Best Video Games of Each Year

It’s time to take a look at the best video game of each year! This was definitely a tough project since some years have a ton of great games. Naturally I am only counting games that I have played in some capacity. Collections aren’t counted and I just count myself as playing each game individually. I’m going with the original release date so if it came out in Japan a year sooner than America then I go with that date. Remakes get iffy, but if it’s from the ground up or there is something to make it significantly different then it is counted. Without further ado, lets look at the best games of all time!

2018 Dragon Ball FighterZ

2018 is still going, but it already looks like FighterZ is here to stay as the champ. The game is just spectacular in terms of gameplay and visuals. It’s the complete package and everything you could ask for from a DBZ title.

2017 Super Mario Odyssey

This was a tough one, but Odyssey manages to barely edge out Sonic Forces and Fire Emblem Warriors for the title. It’s definitely a great Mario game and it feels like the next big installment to the series. Nintendo will have to work hard to possibly top this one and I don’t expect the next big Mario game to come out for several years as they work to make it a masterpiece.

2016 Pokken

When they first announced this game I knew that it was going to be awesome. How do you possibly top a Pokemon Fighting game? The answer is that you don’t. The Rock Paper Scissors form of combat is used well and you really have to play it a lot to get the mechanics down.

2015 J Stars Victory Vs

Finally, the Shonen Jump fighting crossover that I always wanted. It’s a great blend of DBZ and Naruto 3D gameplay as you get to pit fan favorite characters against each other. It’s a really fun game that has largely gone overlooked, but is definitely a top fighter.

2014 Super Smash Bros Wii U
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The greatest game of all time! Super Smash is a game that I’ve put in well over 1000 hours and counting. It’s just the perfect game that has unlimited replay value. While you do get an edge over other players if you pay the 5.99, it just helps you reevaluate if you want to get a sandwich outside or skip lunch to start winning.

2013 Sonic Lost World

Lost World was a fun Sonic game that may not have gone down as one of the all time greats, but I guess 2013 couldn’t offer us anything better. It just goes to show that Sonic games are underappreciated and Lost World helped to brighten the year up. It was a different take on the Sonic series, but one that worked well.

2012 Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations

Definitely the best of the Ninja Storm games that I’ve played. It was cool to see Naruto characters from Part 1 and 2 go at it with the solid 3D gameplay that I’ve come to expect from the series. It’s definitely a game that you can play at any time.

2011 Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3

While it may not be the best Marvel vs Capcom game in the series, it is definitely iconic and a game that will bring you endless amounts of fun. The combos are flashy and the character roster is pretty solid. You will get sucked into the game as you find more and more team combos to pull off.

2010 Tenkaichi Tag Team

The best portable DBZ game and one that does a good job of emulating Tenkaichi 3. The Tag Team mechanic is pretty fun and the 3D combat is as good as ever. We definitely need to bring the Tenkaichi gameplay back since it’s so fun. Playing as Goku and Vegeta makes for an excellent team.

2009 Final Fantasy XIII

Final Fantasy XIII is still my favorite part of the Final Fantasy franchise with the second game upping the intensity even further. The graphics are excellent and the game set the tone right from the start by having one of the best intro cinematics out there. With an awesome protagonist like Lightning and a solid gameplay system in place, this was the game to beat in 2009.

2008 Super Smash Bros Brawl

Brawl was the first Super Smash Bros game to have a story and boy did it deliver. I’ve seen the cutscenes numerous times and it’s so surreal to see the characters all in one place interacting. Sonic really stole the show here and the gameplay was as great as ever. While it may be a little hard to get into after playing the Wii U version, its legacy will not be forgotten. There’s always a lot to do here so the fun never stops.

2007 Dragon Ball Budokai Tenkaichi 3

For a while I had this listed as my favorite game of all time. It may have been surpassed but it’s still up there as one of the best games of all time and is still my favorite DBZ title. The huge 150+ character roster is amazing and the story mode was excellent as well. You just can’t get tired of playing this game and the controls are easy to learn, but hard to master. The perfect blend for a game like this.

