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The 6 Best And 6 Worst James Bond Video Games

James Bond is a pop culture icon that almost needs no introduction. The international superspy with a license to kill has been around since Ian Fleming's first Bond novel, "Casino Royale," appeared in bookstores in 1953. Soon enough, Bond made the leap to film, then later video games. Sadly, James Bond games seemed to disappear after the IP shifted to various development studios, leaving fans to wonder whatever happened to the once-famous series.

Though license-holders have shut down some impressive Bond fan projects, there hasn't been an officially released Bond title in years. Luckily for fans, with "No Time to Die" finally hitting theaters after several delays and IO Interactive working on a new Bond video game, things are looking up for 007. IO Interactive has promised that this new title will be one of the most ambitious Bond projects to date — but before fans look to the future of Bond games, it's important to remember the past.

James Bond video games haven't always been good. In fact, some spy-themed titles have been downright difficult to play. With the Bond franchise, the highs are very high and the lows, unfortunately, are remarkably low. Here are the six best and six worst James Bond video games, presented in alternating order.

Worst: A View to A Kill

Game developer Domark made several early Bond games, including "A View to A Kill." The title released in 1985 for the Commodore 64, but behind its colorful (but now-ancient) graphics was a total mess of a game. One reviewer, John Gage, called the game "pretty disappointing" because it was "full of bugs," but that's just the beginning of the title's issues.

First of all, the video game adaptation of "A View to A Kill" didn't have great source material to go on. The film of the same name has a fairly mixed score on Metacritic, and isn't a divisive part of the Bond series. Meanwhile, the game adaptation of "A View to A Kill" flopped for several different reasons.

The game contains three different "sub games," according to MI6's review, each of which covered a particular scene from the film. These included a driving segment and some side-scrolling action. Unfortunately, the three separate mini-games don't quite connect in any sort of meaningful way. The disjointed nature of the game's plot, combined with the numerous bugs and glitches, made the game almost unplayable. However, as MI6's review mentioned, the game did feature some great music, including a chiptune version of Duran Duran's title song.

Best: The World is Not Enough

"The World is Not Enough" had a lot to live up to. It was released on the heels of "GoldenEye 007," meaning that fans had big expectations for the next Nintendo 64-based Bond title. In his review of the game, Matt Casamassina at IGN explained that "The World is Not Enough" proved that although Rare's "GoldenEye 007" was magnificent, the developer wasn't a necessary component for making a great Bond game. The title took advantage of the Nintendo 64's Expansion Pak, delivering top-of-the-line graphics for its time. Most importantly, however, "The World is Not Enough" included 14 levels of smooth, interesting gameplay — and faithfully adapted the film's plot.

For fans that wanted a top-notch multiplayer experience, "The World is Not Enough" provided on that front as well. The game included an improved multiplayer mode, similar to "GoldenEye 007," but with updated graphics and maps. With a Metacritic score of 80, "The World is Not Enough" is one of the more favored Bond games on the list, even if it's not fans' absolute favorite.

Worst: Live and Let Die

Domark continued making James Bond games, even after "A View to Kill" turned out so poorly. While many Domark Bond games aren't worth mentioning, "Live and Let Die" is a unique situation. You see, it was never intended to be a Bond game at all.

According to Games That Weren't, "Aquablast" was a boat driving simulator by developer Elite, which was rebranded late in the development process to be James Bond-themed. The former head of Domark explained that this wasn't such an uncommon occurrence, and that Domark had similarly released a "Star Wars"-themed Atari game previously. In the 1980s, video games were truly the wild west, and the finely-tuned branding and development of today hadn't been established yet. So if James Bond was riding a boat that seemed suspiciously like another game, that was surprisingly okay.

That being said, the game simply wasn't fun. It was basically just four levels of boat nonsense — presumably because a single set piece in the movie involved a boat chase. While some players enjoyed "Live and Let Die," official reviews weren't so forgiving. MI6's review called "Live and Let Die" a "classic example of the weak movie tie-in games that were released around the late 80's / early 90's," especially because of its repetitive gameplay. However, with its wisdom of living through years of James Bond titles, MI6 also noted that "Live and Let Die" preceded better things in Domark's future.

Best: Nightfire

As Classic Game Room noted in its review of "Nightfire," the most important element of any Bond movie or game is the feel of Bond. Viewers or players should walk away from a Bond experience feeling like they want to be James Bond because he's just so impossibly cool. "Nightfire" managed to capture that feeling while also ushering James Bond into a new generation of consoles.

Nintendo Power's review for "Nightfire" called the game a "cinematic experience," and four out of five reviewers gave the title 4.5/5 stars. IGN noted that even though "Nightfire" wasn't "perfect," it was ready to hang with other top Bond titles like "GoldenEye." GameSpot credited the game for opting for an original storyline.

