1990 in video games

  (Redirected from 1990 in video gaming)

1990 saw many sequels and prequels in video games, such as Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, Dr. Mario, Dragon Quest IV, Final Fantasy III, Super Mario World, and Phantasy Star II, as well as several new titles such as Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.

List of years in video games

Financial performanceEdit

Highest-grossing arcade gamesEdit

JapanEdit

The following titles were the top ten highest-grossing arcade games of 1990 in Japan, according to the annual Gamest charts.[1]

Rank Title Developer Manufacturer Genre
1 Final Fight Capcom Capcom Beat 'em up
2 Tetris Sega Sega Puzzle
3 Super Monaco GP Sega Sega Racing simulation
4 Columns Sega Sega Puzzle
5 Parodius! From Myth to Laughter Konami Konami Scrolling shooter
6 Raiden Seibu Kaihatsu Tecmo Scrolling shooter
7 Bloxeed Sega Sega Puzzle
8 Final Lap Namco Namco Racing
9 G-LOC: Air Battle Sega AM2 Sega Combat flight simulator
10 Gradius III Konami Konami Scrolling shooter

United StatesEdit

In the United States, the following titles were the highest-grossing arcade video games of 1990, according to the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA).[2]

Dedicated arcade cabinet Conversion kit
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Capcom Bowling
Super Off Road Big Event Golf
Turbo Outrun Final Fight
Mercs Cyber Police ESWAT
N/A Badlands

The following titles were the top-grossing arcade games on the monthly RePlay arcade charts in 1990.

Month Upright arcade cabinet Software conversion kit New arcade video game Ref
January Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles WWF Superstars Big Run [3]
February U.N. Squadron Final Fight [4]
March Final Fight Winning Run [5]
April Four Trax [6]
May DJ Boy Mercs [7]
June Final Fight G-LOC: Air Battle [8]
July Line of Fire [9]
August Top Landing [10]
September Michael Jackson's Moonwalker [11]
October Pit-Fighter Race Drivin' [12]
November Race Drivin' Magic Sword Riding Hero [13]
December Final Fight Cyber-Lip [14]

Best-selling home video gamesEdit

JapanEdit

In Japan, the following titles were the best-selling home video games of on the Japan game charts published by Famicom Tsūshin (Famitsu) and Family Computer Magazine (Famimaga) in 1990.

Month Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Ref
January Tetris (Game Boy / Famicom) Super Mario Bros. 3 (Famicom) [15]
February Dragon Quest IV (Famicom) Un­known Un­known [16]
March Dragon Quest IV (Famicom)[17] Mōryō Senki Madara (Famicom) [18]
April Dragon Quest IV (Famicom) Un­known Un­known Un­known [18]
May Un­known Un­known Final Fantasy III (Famicom) [19]
June Tetris (Game Boy) Dragon Quest IV (Famicom)
July Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known
August Dr. Mario (Famicom)[20][21]
September Dr. Mario (Famicom) Famista (Game Boy) [21]
October Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known
November Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known
December Un­known Un­known Un­known Un­known

United KingdomEdit

In the United Kingdom, the following titles were the best-selling home video games of each month in 1990, for various home computer and game console platforms.

Month Home computers Master System NES Mega Drive PC Engine Ref
January Chase H.Q. California Games Super Mario Bros. 2 N/A N/A [22]
February Paperboy Un­known Un­known N/A N/A [23]
March Un­known Un­known Ghouls 'n Ghosts Chase H.Q. [24]
April Fantasy World Dizzy Wonder Boy III Un­known New Zealand Story PC Kid [25][26]
May Un­known Un­known Final Blow Atomic Robo Kid [27]
June Italy 1990 Un­known Un­known Thunder Force III Formation Soccer [28]
July Un­known Un­known Ghostbusters Don Doko Don [29]
August Pro Boxing Simulator Golden Axe Super Mario Bros. 2 Batman Super Star Soldier [30][31]
September Shadow Warriors Super Monaco GP Devil Crash [32][33]
October Guardian Angel Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Strider Splatterhouse [34][35]
November Out Run Devil Crash [36][37]
December Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles (home computers / NES) [38][39][40]

United StatesEdit

Super Mario Bros. 3 was the year's best-selling video game in the United States. It sold more than 8 million cartridges in 1990,[41][42] grossing over $500 million ($990 million adjusted for inflation) in sales revenue.[43] The following titles were the best-selling home video games on the bi-weekly Famitsu USA charts in 1990.

