20 Greatest Years In Video Sport Historical past, Ranked

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The Last of Us

5. 2013

Notable Sport Releases: GTA 5, The Final of Us, BioShock Infinite, Remaining Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, Murderer’s Creed IV

We’re all the way down to the ultimate 5 years on this listing, and that is the purpose the place the rankings go from “powerful” to almost unimaginable. There’s a powerful argument to be made that any of those 5 years should occupy the highest spot. 

2013 was undoubtedly highlighted by the releases of Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Final of Us. The previous would go on to change into the second best-selling online game ever, whereas the latter is a kind of uncommon titles that almost everybody agrees is a story masterpiece. 2013’s BioShock Infinite could have been something however universally acclaimed, however that considerably divisive title stays a compelling lightning rod. This was additionally the 12 months that noticed Remaining Fantasy XIV rework into Remaining Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. The importance of that transformation has change into increasingly obvious with every passing 12 months. 

Past that, you had an unimaginable Tomb Raider reboot that few noticed coming, smaller titles like The Stanley Parable, Gone House, and Papers, Please vying for GOTY awards, and constantly underrated video games like Rogue Legacy, DmC, and Metro: Final Gentle. All of that, and I barely have time to speak about DOTA 2, A Hyperlink Between Worlds, Brothers: A Story of Two Sons, Saints Row IV, Blood Dragon, Metallic Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Murderer’s Creed IV. Think about making an attempt to play all these video games that 12 months. 

Truthfully, among the best issues you possibly can say about 2013 is that we’re nonetheless taking part in a few of that 12 months’s greatest video games to today. 

Grand Theft Auto 3

4. 2001

Notable Sport Releases: Halo: Fight Advanced, Grand Theft Auto III, Tremendous Smash Bros. Melee, Metallic Gear Stable 2: Sons of Liberty, Satan Could Cry, Remaining Fantasy X

In the event you ever hear players of a sure age lament that the beginning of latest gaming generations aren’t as thrilling as they was once, attempt to forgive them. In any case, a few of us had been lucky sufficient to be youngsters within the unimaginable 12 months for gaming that was 2001. 

Few doubted Microsoft’s capacity to finally make an impression within the console market, however fewer nonetheless suspected that Halo would go on to change into some of the impactful launch video games ever. Thoughts you, those who purchased a GameCube as a substitute had been too busy taking part in Tremendous Smash Bros. Melee, Luigi’s Mansion, Tremendous Monkey Ball, and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Chief to thoughts. 

Throughout its first full 12 months, the PS2 turned in among the best single-year software program lineups ever. Certainly, it’s typically laborious to consider that Metallic Gear Stable 2, Tony Hawk’s Professional Skater 3, Gran Turismo III, Grand Theft Auto III, Silent Hill 2, Satan Could Cry, SSX Difficult, Remaining Fantasy X, ICO, Purple Faction, and Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy had been all launched in the identical 12 months. 

Even the N64 acquired in on the enjoyable with the discharge of Paper Mario and Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day. Add Max Payne, Golden Solar, Return to Citadel Wolfenstein, Lifeless or Alive 3, and Aliens vs. Predator 2 to the combination and…properly, the one method I can justify not placing this 12 months on the prime of the listing is to maneuver on to the remaining three years. 


3. 2007

Notable Sport Releases: Portal, Name of Obligation 4: Fashionable Warfare, Halo 3, World of Warcraft: Burning Campaign, Rock Band, Tremendous Mario Galaxy

All through this 12 months, Den of Geek has been celebrating its fifteenth anniversary. Whereas I hope you’ll have fun with us, I do know a lot of you entered 2022 able to have fun the fifteenth anniversary of what many contemplate to be the very best 12 months in online game historical past. 

2007 was the sort of 12 months that gave us Workforce Fortress 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, and Portal within the similar assortment. It was a 12 months when Name of Obligation 4: Fashionable Warfare arguably provided the height of one of many greatest recreation franchises ever, whereas Halo 3 delivered what was primarily the tip of an period for an additional FPS collection (although Bungie would nonetheless ship ODST and Attain). If that is the primary time you’re realizing all these video games had been launched in the identical 12 months, that’s most likely as a result of the noise they generated was being drowned out by your Rock Band periods. That, otherwise you had been too misplaced in WoW’s Burning Campaign growth to note anything. 

