Ian Fleming’s James Bond is easily the most well known character in espionage fiction, starring in an astounding number of works across all mediums: novels, film, comic strips and, of course, videogames. Much like the movies, there’s a lot of games that take advantage of the 007 license that are pretty entertaining. There are also a lot of clunkers. Like, a lot. No really. At least half of these stink. So to help you sort out which games and consoles you’re going to be digging out of your closet to get prepped for Spectre, we’ve decided to comb the pile and rank them from worst to best.
Now sit back, relax, take a sip of that dry martini, and let’s get to it.
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24. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent: Garbage. Just absolutely awful. You don't even get to play as Bond! Instead, you're parading around as some random gritman who got his eye shot out by Doctor No and is referred to as "GoldenEye" for the rest of the game. This is just poorly written interactive fan-fiction that EA put out to profit off of its name. A mediocre, cynical cashgrab you're better off ignoring.
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23. James Bond 007: The Stealth Affair: The Stealth Affair is a strange game in that it started off as a James Bond knock-off (called Operation Stealth) that somehow became an officially licensed Bond product. The US version of the game replaced John Glames, the name of the protagonist, with James Bond and that was that! The wit and charm associated with Bond simply isn't here, and the game itself—a point & click adventure—is just a pain to play. Rad cover though.
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22. James Bond 007: The first James Bond videogame. Made back in 1983 by The Parker Brothers. It's not great. Let's leave it at that.
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21. James Bond 007: The Duel: Poor Timothy Dalton. Though he had one of the shorter runs as Bond, he gave one of the most interesting interpretations of the role, sticking close to the literary character's brutality, something that most of Bond's actors chose to discard in favor of a playful and suave flirt.
Too bad The Duel, one of the only games to feature Dalton's Bond, is just a weak pew-pew sidescroller that doesn't feel very spy-esque at all. It's the worst from the pile of bad James Bond games from Domark Software, the developer responsible for most of the early Bond games.
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20. James Bond Jr: James Bond Jr. was an American cartoon series in the early '90s about Bond's nephew, James Bond Jr., getting into wacky hijinks and saving the world from evildoers. It was ok.
There was game adaptation of the series for the Super Nintendo. It wasn't ok. Just a generic, boring, scrolling shooter. This is ultimately more of a collector's oddity than anything else.
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19. The Living Daylights: Another platforming shooter in the vein of The Duel but hey at least the Commodore 64 version is pretty! Beyond that, it's nothing to get excited about. Unless platformers are your thing, give it a pass.
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18. Live and Let Die: What would it be like to play James Bond but in a speedboat…for the entire game? Well, the makers of The Duel also developed a game that answered that very question: Live and Let Die. It's pretty dull too. Just another game that doesn't take proper advantage of the Bond license.
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17. 007 Legends: The worst of the contemporary Bond games actually featuring Bond as a playable character is easily this awful first-person shooter. It's a shame too since Legends' premise (allowing you to relive famous moments from across the best 007 films) is so promising and developer Eurocom's previous Bond outing, a remake of GoldenEye, wasn't half bad! What a bummer. This dull, broken excuse of a game is a crushing disappointment for even the most ardent Bond fans.
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16. A View To a Kill: A View To a Kill is one of the more complicated games that Domark made and it's the closest they got to making something where you actually feel like you're playing as James Bond in all his silly glory. Ironically, though, it's actually not better than The Spy Who Loved Me, which is the high point of this developer's make-an-entire-game-out-of-this-one-action-sequence design. This is more ambitious but unrefined and kind of frustrating.
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15. James Bond 007 (Gameboy): A decent top-down adventure game made for the Gameboy. Not awful, but also totally forgettable.