The 1990s spawned an entirely new generation of gamers; ones who craved fantasy worlds made of impossible colors and creatures. Maybe we knew we’d need an escape from the harshness of reality a few decades later?
That took a dark turn. Anyway, with those games we loved came characters that we sort of grew up with.
For years we followed them through different adventures on evolving games and platforms. Imagine playing Super Mario Nintendo 64 back in the late 90s, and someone telling you that one day you could play it on the Nintendo Switch. I couldn’t imagine a Nintendo game that you didn’t have to blow in the cartridge for.
Though we all grew up, those characters were always there for us. Some of my favorite memories include getting home from college over Thanksgiving break and firing up the ‘ole Playstation 2 with my brothers.
So without further ado, let’s revisit some of those characters, presented in no particular order.
Crash Bandicoot brings back so many memories of my dentist’s waiting room. He was a fun, spunky, odd looking character, and the game was simple fun.
Plus, his victory dance was pretty great.
As a little girl, I had a huge soft spot for Kirby. This adorable pink creature lived in a place called Dream Land and floated around. Truly precious. Even the trees were cute.
My first introduction to Kirby was well after the original game – "Kirby’s Dream Land" – in Super Smash Bros. There was nothing more enjoyable then floating around, sucking up people and wearing cute hats.
Though my favorite game ended up being a few years later, “Kirby Canvas Curse,” he no doubt nestled into my heart in the 90s.
Here’s where my own personal bias comes in. Were I to rank this list, Spyro would absolutely be number one. “Spyro the Dragon” was my favorite game growing up; it’s what truly spawned my love for video games.
Spyro was a super cool, sarcastic dragon who kicked butt and hung out with a dragon fly. It was awesome. Flying through portals, learning how to swim, and eventually head-butting that greedy Moneybags were some of the gems (no pun intended!) of my childhood.
So it’s no surprise that I immediately got my hands on the remastered edition in 2018…
Sonic and Crash Bandicoot were a lot alike, in my opinion. But playing a blue hedgehog that sped through levels while collecting rings was pretty fun. It was just an added bonus that his mission was to free his animal friends.
The same girl who thought Kirby was adorable really, really liked saving those animals as Sonic.
Ugh. Yosh! Much like Kirby, I was introduced to Yoshi through Super Smash Bros., and also Mario Kart. Again, like Kirby, my heart melted at the green dinosaur who made little noises and stuck his tongue out.
Similar to Kirby as well, my love for Yoshi was only cemented by the Nintendo DS. “Yoshi’s Island” was one of the most fun video games, in my opinion. The DS controls gave him new life and abilities, and made it that much more fun to jump ridiculously high while kicking his feet. Adorable!
This one is a no-brainer. The 90s WERE the decade of Pokémon. It was impossible to have a video game system and not a single Pokémon game. Pikachu was a defining character of so many of our childhoods, either as Ash’s sidekick or his own character on Super Smash Bros. He’s the reason I got a GameBoy and really started playing video games in the first place. I even had a gigantic stuffed animal Pikachu, Pikachu pajamas, and a number of t-shirts.
Another great thing; the revitalization of Pokemon with 2016’s “Pokémon Go.” It inspired the next generation of gamers to fall in love with the same yellow mouse we all did.
Need I say more?
About the Author: Kelcey McClung is a freelance reporter who has been featured in a variety of publications. She loves Star Wars, Animal Crossing, and almost every PlayStation game ever made. If you think you’ve completed all the park objectives in Roller Coaster Tycoon more times than she has, she’ll take you up on that bet.