In what appears to be an early contender for internet sensation of the year, The Well-Red Mage has asked a BIG question of his followers: What is your favourite game for every year you have been alive? After initially sticking this in (as my boss would say) the ‘too difficult drawer’, I’ve decided to hop on-board!
This turned out to be quite an interesting project. As others before me have done, I’ve tried to go with the original release date for each game, but discovered it can be quite tricky to figure this out, so please forgive me any innocent mistakes. I’ve also tried to pick games I’ve actually played, but as you will see this was not always possible. It is strange that for some years (even some very recent years), I was coming up blank, and for others, 3 or 4 of my favourite games were released. Many thanks to Wikipedia’s ‘games by year’ section for helping me make my choices. OK, here we go:
1984 – The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (Infocom)
This is a text adventure based on part of the story of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I was about 5 when I actually played it – it was far FAR to hard, but had to include it for nostalgia’s sake.
1985 – Qogo 2 (Chris Sawyer)
This is a clone of the game Q*Bert, I had it on a Memotech of some sort. I don’t remember much about it, except I’m sure it had Stairway to Heaven as the theme tune!
1986 – The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo)
Apparently I’ve never played a game that was released in 1986, and the first installment of Metroid and Dragon Quest also came out this year, but Zelda wins!
1987 – Final Fantasy (Square)
Again, couldn’t find anything I’ve actually played, but having recently read the history of the series in the words of the people who were there, I had to choose Final Fantasy!
1988 – Blaster Master (SunSoft Inc.)
Another year where I haven’t played anything, and nothing leapt out at me from the list but chose this as it looks cool.
1989 – SimCity (Maxis)
I haven’t ever been a huge fan of the SimCity series, but just the sheer idea and scale of it is enough to get it a place on the list.
1990 – The Secret of Monkey Island (LucasArts)
Who could ask for anything more from a game (c’mon, it even has a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle!)?
1991 – Civilization (MicroProse)
Civilization (and its sequels) have taken up so much of my life that I can’t even imagine how many hours I’ve put into it. It is one of the few games that has literally kept me up past dawn on many, many occasions. Just one more turn…
1992 – Jill of the Jungle (Epic Games)
Along with its sequels Jill Goes Underground and Jill Saves the Prince, these are possibly the only platform games I’ve ever been any good at. Also, you spend quite a lot of the game as a frog. Enough said.
1993 – Master of Orion (Simtex/MicroProse)
Making this list reminded me just how much I love (and miss) this game and its sequel. Kinda like Civilization in space with cool aliens. Time for a reboot perhaps?
1994 – Super Metroid (Nintendo)
This is the first Metroid game I ever played (although that was in 2016…). I can’t quite believe how well it has aged, which is probably attributable to its excellent game design.
1995 – Worms (Team 17)
Oh yes! I love Worms. A real favourite of mine when I was a teenager, and the cause of much shouting (and laughter) between my sister and I.
1996 – Resident Evil (Capcom)
Survival horror at its finest!
1997 – Tekken 3 (Namco)
Who needs Final Fantasy VII when you can make a bear punch a panda?
1998 – Grim Fandango (LucasArts)
I’ve never actually finished this but you’ve got to love Manny Calavera!
1999 – Silent Hill (Konami)
2000 -Majora’s Mask (Nintendo)
What to do you mean Final Fantasy IX and Majora’s Mask came out in the same year?
2001 – Devil May Cry (Capcom)
2002 – Metroid Prime (Nintendo)
A real change from my experience with Super Metroid, but still brilliant, even though I generally don’t like First Person Shooters.
2003 – Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo/Rare)
Just a charming and awesome platformer which is way too difficult for me.
2004 – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (Konami)
Not my favourite in the series but still great. It has one of my favourite bosses from the series – The Sorrow. It also gave us the chance to hear Snake saying “Mmmm, tasty!” a lot.
2005 – Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
Never doubt Leon S. Kennedy’s ability to get into lists I make.
2006 – Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Sega)
This was a great year with Tales of the Abyss, Guitar Hero II, Twilight Princess, and Final Fantasy XII. However, I wanted to give this game, which is about tilting a monkey’s world in the direction of bananas, its time in the spotlight.
2007 – Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo)
I’m not great at platformers, but everything about this game blew me away.
2008 – Tales of Vesperia (Namco)
Possibly my favourite game.
2009 – Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (Activision)
I love Guitar Hero, but this compilation of its greatest hits really hit the spot for me. Also, I’m only one star away from 5-starring every song on vocals. Which song is too hard? Killer Queen!
2010 – Xenoblade Chronicles (Monolith Soft)
Read my blog before? Then you know how I feel about this game already. First time reader? Xenoblade = ♥
2011 – Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
A fabulous entry in the Zelda series!
2012 – Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (Bandai Namco)
My favourite installment of one of my favourite series. The tag mechanic adds a tactical element, whilst the character roster is huge! All that’s missing is Tekken Bowling.
2013 – Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII (Square Enix)
Whilst Final Fantasy XIII-2 is probably my favourite in the trilogy, I still think Lightning Returns is a great game. At least it is once you re-start it on ‘easy’ rather than ‘normal’ after getting your ass kicked for 5 hours.
2014 – Bayonetta 2 (Nintendo/Platinum Games)
2015 – Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (Nintendo/Atlus)
Another candidate for my favourite game, I genuinely miss being in the world and hanging out with the characters who inhabit it. Idol-tastic!
2016 – Super Mario Run (Nintendo)
Ok, this is certainly not the best game that came out in 2016, but it is the ONLY game that came out in 2016 that I’ve played.
2017 – Xenoblade Chroncicles 2 (Monolith Soft)
I’m sorry Breath of the Wild, as of right this second you are no longer my favourite 2017 release. What can I say, I just love this game, as I have all the Xenoblade games before it.
2018 – I haven’t played any 2018 releases yet, and have little idea what my favourite will be, but do come back in December for Game of the Year!
So are any of these your favourites too? Any of them evoke any nostalgia for you? Let me know in comments!
Thanks for reading.