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The Best Games of the 1990s

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Gaming has changed a lot in the last 30 years. From pixels to polygons, from barely workable 3D to incredibly complex gaming worlds, and from 16-bit soundtracks to fully orchestrated scores. One thing has been consistent for the last three decades though, and that has been the games. For every change in technology, growth in ambition, and exciting new idea, there have been men and women who took games to the next level and created some of the greatest games we’ve ever played in the process.

With this spirit in mind, we’ve decided to go back over the last 30 years with the gift of hindsight. Our editors selected 6 games from each year that we thought best encapsulated it. Our criteria included new ground broken, lasting impact, fun factor, general quality, influence, popularity and a whole host of other criteria. It was hard going, but we managed to narrow it down to a mere 6 from every single year. 1 winner and 5 runners-up. We then asked our writers to choose the best game of each of the last 3 decades years. Now, with the votes tallied and the list prepared, we offer it to you. Some of our picks may be divisive, and others may be safe as houses, but the democratic process won out, and these are our picks for Goomba Stomp’s favorite games of the last quarter-century. Here are the best games of the 1990s.

1990) Super Mario Bros. 3

The Best Games of the 1990s

Super Mario Bros 3 is often considered to be the best video game of the 8-bit generation and with reason. It introduced so many new ideas and for its time, the game was beyond anything you could ever dream of with eight worlds and seventy-plus ingenious levels of side-scrolling awesomeness. It introduced new power-ups and various suits Mario can use inside the levels, including the super leaf which turns Mario into Raccoon Mario, letting him fly, glide, and tail whip – and the fan-favorite, the Tanooki suit, which gives Mario the same abilities as the super leaf, but also lets him briefly turn into a statue protecting him from danger. Meanwhile, the frog suit allows you to swim very quickly underwater and jump higher while on land, and the hammer suit turns Mario into Hammer Mario, letting him throw powerful hammers and block fireballs by crouching.

In Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario could now slide down hills, knocking down enemies who get in his way, and the powerups from the original game also make an appearance. Also new to the series were mini-games, an overhead map screen to track progress and collectible warp whistles that teleport you to later worlds in the game. In addition, is the music box which puts enemies on the map to sleep and the anchor used to stop the Koopaling’s airship from flying around the map so that you don’t have to chase it. Jugern’s Cloud allows you to skip a level and Kuribo’s Shoe, easily one of the most beloved power-ups in Mario history, can be found in only one level!

The familiar Mario sound effects are present and accounted for, along with a batch of new musical compositions concocted by Koji Kondo and dozens of new enemies like Boom Booms, Boos and Chain Chomps make their very first appearance in the Nintendo universe. In my opinion, it is a near-perfect video game crammed with so much to see and so much to do. It is hands down the best in the Super Mario series— a masterpiece, full of innovation, surprises and a game that will forever stand the test of time. (Ricky D)

Runners-Up: Mega Man 3, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos, The Secret of Monkey Island, Startropics

1991) Super Mario World

The Best Games of the 1990s

There are about eight Mario adventures that could easily be listed within the lexicon of the greatest games ever made, and Super Mario World, released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System sits on that list. Super Mario World helped define the 16-bit era, transforming the classic Mario formula into something bigger, faster, brighter, and some would say, better. It proved that Nintendo could deviate away from a traditional formula and still have a massive hit on their hands. And for this reason alone, Super Mario World is one of the most important games Nintendo has ever released. It gave them the confidence to continuously experiment, even if it was at the expense of their now iconic mascot. It also helped the Super NES sell millions of units while teens were desperately trying to decide between purchasing either the Super NES or the Sega Genesis.

What makes the Super Mario series so great is Nintendo’s insistence in finding new ways to expand upon its basic concepts in unexpected ways. Super Mario World managed to push the boundaries and exceeded the expectations of gamers back in 1992. Following up on the brilliance of Super Mario Bros. 3 was no easy feat but Nintendo pulled it off with great success. I think it’s safe to say that Super Mario World is the apex of 16-bit platforming and set the bar impossibly high for any future 16-bit releases. (Ricky D)

Runners-Up: Another World, Final Fantasy IV, F-Zero, Street Fighter II, Super Castlevania IV

