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    EverQuest

    Game » consists of 10 releases. Released Mar 16, 1999

    EverQuest is one of the original MMOs that helped to define the genre. With twenty-nine expansion packs and over twenty years of being online, this game is still enjoyed daily by thousands all over the world.

    The Best Year Ever

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    Marino

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    Edited By Marino  Staff

    There's been a lot of talk this year that 2023 might be the best year ever in gaming. Personally, I don't see it. There's been a lot of good games, but most of them haven't truly live up to the hype in my opinion. Who knows though? Sometimes it's hard to evaluate things that are so recent. Maybe I'll look back on it differently. Regardless, it got me to thinking, what if I applied statistics to the question? If someone asks me, what's my personal answer? What was the best year ever according to me?

    This is chart of my collection based on year of release. Does this mean 2011 was the best year ever? No.
    This is chart of my collection based on year of release. Does this mean 2011 was the best year ever? No.

    If you know me at all, applying stats to that question should not be surprising at all. Well, as it turns out, I wrote a Top 100 Games of All Time list in 2022, which I'm sure would be in the exact same order if I redid it today. Obviously. So, I just took that list, inverted the rankings for points, and made a list of each year from 1981 to 2022. Here's what I came up with for my Top 10 Best Years Ever in the history of games. I should specifically say that the Top 100 is not necessarily what I think the best games are. Many are boosted based on personal experiences and meaning, which I talk about more in that list.

    Any "honorable mentions" do not factor into the ranking score. This is pure math.

    #10 - 1998

    Better than Ocarina. Yep.
    Better than Ocarina. Yep.

    Many will say this is objectively the #1, but not for me I guess. That's probably because some of the games people associate with 1998 I don't give a fuck about (i.e. Metal Gear Solid, Half-Life). And, yeah, I put Ocarina at #61. Wanna fight about it? If you want more thoughts on that, you can see my Zelda Top 10 list.

    #9 - 2011

    2011 was very good. He ain't lyin'.
    2011 was very good. He ain't lyin'.

    Kind of a weird year. Skyrim is an all-time great for sure, but the rest of these are definitely more personal. Aside from EverQuest, I've probably spent more time in StreetPass Mii Plaza than any other game and that's not a lie. 2011 also had Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Bastion, but they didn't quite make my Top 100.

    #8 - 2003

    Bring EA Sports BIG back, you cowards.
    Bring EA Sports BIG back, you cowards.

    SSX 3 is my favorite PS2 game. And that's saying a lot I guess considering I own 135 of them. Everyone wants to say Tricky is the best, but you're wrong. Tricky is great, but it's really just a special edition version of the first game. SSX 3 is the pinnacle. Honorable mentions for me from 2003 include a game that will never get a sequel, Beyond Good & Evil, and maybe the best job/class system in the history of FF, Final Fantasy X-2.

    #7 - 2012

    I love confusing people who only played vanilla with this ending photo from the P4G epilogue.
    I love confusing people who only played vanilla with this ending photo from the P4G epilogue.

    I didn't play P4G until early 2013, so it didn't make my 2012 Top 10 list, but it's the best RPG I've ever played. I didn't play vanilla before that, so I still don't understand how that story works without Marie's contributions. I also didn't "get" Journey at first, but I kept coming back to it over the years and it's still incredible. Honorable mentions would include Mass Effect 3 (which is FINE) and Rock Band Blitz, which I miss dearly.

    #6 - 2017

    Some things never get old.
    Some things never get old.

    A game that revolutionized my favorite franchise. A game that redefined what a story in a game can be and do. And a game that got me to stand up and shout in excitement. Those are my top three from 2017. Honorable mentions here would include Assassin's Creed Origins, Persona 5, Super Mario Odyssey, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and Tekken 7. Just an extremely solid year all around.

    #5 - 2010

    No boys allowed.
    No boys allowed.

    As we enter the Top 5, we get a year with three games in my all-time Top 20. Mass Effect 2 at this point is clearly peak BioWare. As for Assassin's Creed, you'll hear most people say Assassin's Creed was a concept and that Assassin's Creed II was the proof of concept. That's true. But, Brotherhood was the perfection of that concept. And what can you even say about Rock Band 3? Truly the pinnacle of that wild, plastic era. More importantly, though, so many memories surrounding it.

