Only five months into 2017 and already people are proclaiming it as one of the best years in recent gaming history. While some of that hype has indeed come from what’s already been released, most of it is from the anticipation of what is next. Ahead of us is at least one big game for every crowd and genre. Fighting games, especially, are set for a renaissance this year with Injustice 2, Tekken 7, and Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite, to release in the upcoming months. Truly, it has been and will be a busy time for anyone with a gaming backlog.
When it comes to deciding whether or not a year has been great for the gaming industry and its audience, hindsight is the most key aspect. A period of time could be speckled with dozens of fun but forgettable titles that make no impact at all. Meanwhile, another may be criticised for a moment, and then praised after all of its games become sleeper classics. More than pure enjoyment, video games need to be memorable.
It’s that reason why 1985 and 1998 are often pointed to as being some of the ‘best years in gaming.’ The former encapsulated the release of the NES in America and thus, the rebirth of gaming in the Western world, and the latter saw series like Half-Life, Metal Gear Solid, and Banjo-Kazooie make their debut. But how much any of that matters, is up to you, personally.
The idea of there being a ‘best year for gaming’ has and will continue to be largely subjective. As I’d contend that there are no objectively amazing games in terms of quality and timelessness, any good thing could easily be terrible to someone else. Research the question of this article in any forum, and you’ll find dozens of people all with differing opinions on the year 2014, for example.
Video games cater to an incredibly large swathe of tastes and likes that are further specified or divided by the systems we play on. Suffice to say, the man or woman who solely owns a PS Vita probably isn’t having the best of times this year.
To me, one of the most memorable and enjoyable years of playing video games would have to be 2013. Not only did the seventh generation of consoles get its swansong, but the eighth generation rolled around as well, bringing with it all the excitement and joy that comes along with buying a new system—only to be disappointed by a lack of launch titles.
In the end, entertainment is what you make of it. So what has been the best year for gaming? Well, it’s up to you.