Mid-Week Question: What was the best year for PC gaming?

PCG Chris

Staff member
Dec 9, 2019
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What was the best year for PC gaming? We've previously listed our top 5 best years: for example, in 1993 we got Doom, X-Wing, and Day of the Tentacle. In 2007 we got The Orange Box (with TF2 and Portal), plus Bioshock and Crysis. In 2015 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Kerbal Space Program, GTA 5, and Fallout 4 all arrived.

But every year sees tons of great PC games released. Which year do you think was the best? And why?

Respond by Wednesday morning and we'll publish some of your answers along with some from the PCG writers!
 

Frindis

Moderator
I think 1993 was the best year for gaming and I especially give Doom that reason. Doom was one of the first games to make multiplayer FPS quite popular and I remember how cool it was to attend local LAN events trying to get that sweet frag. There is a little slice of entertaining gaming history to be found when looking up some of the greatest Doom players in the past.

Lead programmer John Carmack would also make it easy for players to make their own maps, thus opening for both competition and yearly praises of some of the best WADS. While not being the first game you could mod, this one definitely was the most popular, carving the way for future modding communities. Another thing to mention is that being able to understand the game data also opened up for speedrunners to tighten the scores and still to this date people are competing in getting the best times.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention it was the most violent and gory fps game that year, how the 2D was made to look 3D, the BFG, kick-ass soundtrack, monsters from hell, erm..story and that Doom recently got a megawad: an unofficial sequel to the fourth episode from none other than John Romero, one of the original creators of Doom.
 
Last edited:
Jan 22, 2020
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A lot of my childhood favourites seem to be clustered in 1997.

Mainstream hits like Fallout, Quake 2, Hexen 2, GTA, Dungeon Keeper, The Curse of Monkey Island, Age Of Empires etc. Cult classics like MDK, Interstate '76, Oddworld: Abes Oddysee, Dark Earth, The Last Express, Myth: The Fallen Lords, Outlaws, Privateer 2, and Twinsen's Odyssey. We got ports of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Shadows Of The Empire and Panzer Dragoon to test our new graphics cards, and Carmageddon's release in Australia was completely uncensored in a very rare move for my country.

It's also the year in which the naming conventions of the Dark Forces series officially went off the rails with the release of Star Wars Jedi Knight - Dark Forces 2. It's by this logic that I'd like to move that we officially rename the final game in the series, Jedi Academy, to now be 'Star Wars Jedi Academy - Jedi Outcast 2 - Jedi Knight 3 - Dark Forces 4'.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
Actually, 2016 was a mighty good year:
  • Witcher 3 came into its own with Blood & Wine
  • XCom 2 came out early enough in the year to be in good shape by the end of the year
  • Final Fantasy 9 (on PC) - not my favorite FF but well worth playing
  • Battlezone 98 Redux - which I really really want to play some day soon
  • 2016 version of Doom
  • No Man's Sky showed up and I, for one, really liked it early on
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
  • Valley - a short, sweet, and very pretty game
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider was pretty fun
  • Dishonored 2 (PC Gamer's GotY)
  • Stellaris and Civ 6 - but it was definitely too early to play either in 2016, IMHO.
  • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen showed up on PC
  • X:Rebirth's Home of Light DLC appeared early in the year so, by summer 2016, X:Rebirth had gotten quite fun.
P.S. For anyone looking to make these sorts of lists, Wikipedia has video game release dates.
 

Zoid

Community Contributor
Jan 13, 2020
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What year did the Orange Box have Portal and TF2?
2007, which was probably my favorite year in gaming.
  • The Orange Box
  • Halo 3
  • Call of Duty 4
  • Bioshock
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Mass Effect
  • Crysis
  • Super Mario Galaxy
  • Uncharted
  • Forza Motorsport 2
  • DiRT
We had sequels that redefined their IPs on the new console generation (Halo 3, CoD 4), and we also had the launch of brand new IPs that have become huge since then (Bioshock, Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Uncharted). What a great year!
 
There are too many key years in PC gaming to name just one, in my opinion, and it would be easy to make an argument for all sorts of different years and/or time periods (especially since so much of it is subjective), but I personally have a fondness for 2002, as I think that was a notable turning point for 3D games, which prior to that were mostly really hard to look at (again, in my opinion.) We started to see textures that almost lived up to the detailed 2D backdrops of past games, but with realtime 3D rendering.

It was also the year Morrowind came out, ushering in a continuing era of moddable sandboxes. Also Neverwinter Nights, which really had a great toolset for wannabe DM's. We were also well into Windows XP at that point, which was (again, just my opinion) one of the best Windows OS's for gaming after Windows 98 Second Edition. And lastly (and anecdotally) it was the year that I really got into LAN gaming, so that probably skews it for me as well.

We've had some great years before that and since then, and most of the big titles that are popular now came long after, but looking back on that year I'm hard pressed to name a particular year that I enjoyed more overall, with more titles that I loved.
 
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2007, which was probably my favorite year in gaming.
2007/2008 was a mixed bag for me. A lot of great games, for sure, but a lot of problematic trends, too. SecuROM, the uptick in games that refused to run unless they phoned home (even if you owned the physical media), and Steam was still a bit problematic.

We were still living in an area without readily available high-speed broadband, and I bought the retail copy of Portal, only to find out that it refused to run unless I downloaded the updates from Steam, which was well over a gigabyte and at the time meant a solid 24 hours of downloading for us, assuming everything went well.

But I realize the majority already had broadband by then so it wasn't a big deal for most people. And now that we have it, I welcome digital downloads (especially if they're DRM-free.)
 
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