

©Streets of Rage screenshot

Streets of Rage 2 is not only the best game in its series but is seen by many as one of the greatest games of all time.

Streets of Rage 2 is a side-scrolling beat-em-up. One or two players fight against waves of enemies while picking up weapons and items along the way. Upon release, this game received widespread critical acclaim with it even receiving perfect scores by some Gaming journalism publications. While it seems like everyone loves this title, it does receive criticism for being a bit too easy. Streets of Rage 2 was the perfect co-op game in an era where local co-op was common. Its soundtrack is even praised today as one of the best video game original soundtracks ever. This game holds up still if you’re looking for a fun multiplayer game to play with friends.

Night Trap

Screenshot of the Sega CD version, showing the user interface

©The quality of the FMV footage and the user interface used by the player. – Original / License

Night Trap was originally meant to be a prototype game but it found its footing as a cult classic. The game received mixed reviews with critics referring to it as a “B Movie” with shallow gameplay.

Night Trap has the player observe teenage girls having a sleepover visiting a house that is infested with vampires. The game was one of the principal subjects of a 1993 United States Senate committee hearing on violent video games. Night Trap was cited during the hearing as promoting gratuitous violence and sexual aggression against women. This caused the game to be pulled from retailers and Sega even stopped making copies in the following year. Today, Full Motion Video-focused video games like this one are all but extinct. That doesn’t mean this game should be overlooked. They literally do not make games like this anymore and while it isn’t the most mechanically engaging it still can be enjoyed in the right environment.

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