Month Weeks 1-2 Weeks 3-4 Ref
January Un­known Un­known
February Un­known Un­known
March Un­known Un­known
April Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) Un­known [44]
May Un­known Un­known
June Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) [45]
July Un­known Un­known
August Un­known Un­known
September Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES) [46]
October Un­known Un­known
November Un­known Un­known
December Un­known Un­known
1990 Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

Top-rated gamesEdit

Major awardsEdit

Japan and United KingdomEdit

Award 4th Gamest Awards
(Japan, December 1990)[47]
5th Famitsu Best Hit Game Awards
(Japan, February 1991)[48]
8th Golden Joystick Awards
(United Kingdom, April 1991)[49]
Arcade Console 8-bit computer 16-bit computer 8-bit console 16-bit console
Game of the Year Final Fight Dragon Quest IV (Famicom) Rick Dangerous 2 Kick Off 2 Mega Man (NES) John Madden Football (MD)
Handheld Game of the Year N/A SaGa 2 (Game Boy) N/A N/A N/A N/A
PC Game of the Year N/A N/A Railroad Tycoon
Coin-Op Translation / Conversion N/A Gradius III (Super Famicom) Rainbow Islands Golden Axe
PC-to-Console Translation N/A Populous (Super Famicom) N/A N/A
Best Scenario / Story N/A Final Fantasy III (Famicom) N/A N/A
Best Graphics R-Type II Castle of Illusion (Mega Drive) Midnight Resistance Shadow of the Beast 2
Best BGM / Sound Gradius III Dr. Mario RoboCop 2 N/A
Best Album Darius II N/A N/A N/A
Best Production Parodius! From Myth to Laughter N/A N/A N/A
Special Award / Most Talk Neo Geo Super Famicom N/A N/A
Best Game Company / Manufacturer Namco N/A Sega
Software House of the Year N/A N/A Ocean Software N/A N/A
Best Character / Character Design Mike Haggar (Final Fight) Yoshi (Super Mario World) N/A N/A
Best Action Game Final Fight F-Zero (Super Famicom)
Best Shooting Game Parodius! From Myth to Laughter Super Star Soldier (PCE)
Best RPG N/A Megami Tensei II (Famicom)
Dragon Quest IV (Famicom)
Best Action RPG N/A Ys II (Famicom)
Sorcerian (Mega Drive)
Best Adventure Game N/A Urusei Yatsura: Stay With You
(PCE)
Best Simulation / Strategy Game N/A Fire Emblem (Famicom) F19 Stealth Fighter
Best Puzzle Game N/A Dr. Mario N/A N/A
Best Sports Game N/A Formation Soccer (PCE)

United StatesEdit

Award Electronic Gaming Monthly
(United States, October 1990)[50]
VideoGames & Computer Entertainment
(United States, February 1991)[51]
Console Console Computer
Game of the Year Strider (Sega Genesis) Phantasy Star II (Genesis) It Came from the Desert
Game of the Year (Nintendo) Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (NES) N/A N/A
Game of the Year (TurboGrafx) Ninja Spirit (TurboGrafx-16) N/A N/A
Handheld Game of the Year Blue Lightning (Atari Lynx) N/A N/A
Coin-Op Translation / Conversion N/A Columns (Genesis) N.Y. Warrior
Best Graphics Strider (Sega Genesis) Phantasy Star II (Genesis) Mean Streets
Best BGM / Sound Ys I & II (TurboGrafx-CD) Loom
Best System Sega Genesis N/A N/A
Best New System TurboExpress N/A N/A
Game Company / Manufacturer Natsume, Sega, Capcom,
Konami, Nintendo
N/A N/A
Software House of the Year N/A N/A
Best Sequel to an Existing Game Mega Man 3 N/A N/A
Innovative Game / New Theme Bonk's Adventure Super Glove Ball DragonStrike
Best Action Game N/A Bonk's Adventure (TG16) Prince of Persia
Best RPG Ys I & II (TurboGrafx-CD) N/A N/A
Best Adventure Game N/A Ys I & II (TG16)
Phantasy Star II (Genesis)
Conquests of Camelot
Best Simulation Game N/A Devil's Crush (TG16) LHX Attack Chopper
Best Strategy Game N/A Populous (Genesis) Spot: The Video Game
Best Military-Strategy Game N/A Herzog Zwei (Genesis)
Military Madness (TG16)
Battles of Napoleon
Best Action-Strategy Game N/A Klax Pipe Dream
Best Sports Game Super Monaco GP (Sega Genesis) TV Sports: Football (TG16) TV Sports: Basketball
Best Sports Simulation N/A N/A PGA Tour Golf
Best Board Game N/A N/A Clue: Master Detective
Best Science-Fiction Game N/A Whip Rush (Genesis) Star Control
Most Challenging Video Game Phantasy Star II (Sega Genesis) N/A N/A
Best Peripheral of the Year Game Genie N/A N/A
Best Movie to Game Gremlins 2: The New Batch N/A N/A
Best Ending in a Game Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos N/A N/A

