Since first browsing the Internet in the late '90s/early 2000s, I've visited a large number of both official and fan-made video game websites over the years. The very first game site I ever visited was none other than Nintendo's official U.S. site in 2000 or so. The site featured images of various characters such as Donkey Kong, Kirby, Pikachu, and (of course) Mario. There were pages for not only the N64, but also the SNES, Game Boy and Game Boy Color. There were screenshots and videos of several games. There were some pages for the then-upcoming GameCube and Game Boy Advance. And there were various other sites from Nintendo dedicated to the more notable N64 and Game Boy Color games, like Donkey Kong 64 and Mario Tennis.
But there were numerous other game sites I visited as well, including fan-made sites all about a particular game series or consoles like the NES. Unlike my Flash Games blog, which lists my favorite Flash games that were on several game sites, this blog isn't necessarily about my ten favorite sites (though it does have some of my favorites) but rather a listing of many of the game sites I've visited in the past as well as some that I visit now.
Past Gaming Websites I've Visited
A fan-made Pac-Man site from the '90s. It featured pages for most Pac-Man games from the original Arcade game to Pac-Man World for PS1 (when it was known under its tentative title of "Ghost Zone"). It had info on the various versions of the Pac-Man games (like the Famicom version of Pac-Land, the NES version of Pac-Mania, and the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures). The site pages had info on the Namco Arcade compilations that had been released, such as the five Namco Museum collections that were released for the PS1 (with screenshots and info about the Pac-Man related extra content that was included in each). There was a page about the '80s Pac-Man cartoon, which hadn't been released on DVD at the time.
My favorite things about this site were finding out about lesser-known Pac-Man games, such as Super Pac-Man and Pac 'n Pal (both of which I didn't get a chance to play until much later), and the Pac-Man cartoon. These games, along with the Arcade version of Pac-Land, have since been included in various Namco Museum and Pac-Man compilations, including Pac-Man Museum+.
The Mega Man Homepage
Easily the best Mega Man site ever made, as it has just about everything a Mega Man fan would want. It was this site where I found out, in the early 2000s, about various Mega Man games for non Nintendo systems, such as Mega Man: The Wily Wars for Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Mega Man Battle & Chase for PS1.
The site had a page listing various Mega Man books, such as the Mega Man 2 Worlds of Power book and Japanese Mega Man comics (Mangas). Some of those comics/mangas were translated into English and released in the U.S. and Canada later on, like Mega Man Mega Mix. Mega Mix was also released in color a few years ago, under the title "Mega Man Master Mix."
While maybe a little outdated now (but not too bad), I thought the site's page listing several American and Japanese Mega Man toys was impressive twenty or so years ago. I was kind of surprised to see that a set of Mega Man 5 toys were released (though in Japan only), as well as some RC cars modeled after some of the vehicles in Mega Man Battle & Chase (one of which I've had for a few years now).
The site has a section for the Mega Man cartoons, as well as a page listing every episode of the American Mega Man cartoon. This was pretty useful in the early 2000s, because the series wasn't released on DVD until 2003 and some episodes were hard to find at the time. There's also a page about a promo VHS tape that advertised the cartoon and showed what it looked like while it was in development (it looked closer to being like the games). Link: http://www.mmhp.net/Marketing/Promo.html
The site is still around and I still visit it on occasion.
Detstar was an interesting site about certain games for the N64 and GameCube, like GoldenEye and Super Smash Bros. Melee.
The site archived screenshots from beta versions of both GoldenEye and Perfect Dark for N64. There were pages with screenshots of the lost Citadel level in GoldenEye, along with GameShark codes to access it. There were "interesting stuff" pages for most of the featured games on the site that were really fun to look at, because they showed various details and Easter eggs that were easy to miss.
Aside from Super Smash Bros. Melee, other games for GameCube were also featured such as Mario Kart: Double Dash!!.
NES Player (Archive): https://web.archive.org/web/20051201082830/http://www.nesplayer.com/
Nintendo Player: http://www.nintendoplayer.com/
Now known as Nintendo Player, NES Player was probably my favorite website all about the NES (my favorite game system).
