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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Your Favorite Games By Year: 2020 Edition

Jpcc86 said:

1989: Ducktales
1990: Super Mario World

1991: A Link to the Past
1992: Dragon Quest V
1993: Megaman X and Link’s Awakening
1994: Final Fantasy VI 
1995: Chrono Trigger
1996: Super Mario RPG
1997: Final Fantasy 7 and SOTN
1998: Suikoden 2
1999: Age of Empires 2
2000: Final Fantasy IX
2001: Final Fantasy X
2002: Suikoden 3
2003: Pokemon Ruby and Saphire
2004: Metal Gear Solid 3 and Dragon Quest 8
2005: Shadow of the Colossus
2006: Final Fantasy 12 and Suikoden V
2007: Super Mario Galaxy
2008: MGS 4 and Dead Space
2009: Uncharted 2
2010: Castlevania: Lords of shadows
2011: TES: Skyrim
2012: Dragon's Dogma
2013: The Last of Us
2014: Mario Kart 8 
2015: Bloodborne and The Witcher 3 
2016: Uncharted 4
2017: Nier: Automata and Hollow Knight
2018: Monster Hunter World 
2019: Link's Awakening remake and Astral Chain
2020: Final Fantasy VII remake (so far)

Tough on the snes years, I couldnt fit the DKC series and Super Metroid, so many good games in that era. 

Best year: 1995 probably. Chrono Trigger, Donkey Kong Country 2, Dragon Quest VI, Yoshi's island, Suikoden, Megaman X3 and many others. Hard to beat. 

Worst year: 2001 by far. Picked FFX out of a lack of choices. 

EXCELLENT idea with adding best/worst year categories! As a matter of fact, I like that idea so much that I think I'll go back and edit the OP to include a Best Year part and list a bunch of my favorites therefrom! I don't think I'll do a Worst Year though because that just wouldn't be fair to like the 1970s in general when games were so much more primitive for obvious technological reasons.

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SanAndreasX said:
Jaicee said:

My Favorite Games By Year:

1977: Surround
1978: Adventureland
1979: Adventure
1980: Zork I
1981: Utopia
1982: Zork III
1983: Kangaroo
1984: Girl's Garden
1985: A Mind Forever Voyaging
1986: Leather Goddesses of Phobos

Damn, dude, glad to see someone else who liked the Infocom games. And there's even a Scott Adams adventure in there! I played all of those too.

And props to Kangaroo. I played that a lot on my Atari computer, and I even got the Arcade Archives version for the Switch that came out last week.

I discovered Infocom about a decade late when Leather Goddesses 2 came out. I didn't care for the lazy sequel, but it brought the original to my attention and I was at just the perfect age to adore it. Steve Meretzky was one of those game designers who was simply ahead of his time back in the '80s, IMO.

And yeah, Kangaroo: you can't pass up the best Donkey Kong knock-off ever released! I figured mentioning it now would be more appreciated too since, like you said, a Switch port was just recently released.

The_Liquid_Laser said:

Going by North American release dates

1978 Space Invaders
1979 Asteroids
1980 Adventure
1981 Donkey Kong
1982 Dig Dug
1983 Dragon's Lair
1984 Punch Out!!
1985 Guantlet
1986 Guantlet 2
1987 The Legend of Zelda
1988 Zelda 2
1989 Golden Axe
1990 Super Mario Bros 3
1991 Super Castlevania 4
1992 A Link to the Past
1993 Shining Force
1994 Dungeons and Dragons: Tower of Doom
1995 Warcraft 2
1996 Heroes of Might and Magic 2
1997 Final Fantasy 7
1998 Final Fantasy Tactics
1999 Roller Coaster Tycoon
2000 Final Fantasy 9
2001 Advance Wars
2002 Freedom Force
2003 Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
2004 Katamari Damacy
2005 Shadow of the Colossus
2006 Final Fantasy 12
2007 Rock Band
2008 Valkyria Chronicles
2009 New Super Mario Bros Wii
2010 Kirby's Epic Yarn
2011 Dark Souls
2012 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
2013 Super Mario 3D World (not a great year)
2014 Hyrule Warriors
2015 Undertale
2016 Dark Souls 3
2017 Zelda: Breath of the Wild
2018 Dead Cells
2019 Cadence of Hyrule

Thank you for mentioning Golden Axe, Katamari Damacy, Shadow of the Colossus, Dead Cells, and Cadence of Hyrule. That is all. I didn't have room for those on my list, so I appreciated.

