Great Video Games: ‘GoldenEye’ hits the mark

Esteban Diaz | Editorial Cartoonist

Editor’s Note: This is an article in our ongoing “Great Video Game” series in which readers and staffers alike are asked to submit a few hundred words about a video game that they consider to be great. This week’s submission is “GoldenEye 007” for the Nintendo 64.

By Trevor Allison

O, “GoldenEye 007,” the delight of my youth. This game brought infinite enjoyment to an innumerable number of gamers from 7 -years-old — as I was when it was released — to 30-plus years old — as it was for my uncles with whom I played the game — and probably even further.

Rare’s masterpiece for the Nintendo 64, “GoldenEye 007,” was unlike anything we had ever seen. It wasn’t the first first-person shooter game for a console, but it was the first great first-person shooter. That was a mouthful. Basic gist: “GoldenEye 007” was mind-blowingly awesome. It still is, actually.

Why was “GoldenEye” great? First, you get to be James Bond. You actually get to play as Bond. James Bond. If you’ve never been a 7-year-old boy, you may not understand how big of a deal this is. If you have, then you know why this is such a big deal. At that time in my life, killing bad guys was seen as the highest calling in life.

It was also the first great multiplayer game — anything including the Mario Brothers notwithstanding. You could finally go head-to-head with your friends in a simple game that didn’t involve mushrooms, turtle shells and go-karts. Not only could you shoot bad guys, but you could shoot bad guys controlled by your friends. Somehow, I think that was actually more fun, but I’m still not entirely sure why this is. But it doesn’t matter why, because it was awesome and even now I love playing with friends.

Now I will give some reasons involving actual gameplay. It was the first game where users had the ability to zoom in and take advantage of the scope or sights on a particular gun. This added realism not yet experienced in console games.

Also, if you shot bad guys in different parts of their body, they would react different ways. Adding to the realistic feel, headshots eliminated bad guys much quicker than shots to the legs or arms. “GoldenEye 007” also kept track of what percentage of your shots hit or missed and which parts of the body you hit most, which was another way to prove your supremacy over friends.

As great as “GoldenEye 007” was (or still is, to those of us who continue to play it regularly), its legacy might be even greater. “GoldenEye 007” paved the way for other free-roaming shooters such as the “Halo” and “Call of Duty” franchises, which are some of the most popular games today.

“GoldenEye 007” is certainly one of the greatest games of all time, not only for its exciting gameplay but the innovations it brought and the impact it still has on video games in the present.

Does reading this article make you think of a video game that you consider great? Please send us an email at with a suggestion for a “Great Video Game.” Please include a few hundred words on why you consider your game to be great and you just might find your opinion here.