1992) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

The Best Games of the 1990s

Back in 1993, A Link to the Past did many things other games had never done before it, and in many ways, A Link to the Past was the Zelda game that would lay down the blueprint for other entries to follow. A Link to the Past puts its contemporaries to shame, which is quite a claim when you consider the library the Super Nintendo boasts. There are easily more dungeons to explore in this game than any other games in the series, and each of those labyrinths is vibrantly rendered. Kazuaki Morita, who would go on to become a permanent fixture in the Zelda franchise, did an incredible job in creating a new multi-level geometry for Link to roam around. Every dungeon in the game is overflowing with intricately-layered platforms, a wide variety of enemies, and a healthy dose of complex puzzles. One could say that A Link to the Past is the ultimate dungeon-crawling game.

It was also a graphical showcase at the time, full of diverse environments and detailed sprites. The sound design, too, is a work of genius. Koji Kondo’s compositions here are legendary, and A Link to the Past helped to establish the musical score of the Zelda series. Meanwhile, the game introduced elements to the series that are still commonplace today, such as the concept of an alternate or parallel world, the Master Sword, and several new weapons and items for Link to use. Released to critical and commercial success, A Link to the Past was a landmark title for Nintendo and established a formula for adventure games that balanced exploration, storytelling, item acquisition, and puzzle-solving. It’s a formula still followed today, and not just in the series, but by many other game developers worldwide. In the Zelda canon — which, in my opinion, consists of six masterpieces — this 16-bit adventure is still by far the best in the series. (Ricky D)

Runners-Up: Alone in the Dark, Contra III: The Alien Wars, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Super Mario Kart, Wolfenstein 3D

1993) Doom

The Best Games of the 1990sDoom is not the original first-person shooter, but it’s undeniably the most significant. The continued prevalence of FPS titles in 2019, 26 years after its release, exist as an ongoing tribute to the phenomenal impact of id software’s blockbuster shooter. It caused tidal waves in the PC gaming industry, set an unparalleled standard for 3D gaming, and made rock stars out of its small team of developers and programmers.

Time has been astonishingly kind to Doom, and this can be attributed to the unfiltered vision and unrelenting work ethic of id. Wanting nothing but the fastest, bloodiest, most visceral and badass video game possible, the team created an experience that still encapsulates every bit of their mantra to this day. It remains a blistering, brutal blast of pure adrenaline that’s as infinitely playable on its recent Switch port as it is in a web browser.

Looking at pretty much any screenshot of Doom will bring memories flooding back, as so much of the game’s visuals are truly iconic. The coloured key cards, the grotesque monsters, the Doom Guy avatar at the bottom of the screen, the BFG – everything on display is memorable, and without any semblance of a story to carry it all.

Doom’s method of gameplay over story quintessentially embodies the early philosophy of id software, where, “Story in a game is like story in a porn movie; it’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important.” That may be less of the case today, but back in 1993 it was unquestionably true. Doom’s influence has, and will continue to, echo through the ages thanks to its revolutionary gameplay and unabashed focus on big f’n guns and lots of f’n fun. (Alex Aldridge)

Runners-Up: Mortal Kombat II, Mega Man X, Myst, Secret of Mana, Star Fox

1994) Super Metroid

The Best Games of the 1990s

The bodies of dead scientists lie strewn across the floor. Leering strings echo in the background, mingling with the shrill screeches of the last Metroid. Super Metroid thrives on creating such an unsettling atmosphere. A masterwork of worldbuilding, it presents an eerily explorable planet unlike anything before it. In doing so, it also became one of the few games that can truly be said to have begun its own genre.

Super Metroid’s brilliance boils down to its setting – the desolate Planet Zebes. It is a silent planet, one that tells its own stories through its environment alone. From the ruins of the fallen Chozo society to the distorted remains of failed Space Pirate experiments, Zebes is filled with muted monuments of its tragic history. With its ominous visuals and its ambient, percussive soundtrack, it creates an alien environment that encourages players to uncover more of its past.

Progress through Zebes isn’t siphoned off into segmented levels as in other action games of the time. Instead, Super Metroid presents a masterfully interconnected world that can be explored in any direction – provided that one has the items necessary to overcome the game’s many obstacles. As the player becomes more powerful with every new item or ability, the world opens up further, exposing more of its mysteries and hidden depths. It’s this marriage of exploration and worldbuilding that makes the gameplay loop so intoxicating, even a quarter of a century after its release.

