Another now classic Nintendo console was born, as were not only several game franchises that would prove to endure to this day, but also a whole genre of game that would briefly take over the world in years to come…

PaRappa the Rapper

A Japanese PlayStation game with a wafer-thin cartoon dog rapper may not have seemed like a big deal at the time, however PaRappa the Rapper, created by music producer Masaya Matsuura with art by Rodney Greenblat, would prove to be quite revolutionary. While music games had come before it, this is considered ground zero for the true rhythm game, with players initially tasked with stabbing buttons in time with the music so that our titular hero doesn’t get flunked out by his teacher. Sound familiar? Yep, but we’d have to wait a few more years for Guitar Hero and Rock Band

Nintendo 64

Nintendo’s successor to the 16-bit Super Nintendo jumped its 32-bit rivals and went for the full 64-bit experience, with their new system created in cahoots with Silicon Graphics. Initially known as Project Reality, then Ultra 64, by release time in Japan and the US it became known simply as the Nintendo 64. Australians had to wait until March 1997 for the console to arrive, but that meant more games at launch, with 3D platformer Super Mario 64 wowing the world and delivering the template for pretty much every similar game idea to follow. We’re still not convinced about that controller though…


1996 was definitely one of the greatest years for the introduction of new IPs that would be lauded by reviewers and players alike, and go on to spawn many sequels. Franchises from that mega year that are still very much alive and kicking today are Capcom’s Resident Evil (born as Biohazard in its native Japan), Tomb Raider from Eidos, and Dead or Alive from Tecmo – all of which have spawned movies. Then there’s Naughty Dog’s Crash Bandicoot – who’d have guessed how critical to PlayStation’s ongoing success his makers would become?