It was a very Rare week here at USgamer. First up, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Perfect Dark, Rare ambitious shooter for the Nintendo 64. Then we spoke with former Rare composers David Wise and Grant Kirkhope about their time at the developer during its Nintendo Golden Age. Finally, we found out that Sea of Thieves, the pirate-themed adventure from current Rare, is coming to Steam on June 3.
Given all the fanfare, we felt it was a good time to ask our community: What's your favorite Rare game? You have a lot of games to choose from, from long-time classics like Donkey Kong Country and GoldenEye 007, to odd one-offs like Star Fox Adventures or Blast Corps. Or perhaps you're a fan of the Microsoft era titles like Viva Pinata or Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts! Let us know all about your favorites in the comments below.
Part of me wants to choose something from the weirder side like Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, a game I really enjoyed years after its original launch. Goldeneye 64 was a game that I dropped literal years into back in the day, but it's also not a game that I feel aged all that well; I acknowledge the fun I had, but I also can go back. So I'm going to say that Killer Instinct is probably my Rare game of choice. I waffled between Killer Instinct and Killer Instinct 2, as the latter plays better, but the former has more interesting characters like Riptor and Thunder. KI was in the heyday of arcades, so I could drop a quarter on the machine and watch others pull off sick Ultra combos while I waited.
I didn't really play a lot of Rare's games in their era, but there was one that I absolutely wore out the cart on: GoldenEye 007. It was my friends and I's LAN game before we knew what LAN was. It was cool, fun, and easy to play over and over again. The campaign was actually fun to play through on multiple difficulties, or just trying to speedrun. Where console shooters wouldn't ever feel "right" until Halo, GoldenEye 007 was the one that got it as right as it could.
The game that always instantly comes to mind for me when I think "Rare" is Donkey Kong Country. I think parts of that game haven't aged so well (and put me on record for thinking the mine cart levels are just not that fun), but overall there's still something about DKC that just works really well for me. Is it Super Mario World, the gold standard of old platformers that still hold up? No, but it's also head and shoulders above most other SNES platformers I played. Cough cough, Rocko's Modern Life game.