The greatest year in the history of games
If you asked a group of experts from different segments of the entertainment industry to name the year, which is the most significant in history, you probably would have received many non-uniform answers. For example, when it comes to films, there is no clear agreement between critics and movie buffs regarding a particular year that could be objectively considered superior in terms of the number of releases. Dates sometimes include 1993 — Schindler's List, Philadelphia, Fugitive, Piano, Jurassic Park, Groundhog Day, Sleepless in Seattle, Rudy, Steep Turns and Playground"; 1984, when “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Destiny”, “Kapate-Kid”, “Svobodnye”, “Gremlins”, “Terminator” and “Beverly Hills Policeman” were born; and, oddly enough, 2013, when “12 years of slavery”, “Dallas buyers club” and “Cold heart” came out ...
In fact, most film critics consider 1939 to be the best year in the history of the film industry: then films such as Gone with the Wind, About Mice and People, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, Ninochka and Mr. Smith is going to Washington. "
However, when it comes to video games, critics and historians of this industry, as a rule, provide a much clearer and unified answer. Usually they firmly point to 1998, considering it to be the greatest or, to be more precise, the most influential year in the gaming field.
The reasons given are somewhat different, but the argument begins with listing an amazing number of extremely influential games that were successful from a critical and commercial point of view, and how they influenced the perception of video games in the media and entertainment industry in general. It is also noted that in that year some of the most influential game companies were created. 1998 was also possibly the year when 3D interfaces finally matured to such an extent that they decided to include them in the gameplay.
So what games came out that year? Firstly, this is The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, which is often called one of the best video games ever created. This is followed by Resident Evil 2, which over the weekend destroyed the previous sales record and spawned dozens of spin-offs, including a series of films in which Mila Jovovich fights zombies. Then came the series of games Pokemon Red and Blue, which is now a giant merchandising, covering the entire globe.
In addition to this, lesser-known games that are now considered classics were also released in 1998, including Spyro the Dragon, Banjo-Kazooie, F-Zero X, Parasite Eve, Fallout 2, Grim Fandango and MediEvil.
As for commercial success, in 1998 one of the best-selling fighting games of all time was Tekken 3 (eight million copies sold), Gran Turismo races (11 million copies sold worldwide) and Crash Bandicoot (seven million copies sold) .
From a critical point of view, 1998 was the year when at least a dozen contenders for the title “Best Game of All Time” were released. These include Grim Fandango, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Resident Evil 2, as well as those games whose names we have not yet mentioned - Half-Life, Rainbow Six, Baldur's Gate, Thief, StarCraft and Metal Gear Solid: all they received excellent or near-perfect ratings on exit and continue to receive critical praise to this day.
More specifically, the most influential games in the entertainment industry include Half-Life, which critics usually consider the leading first-person shooter (the dominant genre on the market today) and Metal Gear Solid - its creators set the bar high in terms of storytelling and interactions with players, and since then only a few have managed to jump over it.
Culturally, we have games like StarCraft,which was so ingrained in South Korean society at the peak of its popularity that the country's air force created a professional team of StarCraft players, and millions of people regularly watched them play as they gathered at large stadiums. Today, the so-called “eSports” is a huge, multi-billion dollar business, which in many respects owes its success to games such as StarCraft and fans gained when there were no social networks and widespread access to the Internet.
Similarly, the Pokemon Red and Blue games were the first in the Pokemon franchise, so huge that you might remember how the mobile game that caused nostalgia for the original became literally a global phenomenon in 2016.
As for the influence of the games released in 1998, the Gamespot site quite accurately and succinctly put it on this subject: “1998 was the year of the first games. The first plot shooter. The first three-dimensional game Legend of Zelda. The first modern stealth simulator. The first Japanese role-playing game. The first RPG from the developer, which has now become the leader of the genre. "
The year 1998 also became a significant impetus to make this form of entertainment mature.For example, Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario) was awarded the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for his contribution to the world of entertainment and became the first official recruit to the Hall of Fame.
Of course, there will always be those on the Internet who disagree with experts who claim that 1998 was the best year in the history of games.