The first month of 2017 is just about over, which means the hangover of 2016 is about due to let up. It's time to fully embrace the fact that it is indeed 2017 and look forward to all the hype surrounding this year's releases.
There are some major titles to look forward to. Resident Evil 7 is days away, the first new Zelda game since 2011 will release with a brand new console, Red Dead 2 is real and confirmed... so overall, 2017 is looking pretty sweet.
What's more, 2017 also marks a milestone for a whole lot of great games. 1997 was a particularly strong year in its own right for game releases. Those games that some grew up with, that have become staples within gaming itself, are turning 20 years old this year.
So let's reminisce on great games from yesteryear, and see which franchises released their first titles and which legends made their names known in 1997.
Which game was your favorite release of 1997? What was the best year in games releases? Let me know in the comments below.
Final Fantasy VII
Sept. 3, 1997
Some still consider FFVII one of the greatest games of all time, and at the time of its release it was breaking barriers. The game was first for Square Enix (at the time Square) to break into the 3D realm. What caught player's hearts though was getting a deep look into the main protagonist Cloud's fragile psyche as well as getting to know the characters at his side.
Grand Theft Auto
The game to start it all. While the original GTA might look vastly different from its modern counterparts, it was still able to strike a tone and start its own kind of crime-spree, open world sub-genre. With over 70 million copies of GTA V sold, it's safe to say that something was done right.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Oct. 2, 1997
Before the game was a meme, it was winning fans over to the Castlevania series. SOTN was the first in the series to break the mold and allow players to explore down non-linear levels.
Sept. 30, 1997
Another original game to kick off a franchise on this list (spiritual successors aside). Fallout created a world of its own using retro elements in an unthinkable future. The SPECIAL system known and used in the games more modern counterparts can be seen in this original edition.
Aug. 25, 1997
GoldenEye is a game that gamers still want a remaster of today. At the time, the game broke grounds due to its realism. The game showed that video games made from movies could be done right.
Dec. 21, 1997
Yoshi's story released to a mixed critical reception, but it easily a classic from the Nintendo 64 era. The game was criticized for being possibly too easy, but this may be what got young gamers at the time hooked. It's bright and imaginative world invited all gamers.
Star Fox 64
April 27, 1997
Another fan praised gem from the Nintendo 64 was Star Fox 64. Again this game was groundbreaking for its 3D graphics and fans were immersed by its controls and branching paths.