#1 Edited by Vade_ (4 posts) -

Greatest Year in Video Games

Preface: Only 5 are picked from the years using a combination of sales and critical reception (not personal experience or perference) The ordering of the five are is not a 'rating' in reality there is no order they (the five) are just in a line with no first or last.

Also rereleases, ports, and expansions are not counted ie. while Broodwar did come out the same year as Starcraft only Starcraft would be there. This also means that while the Twin Snakes was both enchanced and ported to the gamecube in 2004 it cannot be included but will be noted. This means sequels can and will be included if they meet requirements.

Other notables are included to give extra context to the five choosen and a broad view of the year. This is also were notable rereleases, ports, enchancements, and expansions are placed.

These years below have been cited by individuals in the industry and critics as 'greatest years' persons such as: Jeff Gerstmann, Adam Sessler, Gabe Newell, Will Wright, and Cliff Blezinski.

  • 1998 : Starcraft (windows), Metal Gear Solid (Playstation), Half-Life (Windows), The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64), Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)
  • Other notables: Resident Evil 2 (Playstation), Grim Fandango (Windows) Crash Bandicoot 3:Warped (Playstation) Starcraft:Brood War (Windows)
  • 2004 : Grand Thief Auto:San Andreas (Playstation 2), The Sims 2 (Windows), World of Warcraft (Windows), Halo 2 (Xbox), Half-Life 2 (Windows)
  • Other notables: Ninja Gaiden (Xbox), Metal Gear Solid 3:Snake Eater (Playstation 2), Pokemon: Fire Red/Leaf Green (Gameboy Advanced) Metal Gear Solid:Twin Snakes (Gamecube)
  • 2007 : Bioshock (Windows), Halo 3 (Xbox 360), Call of Duty 4:Modern Warfare (Windows), God of War II (Playstation 2) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
  • Other Notables: World of Warcraft:Burning Crusade (Windows) Mass Effect (xbox 360) Rock Band (Current Gen consoles) Final Fantasy VI:Advanced (Gameboy Advanced)

Author's note: The year 2000 was also incontention due to the critical and lasting acclaim of games featured that year. This year could be added, however there would need to be both discussed and to have interest for that year. I am completely open to adding other years and a poll, but in my experience many times when there is a poll many people vote and no actual discussion is there.

If there is backing to move notables around for example Mass Effect to 2007 and God of War II to notables I would be happy to do so as long as there is a concensus for that move. I look forward to the discussion and to see how others feel about these years.

#2 Posted by Dagbiker (6939 posts) -

So you site 5 games from 3 different years?

Its a good try, but unless you site examples why other years suck, you cant prove why those years are better then them.

#3 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

it's all subjective, really. I'd say 2010, because 6 games released are among my top 20 or so of all time. Someone might say 2011, someone might say 95, someone might say 05, and they'd all be right because it's all based on how you feel.

#4 Posted by bwheeeler (420 posts) -

We all know it's 1998 thank you bye.

#5 Edited by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

2011 for me. Because Mortal kombat, minecraft, trackmania 2 canyon alone. I'm sure there's years where way better games released, but these three are on top of my list, and they all came out 2011, so boom.

#6 Posted by PenguinDust (12450 posts) -

I thought it was 2013. I know I read that somewhere.

#7 Posted by mosespippy (4031 posts) -

I would argue 2001 should be noted for FFX, GTA3, Tony Hawk 3, Ico, Halo, Runescape, Bejeweled, Max Payne, Gran Turismo 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. I would go with 1998 though.

#8 Posted by DillonWerner (1522 posts) -

1998

#9 Posted by Judoboy (22 posts) -

1998 by far. And you NEED to include Pokemon red and blue on that list for 98'.

#10 Posted by Judoboy (22 posts) -

Wow I just did a search. Add Baulders Gate, Banjo Kazooie, Thief, Soul Caliber, Gran Turismo, and Panzer Dragoon Saga! This is like the birth-year of modern day gaming for god sake.

#11 Posted by Hunter5024 (5535 posts) -

I'm partial to 1914 myself. Games were more morally righteous back then. Also they didn't try to push their liberal agendas through the story (homosexuals being considered humans, women being allowed to vote, minorities allowed to make eye contact). I guess I'm just old school.

#12 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

I'm partial to 1914 myself. Games were more morally righteous back then. Also they didn't try to push their liberal agendas through the story (homosexuals being considered humans, women being allowed to vote, minorities allowed to make eye contact). I guess I'm just old school.

This guy knows his stuff.