In fact, most reviewers seemed impressed with the original plot of "Nightfire." Unlike many Bond games, "Nightfire" didn't retread a preexisting film. Instead, the game included an entirely new plot, and provided fans with a unique and unpredictable Bond experience. A later port for the Game Boy Advance would receive middling reviews, but that original release still proves popular with fans.

Worst: 007 Racing

Some racing games have stood the test of time — for example, "Diddy Kong Racing" is definitely due for a remake — but others fall by the wayside, part of larger trends that never managed to stick around. The 90s were full of racing games like "Crash Team Racing," "Super Mario Kart," and the aforementioned "Diddy Kong Racing." "007 Racing" attempted to jump on the racing trend, but ultimately appeared too late in the game. Not only that, but it was almost unplayable.

YouTuber Calvin Dyson, who set out to review every Bond game in existence, explained that "007 Racing" at least had an original story, setting it apart from many other Bond titles. While he remembered owning the game as a child, he didn't have any memories of the game itself, so he was looking forward to checking it out again. However, "that excitement quickly dwindled" as he began to play the game and encountered its clunky controls and horrifying graphics. Dyson concluded that his review was more positive than the game deserved, and noted that the game actually featured more driving around than actual racing, which is strange for a game with "Racing" in the title.

While Dyson's review took place years after the game's release, critics at the time also disliked "007 Racing." GameSpot gave the game a middling rating, saying it was one of the more mediocre Bond titles to date.

Best: GoldenEye 007 (2010)

"GoldenEye 007" was one of the most impressive titles on the Nintendo 64, and fans clamored for a follow-up for years. In 2010, Bond-lovers got their collective wish as the beloved title was reimagined for newer consoles. While the game did erase Pierce Brosnan in favor of current Bond Daniel Craig, it was a small price to pay for an update to the classic first-person shooter.

GameSpot gave "GoldenEye 007" an 8.5/10, noting that its multiplayer mode and diverse action sequences shone on the Wii. The review even noted that the single-player campaign was so fun that it's worth playing through more than once in order to uncover secrets and Easter eggs.

Meanwhile, IGN's review noted that even if the updated "GoldenEye 007" didn't change the face of the FPS genre like the original, it still managed to be an entertaining installment in the Bond franchise, as well as proof that developers Activision and Eurocom could create a decent Bond game. The site's score of a 9/10 wasn't too shabby, either.

Both GameSpot's and IGN's reviews lamented the fact that "GoldenEye 007" didn't take advantage of WiiSpeak, a recent-at-the-time Wii feature that allowed for chatting during multiplayer matches. Even still, "GoldenEye 007" holds up well, even years later, and offered a unique opportunity to see a reimagined Bond masterpiece in action — and with an impressive facelift.

Worst: James Bond Jr.

"James Bond Jr.," which began life as a TV show and eventually made its way into game form, isn't really about the iconic spy at all. Instead, it follows his nephew (who is somehow named after him) as he attempts to become just like his favorite intelligence operative. While the game had cool graphics and good ideas at the time of its release, it hasn't held up over in the modern day. Actually, it's downright annoying to play now.

YouTube reviewer SNES Drunk explained that while he doesn't know what the "James Bond Jr." TV show was like, he does know a lot about terrible video games. According to SNES Drunk, "James Bond Jr." isn't all bad. It has a surprising amount of variety in its gameplay, including helicopter combat and plenty of platforming. However, anything that might be considered interesting is immediately negated by the fact that the game is unpleasant to play. From bad sprite design to annoying music to unintuitive controls, the game falls short on most fronts.

A different review from John Legendoffzelda gave "James Bond Jr." 1 out of 5 stars, noting that it featured remarkably bad controls during its vehicle sequences. In other words, "James Bond Jr." could have been better than it was, but it was let down by its bizarre storyline and weak design.

Best: From Russia with Love

"From Russia with Love" hit the big screen way back in 1963, but it didn't arrive in video game form until 2005. Instead of capitalizing on the (at the time) upcoming "Casino Royale," the game looked back at one of the most famous Bonds of all time. The title holds two distinct honors, both as the last game developed by EA before Activision took over the game rights and as the last time Sean Connery played Bond before his official retirement. Though Connery's avatar in the game looks as he did back in 1963, the beloved actor returned to the sound booth in his 70s to record all new lines for the game, giving it a special spot amongst the best Bond games.

Critics agreed that "From Russia with Love" was a pretty great Bond game. IGN said that it was a good game that would appeal to casual gamers and hardcore Bond fans. GameSpot took some issues with the adjustments made to the original plot, but found the action in the game to be a total blast. While the game might not be as technically well-designed as some other Bond adaptations, Connery's role in it gave "From Russia with Love" an extra boost of sentimentality for some gamers. One fan even said it topped their favorite PS2 games of all time.