The site had some humorous Flash videos that were based on games such as Super Mario Bros., Blades of Steel, and StarTropics (the latter was actually a Parody of Free Willy and featured a Fish/Cheep-Cheep from Super Mario Bros.). There was another funny Flash video that featured Golf (one of the early black box NES games), which was about the ball going so far out of bounds it ended up in a different game (Contra).
There was a section about pirated NES and Famicom games, and this was, in the early 2000s, where I found out about the Super Mario Bros. 3 bootleg that I got just last year. It was also where I found out about the Donkey Kong Country 2 Famicom bootleg, which I've had in my collection for several years now.
One of the most interesting sections of the site was the Articles section. This section had an interview with the creator of M.C. Kids on NES, and a page about good and bad games released only in Japan for the Famicom. There was also a page that featured an interview with Brandon Murphy, the man who found a prototype cartridge in 2003 containing the unreleased California Raisins NES game.
I believe NES Player was the site where I found out about the Sega Master System, in a page/shrine about Duck Hunt. I also remember reading about Safari Hunt, which was basically Sega's version of Duck Hunt.
Mega Man PC Website: Dr. Cossack's Lab
The site behind an English translation for Rock Board, a Mega Man board game only released in Japan for the Famicom. It also has a listing of nearly every Mega Man game released for PC, including the Mega Man DOS games, the PC versions of Mega Man X6 and Mega Man X7 (which only got Korean releases), and PC version of Mega Man X8 (which got Japanese and European releases, but wasn't released in the U.S. and Canada). The site still receives updates on occasion, but no where near as often as it used to.
World of Battletoads
This was my favorite website about Battletoads. It had pages, info, and screenshots of pretty much every Battletoads game from the first game to the Battletoads Arcade game. It also had a page about Battletoads merch, such as toys, Nintendo Power trading cards, and a Battletoads costume (which I actually used to have). The site also had a page about the Battletoads cartoon special, and was where I found out about the cartoon.
The Mechanical Maniacs
Another Mega Man site, which I first visited in 2003/2004. Mega Man 3 is the featured game, but the site also has info about Japanese-only releases, bootleg games, comics, etc.
The best part of this site, in my opinion, was the "mysteries" section containing pictures and info about beta/unused content in the various Mega Man games. While there was lots of info on unused content for the other Mega Man games, Mega Man 3 got its own page for having the most unused content (a lot of which were included in the Mega Man 3 Improvement hack).
I contributed to the Mega Man 3 Mysteries page once in 2006/2007. Looks like Tyree_Cooper, who some of you may have seen here on VGS, contributed to the Asian PC games section on this site. The site is still around, and still receives updates.
While I've played and still have most of the original series Mega Man games, Mega Man 3 is by far the one I've played the most and is my favorite game in the series along with Mega Man 5. I still have my original copy that I've had since the '90s.
Mario RPG World
A site hosted on Geocities that was all about Super Mario RPG for the SNES. I visited it in the early 2000s. It had information on pretty much everything in the game. Like a lot of game sites at the time, many of the pages on this site had some MIDI music that you could listen to while browsing. The site has been archived on "Oocities."
Video Game Connection
The website for a retro game store in Cleveland, Ohio. I liked visiting the site in 2002 or so, because it had some animated graphics and lots of MIDI music to listen to which made the site more fun to browse.
While I'm in Canada, I actually did buy some games from this store. They shipped to Canada, so I e-mailed them telling them what I wanted and sent a Money Order. Namco Museum 64 was one of the games I bought.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
I played the Tony Hawk games quite a bit in the early and mid 2000s, and visited the official Tony Hawk game sites from the first game to American Wasteland. The site for the first Tony Hawk game had both Flash and non flash versions, with the Flash version having some simple animations and the menu music from the game. The Tony Hawk's Underground and Underground 2 sites had licensed songs like the games themselves, though most of the songs on the sites weren't featured in the games. All of the Tony Hawk sites had screenshots and videos.
I also used to visit a fan-made Tony Hawk site called Planet Tony Hawk. I would check out walkthroughs of the first three Tony Hawk games (the first and third of which I used to have for N64), as well as previews of the Tony Hawk's Underground games.
Spyro the Dragon
I didn't visit the official Spyro site until 2006 or so. I remember it having some info about Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly and Spyro: A Hero's Tail. I also remember the site having some music. I don't remember what music it was or what game it was from, but I do remember it sounded similar to one of the music tracks included on the Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly Soundtrack CD ("Mid Flute" I think) that went unused in the game.
