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The Best James Bond Games

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Games that have a licence to thrill

Do you expect me to talk about James Bond? Well, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

The iconic English Spy was first created by writer Ian Fleming, and was first adapted to the big screen in Dr. No. Since then seven different actors have portrayed 007 in the Bond franchise.

But James Bond has become iconic in more than just the book and film business. 007 has appeared in numerous games through the years, starting with Shaken but not Stirred back in 1982. There’s been some forgettable titles, but there’s also been some Bond games that will go down in history for their exciting and iconic 007 moments.

It was my mission to narrow down all these games to pick out the top 10 James Bond games. It wasn’t easy, there was a lot to choose from. But I did it – for Queen, for country, and for you guys currently reading. So forget Pussy Galore; this is 007 Galore!

Shaken but not Stirred

Released in 1982 for the ZX Spectrum, Shaken but not Stirred is a text-based adventure game featuring the iconic British spy. It was actually the first James Bond game ever developed too, and sees the player become 007 as they attempt to stop Dr. No from destroying London with his nuclear weapons.

The game begins with Q offering the player a range of weapons (which is the first of many decisions in the game), and builds up to some highly tense moments. Shaken but not Stirred is a difficult game, and one that will push even the most trained spies to their limits. The first half of the game also allows the player to return to London when needed and gives the player the opportunity to get in to the polished shoes of Bond and make meaningful decisions – ones that 007 is expected to make on a regular basis.

Tomorrow Never Dies

Released in 1999 for PlayStation 1, Tomorrow Never Dies was the first Bond game to be developed by EA. Differing from more recent Bond releases at that time, Tomorrow Never Dies uses a third-person camera, but still keeps the shooter gameplay style that made other 007 games so successful.

Tomorrow Never Dies strays away from the story of the film with the same name, but still includes many Bond-esque moments, such as huge set pieces where 007 takes out a helicopter. Tomorrow Never Dies lacks a multiplayer mode, but it keeps in tradition with the James Bond franchise by including certain set pieces from the ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ film, even if the story differs.

007 Racing

Released in 2000 for PlayStation 1, 007 Racing is the only James Bond racing game to have been developed, and it stands out in the 007 franchise due to this. 007 Racing features some of the most iconic cars from the Bond films, and some returning characters too. But what makes 007 Racing really stand out is the story.

007 Racing is not just a series of non-connected races, but it’s a racing game that ties together the races with a layered plot. Bond is on a mission to stop a hijack of NATO weapons, to prevent them being smuggled to terrorists. This story takes Bond all across the globe, and makes each level and race feel important. 007 Racing is the best Bond game to feature 007’s most loved cars.

James Bond 007

Released in 1998 for Nintendo Game Boy, James Bond 007 is an action and adventure game that features Bond characters from a variety of the films. The player has a whole arsenal of weapons to choose from, and a range of gadgets too. This top-down Bond game may not be linked to one specific film, but it captures the 007 feel perfectly.

James Bond 007 also features a casino minigame which is highly entertaining, and brilliantly Bond. But the main plot focuses around 007 finding stolen weapons and returning them, in a series of events that include speedboats, submarines, planes and secret bases. The combat also allows for Bond to show off his karate skills. James Bond 007 is one of the best handheld Bond games around.

James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire

Released in 2001 for PlayStation 2, and 2002 for the Xbox and Gamecube, James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire doesn’t tie in to a Bond film or novel, but EA created its own story for the game. The plot revolves around a secret company in Switzerland, called Poseidon, which works on cloning, and has a sector of the operation based on discovering top secret details about MI6.

James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire features a range of gadgets that the player can use, and most are hidden away in Bond’s mobile phone, which he always carries. But the majority of the gameplay is based on combat, primarily shooting. James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire feels slick, fast, and action orientated, making it a great Bond game despite not being related to a specific film from the franchise.

James Bond 007: The Duel

Released in 1993 for the Sega Mega Drive and Master System, James Bond 007: The Duel is a side-scrolling action game based on Bond saving a variety of hostages. Bond is also tasked with placing bombs in specific areas of the levels in order to destroy the hidden bases.

In James Bond 007: The Duel, the main antagonist is a Scientist named Mad Professor Gravemar. He has attacked a main satellite launch, and disrupted the government’s plans. James Bond 007: The Duel has previous Bond villains as Gravemar’s henchmen, and this makes for some iconic duels and boss fights. Each level is unique, with locations varying from hidden bases in volcanoes to widespread jungle. James Bond 007: The Duel is a brilliant mix of Bond villains and action.

James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing

Released in 2004 for Xbox, Gamecube and PlayStation 2, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing is only the second Bond game to be third-person (the first being Tomorrow Never Dies) and features the likeness of Pierce Brosnan. Impressively, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing also features voice work from Brosnan, Judi Dench and John Cleese. There’s also a highly entertaining co-operative mode which makes James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing arguably one of the best Bond multiplayer experiences.

James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing features cover shooting, a range of gadget-based actions, and even some driving sequences. The main premise of James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing is that a group of criminals has stolen nanotechnology and plan to sell this to terrorists. Through a range of highly entertaining levels, the player takes down this criminal operation in what is a highly tense and enjoyable story. James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing features great likeness to the Bond films, and features a brilliantly Bond plot too.

GoldenEye 007 (2010)

Released in 2010 for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, GoldenEye 007 was developed as a re-imagining of the original Nintendo 64 game. GoldenEye 007 did share some similar levels to the original, but it included many more modern gameplay features and a wider range of levels.

GoldenEye 007 included an online multiplayer mode similar in format to a Call of Duty release. Despite not being as slick as some of its competitors, GoldenEye 007 featured a highly compelling online component that made it a big success. It might not be as brilliant as the original, but GoldenEye 007 offers a fantastic story, the best online multiplayer in any Bond game, and one of the best modern 007 experiences.

The World is Not Enough

Released in 2000 for Nintendo 64 and PlayStation 1, The World is Not Enough was seen as the spiritual successor to GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64. Released after Perfect Dark, The World is Not Enough takes the gameplay further by including more nuanced shooting mechanics, and a deeper story.

The World is Not Enough was visually stunning at the time, and the N64 version also included some fast paced splitscreen action. The plot centres around Bond stopping a nuclear meltdown taking place, and features 14 unique levels. The story loosely follows the plot of the film, but detours a bit to add new objectives to each level. The World is Not Enough features a great story, challenging objectives, and great gameplay too. It’s the second best Bond game there’s ever been.

GoldenEye 007 (1997)

Released in 1997 for Nintendo 64, GoldenEye 007 is not only the best James Bond game of all time, but it may very well be the best Nintendo 64 game of all time. It’s a defining game in the shooter genre. GoldenEye 007 is loosely based on the film, but includes a variety of different levels which focus on Bond taking out various enemies from the Soviet Union.

There’s so many iconic settings in GoldenEye 007, and perhaps these are most well remembered from the splitscreen multiplayer experience. Including a range of different options (from Golden Gun to slaps only), the multiplayer experience offers hours upon hours of fun. Whether playing GoldenEye 007 in single or multiplayer, it’s the best Bond game there’s ever been. It’s a true FPS classic, and maybe one of the most influential games of all time.

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