What Is The Best Decade For Video Games?

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It’s clear that old video games never really die. Graphics change and more buttons appear on the controllers, but a good game is a good game regardless of the time it was made. But not everyone has the means or patience to deal with decades-old hardware, which is why emulators are absolutely flourishing at the moment. With either Raspberry Pi or many other alternatives out there, gamers have been using these single board computers to help bring old games back to life.

So, with all these historic games having a rebirth of sorts, this got us thinking: What exactly is the best decade for video games? Including the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, Even though many incredible games have been released this decade, we’re going to exclude the 2010s because, well, the decade hasn’t ended yet. We’ll list a top three for each decade and then declare a winner at the end of it all. And yes, we know we probably left out a lot of great games, but that’s the nature of a top three. Let’s begin!
The 1980s
  • Pac-Man – 1980
    Although it starts out simple enough, Pac-Man becomes challenging very quickly! Strategy basically goes out of the window, as you duck and weave your way around the ghosts to get those dots and sweet, sweet cherries.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 – 1988
    Super Mario Bros. 3 still looks years ahead of its time and was far more difficult than any previous Mario games. The great thing about SMB3 was all the different Mario versions you could control, including Fire Mario, Raccoon Mario, Tanooki Mario, and even Hammer Mario.
  • Tetris – 1984
    Moving blocks around never felt so good! Despite its simple premise, Tetris was and still is a lot of fun. The type of game that could be passed off as educational because of its problem-solving nature, Tetris is actually the best-selling game of all time with 495 million units sold.

The 1990s
  • GoldenEye – 1997
    We’re going to say it, no 007 game will ever come close to beating GoldenEye. When you think of Bond and video games in 100 years’ time, we still believe people will remember GoldenEye. The solid graphics, beautiful controls, cool array of weapons, and impeccable level design, GoldenEye also shines for its outrageously fun multiplayer mode. Just be sure to unfriend anyone who picked Oddjob.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – 1998
    What more can be said about Ocarina of Time that hasn’t been already? There have been many great Zelda games over the years, including the latest title Breath of the Wild, but Ocarina of Time is routinely given as the No.1 place from every Zelda fan. The scope is simply jaw-dropping, as you discover Hyrule as a child, only to be trapped in time for seven years, then emerge as an adult to a world that has changed for the worse. Dungeons to traverse, puzzles to solve, beautiful vistas, memorable characters, stunning music… Ocarina of Time has it all.
  • Mortal Kombat – 1992
    It’s hard to believe that Mortal Kombat has only been around since 1992, as it feels like forever. With latest title Mortal Kombat X still giving fighting fans plenty of bloodthirsty action and gruesome weapons, it’s still satisfying to back to where it all began with the original MK. Though new characters regularly appear in each game, it’s hard to deny that everyone still wants to play with the originals like Lui Kang, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Raiden, and Sonya Blade.
The 2000s
  • Portal – 2007
    Who knew you could have a first-person shooter that didn’t involve killing things? Portal is truly groundbreaking, as it forces you to really think about the puzzles and tests you’re put through to reach the end. Using a gun that can pick up items and fire two portals – one blue and one yellow – you’ll have so much fun conquering the increasingly difficult levels. The sequel in 2011 was just as epic.
  • Halo 2 – 2004
    It’s really hard to pick just one Halo game in the series, as every title has had stand-out moments, but Halo 2 is incredible. The dual weapon functionality is incredibly cool, enemies are smarter and more ruthless (so many grenades), and the levels are a delight to wander around. Halo 2 recently got a complete overhaul for the Xbox One in The Master Chief Collection, which is well worth checking out to experience it again. Because it was exclusive to the Xbox, Halo 2 was easily the main reason many people chose Microsoft over Sony in the 2000s.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV – 2008
    Like Halo, there have been so many awesome GTA games, but IV is just so memorable for its gripping missions, beautiful city detail, still stunning graphics, and a rocking soundtrack. This was the type of game that many would take a week off work for, so that they could simply enjoy the game’s quirks without disruption. A classic for the ages.
The Winner
Although this is like choosing a favorite child, we’re going to have to pick the 90s as the best decade for gaming. This was just such a great time for video games, where gameplay was not overly complicated, but still challenging and rewarding. The graphics still hold up in many games, and along with the three we mentioned, there’s Super Mario 64, Doom, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil, Donkey Kong Country, Sonic the Hedgehog, NBA Jam, Half-Life, Mario Kart 64, Tomb Raider and so much more. Congratulations 90s, you’re the best decade for video games.
Thank
You!
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