The 1991 game of the year is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
The runner up is Final Fantasy IV.
The master thread for all of these contests can be found here.
If you didn’t glance at the list of games in the poll yet, then you are going to want to sit down first. The games in 1991’s list are incredible. There are essentially 5 platforms represented in the poll: Arcade, Home Computer, Gameboy, Genesis, and SNES. Somehow all 5 platforms were succeeding at once. The games in this year’s list played a huge role in making that possible.
Please comment on what you believe to be the Game of the Year for 1991. You might even want to discuss/argue with other posters first before you vote. Or maybe you just want to argue with yourself first? Whatever. Please vote for Game of the Year for 1991 and post why. Without further ado, here is the list of games:
Street Fighter 2 (Arcade)
Throughout the mid to late 80’s the popularity of the arcades was gradually starting to dwindle. Then Street Fighter 2 gave the arcades a serious shot of adrenaline. Not only was this game extremely popular, but it started a new trend of other publishers releasing fighting games for the arcade. Throughout the rest of the 90’s, fighting games would dominate the arcades. Street Fighter 2 went on to sell over 220,000 arcade cabinets worldwide across all editions, making it the third best-selling arcade game of all time behind only Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Furthermore, it went on to sell over 12.4 million copies on the SNES and another 1.6 million copies on the Genesis across all editions.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time (Arcade)
Turtles in Time was the sequel to Konami’s 1989 arcade game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The arcade cabinet for Turtles in Time was so popular that it even exceeded sales of the first game, making it Konami’s best-selling arcade game ever. The SNES would get a home version of this game a year later with the Genesis getting a similar game called The Hyperstone Heist.
Eye of the Beholder (PC/Amiga)
Eye of the Beholder was a new Dungeons and Dragons series from SSI. Instead of following the style of the gold box games like Pool of Radiance, Eye of the Beholder was more of a dungeon crawler like Wizardry or Might and Magic, but in real time. The game would later be ported to the SNES and Sega CD and it would also spawn two more sequels.
Sid Meier’s Civilization (PC)
Sid Meier releases his ultimate contribution to gaming and establishes the 4X genre. Civilization also popularized the phrase “just one more turn”, allowed people to attack a phalanx with a tank, and revealed that Gandhi is an evil bastard that lacks honor. Co-designer Steve Shelley would leave the publisher, Microprose, in 1992 and join Ensemble studios to design Age of Empires. Civilization would go on to sell over 1.5 million copies and the Civilization series would sell over 51 million copies.
Metroid 2: Samus Returns (Gameboy)
The sequel to the original Metroid would end up on the Gameboy. Metroid 2 went on to sell over 1.7 million copies continuing to prove that Metroid was one of the top IP for Nintendo in this era.
Sonic the Hedgehog (Genesis)
Sega finally develops a character that can give Mario a literal run for his money. Sonic the Hedgehog was the most popular game on the Genesis, becoming the new game bundled with the system, and selling over 15 million copies. Sonic was also the main reason that the Genesis became competitive with the SNES, making total hardware sales for the two systems nearly tied in North America and making the Mega Drive the more popular system in Europe.
TV Show Intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLwM5KhIBT8
Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
RPG storytelling takes a giant step forward with Final Fantasy IV (or Final Fantasy II as it was called at the time outside of Japan). When Final Fantasy fans want to experience all of the best story games in the series, they usually start with IV. Sakaguchi tells the story of the Dark Knight, Cecil, who becomes a Paladin, with a whole host of other fleshed out characters. The SNES hardware also had fantastic sound capabilities for the time, and this was shown off by the music of Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy IV would go on to sell 1.8 million copies on the SNES.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
One of the notable sequels on the SNES that doesn’t have the word “Super” in the title, but don’t let that fool you. A Link to the Past returns to the form of the first game but with better graphics, a more elaborate storyline, more items, and an overworld that effectively doubles in size due to the dark world. The really could have just called it “Super Zelda”. A Link to the Past would go on to sell over 4.6 million copies on the SNES.
Commercials Collection: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZdSb4F72Iw
Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
Simon Belmont returns in this SNES sequel that shows off improved controls, mode-7 graphics and an impressive soundtrack. Super Castlevania IV is often considered the best Castlevania in the pre-Metroidvania era of the series.
Other (please specify)
If you think another games deserves to be "Game of the Year" other than one of the 9 I listed above, then please vote “Other” and say your game in the comments. If the "Other" category takes at least 2nd place and no other game gets at least 50% of the vote, then I will do a runoff vote including the most mentioned game(s) from the comments.
The winner of this vote will be decided Monday, Oct 2 at 11:59 EST.
Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 03 October 2023