Console Timeline

Best year for gaming?

I'm oddly nostalgic about 1995 even though it really wasn't a great year for me all things considered. It became obvious why when I looked at the full timeline, it was the year when the most game consoles were available ever. A total of 16 game consoles had new games produced that year, including a pair of major launches. Realistically, only 10-12 of these systems were available at the average game store but even that's better than any other year. Imagine walking into an Electronics Boutique and seeing that kind of variety, it was an incredible time.

2007 was a great year too, 9 consoles were widely available. Like 1995, two of them were seeing their first generation titles flood the market. Unlike 1995, this was the start of the high definition era and a couple systems now produced games that were practically lifelike.

2013 had 10 active systems and there are good arguments for it being the best year for gaming. The story of 2013 is very similar to 2007 where several new consoles overlapped their replacements. I find 2017 a little more interesting though because of the wider variety of mature console libraries available then. There's only one new console launch in 2017, or even close to 2017, making it very different from these other years.

To compare these years visually:

1995 vs 2007 vs 2017

Which of these should be crowned the best though? Let's weigh each:

1995 Pros

1995 Cons

2007 Pros

2007 Cons

2017 Pros

2017 Cons

And the winner is... the nostalgia fan in me is leaning toward 1995 but the realist says 2007 probably deserves the nod. I suppose this is a subjective question where many different opinions are valid. The "best year ever" really depends on what generation and game styles you prefer. For me, I'll take the heyday of the 4th generation with the emergence of 3D gaming over any other time.

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