The James Bond movie franchise turns 50 this year and has had its fair share of highs -- coming to the screen with Dr No, everything about Goldfinger, the gritty Bond in Casino Royale -- and lows -- the ice race in Die Another Day, Roger Moore’s inability to run in the ‘80s and I still don’t know what Quantum of Solace was about.
Those traits are also bestowed upon Bond’s ventures in videogames. In this two-part series, ahead of the Australian release of Skyfall on Thursday, we’re going to look at the best and worst Bond games throughout the ages.
Part one took a gander at the worst games Bond has ever lent his name to. Part two below takes a more positive angle, with five of the best.
GoldenEye | 1997, Nintendo 64
Still considered by many to be the best N64 game – although, it hasn’t aged well and nostalgia plays a large part, so keep those precious memories sacred by not playing it again. The 2010 Wii remake is also fantastic, and only didn’t make it onto this list in its own right because it’s a remake.
Considering how much GoldenEye had going against it, it’s amazing that it was not only fantastic for its time, but also changed the face of console shooters.
Everything or Nothing | 2004, GameCube, PS2, Xbox
The GameCube, PS2 and Xbox proved to be a Golden era for the Bond games with three fantastic additions to the series. Everything or Nothing was the best of the lot, and surprised many of us as a third person shooter after the series' past success in first person.
Everything or Nothing had a decent story, a star-studded cast (and Brosnan’s last appearance as the character) and was one of the best third person cover-based shooters in its time. It was a fresh take on an aging series, and is arguably still the best.
The World is Not Enough | 1999, N64
The World is Not Enough was the sequel to GoldenEye (on N64, and the PS1 version was terrible) and just as good in terms of single-player content. It was developed by Eurocom, who is responsible for Nightfire, the GoldenEye remake and the rubbish 007 Legends.
Thanks to the Expansion Pak, The World is Not Enough was one of the best looking games for its time. I still remember being in awe of the hand that attached and removed the silencer. It looked like a real hand (at the time), not a triangle stub!
Agent Under Fire | 2001/02, PS2, GameCube, Xbox
Agent Under Fire is probably the worst of the last gen trio, and yet it was still memorable. It was also the first of the bunch, and in 2001, really showed us what the then new generation could do.
The single-player unique storyline was pretty good, but it was the four-player splitscreen that made Agent Under Fire a memorable game. It was the best we’d seen since GoldenEye and one of the best multiplayer shooters of the generation.
Nightfire | 2002, GameCube, PS2, Xbox
Agent Under Fire was followed quickly by my personal favourite Bond game of the last generation: Nightfire. With a more conventional Bond story and the same fantastic splitscreen multiplayer (although the bots were hilariously incompetent), Nightfire was one of the last splitscreen shooters to really captivate me before online multiplayer on consoles took off.
It did suffer from some disparities between each platform. The PC version was a terrible port and the PS2 version had a few little niggles, but it was fantastic on GameCube.
By Ben Salter
What’s your favourite Bond game?