Top 10 Video Games That Are Turning Twenty in 2017

Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean

Feel old yet? Believe it or not, it's been a whole twenty years since these classic titles have been released. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Games That Are Turning 20 This Year!

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Top 10 Video Games That Are Turning Twenty This Year

Two decades on and these classics are still regarded as some of the best that gaming has to offer. Welcome to and today we are counting down our picks for the top ten video games that are turning twenty this year.

For this list, we’ll be looking at games that were released in 1997 in North America that despite their age are still considered landmarks in gaming.

#10: “Grand Theft Auto” (1997)

While these days it’s impossible not associate this juggernaut of the franchise with the likes of its massive 3D Open World Cities, back in its day its original inception may have had less but for the time it still offered up plenty of content. With three distinct cities featuring various missions revolving around multiple criminal syndicates, players could cause as much wanton destruction as they wanted before getting wasted, a core component that has lived on to this day. As you might have imagined the game caused quite the stir with the general public.

#9: “Age of Empires” (1997)

Despite competing alongside many heavy hitters in the real-time strategy genre of the time, Age of Empires still managed to leave its mark, providing a springboard for its flagship franchise to take off. Starting off with only a handful of hunter-gatherers, it’s down to you to ensure your ancient civilisation thrives all the way from the Stone Age all the way to the Iron Age. With multiple campaigns and various civilisations to choose from, this game offered many a player a chance to test themselves as both a provider and conqueror.

#8: “Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back” (1997)

Taking everything that made the first game such a hit with audiences and cranking up the tornado spins, this sequel not only introduced the Warp Room system, but also a while slew of new features that would later later become beloved staples of the series. From collecting crystals and gems, taking out the likes of Neo Cortex and Tiny Tiger, even riding an adorable polar bear through a frozen tundra, Crash’s second outing elevated him to new heights! One that thankfully came with a save system that wasn’t crammed into bonus levels, and analog controls.

#7: “Star Fox 64” (1997)

If Star Fox Zero taught us anything is that until Nintendo gets its act together, this instalment in the interstellar adventures of Fox McCloud stands as out as the best in the series, (Though there is a 3DS remaster but you get the idea). Not only does it feature an engaging campaign that has you soaring through the skies, doing barrel roles and sniping down enemies across various planets, but its rewards & multiplayer offered tonnes of replay value. Even after so many years nothing quite compares to piloting our Arwings, snagging that final medal and taking out Andross’ ugly mug in record time.

#6: “Quake II” (1997)

Despite being a sequel in name only, practically every aspect of the original FPS was improved upon. Gone were the Lovecraftian elements of the first Quake, and in their place was a more sci-horror inspired narrative about a love space Marine fighting his or her way through an alien planet that bore a strange resemblance to the industrialized areas of earth. Anyway – Quake II was a solid follow up in terms of single player, but it’s the multiplayer that secured it’s place in the realm of video game history. Essentially the first eSport, Quake II’s infamous death match mode was the primordial soup from which modern multiplayer games crawled out of – and you did it all on a 56k modem.

#5: “Fallout” (1997)

To truly understand the backlash suffered by Fallout 4, you have to really understand the original Fallout. While Fallout 3, 4 & New Vegas preserved elements of the original in terms of tone, the first Fallout game was a much slower, more punishing RPG, viewed from an Isometric perspective and locked into turn based combat. But what it lacked in pacing it made up for in world-building. This was the first time a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max inspired setting had been convincingly realized in a video game – so convincingly in fact that Fallout secured a reputation of being the quintessential post-apocalyptic franchise for decades to come.

#4: “Mario Kart 64” (1997)

Like a supercharged, mushroom-fuelled fine wine this series has only gotten better with age, but even among some of its excellent entries on the Wii, Mario and company’s racing debut on the N64 remains one of its best. The shift to 3D graphics was a monumental leap for the series, kind of handy since it introduced four player support, allowing for a whole generation of gamers to break friendships as they competed all over the Mushroom Kingdom and beyond. With sixteen race tracks along with plenty of battle modes for those who are tired of winning all those trophies, there’s still plenty on offer even twenty years on.

#3: “Final Fantasy VII” (1997)

Sephiroth is in this game, that’s pretty much all you need to know. A JRPG that has become iconic for its characters, its incredible score, it’s larger than laugh boss battles, its infamous and heartbreaking death scenes, and that one part where Cloud had to dress up as a woman. FemCloud aside, its interwoven story involving The Shinra Company, Avalanche’s attempts to stop it as well as the enigmatic threat of Sephiroth and Jenova offered western audiences a game that was equally thrilling as it was beautiful to behold. Also it had chocobos!

#2: “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” (1997)

Time has indeed been very kind to what many consider to be the greatest entry in the extensive Castlevania franchise, becoming a cult hit that many consider to be in the upper echelons of the Metroidvania genre. As the son of Dracula, Alucard must traverse through his father’s castle and strike down all manner of unholy monsters with various weapons and abilities, including a giant sphere of corpses and even Death itself. Oh, and it has possibly one of the best lines in all of video games! Tell us Dracula, what is a man?

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honourable mentions.

“Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II” (1997)

“Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter” (1997)

“The Curse of Monkey Island” (1997)

#1: “GoldenEye 007” (1997)

James Bond likes his martinis shaken not stirred, and apparently likes his tie-in video games with amazing multiplayer! While the game does indeed has an impressive single player campaign that showed that FPS’ could always successfully incorporate stealth, intricate locations and a true sense of challenge while gunning down waves and waves of minions, what everyone remembers most fondly is its four player deathmatches. Those that were proud owners can attest to at least once screwing friends over just for the chance to land a kill with that Golden Gun! As the game that set a new standard for First Person Shooters on consoles, Goldeneye is easily 1997’s best.

Do you agree with our list? What twenty year old video game do you think is most worthy of remembrance? With new top tens published every day be sure to subscribe to


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