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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

GameFAQs Best Year in Gaming: Wildcards and Round 1!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A new GameFAQs contest has begun... what was the best year in gaming?

Before E3 2017 begins, we have an exciting, year-based event to cover: A new GameFAQs contest! I get really excited over these. This time, it's not to figure out the best character or to figure out the best game... but the best... year? This strange format was presumably done to prevent idiotic troll-rallies like what happened for both of the GameFAQs contests that occurred during KoopaTV's existence. (Damn you Draven of League of Legends and damn you Undertale.) It's hard to get excited and rally for a whole year because lots of things happen in 365 or 366 days. ...But I'll try my best, and tell you my thoughts on the bracket for every round.

If you need a reference source for what games came out when — which may be especially confusing if you're not used to American release dates — the contest nerds over at GameFAQs's Board 8 contest board have made a List of Notable Games Released 1985–2016 wiki page.

The underlined years are the ones I'm voting for. If you think my write-ups suck, that's because I'm saving energy and material for the next four rounds.

GameFAQs The Best Year in Gaming banner Wildcard Round 1 KoopaTV contest
GameFAQs didn't put their own logo in their banner, so I put it for them. Along with ours, of course.

Wildcard Round

1979 vs. 2009

1983 vs. 1989

1981 vs. 2006

1978 vs. 2005

I don't think I really need to say much for why I picked the years I did for the wildcard round. No one gives a damn about the 1970s, and random arcade games in the early 1980s don't compare to anything on a console. The majority of people are going to agree with me on this, believe me.

Round 1

1995 vs. 1986

What the hell was even released on the NES in 1986 in America? Like, what did Americans who had an NES play in 1986? Does anyone know?

1985 vs. 1987

I'm not letting Super Mario Bros. get respect, and that's what people associate with the entire 1985. 1987 birthed many classic franchises that still have things today (everyone wants to celebrate a 30th anniversary), and at least Punch-Out!! is still an amazing game to this day that isn't even outdated.

2001 vs. 2014

You look at what was nominated for the 2014 Game of THAT Year... And while there's Super Smash Bros. For Wii U and that's fantastic, it doesn't beat Super Smash Bros. Melee plus a bunch of awesome games, such as Paper Mario and the Oracle games for The Legend of Zelda.

2008 vs. 2009

I'm assuming that 1979 gets defeated in its round, which it will be. Meanwhile, I don't even know what came out in 2009... Well, apparently it's pretty much just Punch-Out!! Wii. That's a game I love and even wrote a review for, but 2008 is stacked.

1997 vs. 1999

What came out in 1999? Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 doesn't matter to me. Meanwhile, 1997 has many popular favourites on the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, such as Final Fantasy VII and Star Fox 64. Oh, and GoldenEye 007 and Mario Kart 64. 1997 is stacked, too.

2007 vs. 2012

2012 is the year of literally just Kid Icarus: Uprising, but 2007 is the year of TWO Ace Attorney games and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Oh, and Pokémon Diamond Version and Pokémon Pearl Version, which I just finished talking about how its unannounced remakes are gonna be amazing by default unless Game Freak ruins them.

2000 vs. 1990

1990 has some cool NES games like Mega Man 3 and Super Mario Bros. 3 (the latter of which I don't actually... like, despite it being my debut). ...Hm, EVERYONE keeps associating 1989 with Super Mario Bros. 3, but the game came out in the United States in 1990. That's something I didn't actually realise. Gotta be sharp on these things.

Meanwhile, 2000 is filled with formidable games such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and Chrono Cross. There's just... so much more that came out here.

1996 vs. 1989

1989 is going to win its wildcard match (it's dominating today). Then it's going to lose to the Nintendo 64's launch with Super Mario 64. Kind of a bummer for Mega Man 2, but it can't carry the year past 1996.

1991 vs. 1988

1991 was the launch of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Mario World, while 1988 had black sheep sequels to earlier games like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Super Mario Bros. 2 USA. I'll let 1991 through.

2002 vs. 2010

This match is a bit tough. My favourite game from 2010 is Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, followed by Donkey Kong Country Returns. 2002 had Kingdom Hearts and Metroid Prime. (Oh, and Super Mario Sunshine.) If you're asking me, and you are, these are... kind of tied filler-y years. (You might disagree with me.)

I'll give it to 2010, but you're free to convince me otherwise in the comments section. It'll be some days before its match actually happens, after all.

1994 vs. 2004

2004 has Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Boom. Win.

...Okay, that's not fair to 1994, which has amazing stuff like Super Metroid and Mega Man X. But I literally adore Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door more than every game in 1994 put together.

2011 vs. 2006

2006 is obviously going to beat 1981. Let's not kid ourselves.

But will it beat 2011? I dunno, but I'll pick 2011 over 2006. I might like The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess more than I like The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, BUT 2011 has goodies like Ghost Trick. 2006 doesn't have goodies. It has shit like New Super Mario Bros. that started a plague.

1998 vs. 1993

1998 is probably going to win the entire contest. I'll help it... for now.

1992 vs. 2016

2016 had genuinely amazing titles come out — just look at the Game of THAT Year 2016 nominations. These games include The Wonderful 1237 and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice. 1992 had major things like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Mega Man 4, which featured my favourite Robot Master in Pharaoh Man.

But I'm no slave to nostalgia. Let's see how far 2016 can get!

2013 vs. 2003

It's time to confess: 2003 might be my favourite year in gaming. I still haven't decided on that, but it's at least somewhat likely that I want 2003 to win the whole contest. I'll talk more about why in Round 2.

2013 was troubled, as you can see from the KoopaTV Game of THAT Year 2013 nominations. Obviously the stand-out titles are Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies (read a KoopaTV review of it HERE!) and Trayvon Tyson's Punch-Out!! (play it right on KoopaTV here!). However, 2013 also ruined Fire Emblem forever.

2015 vs. 2005

Obviously 2005 will trounce 1978 in the wildcard.

2015 had some great games, as you can glean from its KoopaTV Game of THAT Year 2015 nominations. Capture the Confederate Flag, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, and Splatoon are just some 2015-released games that I've played very recently. They're all unforgettable.

You know what else is unforgettable? 2005's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, and other games I'll get into in a later round. There's no way I'm voting against these this early. I certainly don't have that same kind of dedicated attachment for Splatoon.

Bam. Let's hope the rest of the gaming world (or at least GameFAQs visitors) votes for the years that I support, so I can talk more about them!

You're welcome to contest and try to change Ludwig's opinions, especially before the votes actually happen. GameFAQs polls are open to everyone.

Click here for everything about Round 2!

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