Critically acclaimed titlesEdit

Famitsu Platinum Hall of FameEdit

The following video game releases in 1990 entered Famitsu magazine's "Platinum Hall of Fame" for receiving Famitsu scores of at least 35 out of 40.[52]

Title Platform Score (out of 40) Developer Publisher Genre
Dragon Quest IV Nintendo Family Computer 37 Chunsoft Enix Role-playing
F-Zero Super Famicom 37 Nintendo EAD Nintendo Racing
Final Fantasy III Nintendo Family Computer 36 Squaresoft Squaresoft Role-playing

English-language publicationsEdit

Notable video game releases in 1990 that have accumulated overall critical acclaim from at least three contemporary English-language sources include:

Title Genre Publisher Platform Source(s)
Air Inferno Combat flight simulator Taito Arcade [53]
Alex Kidd in Shinobi World Hack & slash Sega Sega Master System [54][55][56][57][58]
Aliens Run & gun shooter Konami Arcade [53]
Alien Storm Action Sega
Buster Bros. (Pang) Action Mitchell
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Platformer Sega Sega Mega Drive/Genesis [59][60][61][62][63]
G-LOC: Air Battle Combat flight simulator Sega Arcade [53]
Golden Axe Beat 'em up Sega Sega Master System [64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72]
Virgin Games Amiga [73]
GP Rider Motorbike racing Sega Arcade [53]
John Madden Football Sports Electronic Arts Sega Mega Drive/Genesis [74][75][76][77][78][79]
Klax Puzzle Atari Games Arcade [53]
Mercs Run & gun shooter Capcom
Michael Jackson's Moonwalker Action Sega
Out Zone Run & gun shooter Toaplan
Quarth (Block Hole) Puzzle-shooter Konami
Railroad Tycoon Business simulation MicroProse DOS [80][81][82][83][84][85]
SimCity City-building Maxis Atari ST [86][87][88][89]
Smash TV Multi-directional shooter Williams Electronics Arcade [53]
Strider Hack & slash Sega Sega Mega Drive/Genesis [90][91][92][93]
Super Mario Bros. 3 Platformer Nintendo NES [94][95][96][97][98]
Super Mario World Platformer Nintendo SNES [99][100][101][102][103]
The Secret of Monkey Island Graphic adventure Lucasfilm Games DOS [104][105][106][107][108][109]
Two Crude (Crude Busters) Beat 'em up Data East Arcade [53]

EventsEdit

Hardware releasesEdit

  • Camerica releases Codemasters' Game Genie adapter in Canada and the UK (In the US, it was released by Galoob).
  • NEC releases the TurboExpress handheld console.
  • Nintendo releases the Super Famicom 16-bit console in Japan.
  • SNK releases the Neo Geo Advanced Entertainment System (AES) home console.
  • September 28 - Nintendo releases the Game Boy across Europe. It became a huge success and a wide phenomenon over the continent, particularly in Germany and the UK.
  • October 6 – Sega's Game Gear color handheld is released in Japan. It is launched in North America in 1991 and Europe and Australia in 1992.
  • November 30 – Sega's Mega Drive released in Europe.
  • Amstrad halts production of the ZX Spectrum, ending that platform's 8-year dominance of the UK home computer market.
  • Amstrad introduces its only console, the Amstrad GX4000, which fails to garner interest and is discontinued the following year.

Game releasesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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