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Top 10 Video Games of the 5th Generation

VO: Dan Paradis
It took 5 generations of systems to perfect 3 dimensions. And the era where we started to see Full Motion videos, more mature games and 4 players as standard. Join with Part 3 of our Top Video Games of All Time Series, as we countdown our picks for the top 10 games of the 5th Generation. (Sony Playstation, Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn, Gameboy Color, and PC games between 1996-2000

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Top 10 Games of the 5th Generation

It took 5 generations to really perfect 3 dimentions. Welcome to Watchmojo, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Games of the 5th Generation.

When taking into consideration the consoles of this generation, we included games from the Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation, Gameboy Colour, and Sega Saturn, as well as PC games released between 1996 and 2000. As you might expect, now we’re getting to the stage where only the games that are the best of the best can make it onto the list. Don’t believe us? Just look at the 10th entry.

#10: “Super Mario 64” (1996)

See what we mean? That's how tough the competition is when Mario only makes number 10. His first foray into 3D was monumental, where Princess Peach’s Castle served as the backdrop to all the levels included. From the title screen where you manipulate Mario’s face to the final epic showdown with Bowser, Super Mario 64 was the first big game to come out in the 5th Generation, as well as one of the most innovative for movement in a 3D environment.

#9: “Pokemon Gold and Silver” (1999)

Taking the formula of the original Red & Blue and improving it, Pokemon Gold & Silver took the gaming world by storm as the new Johto region introduced 100 new creatures to capture. With more gyms and added features such as a time system and breeding new companions, along with the new Steel-type and Dark-type Pokemon, this sequel is jam-packed and remains as of the best of this handheld franchise.

#8: “Final Fantasy VII” (1997)

The first 3D entry in this classic RPG series, Final Fantasy VII brings us some of the finest story-telling and character development seen in video games, along with amazing art style, the materia battle system, a fantastic musical score. The game follows Cloud and his team of rebels who try and bring down Shinra, a corporation that drains the planet’s life, while a larger threat looms in one of the franchises most iconic villains: Sephiroth.

#7: “Resident Evil 2” (1998)

Introducing series favourites Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, Resident Evil 2 takes place a few months after the events of the first game in Raccoon City. Players explore a zombie infested town’s police station, trying to uncover the secrets behind the Umbrella Corporation’s T-Virus. The puzzles, the amount of zombies, limited ammo in your possession, and an atmosphere of dread that haunts us to this day, make this game a survival horror masterpiece.

#6: “Starcraft” (1998)

The real time strategy game that made e-sports a global phenomenon, in Starcraft, Three Galactic factions battle it out for dominance in the Koprulu Sector. Players manage their resources, construct their bases and engage in various modes such as death match and capture the flag. A huge learning curve, clear graphics and an brilliant balancing make this sci-fi epic one of the best Real Time Strategy games ever.

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

Symphony of the Night revived the series and spawned a new genre known as Metroidvania games. Players assume the role of Alucard, as you explore Dracula’s Castle in order to find and defeat him. No longer are whips the weapon of choice, as swords and shields have taken over, along with magic and and the ability to transform into mist, wolves and bats. Explore the beautifully-detailed non-linear castle – right side up or inverted.

#4: “GoldenEye 007” (1997)

Yes it came out 2 years after the release of the film it was adapting, but few could argue that it became arguably the best film-to-video game adaptation ever. Although we also enjoy its spiritual successor, Perfect Dark, playing as classic Bond characters in multiplayer deathmatches was the icing on the cake to the game that revolutionised multiplayer shooters on consoles.

#3: “Half-Life” (1998)

Half-Life follows Dr. Gordon Freeman, a theoretical physicist working at an underground research facility, Black Mesa. Hay hits the fan as his work messes with time and space, creating a portal from which deadly aliens emerge. Epic in scale, it was revolutionary for its scripted events that continued to tell its story, without shifting to cutscenes. We are still left pondering one thing: Who is G-Man?

#2: “Metal Gear Solid” (1998)

When a complex, intricate storyline with twists and turns galore, combined with amazing stealth-action gameplay; gamers were truly blessed with Metal Gear Solid. Revolutionary in-game cut scenes for its time tell the story of Solid Snake as he infiltrates a nuclear weapons facility to stop a team of terrorists. With memorable scenes and boss fights throughout this Playstation gem forgoes the run and gun cliché in favour of stealth gameplay top off this impeccably presented masterpiece.

Before we reveal our number one game of the 5th Generation, here’s a look at some of our Honourable Mentions:
“Diablo 2” (2000)
“Star Fox 64” (1997)
“Nights Into Dreams…” (1996)
“Mario Kart 64” (1996)
“System Shock 2” (1999)

#1: “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” (1998)

What else could top this list than a game that is considered to be one of the best of all time? With a flawless combat system that few games can even come close to, Ocarina of Time remains untouchable to this day. Although we loved the masks and the importance of time in Majora’s Mask, the unparalleled dungeon design and use of music with the Ocarina, along with many memorable characters, easily makes this game a very strong contender for our best games of all time list.

Do you agree with our list? If you didn’t see your favourite game on here check out our lists for Top 10 PS1 and N64 games to see who didn’t make the cut, and for more awesome Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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