Next Generation had an article up this week that asked if 2007, with its bevy of traditional, off the wall, and outright incredible videogames, was in fact the best year ever for the medium.
If we just take my own experiences as an example, then the answer is yes. Over the past 12 months (I’ll round up and include December), I’ve purchased or played more videogames than I had over the past five years combined. Granted, a majority of them were for a Nintendo platform or portable, but the point remains I was back on the saddle and thoroughly impressed with the video games industry as a whole.
This also includes “non traditional” titles. Over the summer I played Guitar Hero 2 for the first time. Pretty rad, if I can borrow something from the lexicon I exercised in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Wii Sports, while technically a 2006 title, continues to wow basically everyone who likes to have fun, one year after its launch. My Nintendo DS is attached to my side and the growing number of cartridges I own for it barely fit in my makeshift carrying case. For all intents and purposes, it’s good to be a cas-core gamer right now.
This isn’t to say that the core gamer was left out of the best year ever. Indeed, with Halo 3, Uncharted and Super Mario Galaxy all creating waves, I’d argue that no corner of the gaming network was left untouched. The core no longer matter as much as they did a year ago or more, but that’s a good thing for an industry that’s in the midst of a pretty incredible growth spurt.
But wait, there’s more! I mentioned that Next Gen article for a reason–they point out that review scores for the year was not so good. Perhaps, they say, this means it was NOT the best year ever! It’s just an interest counterpoint they raise for discussion’s sake, so don’t go lighting up those torches just yet. That said however, I happen to disagree, and recent events have led me to completely abandon “professional gaming journalists” opinions on games. I will continue to feel that way until the swag bags go away, there’s some degree of mature separation between editorial departments and advertising (as every legitimate newsroom should have to begin with), and the 1-10 system — with all its decimal points and seemingly Chaos Theory-controlled criteria — is retired.
Bottom line, there were a ton of great games that came out over the past year–and it’s not over yet! So, I put my best year ever stamp on 2007, with an asterisk: I know that 2008 is ready in the wings to take the title away.
But that’s just me. Was 2007 the best year ever for videogames, or not?