My third favorite multiplayer video game of all time:
Put simply, Goldeneye was amazing. Soon after the Nintendo 64 launch, this little James Bond first person shooter hit the scene. Based on the movie of the same name, you run around as Bond, shoot bad guys, save the women, and play with cool toys.
While the single player game was capable with a nice variety of objectives beyond “shoot your way through a level”, the multiplayer was and is spectacular. The N64 was the first major console to include four controller ports by default. Goldeneye was the first game to take advantage of it.
Four-player split screen matches are fast paced and highly customizable. Alone, the variety of characters to play as still puts more modern games to shame. This was one of the first truly social console games I played. Four players meant that a crowd could cycle through rounds and stay interested. Four players made more interesting games and more complex strategies possible. Four players meant more opponents to yell at after a loss, and brag to after a win.
That isn’t to say I was ever very good at the game. But oh, how fun! Friends and I would tweak the settings to no end. All mines? sure! No weapons, only karate chops? sure! Everyone playing as the annoyingly short and hard to hit Oddjob? Well ok, we drew the line there.
Four player console games have since become pretty standard, with both the Xbox and Gamecube having the capability. But Goldeneye pioneered the idea, and did it very well. Just don’t get tricked into buying the more recent, and far inferior, game of the same name. Stick with the N64.
I’m hitting the final stretch here. If you know me at all, you probably know what #1 will be. The real contest is for the #2 spot. Tune in tomorrow, you might be surprised.