Rare's origins go all the way back to the 1970s, when Chris and Tim Stamper started making arcade games in their small English town. They formed a company called Ultimate. The brothers started to churn out excellent games like Jetpac, and soon they managed to attain legendary status. Almost all of Ultimate's games would be record breaking sellers, and every game earned instant critical acclaim. The more successes they had, the more confident they got, and soon started to play around with new technology. Knight Lore was the first 8-bit game to feature Filmation, a pioneering concept in isometric 3D.
However, it wasn't until the mid 1980s when things really started to heat up. The Stamper brothers were shown Nintendo's ultimate machine at the time, the NES. The brothers saw that the NES was no ordinary machine as it had vast potential. The time had come to move on. Rare was set up as a specialised subdivision in 1985, with the Ultimate distribution rights later sold off to software giant US Gold. Under the new name of Rare, the brothers concentrated their "powers" on the wonderful NES. A demo was made of what Rare could pull off and shown to Minoru Arakawa, Nintendo of America President. He was very impressed with the efforts of Rare and gave them permission to develop for the system. Rare produced nearly 60 games for the NES, pushing the machine to new boundaries.
Despite the fact that Rare always developed their games and has other companies publish them (mainly Tradewest), Rare has become a very popular gaming company. They're still going strong today, still developing for the Nintendo 64. They hit the jackpot in 1997 with their insanely popular N64 game, GoldenEye 007, which is credited by many as the best N64 game to date.
The complete list of Rare developed games.
Anticipation Nintendo C Arch Rivals Acclaim C Battletoads Tradewest D Battletoads & Double Dragon Tradewest B+ Beetlejuice LJN C+ Cabal Milton Bradley C California Games Milton Bradley C Captain Skyhawk Milton Bradley C Cobra Triangle Nintendo B- Digger T. Rock Milton Bradley B+ Double Dare Gametek B High Speed Tradewest B- Hollywood Squares Gametek B+ Indy Heat Tradewest B Jeopardy Gametek C Jeopardy 25th Anniversary Gametek C+ Jeopardy Jr Gametek C John Elway's Quarterback Tradewest D Jordan vs. Bird Milton Bradley C Marble Madness Milton Bradley C+ NARC Acclaim C Nightmare on Elm Street LJN B Pinbot Nintendo B Pirates! Ultra B R.C. Pro Am Nintendo D R.C. Pro Am 2 Tradewest B Sesame Street 1-2-3 Hi Tech C+ Sesame Street 123/ABC Hi Tech B Sesame Street A-B-C Hi Tech C+ Silent Service Ultra C- Slalom Nintendo B- Snake Rattle & Roll Nintendo C+ Solar Jetman Tradewest C Super Glove Ball Mattel C Super Off Road Tradewest C- Taboo Tradewest C+ Time Lord Milton Bradley C Wheel of Fortune Gametek C Wheel of Fortune/Family Edition Gametek C Wheel of Fortune/Junior Edition Gametek C Who Framed Roger Rabbit LJN B- Wizards & Warriors Acclaim D World Games Milton Bradley B- WWF Wrestlemania Acclaim D WWF Wrestlemania Challange LJN C-