As one of the most influential characters in the spy genre, James Bond has been around since Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale. Agent 007 quickly became the star of television shows, comic strips, video games, and of course, the well-known films. As with any long-standing franchise, Bond has seen huge success and a few flops, but his character remains very much alive and loved nonetheless.
With the newest James Bond film, No Time To Die, coming out this year, it’s the perfect time to take a look back at some of our favorite spy’s adventures in the gaming industry. Here are five of the best and five of the worst James Bond video games of all time.
10 BEST: Nightfire
Electronic Arts (EA Games) published James Bond 007: Nightfire in 2002 for PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, and PC. An additional version was released for the GameBoy Advance one year later, which was widely considered to be the action shooter title’s most popular platform.
Nightfire used Bond actor Pierce Brosnan’s likeness before Brosnan’s final appearance in the 2002 film Die Another Day. In this mission, Bond works to prevent terrorists from detonating a nuclear weapon on New Year’s Eve. Critics praised the game for its realistic animation, especially in regards to Brosnan’s likeness.
9 WORST: A View To Kill
1985’s A View To Kill was the Bond franchise’s first game inspired by and named after a specific Bond film. Two versions of the game were actually released: A View to a Kill: The Computer Game and James Bond 007: A View to a Kill. The former developed and published by Domark, unfortunately, didn’t live up to the hype of the movie.
A View To Kill follows Bond as he works to find and take down May Day in three different sections, all inspired by scenes from the film. Each section uses different gameplay tactics, which many critics thought were too much. In addition, the graphics were said to be poor and the controls too difficult.
8 BEST: From Russia With Love
From Russia With Love is another title based on a Bond film of the same name, though this game fared much better than A View To Kill. The 2005 third-person shooter was published by EA Games on GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, followed by a PlayStation Portable version in 2006.
This time, actor Sean Connery’s likeness and voice were used, 22 years after Connery’s last on-screen portrayal of Bond. From Russia With Love follows the same story as the book and film, with some elements from 1960’s Bond films like Goldfinger and Thunderball. The game was praised for its difficult gameplay and enhanced graphics.
7 WORST: 007 Racing
Pierce Brosnan is back and…not so better than ever in this meager Bond racing game. EA Games released 007 Racing in 2000 as a PlayStation exclusive title. As a spin-off of the main Bond adventures, the game includes some of the British secret agent’s most popular vehicles over the years, such as the Aston Martin DB5, the Lotus Esprit, the BMW 8, and more.
007 Racing essentially follows Bond as he completes the majority of his mission — stopping a diplomat from smuggling weapons to terrorists — from these cars. The game received mixed reviews, as many critics were disappointed in the graphics and lack of originality, but impressed with some of the level designs.
6 BEST: License To Kill
Domark published 007: License To Kill in 1989 for DOS. The game was later ported to Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, MSX and ZX Spectrum. At the time, it was one of the widest 007 releases ever, according to Mi6-HQ. This PC title differs from the other Bond adventures on this list in that it featured top-down vertical scrolling, which added a unique arcade sense of fun.
License to Kill closely follows the corresponding film, with action-packed helicopter chasing, underwater diving, skiing, and more. The game was regarded as one of Domark’s better Bond titles.
5 WORST: Goldeneye: Rogue Agent
Despite its inclusion in the James Bond game franchise, Goldeneye: Rogue Agent doesn’t actually put players in the shoes of the famous spy at all. Instead, players take on the role of a disgraced MI6 agent with a cybernetic golden eyeball. EA Games published the spin-off title in 2004 on GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox, as well as Nintendo DS in 2005.
EA’s first mistake was straying from the use of Bond as the main character. What’s even worse is that Agent 007 was killed off in this realm. On top of that, players criticized its gameplay and its failed attempt to recreate the success of Goldeneye 007, one of the best Bond games out there (which we’ll talk about later).
4 BEST: 007 Bloodstone
Activision published 007 Bloodstone in 2010 on PC, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. This third-person shooter was the first Bond game with an original story since 2003’s 007: Everything or Nothing. In this adventure, Bond, portrayed by Daniel Craig, is sent off to prevent a suicide attack on a G-20 summit. He later must locate and rescue a kidnapped researcher.
Bloodstone‘s action was said to closely match that of the Bond films, even though this game wasn’t based on any of the movies. This was developer Bizarre Creations’ last game before they closed in 2011, but thankfully, they went out on a good note.
3 WORST: 007 Legends
Unfortunately, Activision’s next Bond game wasn’t so spectacular. 007 Legends came out in 2012 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and Wii U. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, 007 Legends acted as a tribute to each of the Bond actors.
The game includes one mission with each of the stars (Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig) and features scenes from games like Skyfall and Quantum of Solace. Many critics compared 007 Legends to a cheap version of Call of Duty with repetitive and mundane gameplay.
2 BEST: Goldeneye 007
Goldeneye 007 is widely regarded as the best game in the James Bond franchise. This 1997 classic developed by Rare was released on the Nintendo 64 and went on to become the console’s third best-selling title. In addition, Goldeneye 007 played an important role in the history of first-person shooters, as it offered a more realistic style and incorporated multiplayer and stealth elements.
The game follows Bond as he attempts to prevent the use of a satellite weapon in London. Overall, Goldeneye 007 was praised for its graphics, special effects, multiplayer functionality, and more. It went on to receive the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science’s Game of the Year award.
1 WORST: James Bond Jr.
James Bond Jr., the nephew of Agent 007, became the star of a 1967 spin-off novel titled The Adventures of James Bond Junior 003½, and later, an animated television series in the same name. In 1991, Eurocom developed a James Bond Jr. video game for release on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and the Super NES.
This side-scrolling platformer followed the younger Bond as he worked to find and rescue the world’s greatest scientists from a villain known as S.C.U.M. Lord. James Bond Jr. didn’t fare as well as the animated series, as critics slammed the seemingly rushed and faulty gameplay mechanics.
Sims 3 Vs Sims 4: Things Each Game Does Better