What Card Games Were Popular in the 90s?

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By Eric Wilson

The 90s was a decade of magnificent gaming experiences, and card games were no exception. From Magic: The Gathering to Pokemon, card games had become a huge part of pop culture. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular card games from the 90s that made an impact on us.

Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering was introduced in 1993, and it quickly became one of the most popular collectible card games in the world. It was created by mathematician Richard Garfield and published by Wizards of the Coast. Players build decks consisting of creatures, spells, and lands to defeat their opponents.

Magic had an extensive lore with numerous expansions that added new cards to the game’s library. It had become so popular that it had its own pro tour with professional players competing for cash prizes.

Pokemon Trading Card Game

Pokemon Trading Card Game was released in Japan in 1996 and internationally in 1998. It was based on the Pokemon video game franchise, where players collect creatures and battle against each other.

The trading card game followed a similar concept where players build decks with Pokemon cards to battle their opponents. Each creature had its unique abilities and moves that could be used during battles.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game became an instant hit among children, and it still has a large fan base today.


Yu-Gi-Oh! was created by Kazuki Takahashi in 1996 as a manga series before being adapted as an anime series in 1998. Following its success, Konami released a trading card game based on the series in Japan in 1999.

In Yu-Gi-Oh!, players use cards representing monsters, spells, traps to defeat their opponents in battles. Each player starts with a set number of life points, and the game continues until one player’s life points reach zero.

Yu-Gi-Oh! was a massive success and spawned an entire franchise with multiple anime series, video games, and merchandise.

Final Thoughts

The 90s were a golden era for card games. Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon Trading Card Game, and Yu-Gi-Oh! were just some of the most popular card games that had become cultural phenomena.

These games not only provided hours of entertainment but also developed strategic thinking skills and creativity. They also taught children about sportsmanship and how to be gracious winners and losers.

Although each game had its unique mechanics, they all shared the same goal of bringing people together for fun and friendly competition.