Last edited by Jaicee - on 23 July 2020

Going by North American release dates:

1980: Pac-Man
1981: Galaga
1982: Dig Dug
1983: Spy Hunter
1984: 1942
1985: Super Mario Bros.
1986: (no real standouts this year)
1987: Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!
1988: Blaster Master
1989: Mega Man 2
1990: Super Mario Bros. 3
1991: Final Fantasy IV
1992: A Link to the Past
1993: Mortal Kombat II
1994: Super Metroid
1995: Chrono Trigger
1996: Super Mario 64
1997: Star Fox 64/Mario Kart 64/Final Fantasy VII (three-way tie)
1998: Rogue Squadron
1999: Soul Calibur
2000: Perfect Dark
2001: Halo: Combat Evolved
2002: (I don't think I bought a single game that was released this year)
2003: The Wind Waker
2004: Halo 2
2005: Shadow of the Colossus
2006: (no real standouts this year)
2007: Super Mario Galaxy/BioShock (tie)
2008: Mega Man 9
2009: New Super Mario Bros. Wii
2010: Halo: Reach
2011: Gears of War 3
2012: New Super Mario Bros. U
2013: The Last of Us
2014: Mario Kart 8
2015: Halo 5
2016: Doom
2017: Super Mario Odyssey
2018: Mega Man 11
2019: Resident Evil 2 Remake
2020 (so far): Final Fantasy VII Remake

Last edited by Shadow1980 - on 08 May 2021


In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

Jaicee said:
Flouff said:
1990 : mickey castle of illusion
1991: Sonic
1992: Mario Paint
1993: International Open Tennis, Alladdin, Mario all stars
1994: donkey kong country, tintin au tibet, the lion king
1995: worms
1996: Civilisation II
1997: Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Aladdin, Goldeneye
1998: Zelda ocarina of time
1999: Pokemon Red
2000: Final Fantasy IX, shenmue
2001: FFX, Alien vs Predator 2, shadow of memories
2002: Smash bros Melee, Kingdom Hearts
2003: KOTOR, BGE
2004: Fable
2005: KOTOR II
2006: Kingdom Hearts II
2007: Bioshock
2008: Burnout Paradise, DMC4
2009: Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed II
2010: God of War III, Mass Effect II, Heavy rain
2011: Deus Ex, motorstorm apocalypse, Batman Arkham
2012: max payne 3, the walking dead
2013:the last of Us, AC IV, ni no kuni
2014: Infamous second son
2015: The witcher 3
2016: Persona 5
2017: Horizon Zero Dawn
2018: God of War
2019: plague tale innocence, Luigi's mansion, KHIII
2020: FFVII (didn't play a lot of games)

If i enjoyed a lot of games recently, i can see while making this list that the impact they have on me fall of a cliff year after year. Am i getting old, or the way i play, with only short sessions now, affects my feelings ?
Also very hard to know when the games came out !

There are always resources like Wikipedia or Google to remind one of a game's historical release dates!

Anyway, I'm above the median age of our contributors myself and I don't know that the phenom you describe is necessarily age. I say that because personally I actually like a lot of games from this last decade better than the many of the classics. I've actually never been happier with the gaming landscape, personally. BUT...then again, if you look over my list of selections, I figure the reasons for that may become pretty obvious: I have tastes that are considered unorthodox and definitely prefer to use female characters.

At the same time though...part of me also understands what you're saying. I definitely get nostalgic too. A lot. Gaming aside, I'm just not generally having a very good life and I have lots of happy memories that are attached to games I played when I was younger. Sometimes replaying them, or just playing newer games that remind me of those times, bring back those memories in a bittersweet way that I can't resist. For me, it's games like Super Metroid and Chop Suey, Out of This World, and Final Fantasy VI especially that I would say that's true of because those are games I associate with memories like my first girlfriend, my first kiss, first coming to really appreciate game narratives (i.e. mind being blown), and just good times with friends, and they've all aged well and have come to mean even more to me with age because they've impacted my perspective on life in different ways at different times as I've kept going back to them. Some games are just special to me for both objective and subjective reasons that way and always will mean more than most to me for that complex set of reasons. So I can relate to that kind of thing!

Anyway, I think you're the only person who included A Plague Tale on their list. Great choice! That was one of my favorite games from last year too. I really liked that game, Return of the Obra Dinn, Death Stranding, Knights and Bikes (honestly mostly for subjective reasons), Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Cadence of Hyrule, and a couple that were just insanely cute and funny: Untitled Goose Game and Gato Roboto. And Luigi's Mansion 3. That was fun!