For 25 years, countless games have proudly dubbed themselves “Metroidvanias” as they strive to emulate Super Metroid’s signature seamless design. Yet even with so many successors, Super Metroid remains the pinnacle of the genre it fostered. Few games have created a world as engrossing and worthy of exploring as Zebes. (Campbell Gill)

Runners-Up: Donkey Kong Country, Earthworm Jim, Earthbound, Final Fantasy VI, Sim City 2000

1995) Chrono Trigger

The Best Games of the 1990s

Few RPGs inspire as warm memories as Chrono Trigger does. It makes sense too, Chrono Trigger arrived at a time when the world needed a game just like it. Final Fantasy VI is a great game, but it lacks the polish and vision of a game like this. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy VII was a ground-breaking game-changer, but its experimental development means that it hasn’t aged as well as we might like.

Chrono Trigger is the perfect sweet spot between the two. Crafted by the dream team of Yoshinori Kitase, Takashi Tokita, and Akihiko Matsui, Chrono Trigger benefited from having the best and brightest in the business at the helm, and a bevy of talented outliers contributing in other facets. Akira Toriyama of Dragonball Z fame designed the characters, while one of a kind composers Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda concocted the score.

A timeless tale of a group of misfits who take up the call of all of humanity without even being asked, Chrono Trigger is an unforgettable experience, a game that is as timeless as its characters journey. (Mike Worby)

Runners-Up: Civilization II, Command and Conquer, Donkey Kong Country 2, Warcraft II, Yoshi’s Island

1996) Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64

In many ways, Super Mario 64 is the definitive video game. As a technical showcase, it simultaneously ushered the best-selling video game series and the medium as a whole into the third dimension, redefining the very notion of what games could be. As a design marvel, it remains one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time and continues to influence countless successors, from games in its own series such as Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Odyssey, to non-Nintendo games such as Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro, Crash Bandicoot, and A Hat in Time.

Nearly twenty-five years later, Super Mario 64 remains a joy to play and for many series vets it still features the most responsive and flexible controls, most memorable worlds, most quintessential tunes, and most satisfying missions. From first landing on the castle lawn to discovering Yoshi on its roof, Super Mario 64 is full of unforgettable moments that will remain forever lodged into the collective subconscious of 90s kids and gaming culture. (Kyle Rentschler)

Runners-Up: Crash Bandicoot, Mario Kart 64, Pokemon Red & Blue, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider

1997) Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

The Best Games of the 1990s

Sometimes the best strategy for a franchise is simply to take up someone else’s ball and run with it. Such was the case with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. After Super Metroid redefined its own genre, the previously level-based Castlevania decided to take that concept and evolve it further. Birthed from this experiment was the most memorable and successful game in the franchise, an outlier that saw us playing as one of Dracula’s own instead of one of the Belmonts.

Set free in Dracula’s castle as his very own son, players flew, floated, and ran toward their destiny, in hopes of committing a melancholic patricide that would only be diminished by the hilariously bad voice acting that accompanied it. Today, even those glaring flaws are looked upon with loving nostalgia. Such is the quality of a game like Symphony of the Night, a game so enduring that it could inspire a successor over 20 years later.

While everyone else was concentrating on the next realm of game development, Koji Igarashi focused on making the best version of Castlevania he could, without abandoning the look and style the series had come to be known for. The results speak for themselves. (Mike Worby)

Runners-Up: Final Fantasy VII, Goldeneye, Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey, Parappa the Rapper, Tekken 3

1998) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Best Games of the 1990s

Few games hold their value with as much longevity as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. To this day, it remains the basis for virtually every major 3D action-adventure game. Even within its own franchise, Ocarina of Time tends to tower above other entries. Not because it has yet to be topped, but because it set such an all-around high benchmark for quality. 

Where other games have surpassed Ocarina of Time’s individual mechanics, very few rivals how cohesive and balanced the complete game still is. A slower text crawl does lead to a much slower experience overall, but Ocarina of Time is a game that thrives on its smaller moments. Every beat, every cutscene, and every dungeon meld together into an unforgettably epic adventure.  (Renan Fontes)

Runners-Up: Grim Fandango, Half-Life, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 2, StarCraft

1999) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

Best Games of the 90s

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is as much a time capsule as it is a video game. It’s a remnant of an era when the millennium was young, life was rad, the future was irrelevant, and goofing off was life. It got the punk kids into skating, the skater kids into video games, and the gamers into both. It truly exemplifies a period in time where my life aligned with this video game on practically every level.

