There is no denying that there is a ton of amazing animated TV on air right now. Bob's Burgers, Archer, Steven Universe, Adventure Time — the list goes on, but '90s cartoons are still the best. The '90s were a time of plenty for animated TV, with nearly every channel getting in on the action. There were well-crafted cartoons for adults, teens, and kids. With so many animated delicacies to choose from, is it any wonder nostalgia for '90s cartoons runs so high? Don't ignore how much you miss Daria, just go ahead and rewatch your favorite '90s cartoon. Trust me, they all still hold up, and you are still going to be as madly in love with Gambit from the X-Men now as you were then (and yes, I'm pretty sure that last one isn't just me).
I've chosen 13 of the very best — and sometimes most under-appreciated — '90s cartoons you need to rewatch immediately. You know you want to go back to the good old days when after school meant Hey Arnold! and Recess reruns. Let yourself have that moment of happiness, and don't worry about feeling guilty for not using your TV time to catch up on The Leftovers. Even in the age of peak TV, these '90s cartoons can hold their own.
1. Gargoyles (1994-1996)
Why am I putting Gargoyles at number one? Because the Disney cartoon may not have held your interest when you were a kid, but the intricate storytelling involving a clan of Gargoyles and human cop Elisa will have you engrossed now. Beauty and the Beast fans in particular are in for something special.
2. Hey Arnold! (1996-2004)
Arnold is one of the era's most mature and entertaining cartoons. The New York City-inspired block Arnold lives on is so full of life and eccentric characters, it feels like a real borough you could wander into if only you had the directions. Now that Hey Arnold! is streaming on Hulu, you have no excuse not to revisit this coming of age masterpiece.
3. Dexter's Laboratory (1996-2003)
"Dee Dee! Get out of my laboratory!" I honestly believe Dee Dee and Dexter are one of the all-time great comic duos. Dee Dee is the perfect foil for Dexter, and every science experiment gone wrong would be nothing without the siblings' chaotic relationship. When you need a guaranteed laugh, Dexter's Laboratory should be your go to show.
4. X-Men (1992-1997)
The team dynamics! The romance! The Phoenix Saga done right! You need to relive the magic of the X-Men's '90s heyday. Just trust me on this one, rewatching this show will bring you so much joy.
5. Daria (1997-2001)
Daria was your life hero in the '90s, and she will still be your life hero today. She pretty much invented the whole disaffected youth thing, and for that she deserves your eternal gratitude. Plus, her friendship with Jane is snarky perfection.
6. Recess (1997-2001)
There is an effortless brilliance to Recess' playground class structure. Watching the show always takes me back to the playground, where kids ruled supreme and finding a place where you fit in was imperative. Funny, observant, and featuring coolest character ever Spinelli, Recess is always going to be must see TV.
7. The Powerpuff Girls (1998-2005)
Buttercup, Blossom, and Bubbles were supposed to be perfect little girls, and they turned out to be tiny, kickbutt feminist superheroes. Possessing femininity and power, the trio illustrated to a generation of girls that there were no limitations on what they could be.
8. Rocko's Modern Life (1993-1996)
You need to watch Rocko again for one very important reason: so you can realize how much subversive, adult, and downright dark humor you were absorbing as a child. Prepare to be astonished and impressed.
9. Animaniacs (1993-1998)
Way more fun than Looney Tunes, the overflowing cast of characters who ran amok on the Warner Brothers' lot are even more deliciously meta than you remember. The best segments will forever belong to Pinky and The Brain, but every part of this show was hilarious.
10. The Tick (1994-1997)
Ben Edlund gave the world a gift when he created a cartoon about an unstable superhero known as The Tick and his reluctant sidekick Arthur. There was a live action show as well, but, aside from the comics, The Tick was never better than it was in animated form, where it could be appreciated in all of its outlandish glory.
11. Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (1994-1997)
You know you miss Ickis, Oblina, and Krumm. If you grew up loving anything even remotely scary, then a return to the monster school of scares is definitely in order.
12. The Wild Thornberrys (1998-2004)
Eliza lived the dream. Her family traveled constantly, she could talk to animals, and her life was an endless series of adventures. Get reacquainted with the Thornberrys and remember why you envied them so much.
13. The Magic School Bus (1994-1997)
Watch it again, because Miss Frizzle is still a boss, and you probably need to brush up on your science knowledge anyway. You might as well have fun in the process.
It's all coming back to you now, isn't it? No other decade did animation with as much variety and inherent awesomeness as the '90s. That's just a fact.
Images: MTV; Giphy (13)