NOTE: Most of this article was originally posted in 2012 to celebrate 50 years of 007. James Bond is back in cinemas with the release of Spectre in Australia November 12, so we've decided to revisit his best and worst moments in video games, plus add more to the list.
As has often been the case, there is no direct movie tie-in to coincide with the release of Spectre. We last had one for Quantum of Solace in 2008, and before that we have to go back to The World is Not Enough.
Between them there was a From Russia With Love game in 2005 -- complete with a 75-year-old Sean Connery's voice. It was released 42 years after the film, and the style of early '60s film actually suited the limitations of the PS2/Xbox/GameCube.
The other '90s games were surprising late. GoldenEye 007 will forever be a historic console game, but that doesn't change the fact it came out in 1997 when the film was out in 1995. Likewise, the Tomorrow Never Dies game was also out two years after the film.
Most recently, Skyfall did get a game in the same year, but 007 Legends wasn't a direct adaptation, and it also wasn't good. Perhaps that's why Spectre is only getting a mobile spin-off.
In this two-part series, we 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.
Here are the seven best Bond games.
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 ageing 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.
GoldenEye 007 (Reloaded) | 2010/11, Wii, PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Developed by Eurocom, the reimagining of GoldenEye is the best game of the Activision era. It's not a remake of the game, that's too difficult with complicated licensing. Instead, it's essentially a second game adapted from the 1995 movie.
It stars Daniel Craig's likeness as Bond, since he was the only license Activision had, in the events of GoldenEye with a modern control scheme and level design.
It was originally a Wii (and DS) exclusive and made great use of Wii Remote IR controls. A year later, a HD version was released for Xbox 360 and PS3.
007: From Russia With Love | 2005, GameCube, PS2, Xbox
It's astonishingly that we got a From Russia With Love Game in 2005. As our Worst Bond list shows, when publishers go fishing to make a new game based on an old Bond film, it normally doesn't go well. But everything clicked for From Russia With Love.
What's even more surprising is a then 75-year-old Sean Connery reprised his role as James Bond for the first time since 1983's Never Say Never Again. He provided his voice, with likeness from the '60s, and while he sounds like an old man, it fits with the dated aesthetic and blocky limitations of the sixth generation consoles on the verge of retirement.
A necessary change to the plot was the removal of SPECTRE. The Bond producers didn't have ownership of the Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion in 2005 because of the long-standing dispute over the rights to Thunderball.
Funnily enough, that dispute enabled Connery to return as 007 while Roger Moore was under contract. The organisation was included in the game, but called OCTOPUS. The Bond producers acquired the rights to Blofeld and SPECTRE in 2013, allowing Spectre to be made as the 24th official Bond film.
What’s your favourite Bond game?