New Game Releases: Notable Events – ’89/’99/’09

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s everyone! The 2019 video game season is pretty much over at this point, with another year of notable releases and events going by and entering the history books, but what about video games of years past? As I do every week where I highlight a notable title released 10, 20 and 30 years ago, I thought it would be fun to look back at not only the biggest games of the year, but also some of the most noteworthy and interesting things happening in the entire video games industry. Take a break from all that crass materialism for a few minutes and read about some of the big things that happened in gaming from 1989, 1999 and 2009.


Previously on New Game Releases: Notable Events…Atari subsidiary Tengen entered a deal with Nintendo to produce games for the NES. However, unhappy with the licensing fees associated with procuring and using official Nintendo cartridges, Tengen built their own cases and boards to thwart the NES’ copy protection system. This led to Tengen releasing a glut of unlicensed games for the NES, mostly arcade ports, to the chagrin of Nintendo. The big N knew they had to stop this insidious company, but it was proving difficult in a court of law, and the battle would wage for years, but in the meantime, perhaps there was something they could do…

After Alexi Pajitnov created Tetris in 1984, a long and confusing battle to license the game ensued. Due to a series of misunderstandings, confusion, and a bit of selective truth, it was hard to tell who had the rights to release Tetris on home consoles. In 1988, a man named Henk Rogers saw a demo of the game and wondered how he might be able to grab a piece of the pie. Nintendo had been talking about a new handheld device called Game Boy, and Rogers saw the potential goldmine ahead of himself. After convincing Nintendo president Minoru Arakawa that Tetris would cause even the most casual consumer to purchase the Game Boy, Rogers headed to Russia to secure the handheld rights for Nintendo. Let’s back up a bit here though and talk about Tengen. The Atari subsidiary, like most of the gaming community, had been playing Tetris on their computers and were hooked like everyone else. They were able to secure the rights to the game and released an arcade version in 1988, and they even discussed a deal with Henk Rogers to license and sell the game for the NES in Japan, but in 1989 when Rogers traveled to Russia to discuss the rights for the Game Boy he learned something interesting. Atari/Tengen, it turns out, did not have the proper clearance to make Tetris for consoles, as they licensed the game from another company, Spectrum Holobyte, who in turn and licensed the game directly from Alexi Pajitnov, instead of from the Russian government (who Pajitnov worked for when creating the game). To Rogers surprise, no one had the rights to the console version of Tetris. Once again seeing dollar signs, Henk Rogers quickly took the licensing deal from the Russian government and ran back to Nintendo who were now over the moon. Not only could they make a killing in the hand held market, they knew that they could rake in the dough for the upcoming 1989 holiday season for the console market. Tengen, who had already programmed, manufactured, and shipped hundreds of thousands of copies of their version of Tetris in May of 1989 were suddenly in a tight bind. Nintendo, still smarting over Tengen’s ability to bypass their copy protection with their unlicensed cartridges, was more than happy to take Tengen to court and demand that they halt all sales and distribution of their illegal cart. A California judge agreed with Nintendo and Tengen were forced to destroy their remaining stock, roughly 268,000 copies. Tengen was able to hold on for a few years after losing the Tetris license, but things wouldn’t be the same after that, as losing so much revenue from the unsold copies of Tetris put them in a hole they found themselves unable to climb out of, particularly as Nintendo continued to sue them on a regular basis over their unlicensed cartridges. What began as a way to save money and inject a bit of wild west into the Nintendo market would end up costing Tengen everything; but that’s a story for another year.

By 1989 the Nintendo Entertainment System had been on the U.S. market since 1985, and in that time it had gone on to not just rescue the dying home video game industry, but completely dominate it. As we now know and begrudgingly accept, most game consoles only have a five year lifespan, and this is likely due to the Summer/Fall of 1989. Sega, who had long been a staple of video arcades, tried to compete with the NES by releasing the Master System in North America in 1986, but it just didn’t catch on. My guess is that parents who already bought their kid the Nintendo probably saw no need to buy a separate game machine that was no better, and possibly worse, than the NES. Things change though, and time moves forward, so in August of 1989, almost one year after it launched in Japan, the Sega Genesis hit North America. With the promise of 16-bits and a more mature offering, Sega was banking on getting teen boys and adult men interested in their system, hoping they’d “graduate” to the next level of gaming. However, they weren’t the only 16-bit console in town. Finding major success in Japan when it released in 1987, NEC decided to try and enter the North American market in hopes of replicating that success. After doing some market research, they learned that the name PC Engine was just not exciting to American boys, so they went with the totally rad name TurboGrafx-16. This sick new name conveyed not only how fast and rad this system was, but also that it had 16 bit graphics, and like Sega they were trying to poise it as the NES successor to teens and adults. This 16-bit battle was pretty fierce during the 1989 holiday, and while the Genesis did slightly better, both systems failed to make much of a dent in the armor of the NES, which continued to dominate the home console market.

