Quake II was released in late 1997 by id Software and set the standard for what a real First Person Shooter is all about. A wide array of weapons, pick-ups and enemies fueled this game, making it a favorite among millions of gamers. Single player mode was acceptable, but the real basis for this game was its network play. Players could battle against others via IPX and TCP/IP over the internet. This is one of the first games I played using Glide and boy did it look great!
Carmageddon II was released in November of 1998 as a sequel to the wildly popular original title with the same name. The object of the game was simple: destroy any and everything in sight! Ok, so maybe not, but carnage was one of the key elements of this racing/driving game. Players competed in races with three different ways to win. First, you could pass through all of the checkpoints before the other racers. You could also win an event by destroying every competitor's vehicle. Finally, players could earn a victory by killing every pedestrian in a given stage. Due to the game's graphic nature, it earned a Mature rating from the ESRB, but that didn't stop most people (myself included) from playing this game hours on end!
Interstate '76 was released by Activision in 1997. The game's plot focuses around the investigation of a private army of autovillians and when the main character's sister is murdered, you are left with the task of finding out what really happened... oh, and getting revenge! Gameplay takes place from your armor-clad, hopped up Piranha as you hit the road (or desert) and do battle with other decked out vehicles. This game reminds me a lot of the Twisted Metal series as it shares many of the same themes.
Ah, Laura Croft - easily the most well-known female video game character of all time! Croft returns in the second installment of the highly popular series for another round of cave-exploring, puzzle solving fun. Tomb Raider II proved to be a winner across the board - gameplay, controls and graphics were top notch for its time. The hit series even spawned two movie releases starring Angelina Jolie.
Diablo II was released in 2000 by Blizzard and remains one of my favorite games of all-time. Gamers could select from five different characters to make their way through the game: Amazon, Paladin, Necromancer, Sorceress and Barbarian. The storyline picks up where the original game left off. Players must traverse through four acts in their pursuit of Diablo, Lord of Terror. Along the way, gamers must also do battle with several other boss-style enemies. Diablo featured both single and multiplayer modes and offered great replay value thanks to the use of randomly generating monsters and item drops.