For all intents and purposes, the adventure genre may have died in the late 90's, but if the recent re-releases of Monkey Island 1 & 2 are any indication, then the adventure genre may well see a resurrection in the coming years. Here are ten of the decade's greatest adventure games which deserve to be revived in some form or another.
Developed by Tim Schafer, who would later design Psychonauts and Brutal Legend, Full Throttle was an adrenaline-filled adventure game starring the Bruce Campbell-lookalike biker, Ben. The story is set in a dystopian future where motorized vehicles are giving way to anti-gravitational craft. Ben is framed for the murder of Malcolm Corley, the CEO of Corley Motors (the games' tribute to Harley Davidson) and spends most of the game trying to clear his name and bring the real killer, Adrian Ripburger, to justice.
Named after a projection ghost show invented in France in the 18th century, Phantasmagoria was designed by Roberta Williams, and revolves around the story of novelist Adrienne Delaney and her husband Donald, who've purchased a mansion that was previously owned by a 19th magician and occultist with many dark secrets. Hoping to find inspiration for her next book, Adrienne finds horrific nightmares, instead. Adrienne must uncover the secrets of the house before she too becomes a victim of it. The game remains controversial for its adult themes and is known for being one of the earliest games to tell a serious story.
Created by Steve Purcell, LucasArts' Sam & Max Hit the Road features two anthropomorphic animals--Sam, a detective dog, and Max, a "hyperkinetic rabbity thing". The game was well known for its offbeat humor and its satirical take of American culture. In addition to the main game, S&M featured several minigames which were required to be completed in order to further the game's plot. Several sequels were planned, but ultimately cancelled with the demise of the adventure genre. The series has since been revived by Telltale Games and is available on Steam.
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Though it's arguable as to which of the first three Monkey Island games were the best, Monkey Island 2 remains my personal favorite. This sequel to Monkey Island involves Guybrush's (the protagonist) attempts to find a treasure called the "Big Whoop" and win back the love of Elaine Marley, his crush. The evil undead pirate LeChuck is more evil than ever, and the story itself takes a turn for the dark (as if it weren't weird enough already) towards the game's ending. Utterly memorable.
Thankfully for us, LucasArts has remastered the game with completely new graphics and audio for a whole new generation of gamers.
Simon the Sorcerer
Simon the Sorcerer is an adventure game that satirizes the fantasy genre as a whole, with parodies of popular books including The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia and fairy tales, like various Mother Goose stories. Simon, the game's protagonist, is voiced by Chris Barrie, who's well known for his role as Rimmer in the British comedy series Red Dwarf. The game was compared favorably to Monkey Island 2 as they were both released around the same time.
Developed by King's Quest creator Jane Jensen, Gabriel Knight places you in the role of the game's titular character, an author and bookstore owner living in New Orleans. The game offered a balanced mix of historical and fictional elements, blending voodoo lore and New Orleans history with a compelling narrative. It was one of the first titles to place a strong emphasis on character development, with detailed human interaction between Gabriel and the people around him. Two sequels were produced to critical acclaim--the first in FMV and the second in 3D.