Ranking What Was REALLY The Best Video Game Every Year 1990-2021

We all know Arkham Asylum was GOTY.

Batman arkham asylum
Rocksteady

Have you ever sat back and realised how swept up in hype and expectation you were, surrounding a game's release? Ever gone back to revisit something that was either roundly despised or thoroughly championed, only to come away with a completely different opinion?

It's one of the most fascinating things to dissect, especially when we're talking about an interactive medium designing potential responses over time, and how they can land in any number of different ways, depending on everything from sociopolitical climate to your own mood.

As Journey creator and all-round incredible gaming mind Jenova Chen once noted: "Mature art will age with you", i.e. if something is created to stand the test of time or otherwise has a human, worthwhile creative core, you'll keep getting something else out of it, every time you go back.

Gaming history then, is rife with hype, overblown marketing spins and the conversations of the time dictating what the best game of a given year is. Removed from the years in question though, how many times we did we collectively get it right?

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Note: "Year of release" is a game's first appearance at retail, not when it came to the west or appeared in arcades.

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Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.