As far as skateboarding games go, even within its own franchise, it’s fairly rudimentary. It lacks a lot of important features that were added in later installments like manuals and reverts, but its simplicity helps mark it as a timeless classic – one that can be easier to pick back up than riding… well, not a bike, but it’s definitely easier than riding an actual skateboard. What it lacks in complexity, it more than makes up for in a tight, responsive control system that made virtual skateboarding feel refined and ready for intense, skill-based chaos.

THPS boasts some of the most iconic levels and music in the series’ history and the majority of it is imprinted in my brain at this point, even if it took me years to hear the bridge in Goldfinger’s ‘Superman’ thanks to the two-minute time limit on Warehouse. Long before activities could be gamified, Neversoft was putting collectibles and hidden secrets into a skate park. It created this bite-sized chunk of adrenaline that could be repeated over and over again, much like trying to nail the perfect skateboard trick. It adhered perfectly to the short attention spans of young punks and skaters, and it was endlessly addictive.

THPS is not just an important game in terms of establishing a genre, but it’s an important game for an entire generation of people who grew up on Bart Simpson and Bam Margera, Offspring and NOFX, Osiris and DC, Jackass and CKY, Sega and Nintendo. Skating has never been as big, and the series has all but died a death after the repugnant fifth entry a few years ago, but nothing can kill the memory of playing THPS back on PS1. Gaming and skating collectively will never be as gnarly again. (Alex Aldridge)

Runners-Up: Chrono Cross, Final Fantasy VIII, Planescape: Torment, Silent Hill, System Shock 2 

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Best Games of the 1990s | Best Games of the 2000s | Best Games of the 2010s
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Dave

    August 8, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Good to see games like Oddworld, Otherworld, and Myst on here even if they didn’t win. They aren’t the typical mainstream games you would see on this list!

    • Mike Worby

      August 8, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks Dave, we worked our asses off to try and select the most important games of each year, using a wide bracket of qualifiers.

  2. Danny Goulter

    September 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    That screenshot of Mario 64 is from a rom hack of the game called Super Mario 64: Star Road.

    I googled the image when I was sure that I couldn’t recognise that level geometry from the game.

    • Ricky Fernandes da Conceição

      September 23, 2019 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks, Danny. We will fix this now.

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‘Coffee Talk’ Review: The Best Brew in Town

Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen.

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It’s 9:00pm. The rain just started coming down softly a few minutes ago, and the street outside is reflecting the lights above it. Neon signs shine brightly in the distance, although it’s hard to make out the words. You unlock the doors to the coffee shop and wipe down the counters in order to get them clean for the customers. The rain makes a soft sound as it hits the glass and passerby speed up their walking pace to avoid it. The bells chime as a tall, green orc walks in and sits down at your table in silence. You wonder what their story is…

I wanted to set the tone for this review because of how important atmosphere and audio/visual design is in the world of Coffee Talk. While it’s easy to boil the game down as a visual novel-type experience, it’s honestly so much more than that. A unique cast of characters, incredible user interface, and a mysterious protagonist combine to form the most enjoyable experience I’ve had this year on Switch.

Coffee Talk
Some of the subject matter can be pretty serious in nature…

Coffee Talk is beautiful because of how simple it is. The entire game takes place within a single coffee shop. As the barista, you’re tasked with making drinks for the patrons of the shop as well as making conversations with them. The twist is that earth is populated with creatures like orcs, werewolves, and succubi. The relationship between the various races is handled very well throughout the story, and some interesting parallels are made to the real world.

Making drinks is as simple as putting together a combination of three ingredients and hitting the ‘Serve’ button. If a unique drink is made, it will be added to a recipe list that can be referenced on the barista’s cell phone. This is where the awesome user interface comes in, as the phone has a series of apps that can be accessed at any moment in the game. One app houses your recipe list, another acts as a facebook for the characters in the game, one allows you to switch between songs, and the other houses a series of short stories that one of the characters in the game writes as it progresses. It’s one of the coolest parts of the whole experience and helps it stand out from other games in the genre.

Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen.

Coffee Talk cycles between talking with customers and making drinks for them. In the beginning, they will ask for basic beverages that can be brewed on the fly. Later on however, they may ask for a specific type of drink that has a unique title. These drinks often have certain descriptive features that hint at other possibilities in terms of unique dialogue. If the wrong drink is made, you’ll have five chances to trash it and make a new one. If the wrong drink is made, don’t expect the customer to be pleased about it.

The gameplay really is not the focus here though; it’s the characters and their stories that take center stage. An elf with relationship issues, a writer that can’t seem to pin down her next story, and an alien whose sole goal is to mate with an earthling are just a few of the examples of the characters you’ll meet during the story. There are tons of memorable moments throughout Coffee Talk, with every character bringing something unique to the table. The barista develops an interesting relationship with many of these characters as well.

Coffee Talk
Appearances can often be deceiving in this game.

Even though serving the wrong drinks can change some of the dialogue, don’t expect any sort of options or branching paths in terms of the story. It’s not that kind of experience; the story should simply be enjoyed for what it is. I found myself glued to the screen at the end of each of the in-game days, waiting to see what would happen in the morning. The first playthrough also doesn’t answer all of the game’s questions, as the second one is filled with all kinds of surprises that I won’t spoil here.


Coffee Talk is as quaint as your local coffee shop. It’s relatively short, wonderfully sweet, and absolutely committed to the art form of telling a story through a video game screen. It’s an easy recommendation for anyone who loves video games, not just visual novel fans. There are characters in the game that I’ll certainly be thinking about for a long time, especially when the setting brings out the best in them. Don’t pass this one up.

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The Magic of Nintendo: How Mario and Zelda Connect us to Our Inner Child

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Magic of Nintendo

Nintendo is special. Many excellent developers depend upon story or progression systems to entice engagement, but not Nintendo. Nintendo games captivate because of their immediate charm. There is no need for a payoff. The games, themselves, are enough: they elicit feelings, hard to find in adulthood. Through intrepid discovery, playful presentation, and unfiltered whimsy, the best of Nintendo connects gamers to their childlike selves.

The heart of any great Nintendo game is discovery and no encounter encapsulates this better than Breath of the Wild’s Eventide Island. First, finding the island requires genuine gumption. Found far from Hyrule’s shore, the island is only clearly visible from other islands, and even then, it’s only a speck in the distance. Reaching the island requires players to brave the open ocean and head towards something … that could be nothing. Then, upon arriving on the beach, a spirit takes all the player’s gear, including clothes and food. Link, literally, is left in his underwear. From there, players must make clever use of Link’s base skills in order to steal enemy weapons and make traps. The scenario creates a marvelous sense of self-sufficiency brought on by one’s own desire to discover. The player comes to the island purely of their own choosing, tackles the sea, and then overcomes obstacles without the aid of their strongest tools. The game turns players into plucky children who are discovering they can take care of themselves.

The intrepidity of Breath of the Wild and other Nintendo greats mirrors the feelings Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of many Nintendo franchises, experienced as a child. “I can still recall the kind of sensation I had when I was in a small river, and I was searching with my hands beneath a rock, and something hit my finger, and I noticed it was a fish,” Miyamoto told the New Yorker. “That’s something that I just can’t express in words. It’s such an unusual situation.” In sequences like Eventide Island, players don’t just understand what Miyamoto describes, they feel it: Apprehension gives way to exhilaration as the unknown becomes a place of play.

 Nintendo’s intrepid gameplay is often amplified by playful presentation with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island being the quintessential example. The game’s visuals, defined by pastel colors and simple hand-drawings, appear crayoned by a child while the celestial chimes that punctuate the jubilant soundtrack evoke shooting stars. The overall effect cannot be understated. It takes the surreal and turns it real, allowing players to interact, tangibly, with imagination.

