1990 was a big deal. So big that it took me six months to research and write this follow up to the 1989 installment in my “Best Games of the Year” series. Mainly, Nintendo released the Super Famicom in Japan, which would herald the beginning of, what some would argue, is the greatest era of gaming history to date.
10 — Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers
Chip and Dale are chipmunks that start a detective agency, Rescue Rangers, with their friends. The gang deals with crimes that are ‘too small’ for the police to manage, and often fights two particular villains.
9 – Gargoyle’s Quest
Gargoyle’s Quest: Ghosts ‘n Goblins is an action-adventure platform game for the Game Boy. Developed by Capcom, it was released on May 2, 1990, in Japan, then North America in July, and lastly Europe in 1991.
8 – The Secret of Monkey Island
The Secret of Monkey Island is a 1990 point-and-click graphic adventure game developed and published by Lucasfilm Games. It takes place in a fictional version of the Caribbean during the age of piracy.
7 – StarTropics
StarTropics is an action-adventure video game released by Nintendo in 1990 for the NES. Unlike most of Nintendo’s games, it was never released or intended to be released in Japan. It was released only in North America and Europe.
6 – Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is an overhead action-adventure stealth video game released by Konami for the MSX2 computer platform in 1990.
5 – Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a 1990 platform game developed by Sega and released for the Mega Drive/Genesis. An 8-bit version of the game was later released for the Master System and Game Gear. The game follows Mickey Mouse on a quest to save Minnie Mouse from the evil witch Mizrabel.
4 – F-Zero
F-Zero is a futuristic racing video game developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was released in Japan on November 21, 1990, in North America in August 1991, and in Europe in 1992.
3 – Dragon Quest IV
Dragon Quest IV: Chapters of the Chosen, titled Dragon Warrior IV when initially localized to North America, is a role-playing video game, the fourth installment of the Dragon Quest video game series developed by Chunsoft and published by Enix, and the first of the Zenithian Trilogy.
2 – Mega Man 3
Mega Man 3: The End of Dr. Wily!? is an action-platform video game developed and published by Capcom for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the third game of the original Mega Man series and was originally released in Japan on September 28, 1990.
1 – Super Mario World
Super Mario World is a 1990 platform game developed by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The story follows Mario’s quest to save Princess Toadstool and Dinosaur Land from the series’ antagonist Bowser and his minions, the Koopalings.