The Best Year for Gaming revealed in New Study

The best year for gaming, decided by gamers 

  • 2003 was the best year for gaming, with nearly 200 top-rated titles being released that year 
  • 2004 and 2005 take second and third respectively 
  • Nine entries in the top ten are from the 2000s 

2003 was the best year for gaming, according to new research. 

The study by online gaming site Spades Challenge analysed the top 2,000 video game titles on Metacritic based on user scores to see which year has produced the most fan favourites. 

The study found that 2003 was the best year for gaming, with 199, or 9.95% of the 2,000 titles studied being released in 2003. The highest-rated games included Fire Emblem, Gothic II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Day of Defeat. 2003’s most dominant consoles were the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube, and the year also saw Valve officially launch the Steam service. 

2004 comes second in the study, with 168, or 8.4% of the total titles studied being released that year. 2004 saw the release of games like Half-Life 2, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and Burnout 3: Takedown. Handheld consoles like the Nintendo DS and PSP were also released in the same year. 

In third place is 2005, with 141, or 7.9% of the total games studied, released that year. The highest-rated titles from this year were Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening, Resident

Evil 4, Shadow of the Colossus, and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Late 2005 also saw the release of the Xbox 360. 

Rank Year Number of games in the top 2,000 Percentage of the total studied 
1 2003 199 9.95% 
2 2004 168 8.40% 
3 2005 158 7.90% 
4 2002 141 7.05% 
5 2006 129 6.45% 
6 2007 98 4.90% 
7 2010 96 4.80% 
8 2001 95 4.75% 
9 2008 89 4.45% 
10 2009 80 4.00% 

With 141 or 7.05% of total games in the study being released in 2002, it takes fourth place in the list. The highest-rated titles to be released that year include Mafia, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Metroid Fusion, and Shenmue II. 

2006 takes fifth place, with 129, 6.45% of the 2,000 titles studied being released this year. Among those titles are God Hand, Okami, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Kingdom Hearts II.  

Despite only having 25 entries in the top 2,000, 1998 had the highest-rated selection of games out of any year, with an average user score of 8.9 out of 10. That year, titles that were released included The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Resident Evil 2, Fallout 2, Metal Gear Solid, and Half-Life. 

Despite the uncertain circumstances surrounding the past couple of years, the year 2021 finished 12th on the list, with over 61 top titles being released last year. These titles included It Takes Two, Monster Hunter Rise, and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson from Spades Challenge said: “These findings make one thing clear, the 2000s were a very memorable decade for the gaming industry. Additionally, with 2021 and 2020 still pumping out top titles, respectively, it shows the resilience of the gaming industry in times when no one knew what to expect. With 2022 already producing 28 high-rated titles in the study, it only provides hope for the future of gaming.” 

The study was conducted by Spades Challenge, which enables users to play unlimited games of Spades online, and against AI-generated players. 

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*Article provided by spades-challenge.com

**Article contains affiliate links

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