Speaking of Nintendo, they too had a brand new console to release, one that would forever change the way we played games; the Game Boy. Before the Game Boy it was generally accepted that you played a video game at home or in an arcade looking at a TV screen or computer monitor. While there were handheld video games that ranged from Mattel’s classic football game, to Nintendo’s Game & Watch line, those were generally seen as far inferior to home consoles and arcade machines. What famed Nintendo developer Gunpei Yokoi and his team were able to do was revolutionary at the time, essentially putting the guts of an NES in a portable device that players could take anywhere they wanted. Portable games would no longer be simple little diversions, but full blown console size epics. Now when you were sitting on the bus you could play something as complex as Super Mario Bros. instead of just catching dots as you moved a little image left and right. As I mentioned earlier in regards to Tetris, Nintendo’s focus with the Game Boy was to reach a market that felt severely under served in video games, young girls, stay and home mom’s, and older adults. With Tetris  bundled with every Game Boy the little system flew off shelves. Your mom might not have the dexterity or patience to get through Blaster Master, but she could certainly sit down at the kitchen table and make little blocks fall into place. A constantly on-the-go adult might never have the time to sit down in front of their TV at home and play through the entirety of The Legend of Zelda, but they could certainly take some time on the subway to play through a couple levels of Super Mario Land, and heck, maybe even finish the game while they sat at their desk. The Game Boy made portable gaming mainstream, being a harbinger of what was to come as billions of people around the world sit and stare at portable devices every day.

While Nintendo’s fortunes continued to rise, one of the early names in home video games, Atari, was losing ground. After the Tetris debacle, Atari also lost a $250 million dollar lawsuit where they alleged that Nintendo held a monopoly on the game industry. Two major financial failures in one year is pretty bad, but could they go for three? This is where our FOURTH video game console of 1989 comes in, the Atari Lynx. Also hoping to change the world with a portable gaming device, two former Amiga designers named R.J. Mical and Dave Needle had come up with the idea and prototype for a full color, portable video game system. The company they worked for, Epyx, was facing financial trouble and was on the verge of bankruptcy, so to try and stay alive they went out to several prominent video game companies to collaborate on the new handheld. Nintendo and Sega both declined, as did several others, and so just as Epyx was about to give up, something amazing happened. Let’s back up just a bit, remember how the Sega Genesis released in 1989 also? Well, it turns out that while trying to break into the North American market, Sega reached out to Atari about a possible partnership where Atari would co-fund and distribute the Genesis in North America. After looking it over, CEO Jack Tramiel balked at the device, saying it was far too expensive. Atari would pass on the Genesis to instead focus on their Atart ST line of personal computers, which they saw as the REAL future. How did that turn out? Well, did you buy someone an Atari ST classic for Christmas this year? This leads us back to Epyx, as one of the companies they reached out to was Atari. After viewing the portable device Atari was excited, and quickly jumped on board. The plan was to have it ready for holiday 1989, but things got messy. Epyx, despite the influx of cash from Atari, was in such a dire financial state that they still ended up going bankrupt. Now Atari was stuck with this new device, which they named Lynx, and didn’t know what to do with it. As the creators of the device were former Amiga employees, a chief rival to Atari, they built the console using Amiga technology. With those parts hard to come by and difficult to use, the Lynx was vastly under produced, and by the time Christmas 1989 came around there were hardly any devices on store shelves. Making this, yes, the THIRD time Atari would lose a substantial amount of revenue in 1989 (not to mention the potential revenue lost by not partnering with Sega). To cap things off, Atari also released what is widely considered the very last official release of the aging 2600, a Zelda inspired dungeon crawler called Secret Quest. Atari wasn’t dead just yet, they’d continue to kick around as a company through the 90’s, but they were never a major part of the gaming market share ever again.

With the NES being the dominating console it should come as no surprise that the vast majority of these games are for that system. Some stand-out NES titles from 1989 include Dragon Warrior, Duck Tales, Mega Man 2, Ninja Gaiden, and TWO versions of Tetris. In the arcades we started to see the next great wave of beat ’em ups come in with Sega’s Golden Axe, Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Capcom’s Final Fight. All three would go on to spawn several imitations over the course of the early ’90s. You also can’t have new consoles without launch titles; for Game Boy we got the 1-2 punch of Tetris and Super Mario Land, while the Genesis would launch with the arcade hit Altered Beast and the first of many classic sports titles, Tommy Lasorda Baseball.