#13 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Hunter5024 said:

I'm partial to 1914 myself. Games were more morally righteous back then. Also they didn't try to push their liberal agendas through the story (homosexuals being considered humans, women being allowed to vote, minorities allowed to make eye contact). I guess I'm just old school.

amen

#14 Edited by Adaurin (186 posts) -

1972 - PONG. It's all down hill from there!

#15 Posted by Vade_ (4 posts) -

@Dagbiker said:

So you site 5 games from 3 different years?

Its a good try, but unless you site examples why other years suck, you cant prove why those years are better then them.

It is never about 'other years sucking' rather the impact the games of that year on the industry as a whole. Every year could be argued to have a great game or games, but not every year had a game and or games that shaped the industry. Also in addition there are other games cited as notable from the years currently listed.

@mosespippy said:

I would argue 2001 should be noted for FFX, GTA3, Tony Hawk 3, Ico, Halo, Runescape, Bejeweled, Max Payne, Gran Turismo 3 and Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. I would go with 1998 though.

How would make your selection for the games of 2001 and the notable games of 2001?

@Judoboy said:

1998 by far. And you NEED to include Pokemon red and blue on that list for 98'.

Wow I just did a search. Add Baulders Gate, Banjo Kazooie, Thief, Soul Caliber, Gran Turismo, and Panzer Dragoon Saga! This is like the birth-year of modern day gaming for god sake.

I did strongly think about having red/blue in 1998 and probably will be added, what would you remove or move from the current set up. Also the main reason that the notable section is currently only four titles long is because of the potential to turn into a 'great game list' rather than an excellent game that impacted the industry in some way ie. sales, style, writting. I am open to expanding the section ,but keep this in mind.

@Hunter5024 said:

I'm partial to 1914 myself. Games were more morally righteous back then. Also they didn't try to push their liberal agendas through the story (homosexuals being considered humans, women being allowed to vote, minorities allowed to make eye contact). I guess I'm just old school.

While Mexico:The Revolution and its sequel Flash Point:Austria were major titles most critics say that nostalgia clouds proper judgement pertaining to 1914.

#16 Posted by fuzzybunny566 (448 posts) -

1998-1981-1995

#17 Posted by Hunter5024 (5535 posts) -

@Vade_ said:

@Hunter5024 said:

I'm partial to 1914 myself. Games were more morally righteous back then. Also they didn't try to push their liberal agendas through the story (homosexuals being considered humans, women being allowed to vote, minorities allowed to make eye contact). I guess I'm just old school.

While Mexico:The Revolution and its sequel Flash Point:Austria were major titles most critics say that nostalgia clouds proper judgement pertaining to 1914.

It isn't even about the major titles, look at the smaller art games like Heather's Chastity, and Baptism II: Savages. Forward thinking games which were willing to experiment in ways that even modern games have trouble keeping up with. Though nostalgia is a problem for me, because I remember waking up on my Negative 77th birthd- okay this jokes played out now.

#18 Posted by Bleeble (95 posts) -

Final Fantasy Tactics came out in 1998 so...

#19 Posted by Vinny_Says (5685 posts) -

Isn't it sad that a medium that has only been around for what....40 some years has already had it's "greatest year ever"? I seriously hope one day all you 1998 assholes will shut up. Not because I hate you, but because I want there to be better, bigger and more impactful stuff in the future.

#20 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

1998, it's not even debatable.

Online
#21 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Arguably games get better every year, until they'll plateau one day - when they can't progress any further by new technologies - somewhere between Tron and the Matrix. As far as I'm concerend, that's the truth of it - even if some years brought forth more memorable games than others.

2012 is a killer year in games, and so was every year before it - gaming certainly rarely stopped killing my time - and bringing me loads of joy.

#22 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

2008 without a doubt for me. Burnout Paradise, Mirrors Edge, Dead Space, Fallout 3, Left 4 Dead, Persona 4, GTA 4, Fable 2, Far Cry 2, Professor Layton, No More Heroes, Gears of War 2, Little Big Planet, MGS4 and Lost Oddysey

Man I finished alot of games that year!

#23 Posted by liako21 (519 posts) -

1998.

#24 Posted by billyhoush (1192 posts) -

1998. Close the thread.

#25 Posted by ComradeKhan (687 posts) -

'98

#26 Posted by BirdkeeperDan (400 posts) -

It's still 1998. People always say this year could be the best year yet but those arguements don't pass the test of time. Hopefully someday there will be a better year.

#27 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

Probably 1998, for Half Life 1, Team Fortress Classic, and Bauldurs Gate.

Although, I think being able to play games in the context of being in Middle/High School means that any games later on are not going to feel like they have the same impact. In terms of my ability to address a question like this at any rate.

