With the new 007 movie, No Time to Die, being out in theaters, I have been revisiting some of my favorite James Bond video games. The original James Bond novels by Ian Fleming have inspired one of the longest running movie franchises in history. Along with the movies, there have regularly been 007 themed video games released since the early 1980s. Some of these games follow the plots of their film counterparts and others have a plots that belong all to themselves. I have not personally played every single Bond game that has been released, but I have played a lot of them. Here are my 5 personal favorites from the 007 franchise.
Here are a few honorable mentions:
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1999)
- James Bond 007: Blood Stone (2010)
- From Russia With Love (2005)
These are fun games and I have fond memories playing them. While these games are solid entries in the series and its cool to play as Sean Connery in From Russia With Love, these games don’t do quite enough to crack the top 5. The remaining games on this list either brought something fresh to the series or really nailed the “Bond Game Formula”.
5. Agent Under Fire (2001)
Agent Under Fire is a really fun game. This was the first Bond game of the sixth console generation. It was first released on the Playstation 2 and was later ported to the Gamecube. It took the first person shooter formula of the Bond games from the N64 and brought it into the new console generation. Most of the game is an FPS, but there are sections of driving and rail shooting as well.
This game has all of the James Bond cliches. You get to use your fair share of cool Q-Branch gadgets. The thing that puts this game in slot number 5 is that the controls do feel a little clunky and there isn’t enough stealth gameplay. One of the things I love about Bond games are the levels where you really feel like a spy getting to sneak around and collect intel. It’s a good game and a fun James Bond experience, but the other games on this list would probably be better for an introduction to the series.
4. Everything or Nothing (2003)
It was really hard to rank the rest of this list. I really love all four of these games so the ranking could change depending on the mood that I’m in. The next game in my ranking is Everything or Nothing from 2003. This game, like Tomorrow Never Dies, took the common FPS Bond format and moved the game to a third-person perspective. ‘Everything or Nothing’ also introduces a cover-based shooter element that is really well done.
This game has some really cool level design and a lot of variety in gameplay. The gameplay is classic Bond, but there are levels where you drive a cool weaponized Bond car, a tank, fly a helicopter, and repel down buildings. This game also has a really fun co-op campaign that you do not get with most Bond games.
3. The World is Not Enough (2000)
The second 007 game to be released on the N64 was The World is Not Enough. This is the first game on this list that is based on a movie of the same name. And compared to other games that are based on films, this game does a really good job of following the movie closely. ‘ The World is Not enough’ to me is a really good blend of the stealth based gameplay and the classic FPS Bond experience.
The story is really cool and you feel like each level really has weight to it because you care about the outcome of the story. The multiplayer was a really fun experience with a lot of fun weapons to use. And there are a lot of really cool gadgets to use that are useful in progressing through the levels. The different difficulty settings are appropriately scaled and the additional objectives on the harder difficulty settings are really satisfying to complete. All in all, this is a really solid 007 game and a great introduction to the series.
2. Goldeneye 007 (1997)
Alright, I know that you are probably thinking I lose all credibility by ranking this game 2nd. What can I even say about Goldeneye and how influential it was as a FPS title? This is a game that brought the genre to home consoles and did it with a bang. Goldeneye offers a fun and challenging campaign that follows the movie really closely.
But what most people probably remember about Goldeneye, is the multiplayer. The N64 gave players the chance to play local multiplayer with 4 players. This gave many people a lot of fun memories with friends. And the local split-screen multiplayer would go on to define the next console generation with games like Halo.
When people think of James Bond video games, the first game they probably think of is Goldeneye. It is such an iconic game and for good reason. This is definitely a great introduction for people to the series. The only thing preventing it from being number 1 on the list is that the controls have aged. This was before modern dual stick FPS controls so it takes some getting used to if you pick it up today.
1. Nightfire (2002)
My absolute favorite Bond game is Nightfire. This game took everything good about the 007 games from the previous console generation and improved them. The campaign in this game is a classic ridiculous James Bond plot (complete with a giant space laser). But every level in this game is fun and engaging. There is such a good mix of action packed FPS gameplay and stealthy gameplay.
This story of this game was written just for the game, but it really feels like it could be a movie. Some of the levels can be completed in multiple ways and you really feel like a spy when you can successfully get through a level while causing minimal damage.
If you thought the multiplayer in Goldeneye was fun, then this game will blow you away. There are multiple fun game modes and tons of classic Bond characters to choose from. The maps are some of my favorite multiplayer maps in the entire series. And this game has my favorite selection of Q-Branch gadgets to use.
I love the 007 games and these are just a few of my favorites. I really wish that game studios would have continued to regularly make quality Bond games. It has been a while since there has been a really good 007 game. To me, Nightfire is the best game in the series and the perfect introduction to the series for someone who has never played one of these games.