1996 in video gaming

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Notable releases[edit]

Video game platforms
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 29 Duke Nukem 3D PC 3D Realms/GT Interactive a genre-redefining title for first person shooters
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 Zork: Nemesis PC Activision 11th game in the Zork series, employing 360-degree views of environment
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"
May 24 Metal Slug Neo-Geo SNK the first in the Metal Slug series that has proved extremely popular in the arcades.
May 31 Final Doom MS-DOS id Software the final part of the original Doom series.
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.
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 31 Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh PC Sierra On-Line a controversial sequel to the controversial original.
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.
September Virtua Fighter 3 Arcade Sega AM2 A fighting game considered to have the most technically impressive graphics at the time.
September 27 Meridian 59 Windows 3DO one of the first MMORPGs.
September 30 Wipeout XL/2097 PS1 Psygnosis a poster child of the PlayStation for pop culture infusions and sleek extreme action
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 Eidetic/Accolade Considered one of the worst video games of all time.
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 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.
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


Nintendo 64