#28 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@BirdkeeperDan said:

It's still 1998. People always say this year could be the best year yet but those arguements don't pass the test of time. Hopefully someday there will be a better year.

I think 2008 is a better year.... See above

#29 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

So 2010 had Mass Effect 2, Red Dead, Halo Reach, Super Street Fighter IV but there was a gap after ME2 that FFXIII and Bioshock 2 didn't fill the same after the release of Red Dead so it wasn't as consistent . 2009 was pretty danm good with Resident Evil 5 , Rhythm Heaven , Batman Arkham Asylum , Assassins's Creed 2 , Modern Warfare 2 , Uncharted 2 , Street Fighter IV , Brutal Legend , Dragon Age, GTA IV Episodes from LC is between those 2 for me, 2010 had 2 awesome games I love but 09 has just a bunch of great games that I really like.

#30 Posted by HatKing (5812 posts) -

God, I love that your '98 lineup has Sonic Adventure sitting next to StarCraft, Half Life, Metal Gear Solid, and Zelda.

Do you play video games?

#31 Posted by RetroVirus (1456 posts) -

2009 and 2010 were both really great years.

#32 Posted by Vade_ (4 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said

Isn't it sad that a medium that has only been around for what....40 some years has already had it's "greatest year ever"? I seriously hope one day all you 1998 assholes will shut up. Not because I hate you, but because I want there to be better, bigger and more impactful stuff in the future.

There are times when people and events fuse perfectly that can not be replicated. There is nothing wrong with that and it does not stop the possibility of advancement it just sets the highest standard.@HatKing said:

God, I love that your '98 lineup has Sonic Adventure sitting next to StarCraft, Half Life, Metal Gear Solid, and Zelda.

Do you play video games?

The reception from critics and the sheer sales power of Sonic Adventure to move Dreamcasts puts Sonic Adventure in that class. Without it the Dreamcast which already was lacking in momentum could have stalled out.

The year 2000 as stated in the introduction could be included with influential titles: The Sims, Diablo II, Final Fantasy IX, Perfect Dark, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Deus Ex. As you see break throughs in pc gaming with style, story, and context with Deus Ex, Diablo II, and The Sims while the fifth generation on consoles was winding down with Final Fantasy IX, Perfect Dark, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Also released that year was Banjo Tooie and Baldur's Gate II.

#33 Edited by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

@Soapy86 said:

1998, it's not even debatable.

Here's why.

#34 Posted by Stepside (508 posts) -

@TheDudeOfGaming: Damn...quite the list there...

#35 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i don't really know the greatest year but i enjoyed n64 and ps2 a lot. i think those years were the best. i say this because i had bought a lot of games that time.

i don't have as much games now than n64 and ps2 days.

#36 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8061 posts) -

Only game I really like on that 1998 list is Metal Gear Solid.

#37 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

@Vinny_Says said:

Isn't it sad that a medium that has only been around for what....40 some years has already had it's "greatest year ever"? I seriously hope one day all you 1998 assholes will shut up. Not because I hate you, but because I want there to be better, bigger and more impactful stuff in the future.

Ideally every year would top the last, but we "assholes" can't do anything about that. Tell it to the game developers. Tell them to make fucking incredible games again.

Online
#38 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

I actually don't like very many games from '98. I kind of hate Ocarina of Time, have very conflicting feelings toward Metal Gear Solid, am not an RTS guy, and still haven't managed to finish Baldur's Gate.

But anyone who thinks 1998 isn't the best year in video games is dumb.

#39 Posted by HatKing (5812 posts) -

@Vade_ said:

@Vinny_Says said

Isn't it sad that a medium that has only been around for what....40 some years has already had it's "greatest year ever"? I seriously hope one day all you 1998 assholes will shut up. Not because I hate you, but because I want there to be better, bigger and more impactful stuff in the future.

There are times when people and events fuse perfectly that can not be replicated. There is nothing wrong with that and it does not stop the possibility of advancement it just sets the highest standard.@HatKing said:

God, I love that your '98 lineup has Sonic Adventure sitting next to StarCraft, Half Life, Metal Gear Solid, and Zelda.

Do you play video games?

The reception from critics and the sheer sales power of Sonic Adventure to move Dreamcasts puts Sonic Adventure in that class. Without it the Dreamcast which already was lacking in momentum could have stalled out.

