As far as console and pc gaming is concerned the 80-99 era was the best for games. Todays games can only dream of having the playability of those days. Games today are pretty much following the music and movie industries they have to look back to the golden age for their inspiration and generally fall flat on their faces because of the corporate intrusion that occurs today. It's the cost of games today that will kill the games industry on consoles
"...the best way to prepare [to be a programmer] is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and fished out listings of their operating system." - Bill Gates (Microsoft Corporation)
"Hey, Steve, just because you broke into Xerox's house before I did and took the TV doesn't mean I can't go in later and take the stereo." - Bill Gates (Microsoft Corporation)
Bill Gates had Mac prototypes to work from, and he was known to be obsessed with trying to make Windows as good as SAND (Steve's Amazing New Device), as a Microsoft exec named it. It was the Mac that Microsoft took for its blueprint on how to make a GUI.
""Windows [n.] - A thirty-two bit extension and GUI shell to a sixteen bit patch to an eight bit operating system originally coded for a four bit microprocessor and sold by a two-bit company that can't stand one bit of competition.""