Operation Stealth aka James Bond 007: The Stealth Affair - a polished point and click espionage adventure
With 50th anniversary game 007 Legends due in October, here is a look back at three of the best James Bond games, three of the worst, and three more Bond-related titles that merit consideration.
The Best of Bond
1. GoldenEye 007 (1997)
96% Metacritic average score on Nintendo 64
A regular on "greatest game of all time" lists, the original GoldenEye proved beyond a doubt that first-person shooters could succeed on home consoles, and even now remains a benchmark for film and movie tie-ins.
2. James Bond 007: The Stealth Affair aka Operation Stealth (1990)
86% average score on Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, DOS compiled from archive reviews
The polished point and click espionage adventure Operation Stealth became James Bond 007: The Stealth Affair for the USA, though that did mean Bond was inexplicably put to work for the CIA rather than his usual handlers at MI6.
3. Everything or Nothing (2004)
84% Metacritic average score on PlayStation 2 and GameCube, 83% on Xbox 360
Slick shooting and driving sections, exotic locations, impressive graphics, novel game modes and a Hollywood cast combined to create an impressive Bond experience.
The Worst of Bond
1. 007 Racing (2000)
51% Metacritic average score on PlayStation One
Though British developer Eutechnyx is now generally well respected for Ferrari: The Race Experience and Supercar Challenge, 007 Racing was a shocker, thanks to poor graphics, rusty controls, and dull, dull gameplay.
2. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (2005)
61% Metacritic average score on Xbox, 60% on PlayStation 2 and GameCube
Not only uninspiring, formulaic, and disappointing after Everything or Nothing, but dared to invoke the hallowed name of GoldenEye with barely more than a fleck of relevance to Bond canon or its video game forefather, and was therefore subject to the wrath of critics and fans alike.
3. Quantum of Solace (2008)
65% Metacritic average score on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, 54% on Wii, 73% on PlayStation 2
Quantum of Solace had its supporters for sure, but many found its presentation and design sorely lacking, especially in comparison to contemporaries Dead Space, BioShock, Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Even developer Treyarch had to juggle it with blockbuster Call of Duty: World at War.
For your consideration
James Bond 007: Blood Stone (2010) - A close contender for the Worst of Bond, Blood Stone was a strange choice for Bizarre Creations, known for excellent racing games (Project Gotham Racing, Blur) and downloadable gems (Geometry Wars). Released by Activision only a week before the publisher's main draw, Black Ops, it was Bizarre's swansong as the studio shut down three months later.
GoldenEye: Source (2005) - A fan-made custom pack for Half-Life 2 that was homage to GoldenEye's legendary multiplayer mode and testament to the appetite for a modern reissue, well before the eventual remakes GoldenEye 007 on Wii (2010) and GoldenEye Reloaded on 360 and PS3 (2011).
No One Lives Forever (2000) - Arriving as the height of Austin Powers's Bond-spoofing reign and casting players as a female operative fighting against spy film tropes, the 60s style N.O.L.F. was a brilliantly able blend of first person shooter action, tricky stealth sections, and deep movie knowledge with a cleverly humorous touch throughout.