Cyberpunk was a big deal in the 80s and in the 90s. Writers like Philip K. Dick and William Gibson, movies like Blade Runner, and anime such as Akira heavily influenced video games. The result was games with a dark, dystopian future, high technology and low life.
We've gathered Japanese games from this era to see how the cyberpunk setting created masterpieces and made all of them looking absolutely badass.
Heavily influenced by Western adventure games and cult science fiction movies, Hideo Kojima's early creation is one of the best cyberpunk video games out there. We play as Gillian Seed, and we have to hunt down robotic beings, who disguise themselves as humans.
Mitchell's 1996 side-scrolling arcade game has a really strange and unique Middle Eastern setting with cyberpunk elements.
While the anime is a cult classic, there's a reason why only a fan English translation exists for Taito's 1988 Akira video game.
Side-scroller, originally released for the... wait for it... Sharp X68000 in Japan, but it got ports later on. Our main weapon is a lightsaber, and with all the anime and cyberpunk elements, the overall game is totally badass.
In Squaresoft's scrolling shoot 'em up, we control a fighter craft during a war between Earth and the Moon in the near future.
Released on multiple platforms during the 90s, the follow-up to Snatcher is a similar, brilliant graphic adventure game filled with minor action sequences.
The Megami Tensei series
The Megami Tensei games always had a wicked combination of paranormal and cyberpunk themes. The screens are from the upcoming 3DS title, Shin Megami Tensei IV.
Ghost in the Shell
In the PlayStation adaptation of the original GitS anime, we control a nameless member of Section 9 in a Fuchikoma tank throughout 12 missions.
The Metal Gear series
Besides cyborgs, the complex storyline of the Metal Gear universe always contained a lot of philosophical and ethical questions heavily influenced by cyberpunk.
The near future chapter in Live-A-Live
We have to visit different time periods in this Japan-only Super Famicom game from Squaresoft. One of these periods takes place in the near future, where our protagonist is called Akira, for some reason.
A really old JRPG for the PC-88, released in 1985 in Japan. The Screamer is a mixture of horror, post-apocalyptic future and cyberpunk.
The 1994 SNES action game Hagane is a really hard side scroller, without the possibility of saving. It is about two rivaling ninja clans using advanced cyber-technology in the near future.
These games all have a superb atmosphere, but there obviously are many more. What are your favorite Japanese games with a cyberpunk feel? Put them up in the comments below with visual support!