7 Reasons Why ’90s Video Games Actually Sucked

If there’s one thing the internet is guilty of, it’s romanticizing the 1990s. Was it the greatest decade of all time? It’s definitely my favorite decade ever, but that’s because it was also the only decade of my life where I was entirely carefree and not tied down by the responsibilities that I had in high school, the real world and yes, even college “responsibilities.”

1. NFL Blitz CPU Comebacks


It’s about halfway through the third quarter, and you’re up by two touchdowns against Brett Favre and the Packers with Kordell Stewart and the Pittsburgh Steelers. You call “UTB Deep” to Jerome Bettis to salt this bad boy away. You hit him deep and he’s got a step on his man and… he fumbles it. The Pack returns it for a TD. It’s cool, you still have a touchdown le– Well, you had a touchdown lead, because for some reason Kordell just threw a pick and the Packers scored again. 10 minutes later, you lose on a last second, 75-yard field goal. That’s life in the NFL… I guess.

2. NBA Jam CPU Comebacks


See above. Replace Brett Favre and the Packers with Alonzo Mourning and the Hornets, and Kordell Stewart and Pittsburgh Steelers with Scottie Pippen and Chicago Bulls.

3. The Blue Shell In MarioKart 64


I’m all for leveling the playing field, but there wasn’t a more bullshit MarioKart weapon than the blue shell of death. Look, being in last place shouldn’t be rewarded. Maybe that’s why so many people view us as a “participation trophy” generation. That damned blue shell. I’m sorry you tried to take the shortcut on Koopa Troopa Beach and then drove into the water twice, here’s this thing that’s going to make everyone in front of you scared out of their wits. Mediocrity should never be rewarded and MarioKart 64 is incredibly guilty of doing such.

4. The Water Temple In Zelda


How such a classic game can have such an atrocious level like this one is beyond me. Ocarina Of Time is probably one of the 10 best video games of all time, but this level wasted hours, days and weeks of my life. I hated it. I almost wanted to quit after a while. The director of the game, Eiji Aonuma, actually apologized for making the level so incredibly difficult and lengthy in an interview in 2009. I appreciate that, Eiji, but I will never get those many hours back that I spent underneath Lake Hylia. Thanks, jerk.

5. There Wasn’t A WWF Video Game Worthy Of The Attitude Era


Yes, the “WWF Attitude” game for N64 and PlayStation is literally named after the Attitude Era, but guess what? Jim Ross isn’t even in it. That’s a bunch of BS. Jim Ross was the Attitude Era.

How can you properly capture the greatest era in sports entertainment without JR shouting “BAH GOD!” and “GOD ALMIGHTY!” Also, the “WWF Attitude” game itself was a gigantic bucket of monkey spunk.

6. NHL ’94 Didn’t Have Fighting


Hockey in the ’90s was perhaps the greatest era for goons the sport has ever seen. Bob Probert, Tie Domi, Tony Twist, Stu Grimson, Claude Lemieux. I could go on for days. NHL ’94 is widely considered to be the best hockey game of the ’90s, if not of all-time. I happen to disagree with that. The game didn’t have fights. How can you make a hockey video game and not have any fights? In fact, fighting didn’t return to EA’s NHL series until NHL ’97 after being a prominent feature in the franchise’s infancy. You could make guys’ heads bleed though, so I guess that’s some sort of consolation.

7. The 737 In Flight Simulator 98


Two words: False advertising. I loved this game. It was really cool and had one of the first detailed 3D environments in video game history. I was fully instrument rated on the Cessna 172 on Flight Simulator 98, but when it came to flying the 737, it was damn near impossible to fly that plane. Now, you might say, “Well idiot, not just anyone can fly a 737…” To you, I say, go away. This was too hard.

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Brian McGannon

What do I love? I love happy hour, a good golf tan, and getting moderately drunk during dinner.

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