The James Bond film series is still going strong after over five decades. While there's been a number of different spinoff media over the year, none of it has quite captured the public imagination in the same way as video games. While Bond's been in gaming almost as long as there have been video games, only a handful of these games have managed to capture the feel of the Bond film franchise. Below are six of the games that helped cement Bond's role in the video game industry.
6. James Bond Jr.
James Bond Jr. was one of the first games to really capture the essence of James Bond. While numerous games had been released throughout the 80s, it wasn't until 1991 that someone finally got the concept right. While James Bond Jr is more related to the spin-off show than to James Bond's own canon, it still gave players a chance to play with a version of the spy that really felt like Bond.
5. 007: Quantum of Solace
Quantum of Solace was an interesting choice for a game. There was planning done for a Casino Royale game, but when the work on that title fell through some elements from the film were worked in Quantum of Solace. Powered by the same engine that ran Battlefield and dripping with style, Quantum of Solace ended up being something of a hidden gem. It was developed by some of the biggest studios to ever touch a Bond game and brought in the voice talents from the movie of the same name. While it might have been nice to gamble at bit in Casino Royale, this game more than held up on its own. Maybe it was better to save the gambling for sites like Reel Bonanza and focus on Bond in this game.
4. Everything or Nothing
Everything or Nothing is one of those games that pushed forward the Bond formula. It didn't just allow players to control Bond on foot - it put him squarely in the driver's seat for some fantastic driving levels. With a huge cast of real Hollywood stars and a slick graphical presentation, it even got a lot of love in the mainstream media. The game was a best-seller that might not have gotten quite as much respect as it deserved, but it was certainly loved by players. It was a real chance for gamers to take control of a Bond action film without rehasing the plot of an older movie.
3. From Russia With Love
One of the fantastic qualities of later Bond films is how they celebrate the history of the franchise. 2005's From Russia With Love jumped on that bandwagon fairly early, giving the world the first game to use Sean Connery's younger likeness and the first to feature new voicework by the actor. The plot hews closely to the film of the same name, albeit with some game-based changes. It's as close to playing a classic Bond film as one is likely to ever experience.
Nightfire, another Brosnan game, managed to craft a Bond story that was as engaging to experience as it was to play through. A strong third-person game, it gave a great deal of love to Bond's gadgets and spy-fi past. While it never quite reached the heights of the most popular Bond game due to its short length, it nevertheless thrilled players and proved that Bond was much more than just an excuse for a deathmatch shooter.
Goldeneye is the most-loved Bond game by far. While it has primitive graphics and controls by today's standards, it was absolutely a trendsetter by the standards of the time. The plot of the game loosely followed that of Goldeneye, putting players in control of Brosnan's Bond for the first time. Well-known for its excellently crafted maps and (for the time) revolutionary mechanics, it was a game like no other.
Goldeneye is more than just a great Bond game - it's a great game. It was chosen by the Smithsonian as one of the top games of the last forty years and regularly ranks in the list of the top 100 games of all time.
Bond has done a bit of everything in the gaming world. From spin-off adventures to movie remakes, from third-person stealth action to first-person death matches, Bond has proven to be one of the most adaptable franchises in all of gaming. The six games above are the best of a huge collection of games, the best of which may yet be coming. When you've got a fantastic franchise like James Bond, it's only natural that developers would continue to try to capture its essence. For now, though, these are the titles that have managed to stand the test of time.
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