Worst: 007 Legends

There's no way to sugarcoat things with "007 Legends." Matthew Razak at Destructoid called it "a rushed game whose quality is an insult to one of the greatest franchises in the history of media." After the successful reimagining of "GoldenEye" in 2021, many fans — including Razak — dared to hope that Eurocom and Activision would revive the franchise and begin creating more intriguing Bond games. That didn't turn out to be the case with "007 Legends," and critics universally panned the title.

The premise seems interesting at first glance. The meat of the game takes place through a series of flashbacks, where Bond remembers past missions (or past films in the franchise) as he falls to his supposed death. However, as Eurogamer pointed out, "007 Legends" failed to deliver on a good idea by removing everything from the older films that made them special. Gone is Sean Connery's intense brogue and the quaint technology from the 60s and 70s. Instead, each past Bond adventure is represented by the Bond of the moment, Daniel Craig, who appears in each flashback.

To add insult to injury, Game Informer's review of "007 Legends" indicated that the game was filled with technical issues as well, along with a laughably low difficulty level and a lack of significant stakes. Even though the concept of "007 Legends" might make for a compelling title in the future, the existing version didn't satisfy fans or critics.

Best: James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing

Not everyone enjoyed "James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing," a 2003 title from EA. In fact, Destructoid reflected that it had some of the worst controls of any Bond game. That aside, the game scored some points for its original story and theme song. It's also notable as Pierce Brosnan's last performance as Bond. Other critics found plenty of reasons to love "Everything or Nothing," and the game was generally well-received.

IGN's review said that "Everything or Nothing" was "​​the second-best Bond game created thus far" and that it represented the spirit of the Bond legacy well, with the only drawback being the lack of a multiplayer battle mode. GameSpot's review similarly noted that "Everything or Nothing" felt very much like a Bond film, even if it didn't hit all the right notes.

Fans remember "Everything or Nothing" fondly, too. One Redditor commented that the game features a massive amount of star power, featuring actors like Judi Dench, John Cleese, Willem Dafoe, along with the aforementioned Brosnan. Even if the game wasn't an absolute technical marvel, its dedication to the overall feel of the Bond series and its success in creating a fun experience make it one of the best Bond games out there.

Worst: The Living Daylights

"The Living Daylights" did some progressive things, despite being one of the earliest Bond video game titles. It featured dual joystick controls, as noted in Crash magazine, but ultimately didn't break out of a standard run-and-gun mold of many games of its time. One YouTube commenter noted that the game might not have been "good," but that it was indeed "smooth" to play. However, this smoothness couldn't save the title, and it's ultimately remembered as one of the lesser Bond games.

Xyphoe, a reviewer and retro game collector, provided an in-depth review of "The Living Daylights," years after its release. Xyphoe commented even though this was his favorite of the Bond movies, the game adaptation didn't really hold up, even considering its decidedly aged platform of the Amstrad CPC. One commenter called the game an "abomination" and thanked Xyphoe for having the will to play it all the way through.

Ultimately, Xyphoe concluded that the gameplay was "horribly broken," even though it was kind of fun to play. Essentially, players could easily cheat the system by just running to the end of a level without shooting anyone or engaging with the terrain. "The Living Daylights" didn't give players any incentive to shoot enemies, which made the game more of an unintentional running simulator.

Best: GoldenEye 007 (1997)

There's no contest that the original "GoldenEye 007" for the Nintendo 64 is still the best Bond game out there. Setting the standard for each Bond title released after it, "GoldenEye 007" has a nearly perfect Metacritic score of 96 and years of justified nostalgia to back it up.

IGN's review of "GoldenEye 007" explained that the game cleverly used weapons as a way for players to adjust the game's difficulty level. Blowing through enemies with a magnum, for example, is must simpler than working to kill enemies with a pistol. IGN also boldly that "GoldenEye" was "the best single-player first-person game on any system" at the time. The review even said that the multiplayer mode outranked "Mario Kart 64," a truly bold feat.

In fact, the multiplayer mode in "GoldenEye 007" is what most gamers remember from it today. Game Developer's fifteenth anniversary retrospective on the game noted that it was the first to combine headshot bonuses and the specific use of sniper rifles, setting up the future of first-person shooters and the esports scene.

"GoldenEye 007" also had lots of things for gamers to do, even outside of multiplayer. Players couldn't finish the game in one go. Different objectives on each level provided hours of replay value in its single-player campaign,. While "GoldenEye 007" might not have the best graphics of all the Bond games on this list, it's by far the most memorable, groundbreaking game in the James Bond franchise.