So, what WAS the best year in gaming in your opinion?
There is great years, and personal favorites, but which year would you consider the best year in gaming history based on whatever criteria you want to use?
For the sake of the poll, I will scrap a few dud years in between, in order to fit every decent year up through 2012.
Also not worried about sports games. I like them, but they come out literally every year.
Because some of you were not old enough to fully experience the NES era (and maybe even the SNES/Genesis era) I imagine some of those games will mean less to some of you. Thus, I'll stick with only the games I think you will at least be familiar with, or games that were hugely influential.
1987: Castlevania, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Contra, Metal Gear, Mega Man, Maniac Mansion, Final Fantasy (Japan; literally saved Square), Mike Tyson's Punch Out, Bomberman, Kid Icarus, Double Dragon (Arcade), Street Fighter 1 (Arcade), Phantasy Star, After Burner, Outrun, Wonder Boy
1991: Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, Civilization, Street Fighter II (arcade), Final Fantasy IV, Tecmo Super Bowl
1994: Super Metroid, Final Fantasy VI, Mortal Kombat II (SNES), Doom II, Tekken, Warcraft, XCOM: UFO Defense, Donkey Kong Country, Star Wars: Tie Fighter, Sega 32x (lol)
1995: Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Command and Conquer, Heroes of Might and Magic, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Worms, Suidoken, Warcraft II, Twisted Metal
1996: Super Mario 64, Resident Evil, Quake, Diablo, Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot, Dragon Force, Twisted Metal 2
1997: Final Fantasy VII, Final Fantasy Tactics, Total Annihilation, Tekken 3, Castlevania Symphony of the Night, Goldeneye 007 (N64), Starfox 64, Grand Theft Auto, Age of Empires, Fallout, Ultima Online, Gran Turismo
1998: Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Grim Fandango, Xenogears, Panzer Dragoon, Starcraft, Rainbox Six, Metal Gear Solid, Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate, Pokemon, Thief: The Dark Project, some game Half Life
1999: Shemnue, Unreal Tournament, Donkey Kong 64, Soul Caliber, Everquest, Counter Strike, Heroes of Might and Magic III, Super Smash Brothers, Suidoken II
2000: The Sims, Deus Ex, Diablo II, Perfect Dark, Zelda: Majora's Mask, Final Fantasy IX, Chrono Cross, No One Lives Forever
2001: Final Fantasy X, Legend of Zelda: Seasons/Ages, Halo, Metal Gear Solid 2, Devil May Cry, Ico, Advanced Wars, Max Payne, Grand Theft Auto III
2002: Battlefield 1942, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Warcraft III, Kingdom Hearts, Sly Cooper, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Ratchet & Clank, Metroid Prime, Metroid Fusion, Splinter Cell, MechAssault, Neverwinter Nights, Freedom Force
2004: Far Cry, Doom 3, Half Life 2, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, Fable, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Halo 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, World of Warcraft, Rome: Total War, Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines, Need for Speed II, Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
2005: Resident Evil 4, God of War, Lumines, Psychonauts, Advanced Wars: Dual Strike, Shadow of the Colossus, Civilization IV, Dragon Quest VIII, F.E.A.R.
2007: God of War II, Super Paper Mario, Bioshock, Halo 3, Legend of Zelda, Phantom Hourglass, The Witcher, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Super Mario Galaxy, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted, Mass Effect, Crysis, The Orange Box, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
2008: Metal Gear Solid 4, Grand Theft Auto IV, LittleBigPlanet, Gears of War 2, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, Left 4 Dead, Fallout 3, Super Smash Brothers Brawl
2009: Dragon Quest V, Braid, Street Fighter IV, Batman: Arkham Asylum, CoD: Mw2, New Super Mario Bros, Assassin's Creed II, Borderlands, Demon's Souls, Angry Birds
2010: Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Heavy Rain, God of War 3, Halo Reach (the :bryan), Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Battlefield Bad Company, Limbo, Red Dead Redemption, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
2011: LA Noire, Fable III, Bastion, CoD: MW3, Uncharted 3, Gears of War 3, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City, Orcs Must Die, Dark Souls, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Catherine, Saints Row 3, Minecraft
2012: Dishonored, Assassin's Creed 3, Black Ops 2, The Walking Dead, Journey, Mark of the Ninja, Borderlans 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Halo 4, Far Cry 3
I probably missed a bunch of games. I don't need a reminder. I'm trying to watch football, the games listed are just a small sample.