2006 Sonic The Hedgehog
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Sonic 2006 may have been mocked by fans and critics, but it still has one of the best stories in a Sonic game and was hype all the way through. You’re unlikely to actually run into the infamous glitches and will instead have a blast powering through the game. Silver was a great new character to the franchise and his boss battles are a lot of fun. Psychic abilities are tough to get around and Silver does a good job of demonstrating that.

2005 Kingdom Hearts II

Kingdom Hearts has had a lot of great installments, but Kingdom Hearts II is still the best one. It finally ended the main plot of the arc with a lot of intense battles and the final boss was intense. I barely survived with one health left and so this really felt like a bout of skill. Seeing Cloud go up against Sephiroth was naturally an awesome payoff as well.

2004 Custom Robo

This game actually came out on my birthday which is pretty awesome. It’s the ultimate 3D robot experience. The story was really epic and the gameplay is amazing. You feel like you are in control the whole time as you are able to customize your robot to your liking and then fight for all the marbles. There are a lot of customization options here which are really what makes the game feel authentic. It just doesn’t get better than this.

2003 F-Zero GX

The graphics for this game were amazing for its time and still look awesome to this day. F-Zero is easily the best racing game of all time and even the story mode was awesome. It’s a shame that we haven’t gotten a new game so long because clearly the series still has a ton of potential. It’s just an awesome game through and through and revolutionized the genre.

2002 Sonic Adventure 2 Battle
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The best Sonic game and one of the best games of all time, Adventure 2 Battle introduced us to Shadow while also perfecting the Sonic formula. The gameplay is amazing and the multiplayer modes are excellent as well. Seeing Sonic and Shadow team up like this has never been topped by another moment in the franchise and the cutscenes will still give you the chills. This is definitely an all star title.

2001 Super Smash Bros Melee
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While Smash Wii U is the best game, Melee is still the most intense fighting game. You move at incredible speeds and the sheer amount of effort it takes to pull off combos is incredible. People even damage their hands from playing this game at a competitive level and it’s where I first realized that Fox would be my main for life. He’s just such a great character here while also being completely fair and balanced. Aside from Smash Wii U I feel like I was the most dedicated to this game for the longest period of time.

2000 Marvel vs Capcom 2

Marvel vs Capcom 2 still has the best fighting game cast of all time aside form Super Smash Bros Wii U. It was huge for its time and basically all of the big Marvel and Capcom characters got to make an appearance. Playing as the beam spammers is a ton of fun but getting in close is satisfying as well. This is definitely what you think of when you think of the MVC series.

1999 Super Smash Bros
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The start of the greatest franchise of all. The game may not have had a whole lot of fighters, but the gameplay was way ahead of its time. Super Smash Bros is as addicting as it ever was and being able to have iconic characters like Mario and Link fighting it out was a dream come true. This game is absolutely amazing!

1998 Marvel Vs Capcom
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Marvel vs Capcom is one of the few fighting titles that can even compete with big shots like Super Smash. The concept behind the game is genius and the fighting style has become a whole sub genre. It’s a fantastic game that holds up very well and just about every character feels viable. They can all pull off crazy combos so you can play this for hours.

1997 Mega Man X4

Mega Man X4 is the first X game that I’ve ever played and it also happens to be the first one with a real solid story and animated cutscenes. It’s a blast to play through and it was a fun title for the PS2. Playing as Zero was a lot of fun and while the difficulty was high, I’d consider it to be one of the easier X games. Definitely a title that is worth checking out.

1996 Mario 64

The greatest Mario game of all time. This one is legendary and it’s easy to see why. Being able to actually punch and kick your enemies is awesome and the levels are amazing. The final boss is also the tensest one in all of Nintendo. You will walk away from this game a very changed person.

1995 Street Fighter Alpha

Street Fighter Alpha is really the iconic retro Street Fighter game. It had an ongoing plot during the trilogy along with a sizable cast. It was really quick so playing the matches was fun as you had to keep up with your opponent. It’s easy to see why the game series became so legendary.