    #4 - 2004

    A game so good that it forced the competition to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to kill it.
    A game so good that it forced the competition to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to kill it.

    One of the handful of years that you'll most often get as an answer when asking someone what was the best year ever for games, and rightfully so. It's stacked. No matter who you are, there's likely five of your all-time favorites from that year (if you're old enough, I guess). Honorable mentions include EverQuest II, Fable, Mortal Kombat: Deception, and Champions of Norrath (put it on PS Plus, you cowards!).

    #3 - 2018

    Death to the valkyries.
    Death to the valkyries.

    This is the most recent year on this list. A God of War reboot had no right being this damn good, but they did it. Simply one of the best action-adventure games of all time. Then, I've got the best of the "big" Assassin's Creed games, the best VR game I've ever played by far, and the best version of the best puzzle game of all time. Honorable mentions here would include Marvel's Spider-Man and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

    #2 - 1999

    This painting was commissioned for the 10th anniversary. It'll be the 25th next year. Yes, EQ1 is still going.
    This painting was commissioned for the 10th anniversary. It'll be the 25th next year. Yes, EQ1 is still going.

    It shouldn't surprise me that 1999 is so high on this list. I mean, right off the bat, my favorite game of all time gave it 100 points in this experiment. But, even putting all the math aside, 1999 was a formative year. I went to E3 1999, which was my first ever trip to Los Angeles, saw all that Dreamcast had to offer, a taste of what PlayStation 2 would become, and a tease of something called Xbox? Back to the list though, WM2000 ranks high on my personal list not only for being an incredible wrestling game, but because of my involvement with League of Heels. If that game didn't exist, LOH might not. And, of course, there's the best Final Fantasy game of all time. That's right. EIGHT! Honorable mentions would include Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and Soulcalibur.

    #1 - 2000

    The best game of all time... ON ICE!
    The best game of all time... ON ICE!

    I probably would not have guessed that 2000 would be in the top spot here without doing the math, but it makes sense considering four games from my Top 30 are here. I've said more than enough about EverQuest on this here web site, so I'll jump to the other stuff. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 is objectively the best one, but THPS2 is definitely my favorite one. It's where I truly fell in love with the series. I was one of the only people in my social group to have a PS2 at launch, and Tekken Tag made me feel popular for probably the only time in my life. Mario Tennis sneaks into my Top 100 largely because of an experience I had at E3 2000 where I played it with three people who did not speak English. Despite this, it was the most fun demo I played that weekend. Sure, the final version is fun too, but that ten minutes at E3 really stuck with me. Honorable mentions would include NFL 2K1, WWF No Mercy, SSX, Chrono Cross, and Final Fantasy IX.

    Turns out Y2K was pretty great, y'all.

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    AV_Gamer

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    #1  Edited By AV_Gamer

    Looking at the other examples, I say 2023 holds up well against them. If not the best, then at the very least equal to those other great years in gaming.

    HiFi Rush

    Tears of the Kingdom

    Baulder Gate 3

    Street Fighter 6

    Spiderman 2

    Resident Evil 4 Remake

    And more

    and this is before Super Mario Wonder comes out, which I also think will be a good one.

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    Marino

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    #2 Marino  Staff

    @av_gamer: Yeah. We'll see. Tears will likely be my #1 this year and could be the only one that would bump something out of my top 100. I'm sure I'll enjoy Spider-Man and Mario. I hope to get to BG3 next month before I make a list. The others you mentioned don't really interest me.

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    bigsocrates

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    I don't understand. 2017 makes the list but when I do a control F for Bubsy: The Woolies Strike Back I can't find anything. Some kind of error with the formatting or accidental erasure during editing? I hope nothing else is missing...

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    judaspete

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    2003-4 would rank pretty high on my list too. And SSX3 is the best one. Actually, the best snowboarding game, period full -stop.

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    daiphyer

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    2010 and 2011 are my personal favorite years. I mean, these things are as personal as it gets, and 2010-2011 were years that gaming and the games that came out those years saved my life.

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    sombre

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    People have said every year is the best year in gaming since the dawn of the Internet. This year is no better than any in the last ten years. It's just a handful of his games with a load of shite. Same as every year, and until we have this same thread next year.