For anyone who's wondering, yes I have visited the Spyro: Reignited Trilogy site before.
tsr's NES Archive
An NES site hosted on Atari HQ. Had some good info on certain NES, Famicom, Famicom Disk System, and bootleg games. This was where I found out, in the early 2000s, about the original Famicom Disk System version of the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2, and that Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels in Super Mario All-Stars is based on this game. The site is still hosted on Atari HQ and can still be fun to look at, but it hasn't been updated since 2000.
Cheetahmen Corner was a site about the NES and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive versions of Action 52, as well as Cheetahmen II for NES. It also had pages about unreleased items, like Active Enterprises's "Action Game Master" handheld, Cheetahmen 3, and "Sports 5" for SNES and Genesis. The site also had an interview with one of the programmers of the Sega Genesis version of Action 52. There were FAQs/walkthroughs for both Action 52 and Cheetahmen II. The Cheetahmen II FAQ was where I found out about the game having a glitch that prevents you from accessing the last two levels, as well as a very rare glitch that causes the game to start on the fifth (second to last) level.
Ballz's DuckTales prototype page
A site about a prototype version of DuckTales for NES that was found in the early 2000s.
I actually didn't find out about this site until the mid/late 2000s, and it wasn't around anymore then. It was, of course, archived on the Internet Archive, but first I had to find the link to the site. Where did I find it? I found it on a site called "Rusted Logic", which had a small page for the DuckTales NES game with a link to this DuckTales prototype site. I then pasted the link in the Internet Archives, and could finally see the site.
Anyway, the site had screenshots and info for every level of the game and compared it to the released version. The music for the Transylvania level (known as "Ghost House" in the prototype) was completely different in the prototype. One page had a picture of the prototype cartridge.
Another, even earlier prototype of the game was found in 2021 and had more different music. This prototype contained slightly different sounding versions of music used in the released version, the Transylvania music used in the later prototype mentioned above, and completely different (and longer) music for the level select screen that went unused in the released version. I recorded the unused music from this prototype:
The Warp Zone
One of the things I remember most about this site was a page with Game Genie codes that allow access to the lost/unused levels in Super Mario Bros. 3, which I made videos of years ago and uploaded them onto YouTube in 2009. The Warp Zone also had info about NES/Famicom bootlegs and prototypes.
Donkey Kong 64
Nintendo's Donkey Kong 64 site came in both High Bandwidth and Low Bandwidth versions. The High Bandwidth version featured "DKTV", with nine channels that featured Flash games to play and advertisements for the DK64 Player's Guide, Banana Bunch N64 Controller, and the Jungle Green N64 bundle that included both the console and the DK64 game. The Low Bandwidth version had some basic info and hints for each of the levels to get the player started.
The official Paper Mario site had both Flash (called "Super Paper") and non Flash (called "Plain Paper") versions. The Flash version included animations of Mario and some of his allies in the game battling enemies and finding items, followed by the sites info about the game, downloads, and activities. The non Flash version didn't include any animations and simply had the info and activities. I recall the site having a few extra features like a Paper Mario Screensaver, and Wallpaper. I also remember there being some minigames as well, such as a Quiz game based on Chuck Quizmo's Quiz that's in the Paper Mario game.
The Paper Mario site came back in 2004, when Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was released. The site was basically a storybook (which looked like the one shown in the game's opening) and featured a few different pages based on locations in the game, such as Rogueport and Boggly Woods. If you pointed your mouse arrow at the characters, they would "talk" to you (with text boxes, of course). Each page had some music from the game. Well, for the most part. I remember the music for the Boggly Woods section of the site sounding kind of similar to but not the same as the one used in the game. It was really calm and relaxing, even compared to the Boggly Woods music used in the game. Does anyone who visited this site in 2004 or so remember this? Not sure if it was a different version of the Boggly Woods music used specifically for the site, or if it was an unused version that was from a prototype version of the game.
I last visited this site sometime in 2007, a little before it was shut down. Unfortunately, even before Flash was discontinued, I couldn't really browse the site though the Internet Archives because it wouldn't load any of the pages except for the main page.
i also visited the Super Paper Mario site once, but don't remember much about it.