1994 Mega Man X2

Mega Man X2 was a solid game with that nice motorcycle game. I may not have as much experience with it compared to the classic series, but the X games always look really nice with the graphics and their difficulty is brutal without feeling unfair. It’s a great sidescroller that will take a lot of time to complete.

1993 Kirby’s Adventure
1992 Fatal Fury 2
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Fatal Fury may not be as popular as some of the other fighting game titles around, but don’t doubt its quality. This fighting game can absolutely hold its own against any of the other big titles. The controls are on point and any game where one of the fighters is called Terry is destined for greatness. Not a game that you want to take a pass on.

1991 Sonic The Hedgehog
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Sonic has finally entered the fray. The instant that he came in it was time for Mario and the other titles to move aside. While his games aren’t generally as fun as Mario’s, they are a nice change of pace and are solid in their own right. Being able to move so fast through the levels was probably a very fresh experience at the time.

1990 Mario World

Widely considered to be one of the best Mario titles of all time, I would easily say that this is the best 2D one. It’s between this game and Mario 64 for the absolute best and I’m inclined to give the 3D one the edge here. Mario World has a ton of replay value and you could play it over and over again because of how much fun it is. I’m super nostalgic for the game as well and have completed it 3 times over the years.

I didn’t play any 1989 games which is sad. In my defense, Mega Man skipped that year, Sonic wasn’t out yet, and Mario released Super Mario Land which is one of the few 2D adventures that I have not played. It’s how it goes I guess. (-____-;)

1988 Super Mario Bros 3

With Luigi finally getting his due credit, how could Super Mario Bros 3 not make it? This is definitely a game to remember and it was a fun way to start closing out the 80s. The levels are well made and you’ll have a blast playing this game.

1987 Final Fantasy
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This may not have been the final Fantasy, but it was a great way to start things off. Between this and Pokemon, the turn based style of combat really got big and Final Fantasy did it justice. There may not have been a huge plot back in the day, but exploring and leveling up made this game a real hit.
1986 Legend of Zelda

I remember playing this at the arcade before watching Wallace and Gromit back in the day. It’s definitely a fun classic and the overhead actually worked well for the game. The series has come a long way, but the classic will always be remembered.

1985 Super Mario Bros
Now this game’s a classic. Who hasn’t died to the first goomba at least 10 times by now? He comes to suddenly and the game never relents as it pushes you into trial after trial. You can’t take the game lightly and its difficulty and fun graphics are what makes it such a classic.

I didn’t play any games from 1984. Yes, I know that I’m a casual (-_-)

1983 Mario bros

This stage is iconic since Mario Bros had you dodging the fireballs and creatures as you racked up a high score. It’s a fun game with a high amount of replay value even if the gameplay is a little different from most of the other Mario games.

1982 Ms. Pac Man
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With more levels and colors than the original, Ms. Pac Man is a strict upgrade over its predecessor. It’s a really fun game and one that tests your skills of memorization and reaction times as you dodge the ghosts. It’s hard to beat this classic.
1981 Galaga

I’ve definitely put many hours into this classic game. Galaga revolutionized space combat back in the day and it’s a lot of fun to try and beat your high score. Play it safe and play it smart, that’s how you’ll get the record.

1980 Pac Man

Now this game is a living legend. Who would have thought that Pac-Man would end up being one of the greatest games of all time? There is basically nobody alive who hasn’t heard of the famous icon and the game holds up just as well now as it did back in 1980.

1979 Galaxian
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Potentially the best video game of the first year’s batch that I ever got to play, Galaxian is one to remember. It’s a rough version of the classic Galaga and is definitely one that you can have fun playing for a long while. It’ll remind you of the good ole days.

Congrats on making it all the way to the end! I’ll be sure to update the main page when new years pass by so be sure to check it out in the future. Who knows, perhaps some of these entries will be surpassed by other old games at some point as well. Gaming has certainly come a long way, but one thing’s for sure, surpassing Super Smash Bros for Wii U will be nearly impossible!