Hello, I’m here to make you feel old.
I was only eleven years old in 1999, but I’m still under the impression that it was “only a few years ago”. Like, the first American Pie movie came out in 1999. Len’s ‘Steal My Sunshine’ came out in 1999. And Macy Gray’s ‘I Try’. How are all these things 20 years old?
I’ve had to accept that I’m officially quite old, since 20 years is quite a long time ago and these things that feel quite ‘fresh’ to me. And if I’m going down, I’m taking all of you down with me.
What about video games that are 20 years old this year? Games have moved on at a much faster pace than music or movies, so while a song might still feel fresh to us, it’s hard to look back at a 20-year-old video game and think it was only made last year. But still. It turns out 1999 was quite the year with some utterly genre-defining games releasing. Here are some games that released in the year of our lord 1999, making them 20 years old this year.
Enjoy, and please collect your zimmer frame on the way out.
- Super Smash Bros. released in Japan on 21st January 1999 (April in America and November in the UK). Yes, the very first Smash Bros. game is 20.
- Silent Hill released on 31st January 1999 in America (February in the UK and March in Japan) and we’re still having nightmares about it.
- Final Fantasy VIII came out in Japan on 11th February 1999 (September in America and October in the UK), meaning our obsession with Squall’s moodiness has been going on for 20 years.
- Rollercoaster Tycoon, the game that started an entire series of coaster building, came out in America on 31st March 1999 (April in UK).
- Mario Golf for the N64 first tee’d off in June 1999 (July in America, September in UK), making us wonder why more Mario Golf hasn’t been released on the Switch yet.
- The first Soulcalibur released in Japan on 5th August 199, following in September in America and December in the UK.
- Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has haunted our nightmares since 22nd September 1999 (and 11th November 1999 in US. It didn’t release until 21st February 2000 in the UK, making this list entry null and void in the UK. Sorry.)
- Crash Team Racing first brought us bandicoot-themed karting joy on 30th September 1999, which probably explains why we’re getting a remaster this year.
- Grand Theft Auto 2 has been angering parents since 22nd October 1999. There’s still nothing quite like that top-down view of the first GTA games.
- Medal of Honor , the very first one, brought the second world war to our PS1s on 31st October 1999.
- Donkey Kong 64 brought everyone’s favourite gorilla to N64 on 22nd November 1999 (December in UK). Still not as good as Donkey Kong Country though, sorry not sorry.
- Gran Turismo 2 saw light of day in Japan and America in December 1999 (though us folk in the UK had to wait until January 2000), firmly cementing a place for PlayStation’s racing game series in our hearts.
1999 was also the year that the Sega Dreamcast launched, and the year the PS2 was announced. Overall, a pretty good year for gaming.
So, what’ve I learned? That I’m old, and that I’m super glad most video games don’t have such steeped release dates across regions now. Parity is brilliant.