It was a big year in gaming history, with the arrival of a rival for Mario, one of the biggest and most influential arcade games of all time launching, and a milestone in game design hitting that would go on to influence many a game to come…

Street Fighter II

By 1991, fighting games were nothing new, yet Capcom managed to completely shake up the entire genre… with a sequel! Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, to give its full title, honed many features introduced in its 1987 predecessor, adding more uniquely-equipped playable characters, a challenging six-button configuration with innumerable combo moves available to those prepared to spend some time (and, of course, money) studying the game’s form and, critically, head-to-head play that pretty much saved the arcade industry at the time.

In the “console wars” of the time, SEGA may have had the drop on nemesis Nintendo in the 16-bit stakes with their Mega Drive console, but they still lacked one important thing – a mascot that could go properly toe-to-toe with Mario, as Alex Kidd just wasn’t cutting it. Enter Sonic the Hedgehog, a hyper-speedy blue mammal-with-attitude purposefully designed to take on the opposition’s popular plumber, launched via a game of the same name, who more than met the mascot brief. The rest, as is said, is history…

Back in the days when it was common for one person to create an entire game, game designer and programmer Éric Chahi gifted the world an experience that would have a lasting effect for decades to come. Using vector graphics for the protagonist of his sci-fi survival action adventure Another World, he created a universe unlike any that had been seen before. It was later cited as a major inspiration by everybody from the Ico developers to rock star game guy Hideo Kojima.