The year 2000 as stated in the introduction could be included with influential titles: The Sims, Diablo II, Final Fantasy IX, Perfect Dark, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Deus Ex. As you see break throughs in pc gaming with style, story, and context with Deus Ex, Diablo II, and The Sims while the fifth generation on consoles was winding down with Final Fantasy IX, Perfect Dark, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. Also released that year was Banjo Tooie and Baldur's Gate II.

But you're putting it on the list as though it's still 1998. In retrospect it's easy to see that the title was not significant, and certainly wouldn't be behind why 1998 was a great year. I mean, if you're going that route, you might as well add Madden to each year, because they usually review pretty decently, and they sell pretty well too. Sonic Adventure was the beginning of the end for the franchise. If anything, 1998 is worse because of it.

#40 Posted by D_W (1121 posts) -

1983/84 tehehehe
 
But seriously. Looking at that list of games that came out in 98 is pretty amazing, but honestly I beat if you looked at any year you'd be amazed at how many "significant" games came out during it.

#41 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

March 2013. All video games ever will be released then.

#42 Posted by BeachThunder (11687 posts) -

I'm really confused by the 1998 thing; yes, there were definitely a bunch of good games that year - but the same could be said for any year; and what about disappointing games, are those factored against the year? I mean, really, how do you actually quantify the 'greatness' of a year in terms of video games?

I suppose the whole '1998 was the best year in video games' thing is really just more of a meme than anything else, right?

Also:

#43 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Soapy86 said:

@Vinny_Says said:

Isn't it sad that a medium that has only been around for what....40 some years has already had it's "greatest year ever"? I seriously hope one day all you 1998 assholes will shut up. Not because I hate you, but because I want there to be better, bigger and more impactful stuff in the future.

Ideally every year would top the last, but we "assholes" can't do anything about that. Tell it to the game developers. Tell them to make fucking incredible games again.

they are, you just don't have the nostalgia for them so they aren't as good. They're still good games, but come on.

#44 Posted by Tennmuerti (7997 posts) -

To 1998 add Baldur's Gate, Thief, (Fallout 2). To pad out the already beefy Starcraft, Half-life, MGS, Ocraina of Time, Grim Fandago

@BeachThunder: Mostly it's quantified by general agreement. And it is far from games just being good, almost every year has a selection of good even great games like you said. '98 game is revered beyond that, because the games are considered by many not only great but also cornerstones of gaming genres from then on, they defined a lot of stuff going forward and affected gaming as a whole subtly or otherwise, in other cases changed how people look at games or redefined standards. In some cases they even had very little surpass them. A lot of names from 98 will come up again and again in gaming conversations, and most people will either be very familiar with those names or at least have heard of them even if they are new to gaming. The word iconic comes to mind. Most years have 1 or 2 such iconic games but rarely in such quantity and across so many genres. It also helps that 97 and 99 around it were no slouches in this department either giving a lot of people fond memories of the period. And nostalgia is a huge factor.

Also a lot of people make a subtle but actually important distinction between greatest and best (on purpose or subconsciously). We all have our personal bests and place more emphasis on certain games which implies personal opinion on how good you think those games were, or it can be taken to imply best by sales, or best for gaming in general in terms of vitality of the medium, etc. Greatness is funnily enough easier to quantify and to argue for then best.

I guess that's how you quantify greatness, a lot of people looking back and thinking "holy shit" while nodding their heads in acknowledgement. Hopefully this helps with your confusion about why 98 thing.

#45 Posted by Vade_ (4 posts) -

@HatKing said:

But you're putting it on the list as though it's still 1998. In retrospect it's easy to see that the title was not significant, and certainly wouldn't be behind why 1998 was a great year. I mean, if you're going that route, you might as well add Madden to each year, because they usually review pretty decently, and they sell pretty well too. Sonic Adventure was the beginning of the end for the franchise. If anything, 1998 is worse because of it.

The farther from 1998 you look, Adventure becomes even more important. The most sold game on the Dreamcast of all time. The reasoning behind trying to compare Madden's influence to Adventures influence is flawed due to: multiplatform status and lasting influence. While it would be foolish to say Madden has not greatly influenced the industry as a whole for better or worse this is a 'throughout time effect' not a 'specific year effect'.

As Madden has been a multiplatform game since I believe 94, correct me if I am wrong, the amount of consoles moved specifically by Madden, no less than 98, is insignificant. I have never read of a significant movement of purchases by Madden individuals for 'x' console because it had Madden. The only time I could have seen this result in consoles moved by Madden would have been by the original introduction of Madden to xbox live, however I believe that year playstation 2 had the largest sales for Madden. This reinforces the point that Madden did not influence to statistical level the amount of consoles sold.

#46 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -

1997-1998 for me.