A Mario site that featured Lemmy Koopa, one of the Koopalings who first appeared in Super Mario Bros. 3. The site had MIDI music of several classic Mario music tracks, lots of pictures, and some fun activities.
Nintendo's Kirby site was where I went to find out more info about the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! cartoon, and new Kirby games (Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land and Kirby Air Ride were the newest Kirby games at the time).
Short for "Killer List of Video Games", this site (which is still around after all these years) included a listing for just about every Arcade game ever released. Most of the pages included pictures of the Arcade cabinets, and info about glitches and hacked versions of the games.
I found Intellivsion Lives for GameCube in a discount bin at Walmart in 2005/2006, and decided to buy it. I grew up playing the NES, and didn't have an Intellivision in the '80s or '90s. When I got Intellivision Lives, I enjoyed some Intellivision games such as Thin Ice, Thunder Castle, Nightstalker, and Biplanes (originally included on a compilation cartridge called Triple Action). I also liked the inclusion of some unreleased Intellivision games, like Deep Pockets: Pool & Billiards (apparently the last Intellivsion game worked on, and planned to be released in 1990), Brickout, and Hardhat. The GameCube version of Intellivsion Lives also happens to include more unreleased games than the PS2 and Xbox versions (which included the same unreleased games as the GameCube version, but some of them were divided between the two), possibly to make up for being released a year later (the PS2 and Xbox versions were released in 2003, while the GameCube version was released in 2004).
Anyway during that time, I decided to visit the official Intellivision site, also called Intellivision Lives, to learn more about the Intellivision and its games. The site had production histories for many games. It also had news pages about Intellivision Lives for PC and Mac, as well as the console versions for PS2, GameCube, and Xbox. There were also pages about the Classic Gaming Expo event, which the Intellivision team had a booth at displaying most versions of Intellvision Lives (including a prototype of the GameCube version, which hadn't been released yet), an Intellivision Arcade machine, and various Intellivision merch.
Mirage Studios' Official TMNT Site
I first came across this site in 2002 or 2003. It had information on the Ninja Turtles cartoons, movies, toys, comics, and video games (classic and modern). It was kind of an exciting era for Ninja Turtles fans, because this was when the 2003 Ninja Turtles cartoon was on TV every weekend. Not only that but Konami, which created the classic Ninja Turtles games released in the '80s and '90s, made TMNT games based on the 2003 cartoon for PS2, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, and PC. Except for Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus, I didn't buy any of those games at the time. I did, however, play a demo for the first of these Ninja Turtles games based on the 2003 cartoon, which was included on the Mario Kart: Double Dash!! Bonus Disc (pic and video below).
The last time I visited the site regularly was in 2007, when the animated Ninja Turtles movie was released. A video game based on the movie was also released by Ubisoft. I thought this game would only be on the newer systems (Wii, Xbox 360) and PS2, but was pretty excited to find out that it was also being released for GameCube (and Game Boy Advance) as well. I continued visiting the site until 2009 or so.
Newgrounds, which I still visit every now and then, was one of my favorite sites for fan videos featuring video game characters and Flash games. I mentioned this site in my Flash games blog. Some of the videos I remember on this site were the Mega Man videos, like "Mega Man Vs. Heatman". Some of the Flash games I remember playing were Mega Man Vs. Metroid, Mega Man Vs. Ghosts 'n Goblins, and Ultimate Flash Sonic.
Pac-Man World 2 and Pac-Man World 3
I liked (and still like) the Pac-Man World games, so of course I visited Namco's official sites for Pac-Man World 2 and 3. I have fond memories visiting the Pac-Man World 2 site. Like a lot of sites in the early 2000s, the site required Flash and each page had animations as well as music from the game. There was a create a scene page that allowed you to choose characters, backgrounds, and effects to create your own scenes. There was also a Flash game, mentioned in my Flash games blog and shown in the video above, where Pac-Man collected dots while avoiding Pinky the Ghost. Collecting Pac-Dots and getting a certain amount of points unlocked the site's Jukebox, allowing people to sample music from the Pac-Man World 2 game for PS2, GameCube, Xbox, and PC.
