One Game a Year - 1990 to 2010

Basically a retrospective my best games from the last two decades. Some are political, some are just the games I liked most.

List items

  • 1990 - Again, this is my opinion and the fact is, this remains one of my all time favorite games. It opened my eyes to the RPG world.

    Honourable Mentions: King's Quest V, Secret of Monkey Island, Wing Commander.

  • 1991 - How can it not be on top? There is a reason the frachise is as big as it is today and it started with this game.

    Honourable Mentions: Madden 92, Sonic The Hedgehog, Metroid 2, Streets of Rage.

  • 1992 - Slightly political choice because of what it did for the genre and what Warcraft has become. It was a great game though and I absolutely loved playing it. Solid year for games I loved.

    Honourable Mentions: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Mortal Kombat, Streets of Rage 2, Super Mario Kart.

  • 1993 - We're getting to my gaming enlightenment now. There is no doubt in my mind that Doom deserves this spot but damn do I love the games I give honourable mentions to.

    Honourable Mentions: Mortal Kombat II, Mutant League Football, NBA Jam, Sam and Max, Star Fox.

  • 1994 - Another Tough one. This wasn't the best space shooter released this year but it was certainly the one I got the most enjoyment from.

    Honourable Mentions: Donkey Kong (Game Boy), Tie Fighter, UFO: Enemy Unknown, Under a Killing Moon, Ultima VIII, Warcraft.

  • 1995 - An amazing year and a year where I almost went all PC. Full Throttle is probably the best adventure game ever made. At the time it was too short but looking back, it was the perfect length and the model for adventure game episodes.

    Honourable Mentions: Command and Conquer, Crusader: No Remorse, The Dig, Dark Forces, Tekken 2, Warcraft 2, Wing Commander IV, You Don't Know Jack.

  • 1996 - This was a tough one because The Pandora Directive is one of my all time favorite games. I think though that Mario 64 did more for games and still to this day plays amazingly well.

    Honourable Mentions: Descent II, Duke Nukem 3D, Mario Kart 64, The Pandora Directive, Quake, Ripper, Syndicate Wars, Wipeout 2097.

  • 1997 - Sorry, no Final Fantasy VII (never a fan of the series) or Goldeneye (still don't get it). Truth be told, I was too busy playing Fallout. This game was the next thing in RPG's for me and really helped shape me as a gamer.

    Honourable Mentions: Blade Runner, The Curse of Monkey Island, Dink Smallwood, International Superstar Soccer 64, The Last Express, Star Fox 64, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, WCW Vs NWO World Tour.

  • 1998 - Big apologies to Zelda which is an amazing game but Grim Fandango has one of my all time favorite stories and some of the best dialgoue on a game. I just couldn't bump it.

    Honourable Mentions: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Fallout 2, Half Life, Starcraft.

  • 1999 - Tough choice (especially since I didn't actually play this till 2000) but I just haven't had enough time with System Shock 2 and from recollection, there wasn't anything else that year that blew me away. Transitional time for myself (final year of high school) and probably games.

    Honourable Mentions: Mario Golf, Shenmue, System Shock 2.

  • 2000 - I wasn't playing or buying a lot of new games during these years. My PC was old and all I had was an N64 so this list is light but this game was and remains amazing.

    Honourable Mention: Perfect Dark.

  • 2001 - An amazing game to set up what would become one of the all time great video game series. The fact that GTA continues to be quality really started with this game.

    Honourable Mentions: Halo, Emperor: Battle for Dune, Advance Wars, Shenmue 2.

  • 2002 - I really didn't want to pick GTA two years in a row but the year was a little light on games for me and this was for sure a highlight. Plus it was GTA 3 only better. There is a reason a lot of people look back at this one as the best of the 3 series.

    Honourable Mentions: Burnout 2, Morrowind, Mortal Kombat Deadly Aliance.

  • 2003 - No brainer, to me, this is the greatest game ever made. No other game from this year ever had a chance...and there were some games I loved, especially KOTOR.

    Honourable Mentions: Def Jam Vendetta, Deus Ex The Invisible War, Prince of Persia, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

  • 2004 - Tough, really tough but I had to go with HL2. It is just such an amazing journey that I couldn't go past it, but damn it was a good year for games. It should also be noted that San Andreas was my favorite of the PS2 GTA games so that should suggest something about the strength of HL2.

    Honourable Mentions: Burnout 3, Chrnoicles of Riddick, GTA: San Andreas, Halo 2, Star Wars: KOTOR 2, World of Warcraft.

  • 2005 - Slightly between consoles here but still played a good amount of games. For me Psychonauts was the most fun of these even though I apreciate what Fahrenheit was doing with the adventure game. There was just too much good about Psychonauts.

    Honourable Mentions: Fahrenheit, Jade Empire, Mercenaries, Yakuza.

  • 2006 - Solidly between consoles here (didn't have a 360 yet) so didn't play many new games. When I did finally play this one though, it fixed everything I was dissapointed with in the previous game.

    Honourable Mentions: Half Life 2: Episode 1, Sam and Max Save the World.

  • 2007 - I still love this game despite its flaws. I played through it multiple times and got everything I possibly could out of each experience. A great year for games too.

    Honourable Mentions: Guitar Hero III, Bioshock, Half Life 2: Episode 2, Portal, Professor Layton, Rock Band.

  • 2008 - A tough one but to me, this is the game that probably had the most impact on me in 2008. An amazing experience. It was also the year where I feel like XBLA games started to come into their own as strong experiences rather than just simple fun.

    Honourable Mentions: Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Fable 2, GTA IV, MK Vs DC, Street Fighter IV.

  • 2009 - I'm still not sure if this is the right pick. I loved Dragon Age but when I think back of what I got the most enjoyment from, it probably has to be Borderlands and that is really what counts. I'm glad this game was a success and hope for a number of great sequels.

    Honourable Mentions: Dragon Age, Shadow Complex, Red Faction, Zeno Clash.

  • I was a little unsure of picking Mass Effect again as this list isn't just about being the best but also showing some innovation. I feel like that's exactly what this game did though, it built on the foundations layed by the first game to produce a unique and cool experience. The things put in place by this game are things we're sure to feel the effects of in years to come. I don't think 3 will be on the list next year (because I think it will be extremely similar to this game) but this one deserves it.