It's a lazy post-Thanksgiving Sunday, and I have a feeling a lot of us are feeling pretty relaxed and full of good food. Others are still chomping at the bit to discuss Game of the Year-type categories, including the oft-desired "2011 Game of 2012" award discussions here.
But let's look a bit farther back into yesteryear. I created a similar thread asking if we could "canonize" any of the best games of 2011, meaning could we name them as "all-time greats?" The general responses were either that Dark Souls (with a bullet!) and Portal 2 could deserve it, but it's "too soon to tell." specifically requested we go back to the beginning of the generation to try and canonize that.
So, we shall! 2005 marks the launch of the Xbox 360 and the NA launch of the PSP, and I feel comfortable calling that the "beginning of the generation." And, as Ryan pointed out on last week's Bombcast, there were some really strong games at the Xbox 360's launch. Looking at the line-up, these seem to be the strongest, in alphabetical order:
-Call of Duty 2 (also on PC)
The PSP also launched with Lumines: Puzzle Fusion.
But, of course, there were LOADS of other games released in 2005 as well, which defined most 2005 Game of the Year awards. The DS represents very well with four excellent titles releasing in the 2005 calendar year (only launching in 2004, as well,) but the main representation of great games in 2005 is the PS2, with loads of games to note. The PC sees
twothree very significant releases as well, though; here's the list of highly notable releases on a platform not launching in '05, in roughly chronological order:
I'm leaving out a few games that I don't think anyone will mention (Minish Cap and Soul Calibur III come to mind) but I think this is a relatively complete list of the most important games of 2005. But are any of the games from 2005, on or off this list, good enough to categorize as "all-time greats?" Are there any on the Xbox 360 or PSP? Unlike 2011, I don't think there'll be a strong consensus. There's a lot of really great games on this list, and I would struggle to pick any less than five, myself.
This is more about celebrating and thinking about how good modern games really still can be than it is about meticulously fighting each other on a question of rankings. Games are maybe one of the few medium where single-year comparison still makes a lot of sense, though we're definitely starting to see patterns emerging with the two-or-three year cycle most developers work under these days. But 2005 is a launch year, and one where some patterns are definitely broken.
If there's more decent response to this thread, maybe I'll make a similar thread for other years. While 2005 seems overflowing in choices and 2011 seemed completely sparse, there are definitely years in between where the choices become more obvious.