While I have played the game several times, have beaten it, and still have it for GameCube, I don't remember much about the Pac-Man World 3 site. I do remember the game came out in 2005 during Pac-Man's 25th Anniversary, and that the site had a page listing the game's features (like Pac-Man's new abilities, such as punching, climbing, and swinging from poles). I also remember the main page of the site had a link to one of the game's Press Releases on Namco's site. That's about all I remember from the site, as I didn't visit it nearly as much as the Pac-Man World 2 site.
Resident Evil 4
Nintendo and Capcom both had sites for Resident Evil 4 on GameCube, which was considered by many to be the console's biggest and best game of 2005. I remember Nintendo's RE4 site played the game's typewriter/save theme, and had some general info about the game itself. The site also had a page about some of the GameCube's games for teens and adults, which only further proved that, despite the popular opinions at the time about it being a kids system, the console never was just for little kids and was perfectly fine for teens and adults as well (and it still is).
Capcom's RE4 site had trailer videos, screenshots, quotes from critics praising the game and its graphics, and other features. It would later be expanded to include info about the PS2 version.
Capcom's official U.S. Site was where I got info about their new releases. I also visited their Mega Man page, which had a listing of Mega Man games available for purchase on their site (I never bought anything on the site because the shipping to Canada was crazy expensive) as well as some merch like a Mega Man poster that looked similar to the box for Mega Man II on Game Boy. The Mega Man page also had links to watch a Mega Man commercial, which I remember seeing on TV in 2000/2001.
Rare's official site. Had info on some of their SNES and Game Boy games, as well as most of their N64 games like GoldenEye and Diddy Kong Racing. Even after Microsoft bought out Rare in 2002, I continued to visit the site because Rare still made games for Game Boy Advance and I was interesting in seeing what games they were coming out with for the handheld. I remember seeing games like "DK Coconut Crackers" and "Diddy Kong Pilot". They released remakes of the DKC trilogy, and Diddy Kong Pilot was turned into a Banjo-Kazooie racing game called Banjo Pilot.
Sonic Central was Sega's American Sonic the Hedgehog site. It had info on just about every Sonic game released, including Sonic games released in Arcades. It had screenshots and trailer videos for newer Sonic games, and pages about Sonic comics and merch. It also had interviews with Jun Senoue about the Sonic Adventure 2 (Battle) and Sonic Heroes soundtracks. The site also had a Flash game called Sonic Mega Collection Plus Mini, which came out in 2004 around the same time the PS2 and Xbox versions of Sonic Mega Collection were released. There was a fair bit of hype for the Sonic games on the PS2 and GameCube at the time, so this site was a good place to check for news on upcoming Sonic games.
Besides browsing the Internet Archive later on, I think the last time I visited Sonic Central when it was still around was in 2007. I remember the site had pictures and some information about the 2006 Sonic the Hedgehog game released for PS3 and Xbox 360. I also kind of remember the site went long periods without being updated, and eventually shut down.
Gaming Websites I Visit Now
For a few years now, Nintendo Life has been my go to site for news about the Nintendo Switch. This was, for example, where I found out about the different collector's edition releases of TMNT: Shredder's Revenge and that Sonic Origins is getting a physical release (Sonic Origins Plus).
A picture of one of my Animal Crossing videos, along with my name, appeared in one of their news articles about the different ways to play the first Super Mario Bros.
While Capcom's site looks completely different now and, in my opinion, isn't as fun to look at, I still visit the site occasionally. I've read their news articles about Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, as well as Resident Evil games like Resident Evil Village and the Resident Evil 4 remake.
Reddit isn't specifically a game site, but does have a lot of gamers and gaming "Sub Reddits." I've posted a lot of pictures on that site, many of which have gotten hundreds of likes.
Video Game Sage
This one's obvious. I've been a member here since 2019, shortly after NintendoAge disappeared. I also joined NintendoAge in early 2017, so technically I've been with this community for over six years. I've posted a lot of pictures on this site, participated in VGS game nights from 2020-2022, and for about a year now, I've posted blogs.
Even though I listed a lot of sites, these are only some of the game sites I used to visit in the early/mid 2000s and only some of the game sites I visit now. Some other game sites I visited in the past were NES World and Nintendo's Mario Party sites for the first seven Mario Party games, among others. I should mention that in addition to Capcom's site, I visited and still sometimes visit Konami's site. Really happy Konami came out with TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection.
Edited by MegaMan52
Fixed typos and added pictures and videos