James Bond: 10 Best Spy Games
James Bond 007: The Duel
Sega Genesis, 1993
One of the rare 007 interactive romps to feature Timothy Dalton, this 16-bit era side-scroller was short on story, but big on action. Not based on any of Bond's big screen bows, The Duel made up for its barely there plot by pitting players against some of the series' most iconic baddies — even as tiny pixel-people, Jaws and Oddjob were pretty badass.
James Bond 007
Despite its sprite-tastic graphics appearing more stirred than shaken, this bite-sized Bond entry was one of the era's best, trading the action movie-aping antics of previous entries for a more spy-flavored experience. While the core gameplay consisted of some combat, the ability to explore, use non-lethal items, and chat up civilians in need of aid injected this on-the-go entry with a fresh adventure-game feel.
Whether talking Bond games or videogames period, no best-of list is complete without this genre-defining first-person shooter. In addition to offering a solid FPS experience on a console — a rarity back in the day — GoldenEye 007 spun a cinematic solo campaign and a dangerously addictive split-screen multi-player mode that contemporary titles still strive to match.
007: The World is Not Enough
N64, PlayStation, 2000
While it was based on one of the franchise's weaker films and represented a blatant ripoff of the superior GoldenEye, this entry still managed to keep armchair secret agents engaged. The action-heavy, albeit generic adventure was undeniably fun thanks to a visual presentation — complemented by fully voiced cut-scenes — that was damn impressive for its day.
James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire
Xbox,PS2, GameCube, 2001-02
The PlayStation 2 era's first crack at the lucrative 007 license, Agent Under Fire traded a traditional film-based adventure for an original Bond yarn. While all the gadget- and gun-fueled gameplay felt pretty familiar, it was hard to ignore this new generation's visual prowess. Globetrotting through exotic locales — from Switzerland to Romania — provided some especially pleasing polygonal eye-candy.
James Bond 007: Nightfire
Xbox, PS2, GameCube, 2002
Another entry not based on a big-screen Bond outing, Nightfire wove a surprisingly absorbing yarn, while also refreshingly reining in the series' standard action-amping gameplay. Sure, it still offered ample opportunity to fill goons full of lead, but a focus on stealth-driven objectives also meant players were wielding gadgets as often as guns.
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
Xbox, PS2, GameCube, 2004
My pick for the absolute best Bond game (sorry, GoldenEye), Everything or Nothing is the closest players have come to donning 007's tux. Packed with gameplay variety — shooting, stealth, driving — and brimming with all the slick gadgets, sexy girls, and speedy cars you'd expect, it wasn't based on a film, but played just like an interactive movie. Solid voice work from Pierce Brosnan, Willem Dafoe, and Judi Dench only helped cement its cinematic feel.
From Russia With Love
Xbox, PS2, GameCube, 2005
Probably the best of the bunch — at least for truly hardcore Bond enthusiasts — From Russia With Love was not only based on the 1963 film but also featured the likeness and voice work of Sir Sean Connery himself. Its gameplay didn't innovate much over previous double-0 outings, but Connery's brimming Bond charm and classic call-outs to his time with MI6 — white tuxedo, jetpack — made this one a fan-favorite.
While previous entries, such as the abysmal GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, attempted to recapture the magic of the N64 classic, this Wii remake took a more direct approach; retelling the original's tale — but replacing Brosnan's Bond with the more contemporary Craig — it borrowed the best elements from the 1997 version, but significantly beefed up the visuals and multiplayer modes. A similar remake, subtitled Reloaded, landed on 360s and PS3s the next year.
James Bond 007: Blood Stone
Xbox 360, PS3, 2010
Following the bog-standard first-person shooting of 2008's Quantum of Solace, this original Bond romp upped the ante with varied action — including some seat-of-the-pants car chase sequences — and a scarily spot-on Daniel Craig character render. Even better, the cinematic third-person perspective perfectly framed bone-crunching fight scenes that could have made Jason Bourne wince.