Greater than something, although, I’ll bear in mind 2007 as a golden time for daring new concepts that turned franchises. It was the 12 months that gave us the very first BioShock, Murderer’s Creed, Uncharted, Crysis, and Mass Impact video games. Even Tremendous Mario Galaxy was adequate to change into the transient way forward for the Tremendous Mario franchise. 

There’s one thing bittersweet about trying again at 2007. It’s straightforward to blind your self with rose-colored glasses, however there actually was one thing lovely about this time when the way forward for gaming appeared so brilliant as a result of the current was so nice. 

Metal Gear Solid

2. 1998

Notable Sport Releases: Metallic Gear Stable, Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Fallout 2, Resident Evil 2, Starcraft

I went into this listing absolutely anticipating 1998 to take the highest spot. It wasn’t only a nice 12 months in gaming; it’s one of many solely years in gaming that I might argue was undeniably nice. I actually can’t fault anybody who considers it to be the very best 12 months ever. 

Above all else, 1998 will at all times be remembered because the 12 months that gave us Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Metallic Gear Stable. Extra than simply three nice video games, they had been three very completely different video games that represented the perfect of the three greatest platforms out there at the moment. 

In the event you want extra proof of 1998’s greatness, you’ll discover it in Starcraft, Fallout 2, Resident Evil 2, Starsiege: Tribes, Tekken 3, Grim Fandango, Banjo-Kazooie, Thief: The Darkish Undertaking, and even the NA debut of Pokémon. Lots of these video games (and extra from 1998) are rightfully thought of to be the easiest of their respective genres to today. 

That’s the factor about the perfect video games of 1998. Like the perfect motion pictures of the beloved summer season of 1982, the perfect video games of 1998 have stayed in our collective acutely aware for therefore lengthy that it’s typically laborious to overlook that they weren’t launched simply yesterday. Lots of them may probably nonetheless win GOTY this 12 months if that they had been.  

Halo 2 Xbox

1. 2004

Notable Sport Releases: Halo 2, Half-Life 2, Metroid Prime 2, Metallic Gear Stable 3, World of Warcraft, GTA: San Andreas, Star Wars: Knights of the Outdated Republic 2

If I instructed you that Counter-Strike: Supply, Killzone, Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal, Everquest II, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, Halo 2, Half-Life 2, Jak 3, Want For Pace: Underground 2, Metroid Prime 2, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, Spider-Man 2, Metallic Gear Stable 3, and World of Warcraft had been all launched in the identical 12 months, you’d most likely agree that was among the best years in gaming historical past, proper?

Nicely, what if I instructed you that each one of these video games had been really launched in the identical month: November of 2004?

That’s the humorous factor about 2004. In a 12 months the place the dialog ought to have been dominated by arguably the perfect month in online game historical past, we nonetheless acquired The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay, GTA: San Andreas, Ninja Gaiden, Rome: Complete Warfare, Burnout 3: Takedown, Katamari Damacy, Star Wars: Knights of the Outdated Republic 2, ESPN NFL 2K5, The Sims 2, Far Cry, and extra unfold out throughout the remainder of the 12 months. Thoughts you, that’s solely the video games that had been typically thought of hits on the time. There are various extra titles from 2004 which have solely grown in acclaim since then. That is even the 12 months that gave us the Nintendo DS (although its launch lineup solely provided a glimpse at how nice that handheld could be).

In the event you’re one of many many who contemplate the PS2/Xbox/GameCube console technology to be the perfect console technology ever, then there’s likelihood you additionally contemplate 2004 to be the height of that exact period. We could by no means see the likes of this sort of 12 months once more, and I’m unusually nearly grateful for that. It’s the sort of 12 months for gaming that calls for lengthy vacation breaks with mates, lazy summer season nights, and most of the different highlights of youth that we are sometimes really nostalgic for after we discuss the perfect video games of years passed by. 


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