1996: the year football came home and Gazza thrilled at Wembley; the Spice Girls hit number one with Wannabe, Oasis played Knebworth; the nation was drinking alcopops, Take That and Charles and Diana went their separate ways and a buxom British icon called Lara Croft entered the homes, lads mags and imaginations of millions of Brits. Maybe that’s why 1996, the year the first ever Tomb Raider was released, has been voted the most memorable year for gaming by British gamers.
Best Year in Gaming: 1996
UK videogames specialist retailer GAME asked 2,000 self-confessed console and PC aficionados to consider the biggest landmarks in the history of videogames. And 1996 was voted the top vintage year. It was the year that saw Lara Croft become a household name. The release of seminal titles such as Resident Evil, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario 64 arrived. And of course, the Nintendo 64 console itself. 1996 heralded a lot of changes for the industry. Changes that can still be felt today!
Runner-up nostalgic gaming year was 2002. This is the year Rockstar Games delighted gamers worldwide with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, one of the best selling PlayStation 2 games of all time. The GameCube also had a successful run of critical acclaim. Metroid Prime and The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker made their debuts. Plus, the first Resident Evil remake hit. This set a trend that is still paying dividends for Capcom. Both the original Xbox and GameCube had launched in the later part of 2001. Seeing their first year line-ups performing so well is a nice nostalgic trip!
We know how passionate the gaming community is. It just goes to show that no matter how old or new and advanced a game or console is, each individual has a strong attachment to their favourite games and the memories associated with them. Further details on the top five years in videogaming follow below.
Top 5 Years for Gaming:
1996 (14%): Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation, and Nintendo 64 launched.
2002 (13%): Halo: Combat Evolved and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on the Xbox, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
1991 (12%): Street Fighter II and Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and Lemmings was out on the PC.
1985 (11%): Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt and Donkey Kong Jr. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Ultima IV and Oregon Trail on the PC.
1980 (10%): Pac-Man and Centipede in the arcade, Space Invaders on the Atari 2600 and Zork on the PC.