1996 in video gaming

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Notable releases[edit]

Video game platforms
DOS DOS / MS-DOS
GB Game Boy
N64 Nintendo 64
Neo Neo Geo
PS1 PlayStation
Sat Sega Saturn
SNES Super NES / Super Famicom
Win Microsoft Windows
SMD Sega Mega Drive / Genesis
Notable releases of the year 1996
Release Title System Developer/Publisher Notes
January 26 Guardian Heroes Saturn Treasure (company)/Sega a beat-em-up game developed by Treasure, one of the defining games of the Saturn.
January 26 Blazing Heroes Saturn Micro Cabin)/Sega a turn-based strategy game for the Sega Saturn
January 29 Duke Nukem 3D PC 3D Realms/GT Interactive a genre-redefining title for first person shooters
January 31 Mega Man X3 SNES Capcom third X installment in popular Mega Man franchise.
February 3 Radical Dreamers SNES SquareSoft Visual novel pseudo-sequel to legendary RPG Chrono Trigger, would later serve as inspiration for the story for actual sequel Chrono Cross.
February 9 Bahamut Lagoon SNES SquareSoft Turn-based strategy RPG spin-off in the Final Fantasy series, before Final Fantasy Tactics.
February 23 Front Mission: Gun Hazard SNES SquareSoft Sequel to strategy Super Famicom RPG Front Mission.
February 27 Pokémon Red and Green GB (Jap) Nintendo launching a wildly popular game series
February 29 Civilization II PC MicroProse acclaimed sequel to the highly influential 1991 turn-based strategy game
February 29 Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri MS-DOS Looking Glass Studios critically acclaimed FPS by the developers who would go on to develop genre-redefining titles such as System Shock 2 and the Thief series
February 29 Zork: Nemesis PC Activision 11th game in the Zork series, employing 360-degree views of environment
March Time Crisis Arcade Namco the first game in the popular light-gun series Time Crisis.
March 9 Super Mario RPG SNES (Jap) Nintendo beginning a long-running series of Mario RPGs
March 22 Resident Evil PS1 Capcom It is considered to have invented the term "survival horror"
March 22 Panzer Dragoon II Zwei Saturn Team Andromeda/Sega considered to be one of the best games on the Sega Saturn and one of the best on-rail shooters of all-time.
March 29 Dragon Ball Z: Hyper Dimension SNES (Jap) TOSE/Bandai the last Super Famicom game in the Dragon Ball Z franchise.
April 5 Tekkyu: True Pinball PS1, Saturn Digital Illusions/Ocean (company) Pinball game by the developers who would go on to develop the Battlefield series of games.
April 30 Warcraft II: Beyond the Dark Portal PC Blizzard Entertainment Expansion pack to popular RTS game WarCraft II.
April 30 Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures PC LucasArts Point-and-click adventure game developed by LucasArts in the popular Indiana Jones franchise.
May 14 Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu SNES (Jap) Intelligent Systems/Nintendo the fourth game in the popular Fire Emblem series, considered by many to be one of the best entries.
May 24 Metal Slug Neo-Geo SNK the first in the Metal Slug series that has proved extremely popular in the arcades.
May 24 Treasure Hunter G SNES (Jap) SquareSoft Obscure Japan-only late-in-life Super Famicom RPG.
May 31 Final Doom MS-DOS id Software the final part of the original Doom series.
May 31 Kirby's Block Ball GB HAL Labs/Nintendo Breakout-inspired game in popular Kirby franchise
June 22 Quake MS-DOS id Software advanced 3D graphics technology and started a franchise that has sold more than 4 million games
June 23 Super Mario 64 N64 (Jap) Nintendo the first 3D Mario platformer, as the flagship for their new system.
June 30 Triple Play 97 PlayStation, PC The first Triple Play game on gen 5 platforms.
July 5 NiGHTS into Dreams... Saturn (Jap) Sega The advertising campaign features the rebirth of the Sega Saturn; August 21 (US)
July 19 Star Ocean SNES (Jap) tri-ace/Enix the first of seven games in the Star Ocean series.
July 25 The King of Fighters '95 Neo-Geo, PlayStation, Saturn, GB SNK the entry released in the popular King of Fighters series this year.