I agree that a lot of gaming moments are filled with nostalgia, and memories make older games better than they really were, perhaps. But, after years of gaming, i think i am less suprised too. If recent games are far more solid and consistent experiences most of the time,  they can become boring very fast. Add to this the limited time to play, that draws me to buy "safe" well known game, and i find less "unorthodox expericences" with the "wow" effect. Would like to test some of the games you listed !

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Best year: 2010. I ended up buying 21 games from that year alone; twelve on Wii (Mario Galaxy 2, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby's Epic Yarm, Goldeneye 007, Sonic Colours, No More Heroes 2, Red Steel 2, COD Black Ops, Monster Hunter Tri, Sin & Punishment Star Successor, Sonic All Stars Racing, Epic Mickey) and nine on 360 (Bayonetta, Mass Effect 2, Vanquish, Halo Reach, Alan Wake, Splinter Cell Conviction, Singularity, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Bioshock 2) No other year compares in quantity or quality.

Worst year: 2018. Only bought two games all year and both were late Switch ports of 2017 games.

Last edited by curl-6 - on 23 July 2020

Bet with Liquidlaser: I say PS5 and Xbox Series will sell more than 56 million combined by the end of 2023.

Flouff said:

I agree that a lot of gaming moments are filled with nostalgia, and memories make older games better than they really were, perhaps. But, after years of gaming, i think i am less suprised too. If recent games are far more solid and consistent experiences most of the time,  they can become boring very fast. Add to this the limited time to play, that draws me to buy "safe" well known game, and i find less "unorthodox expericences" with the "wow" effect. Would like to test some of the games you listed !

Mmm! I can certainly understand the play it safe approach under those circumstances especially. I work about 60 hours a week, so I have a limited amount of leisure time myself. The way I respond to time constraints is to generally purchase smaller games that are cheaper, using reviews to mitigate the risks involved.

I share your sentiment that major games have become much more similar in design and appear to be moving toward a singular, unified type of design, in fact. In that sense I think they are, in fact, generally getting duller and more predictable. There are few major developers, and publishers, that are willing to take real risks and try new things today because it's just so expensive to make a AAA game now they want to be assured of a return on their investment more than ever. Part of me looks at that situation and is like "I miss the old days!!" But then I think about what made the old days better and it wasn't familiar names and franchises, it was that gaming was a smaller business that didn't have established franchises and genres to build off of and often didn't have a lot of resources to invest in things like focus group testing. Instead, people made games that they themselves wanted to play on the theory that if they liked them, someone else would too. That shoestring operation type of situation yielded a lot more creativity and risk-taking than is common in the AAA market today.

Maybe I'm waxing a little too poetic about the merits of independent development and such here, but venues like Steam and the like that are available today have breathed new life into this type of games development and it's brought me back from the brink of abandoning the medium altogether. If I felt confined to the AAA landscape, I probably wouldn't still be a gamer today.

2016: UC4
2017: Horizon Zero Dawn
2018: God of War
2019: KHIII
2020: GOT

  • 1985: Super Mario Bros
  • 1986: Castlevania
  • 1987: The Legend of Zelda
  • 1988: Dragon Quest III
  • 1989: Mega Man 2
  • 1990: Mega Man 3
  • 1991: Super Mario World
  • 1992: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • 1993: Mega Man X
  • 1994: Super Metroid / Final Fantasy VI
  • 1995: Chrono Trigger
  • 1996: Super Mario 64
  • 1997: Castlevania: SOTN
  • 1998: Metal Gear Solid
  • 1999: Pokemon Gold/Silver
  • 2000: TLoZ: Majora’s Mask
  • 2001: Halo: Combat Evolved
  • 2002: Metroid Prime
  • 2003: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
  • 2004: Metroid Prime 2
  • 2005: Star Wars: Battlefront II
  • 2006: Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
  • 2007: Super Mario Galaxy / Halo 3
  • 2008: Metal Gear Solid 4
  • 2009: inFamous
  • 2010: Mass Effect 2
  • 2011: Dead Space 2
  • 2012: Mass Effect 3
  • 2013: Super Mario 3D World
  • 2014: Dark Souls II
  • 2015: Metal Gear Solid 5
  • 2016: Dark Souls III
  • 2017: Prey / TLoZ: Breath of the Wild
  • 2018: The Messenger
  • 2019: Resident Evil 2
  • 2020: Doom Eternal
Last edited by Thechalkblock - on 04 August 2020