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    Marino

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    #7 Marino  Staff

    @sombre: Well, I'm specifically saying it's not. So, not sure how the "not this again" sentiment applies. Yeah, recency bias is always a factor, but I don't think it's been much of a debate the last couple years at least. Last year especially was quite disappointing overall. I mean, I ended up with TMNT in my top 5. That game is fine for what it is, but can't imagine it being that high any other year.

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    bigsocrates

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    #8  Edited By bigsocrates

    @marino: It depends on how you look at things. If your focus is just "how good are the top games" then yeah, last year wasn't super amazing. On the other hand there were a LOT of very good games.

    Neon White, Citizen Sleeper, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Pokemon Arceus, Norco, Tunic, Vampire Saviors etc...

    Your method of focusing on the tippy top is a defensible way to evaluate years but it's not the only way. I don't really think there's a strong argument for 2022 either way, but I do think there's a strong argument that even relatively weak years have a LOT of good games these days, because if you include indies there's just so much coming out these days and so much of it is of a very high quality.

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    Marino

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    #9  Edited By Marino  Staff

    @bigsocrates: Sure, there's almost always decent-to-good new stuff to play, but obviously some years are more stacked than others. And that's going to be different for everyone, of course. There are a few standout years on both ends of the spectrum (i.e. most people will agree 2014 was largely a "down" year while most people also agree 1998 was one of the best ever). All this post was about was me taking my subjective Top 100 list and figuring out what year was best for me.

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    Marino

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    #10  Edited By Marino  Staff

    2003-4 would rank pretty high on my list too. And SSX3 is the best one. Actually, the best snowboarding game, period full -stop.

    100%

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    Mento

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    #11 Mento  Moderator

    I'm still inclined to say 2017 was the (recent) peak, since it's the only year where I have a top 100 instead of a top 10 or 20, but I think upon review (and enough time to catch up with everything) 2023 will end up pretty close. Sadly, unlike in 2017, we didn't get a Ys this year (at least not in the west).

    I only have GOTY lists from when the site started, maybe I should try some retrospective ones later. Can never have enough lists on here.

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    sparky_buzzsaw

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    You're making me twitchy-eyed with those SSX 3 and "best job class system" comments, Marino.

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    Efesell

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    #13  Edited By Efesell  Online

    I feel like a Top 5 from 2023 would be full of games that would unanimously sweep a GOTY in any normal circumstance. Best Ever? I dunno, ask me what my favorite game is once a week and you'll get a new answer every time.

    But it feels pretty noteworthy. Plus between Gollum and this new King Kong nightmare it's also trying to corner the market for Worst Games too so really it's the whole package.

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    Marino

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    #14 Marino  Staff

    You're making me twitchy-eyed with those SSX 3 and "best job class system" comments, Marino.

    I do love me some dresspheres, but that comment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

    The SSX 3 statements are 100% fact though.

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    Marino

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    #15 Marino  Staff
    @mento said:

    I'm still inclined to say 2017 was the (recent) peak, since it's the only year where I have a top 100 instead of a top 10 or 20, but I think upon review (and enough time to catch up with everything) 2023 will end up pretty close. Sadly, unlike in 2017, we didn't get a Ys this year (at least not in the west).

    I only have GOTY lists from when the site started, maybe I should try some retrospective ones later. Can never have enough lists on here.

    A long time ago, I made Top 5 lists for 1990 to 1994. From 1995 forward, it's a lot easier to get 10 together.

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    SethMode

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    @sombre: Maybe you should write something about this perceived phenomenon, instead of unfairly critiquing the works that others have spent time on. You know, to combat apathy.

    More directly on topic, I don't know if 2023 will be memorable, but it has released more than one game (and it also sounds like the hype for Wonder and SM2 is justified) that can be called someone's favorite game ever and no one would bat an eye. That alone makes it very noteworthy to me.

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    fobwashed

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    Lol, the EverQuest sweep.

    There's a lot here that doesn't line up with where my head is at but at least we can agree that SSX 3 was the best one.

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    Marino

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    #18 Marino  Staff

    Lol, the EverQuest sweep.

    There's a lot here that doesn't line up with where my head is at but at least we can agree that SSX 3 was the best one.

    If I took EverQuest out, 1999 would still be #8 on the list. 🤣

    But, yeah. 2000 is boosted a lot by having the two best expansions in the same year.

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