July 26 Bust a Move 2: Arcade Edition Saturn Taito Corporation/Acclaim The second home console game in the popular puzzle game series Bust-a-Move.
July 27 Shining Wisdom Saturn Camelot Software Planning/Working Designs Action RPG developed by Camelot, the developers who would go on to work on the Golden Sun series and the Mario sports games
July 31 Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh PC Sierra On-Line a controversial sequel to the controversial original.
July 31 Virtua Fighter Kids Saturn, Arcade Sega AM2 a spin-off in the Virtua Fighter series
August 25 Tekken 2 PS1 Namco the second game in the popular fighting game series Tekken
August 31 The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall PC Bethesda Softworks a notable evolution of the sandbox RPG started with The Elder Scrolls: Arena
August 31 Crash Bandicoot PS1 Naughty Dog/Universal/Sony Crash is used as the mascot for the PlayStation console.
August 31 Die Hard Trilogy PC, PlayStation, Saturn Probe Entertainment/Fox Interactive 3 original games in 1 disk, all of them based off the movies.
August 31 Tetris Attack SNES, GB Intelligent Systems/Nintendo first release of the popular Panel de Pon series in the US.
August 31 Madden NFL 97 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PlayStation, PC , SNES, Saturn, GB EA Sports/Electronic Arts The first Madden game on gen 5 platforms.
August 31 Jumping Flash! 2 PS1 Exact (company)/SCEA sequel to the PS1 launch game.
August 31 Jet Moto PS1 Camelot Software Planning/SCEA RPG developed by Camelot, the team that would go on to develop the popular Golden Sun series.
August 31 Beyond the Beyond PS1 SingleTrac/SCEA PS1 exclusive jet ski racing game
September Virtua Fighter 3 Arcade Sega AM2 A fighting game considered to have the most technically impressive graphics at the time.
September 14 GunGriffon Saturn Game Arts/Sega mech game published by Sega, first in its series.
September 20 Revelations: Persona PS1 Atlus first game in the Persona series, a spin-off series of the Megami Tensei series. Also the first Megami Tensei-related game to release outside of Japan
September 20 Kirby Super Star SNES HAL Labs/Nintendo One of the last major SNES releases in the US, also considered to be one of the best games in the Kirby franchise.
September 27 Meridian 59 Windows 3DO one of the first MMORPGs.
September 29 Pilotwings 64 N64 Nintendo one of two Nintendo 64 launch games, also a sequel to the original Pilotwings..
September 30 Wipeout XL/2097 PS1 Psygnosis a poster child of the PlayStation for pop culture infusions and sleek extreme action
September 30 Shattered Steel MS-DOS BioWare/Interplay first game developed by BioWare, the developers of the Baldur's Gate and Mass Effect series.
September 30 Street Fighter Alpha 2 Arcade, SNES, PlayStation, Saturn Capcom second game in the Street Fighter Alpha spin-off series
September 30 Mr. Bones Saturn Zono Inc./Sega obscure platformer for the Saturn
September 30 Tobal No. 1 PS1 DreamFactory/SCEA fighting game famous for including a demo for Final Fantasy VII.
September 30 Formula One PS1 Bizarre Creations/SCEA first racing game developed by Bizarre, the team that would go on to develop the popular Project Gotham Racing series.
September 30 Donkey Kong Land 2 GB Rare ltd./Nintendo second Donkey Kong Land game on the Game Boy
October 15 Marathon Infinity PC Bungie Software The last game in the Marathon trilogy, the FPS series developed by Bungie, who would later go on to create the immensely popular Halo and Destiny franchises.
October 31 Command & Conquer: Red Alert MS-DOS Westwood Studios the second major title in the Command & Conquer universe, and one of the most popular
October 31 Master of Orion II MS-DOS Simtex/MicroProse the sequel to the revolutionary original.
October 31 The Neverhood PC The Neverhood Inc./DreamWorks Interactive The game is done almost entirely in claymation and has gained a sequel.
October 31 Bubsy 3D PlayStation Epic Games/Inscape Considered one of the worst video games of all time.