Super Mario Odyssey Wooden Kingdom

Even if one removes the presentation and gameplay from Nintendo’s masterpieces, an unabashed creativity remains that bucks norm and convention. The arbiter is fun; reason and logic have no say. For instance, Super Mario Odyssey’s Wooded Kingdom, takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting akin to Nier Automata. Players explore the metal remnants of a civilization that has become a lush home to robotic beings. However, unlike Nier, the dark undertones of the past have no bearing on the game or those who inhabit its universe. The post-apocalyptic setting is just a fun backdrop. It’s as though a bunch of children got together, began playing with toys, and one of the kids brought along his sibling’s adult action figures. There is no attention paid to the context, only unfiltered imagination.

When they’re at their best the creators at Nintendo invite gamers to come and play, like a parent arranging a play date. Pulled along by joyful gameplay that expands in unforeseen ways, players desire to play for the sake of play. It’s a halcyon state of being: No messy thoughts or contradiction, just joy.

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‘Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind’: An Utterly Shameless Cash Grab

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some other trash.

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Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

In the 15 year long history of DLC, we have seen some really shameless displays. The notorious horse armor incident of 2006 and a notable day one DLC for the ending game of a trilogy notwithstanding, few companies have had the utter audacity to offer so little content for such a high price point. Enter Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind.

Coming in at a $40 price point (!!!) Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind offers an 80% recycled campaign, a boss rush mode, and some social media nonsense for people who really hate themselves. That’s really it, that’s what you get. Honestly, Square-Enix should be utterly embarrassed by this DLC.

It’s been one year: 365 days, 8760 hours, 525600 minutes, or 31556952 seconds, since the release of Kingdom Hearts III. Let that sink in as you begin the meat of Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind. Think of it as the extended version of a movie you really like… you know, the kind where they add 4 minutes to the 120 minute runtime.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Yes, Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind, really is that cynical. I’m not kidding when I tell you that the game literally starts with an exact cut scene from the base game, and a cut scene that happens to be available from the theater mode of the main game that you’ve already bought if you’re playing this DLC. Yes, the introduction to this new content is… content you’ve already seen.

In fact, that’s kind of the sticking point here: most of what you get for your hard-earned cash is footage you’ve already seen, and battles you’ve already fought, and story you’ve already experienced, just with slight alterations for context. Remember back in the 2000s, when we were super obsessed with prequels? This is like that, except even more egregious.

Generally I’m not so unforgiving as to call a company out for a forthright cash grab, but that’s absolutely what Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is. There’s just no other way to put it. You might find someone in the marketing department for Square-Enix who would disagree, but being a company that has faced just these sort of allegations for their last two major releases, Square-Enix either doesn’t read the news, or doesn’t care what people think of their products.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Square-Enix was roundly accused of shipping unfinished products in the case of both Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III — their two most high profile releases of the last decade. I personally gave mostly positive reviews of both games for this very website but if you want ammo to suggest that this company is deliberately trading on the nostalgia and passion of its fan base in order to make financial headway, there are few examples you could draw from that are as obvious as this DLC.

Look, maybe you’re a really big Kingdom Hearts fan. Maybe you just really wanted to know what the context was for that cliffhanger ending in Kingdom Hearts III. Maybe you just don’t do much research before you buy something. Or maybe… you just really trust this company for some reason.

Hey, I’m not judging… hell, I bought this DLC for $40 same as anyone else. I oughta be honest that I’m not reviewing Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind as some holier than thou critic, talking down to you from my position of privilege. No, I’m an angry consumer in this particular case. I’m a person who spent enough to replace a flat tire on my car, or buy my family dinner, on a game that is clearly playing off of my love for a franchise, and using it to bilk me out of money in a method that is so clear, and so concise, that those involved in the entire endeavor should be totally embarrassed for their part in the creation, marketing, pricing, and distribution of this expansion.

Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind

Yes, fans had their complaints about Kingdom Hearts III. “Where are the hardcore boss battles? Where are the Final Fantasy characters? Where are the secret areas? Where are the hidden plot developments?” Still, to address these particular complaints by hammering a few minutes or seconds here and there into already existing content is truly like spitting in the faces of the people who have built the house you’re living in.

I haven’t sat in the board rooms at Square-Enix and I haven’t been in email chains about the planning of projects at their company but what I can say is that there is something rotten in Denmark if this is what passes for a satisfying piece of content for the wildly devoted fans of a hugely popular franchise in 2020. Kingdom Hearts III: Re:Mind is literally, truthfully, and succinctly, the worst piece of DLC I’ve ever purchased.

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