  • The Adventures of Lolo
  • Altered Beast
  • Alleyway
  • Arch Rivals
  • Bomberman
  • Castlevania: The Adventure
  • Dragon Warrior

  • Duck Tales
  • Final Fight
  • Friday The 13th
  • Golden Axe
  • IronSword: Wizards & Warriors II
  • John Madden Football
  • Marble Madness

  • Mega Man 2
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Nobunaga’s Ambition
  • Populous
  • Prince of Persia
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms

  • SimCity
  • Strider
  • Super Dodgeball
  • Super Mario Land
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Arcade)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES)

  • Tetris (Game Boy/NES)
  • Tommy Lasorda Baseball
  • Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?
  • Willow
  • WWF Wrestlemania
  • Ys: The Vanished Omens


It was a pretty big year for acquisitions, as Activision continued to flex by acquiring three companies; Elsinore Multimedia, Expert Software, and Neversoft Entertainment. The first two companies were known for making budget PC titles, and are notable mostly because Activision would basically strip mine and combine them with a third company they owned, Head Games, into Activision Value. The big story here, though, is the Neversoft acquisition, which would lead to a long and fruitful time for both companies. After releasing the forgotten Bruce Willis game Apocalypse, Neversoft was tasked with working on a skateboarding video game that would feature world renowned skater Tony Hawk. This game would eventually become the smash hit Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, a franchise that would see Neversoft stay open and viable for several years. The biggest acquisition of 1999, however, was not done by Activision; it was done by a brand new company called ZeniMax Media. Founded by two former Bethesda Softworks employees, original founder Christopher Weaver and Robert A. Altman, they would go on to acquire their own company (i.e., move it under the new ZeniMax umbrella) and turn Bethesda Softworks into Bethesda Game Studios in 2001. With this new structure Bethesda was free to focus solely on making games instead of having to deal with all of the logistical stuff that comes with running a major company. Under the guidance of Todd Howard, the studio would go on to create several games over the years, including the third, fourth and fifth entries in the Elder Scrolls series, as well as Fallout 3, 4 and 76.

While Activision and ZeniMax were growing, another long time game company was floundering. The adventure game genre was dying, and after the commercial failure of Tim Schafer’s Grim Fandango over at LucasArts and Roberta Williams’ Kings Quest: Mask of Eternity, Sierra started to get cold feet about making any further games in that genre. This led to a string of misfires and other financial hiccups, and the once powerful Sierra Entertainment was forced to lay off roughly 250 people on February 22nd, 1999, including industry veterans Al Lowe (Leisure Suit Larry) and Scott Murphy (Space Quest). It was one of the darkest days in Sierra’s history, known now as “Chainsaw Monday”. The tough times were not over for Sierra, and by the end of the year they would essentially shutter and dismantle all of their in-house programming and development, relying solely on publishing games made by other companies, resulting in another 105 people losing their jobs.

One other game company was looking for a redemption story in 1999; Sega. After finding massive success in the early 90’s with the Genesis, Sega just couldn’t catch a second break. The Sega CD, Game Gear, 32X, Nomad, and Saturn were all critical and financial disappointments, severely cutting into Sega’s profits and decimating their war chest. After removing the Saturn from the marketplace in 1998, Sega was back very quickly with a brand new console, one that would blow away all current systems, the Sega Dreamcast. After a rough launch in Japan in 1998 due to a lack of games, Sega was not going to let the same thing in North America. Entering into a partnership with Midway, Sega was able to guarantee eighteen launch titles, and it would come bundled with what many saw as the killer app for the system, Sonic Adventure. An impressive line of realistic sports titles from Visual Concepts also launched with the system, and you’d be hard pressed to find a Dreamcast kiosk in a department store’s electronics section that wasn’t displaying NFL 2K, one of the best looking games on the system. Sega had high hopes for the Dreamcast, and even partnered with PC company Microsoft to help build the operating system. When the system launched on 9/9/99 for $199.99 it did phenomenally well, and by the end of the year they had sold over one million systems. It seemed like Sega was back in the game, now taking 31% of the North American market share behind Sony and Nintendo. Things were bright, and there was only a small hiccup with some malfunctioning GD-ROM drives not working properly, but that was probably the ONLY issue the GD-ROM drive would cause, right…right? I mean, no one will be able to crack the code on the thing and easily pirate Dreamcast games, I mean come on, who would do that? Well, we all know what happened next, and it’s something that would doom Sega’s home console and almost ruin the entire company; but that’s a story for another year.