October 31 Scorched Planet MS-DOS Criterion Games/Virgin Interactive DOS action game by the developers who would go on to develop the Burnout series of games.
October 31 Drowned God PC Eidetic/Accolade Adventure game by the developers of Unreal Tournament and Gears of War.
October 31 SimCopter PC Maxis Flight simulation game in popular Sim series.
October 31 King's Field II PS1 From Software/ASCII Entertainment early game in the King's Field series, the predecessor series to the popular Demon's/Dark Souls series.
October 31 DeathDrome PC Zipper Interactive/Viacom First game developed by Zipper Interactive, the team that would go on to develop the SOCCOM series.
October 31 WWF In Your House PC, PS1, Saturn Acclaim First WWF game developed specifically for consoles.
October 31 Twisted Metal 2 PS1 SingleTrac/SCEA Second game in the popular Twisted Metal franchise.
October 31 Destruction Derby 2 PS1 Reflection Interactive/SCEA Second game in the popular Destruction Derby franchise.
October 31 NBA Live 97 PS1, Saturn, SNES, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Electronic Arts, EA Sports First NBA game developed for the fifth gen consoles.
November Dead or Alive Arcade Team Ninja/Tecmo The first game in the Dead or Alive series of fighting games.
November 15 Tomb Raider PC, PS1, Saturn Core Design/Eidos It spawns a series of sequels as well as a series of movies.
November 22 Donkey Kong Country 3 SNES Rare/Nintendo the third installment to the popular Donkey Kong Country franchise
November 25 Killer Instinct Gold N64 Rare/Nintendo the sequel to the popular violent fighting game, Killer Instinct.
November 26 Area 51 PlayStation, PC, Saturn Mesa Logic/Atari Games Ported versions of the classic arcade shooter.
November 30 Diablo PC Blizzard Entertainment the first chapter in the enormously popular series.
November 30 Sonic 3D Blast Saturn, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis Sega/Traveller's Tales Isometric platformer in the popular "Sonic the Hedgehog," series. The only platformer in the series on the Sega Saturn, and the only game in the series developed by Traveller's Tales.
November 30 Contra: Legacy of War Saturn, PlayStation Konami/Appaloosa Interactive game in the popular Contra series, considered to be notably bad.
November 30 Dragon Force Saturn Sega/Working Designs one of the defining RPGs on the Saturn.
November 30 Fighting Vipers Saturn, Arcade Sega AM2 a popular Saturn fighting game.
November 30 Virtua Cop 2 Saturn, Arcade Sega AM2 a popular Saturn light gun game
November 30 Virtua-On: Cyber Troopers Saturn, Arcade CRI[disambiguation needed]/Sega the first game in the Virtua-On series released outside of Japan
November 30 Bug Too! Saturn Sega/Realtime Associates an obscure sequel to the Saturn launch game
November 30 FIFA Soccer 97 Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PlayStation, PC , SNES, Saturn, GB EA Canada/Electronic Arts The first FIFA game on gen 5 platforms.
November 30 Legend of Oasis Saturn Sega/Ancient (company) Sequel to the Genesis Zelda-style action game Beyond Oasis.
December 3 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire N64 LucasArts/Nintendo one of the first Nintendo 64 games, an action game in the popular Star Wars franchise.
December 13 The Sacred Mirror of Kofun PC Enteractive/Future Concepts the first game to include actual underwater footage, co-produced by Jean-Michel Cousteau
December 19 Terranigma SNES Quintet/Nintendo Popular RPG famous for being released in Europe but not in America, a rarity in the mid-90s. Also a spiritual successor to Illusion of Gaia.
December 27 Fire ProWrestling S: 6Men Scramble Saturn Human Entertainment The only Saturn game in the Fire ProWrestling series.
December 31 Death Rally MS-DOS Remedy Entertainment/GT Interactive the first game developed by Remedy Entertainment, the team that would go on to develop Max Payne and Alan Wake.
December 31 NBA Hangtime Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, PlayStation, PC , N64, Arcade, SNES Midway arcade-style basketball game developed by Midway.

Hardware[edit]

Nintendo 64

Business[edit]

Discontinual[edit]