Video games have been around for a very long time. Games consoles have been around since the late ’70s. As consoles became increasingly mainstream and their popularity grew, like with any popular entertainment medium, awards were created. One of the most prestigious awards a game can receive is game of the year.
There have been many magazines and websites run a game of the year award but this article focuses on one of the longest-running awards, The Electronic Gaming Monthly award.
1988 Double dragon
This side-scrolling beat-em-up was an arcade classic and a great multiplayer experience.
1989 Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
Another Side scroller. This time with a ghost theme. As with many early console games, it was a port from an arcade game.
Strider was revolutionary in many ways as it didn’t just use one direction scrolling and you needed to “solve puzzles” to advance. This coupled with at the time quality graphics made for a worthy winner.
1991 Sonic The Hedgehog
One of the most iconic video game characters of all time. The speedy, ring grabbing hedgehog raised the bar in high-speed platform games.
1992 Streetfighter 2
Arguably the most famous fighting game of all time. It spawned a terrible movie. And also made it okay to yell “Hadouken” when pretending to shoot a fireball from your hands.
1993 Samurai Shodown
This took its cues from the likes of street fighter two. However, Shodown had its own spin on the genre. The game showcased speedy gameplay and all the characters had weapons, setting it apart from its predecessors.
1994 Donkey Kong Country
The original Donkey Kong was an arcade classic. In the original game, Donkey Kong was the antagonist. In this classy platform game, he was the protagonist. The game is notable for its use of various “mounts” for instance you can ride a rhino. There needs to be more games where a gorilla rides a rhino.
1995 Twisted Metal
Not dissimilar to games like destruction derby, Twisted Metal gave you a choice of cars and then placed you in an arena where it was your job to destroy other cars. It was just good fun!
1996 Super Mario 64
Mario was always considered the king of platform games. This was his first foray into the world of 3d and it was amazing!
1997 Goldeneye 007
One of the greatest multiplayer games of all time. There was something so beautiful about four player Goldeneye with the four-way split screen. When you got that golden pistol you felt like an emperor of pain.
1998 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of time
Zelda is almost the MVP of the game of the year awards. Zelda games appear in the majority of these awards over the years. This Zelda game was the fifth in the series and the first to use 3d graphics.
1999 Soul Calibur
It had been more than half a decade since a fighting game had won this award and as of writing, it was the last time. Soul Calibre was a classic, simplistic fighting game.
2000 Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawks games were just a lot of fun to play. Simple to pick up and play, but mastering them took skill and timing.
A classic first-person shooter with an amazing campaign. Halo was the franchise that put the Xbox on the map. Favouring laser beams over machine guns it introduced us to Master Chief and the war against the Covenant. Halo was also significant for its use of vehicles.
2002 Metroid Prime
Could be classed as a first-person shooter, although advertised as an adventure game as the emphasis was very much on exploring. This game received massive critical acclaim.
Check out part 2 to see the remaining games of the year.