So I thought I would take a trip down memory lane and revisit all of my favorite games according to their chronological release date. This list starts in 1980,3 years before I was even born. I was lucky enough to have had exposure to some really old school games when I was a wee lad; I appreciate this early exposure as it has allowed me to really see the evolution of the video game.
In 1980 there was an Intellevision game released called "Boxing". I have many vivid memories of playing this game, it was actually quite fun. The old sloppy analogue round thingy on the Intellevision controller hurt your hands after a while though, and it definitely lacked the responsiveness of 3rd generation controllers.
I could not find any games with a release date in 1981 or 1982 that I remember playing. But Frogger, which was released in 1983 for the Commodore 64 I remember well. Frogger was a simple game with ****c appeal and charm.
I can't find any games from 1984 that I played, and it's probably not too surprising because the entire console industry underwent a crash right around this time as the market was just flooded with tons of junk from this era…too many consoles and way too many crappy games.
1985 ushered in the 3rd generation consoles which were a welcome upgrade to the 1st and 2nd generation consoles like some ofthe ones I just mentioned (Mattel's Intellevision, Commodore 64). Super Mario Brothers was my first ever NES game (I am pretty sureit came with the console).
1986 was the year Mike Tyson's Punch Out was released. This game I spent countless hours playing, and even though I never actually made it to Mike Tyson, I have many fun memories of this game. (Remember Soda Popinsky and King Hipo?)
For the games released in 1987, nothing stands out more than Double Dragon for the NES. This game also came out for the SNES and was really fun. I am pretty sure they also made a cheesy movie out of it. Castlevania also came out this year which was pretty awesome too.
Super Mario Brother 2 came out in 1988. It was really weird and I never did beat it, but it warrants being on this list for the shear amount of effort I put into it.
1989 was the year Dragon Warrior came out for the NES. This was a truly ****c RPG (my first RPG actually). I had tons of fun playing this game ("Does thou love me? No! But thou must!") Dragon Warrior was my all timefavorite game for theNES system.
1990 gave us super Mario Brothers 3. While not my favorite NES game,it wascertainly one of the best. I loved going back and playing with infinite P-wings after beating the game. (Using the warp wistles you could beat this game pretty quickly).
In 1991 Super Mario World came out for the SNES, and this heralded in the 4th generation consoles. Many consider this the best Mario game to date, which is saying a lot.
1992 was the year I started playing PC games. In many ways, PC games would define my gaming life for the next 15 years until I boughtmy PS2 in 2006. One of the first PC games I remember playing was an RPG calledUltima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. This game was incredibly immersive and is one of the best dungeon crawls of all time.
1993 was a good year for George Lucas' company LucasArts games. "Day of the Tentacle" and "Sam and Max" both came out this year and were my earliest introduction to adventure games. It is sad that in many ways, they just don't make games like this anymore.
In 1994 Blizzard's original "Warcraft: Orcs and Humans" was released. This game's legacy can befelt to this very day. (ie. World of Warcraft is the highest grossing game of all time taking into account subscription fees.)
1995 brought us two more legendary RTS games each with a player vs player option over dial up modem. Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness and Command and Conquer both came out this year. I'd give the nod the Warcraft 2 since I just spent so much time playing it.
1996 heralded in the Epic Blizzard hack and slash RPG Diablo. The music in this game was awe inspiring and it was so addictive that I remember playing it until like 2:00 AM on school nights some days! At this point in history, PC gaming was far far ahead of console gaming in my opinion.
1997 was the year I got the N64 (welcome 5th generation of consoles), and I spent countless hours playing Goldeneye. Many fist fights between my brother and me erupted because of Goldeneye (mostly due to the annoying use of Proximity mines at re-spawn points during player vs. player.)
1998, looking back, was a stellar year for game releases. Oddly enough even though Xenogears for the PS was released this year I didn't actually play it until 2010. The games I did play that year though were Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the N64, Starcraft for PC, and Baldur's gate for the PC. I can't pick a favorite game from this year because all 4 of these games are just so darn good.
To millions of Star Wars fans worldwide, 1999 marked the year of the long anticipated release of the first of the 3 new Star Wars movies, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. I remember gobbling up everything to do with Star Wars that year, and I spent tons of time mastering Star Wars Episode 1: Racer on the N64.
The year 2000 brought me my favorite game of all time, Baldur's Gate 2. There were many other great games this year too, Like the Longest Journey and Deus Ex to name a few. More of my all time favorite games were released this year than any other single year to date.
2001 was another great year, but looking back, my favorite release of this year was a little known PC RPG called Anachronox.
In 2002 Bioware was trying to mimic the success of Baldur's Gate 2 with the highly anticipated Never Winter Nights. While not as good as Baldur's Gate 2, it was still my favorite game of that year.
2003 brought us Xenosaga Episode 1 for the PS2, the first in what would become a truly epic RPG series for the PS2.
In 2004, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines came out. It was a dark vampire RPG for the PC that I really enjoyed. Given peoples obsession with vampires these days, I bet this game would have been a really big hit if it came out post Twilight.
2005 was the year Xenosaga Episode 2 was released. Even though it's the weakest of the 3, it was still my favorite game of 2005.
In 2006 Xenosaga Episode 3 came out for the PS2. Episode 3 was my favorite of the series and one of my all time favorite games.It was hands down my favorite release of 2006.
2007 brought us Persona 3 which was a really revolutionary game and one that many JRPG fans will include in their all time favorite game list. Despite the fact that the XBOX 360 and PS3 were both going strong in 2007, Persona 3 (a 6th generation game) was still my favorite of that year.
For 2008 game releases, my favorite game was still from the 6th generation. 2008 saw the release of the sequel to Persona 3, Persona 4, and while I did enjoy Bioware's 2008 hit Mass Effect (among others), Persona 4 is hands down my favorite game of 2008 and another one of my all time favorite games.
I will end my list here since it would be pre-mature to declare my favorite games of 2009 and 2010 since there are many games I still need to play with 2009/2010 release dates. I hope you have enjoyed reading about my little trip down memory lane, I know I did.
Feel free to comment or even include your own favorites from certain years!