While Sega was sitting pretty on roughly two and a half million Dreamcast systems sold worldwide, the two dominant forces in video games, Nintendo and Sony, were also working on their next consoles. With both companies in much better financial standings than Sega, they were able to hold off on releasing their systems, allowing them more time to work on them, and adopt a brand new optical disc technology, DVD. Sony would be the first to announce their next console, giving details in March of 1999 regarding the PlayStation 2. Some members in the audience doubted that Sony could deliver such a technological marvel and decried that it was nothing more than vaporware. It’s hard to imagine now, but back then the prospect of a second PlayStation being a viable system was highly suspect, particularly with the Dreamcast just months away from release. Nintendo, still riding high after the success of the NES and SNES, was seeing a bit of a decline with the Nintendo 64, but their handheld line, including the Game Boy and the just released Game Boy Color, were keeping them financially flush with cash. At E3 in 1999 they announced that they too were working on the next Nintendo system, code named “Dolphin”. They promised that it would be more powerful than both the PS2 and the Dreamcast, we’ll talk more about that in 2021. Finally, remember how Microsoft helped Sega with the Dreamcast’s OS? Well, it was more like “helping”, as Microsoft’s true intention was to enter the home console market as well, and used their time working on the Dreamcast to learn the ins and outs of the business and poise themselves to be a contender. The announcement of this new Microsoft game console was still a year away, but fearing a potential drop in the PC market from Sony’s new multimedia machine, the PS2, Bill Gates tasked his team with coming up with their own competing game console. Oh, and and the Neo Geo Pocket Color also came out.

1999 was a strong year in video games, however it isn’t quite as full of memorable titles as 1998. Still, there  were a lot of notable games, including some major Nintendo 64 exclusives like Donkey Kong 64, Harvest Moon 64, Mario Golf, and the first entry in the widely popular Super Smash Bros. series. With the PS2 just one year away the output on the PSX was muted, but still included all-time classics like Dino Crisis, Final Fantasy VIII, Silent Hill, Gran Turismo 2, and the masterpiece Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. PC gaming was going strong as well, and bolstered by a huge online gaming community, titles like Counter-Strike, Quake III Arena, Unreal Tournament, EverQuest, and Team Fortress Classic could be seen in internet cafe’s, dorm rooms, and LAN party’s across the country.

  • Army Men 3D
  • Ape Escape
  • Castlevania (Nintendo 64)
  • Counter-Strike (Mod version)
  • Crash Team Racing

  • Dino Crisis
  • Donkey Kong 64
  • Driver
  • EverQuest

  • Final Fantasy VIII
  • Gauntlet Legends
  • Gran Turismo 2
  • Grand Theft Auto – Mission Pack #1: London 1969
  • Grand Theft Auto 2

  • Harvest Moon 64
  • Homeworld
  • Hybrid Heaven
  • Hydro Thunder
  • Jet Moto 3
  • Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

  • Mario Golf
  • Mario Party
  • Medal of Honor
  • Planescape: Torment
  • Pokemon Pinball
  • Pokemon Snap
  • Pokemon Yellow

  • Quake III Arena
  • Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear
  • Rayman 2: The Great Escape
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
  • Rollercoaster Tycoon

  • Silent Hill
  • SimCity 3000
  • Sonic Adventure
  • Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars Episode I: Racer
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
  • Suikoden II

  • Super Smash Bros.
  • Syphon Filter
  • System Shock 2
  • Team Fortress Classic
  • Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
  • Twisted Metal 4
  • UmJammer Lammy
  • Unreal Tournament
  • Zombie Revenge



2009 was the year of “the future”, according to Microsoft and Sony, and what better way to usher in the future by looking to the past…of your rivals. After the 2006 release of the Wii, the video game industry was knocked off guard by its success. Nintendo’s machine, though technologically inferior to the PS3 and Xbox 360, was a huge hit with consumers. Suddenly the idea of who was a gamer and how they wanted to play was thrown into question. Microsoft and Sony had to respond, because while their machines were still churning out the most notable and critically acclaimed titles, they were losing a huge market share to Nintendo. During the 2009 E3 trade show both companies would reveal their responses, and yes, undeniably change the future of the gaming industry.

Sony’s E3 was a typical affair, showcase a bunch of action games and JRPGs (God of War III, Final Fantasy XIII), legendary vaporware (Rockstar’s Agent), and even have a cool mic drop teaser (The Last Guardian). Sony had so much to announce that they put their motion control showcase in the middle of the conference, basically saying, “eh, this is just another thing PS3 can do“. After coming out, claiming that Sony was the first to do motion controls with the PS2 Eye Toy (a nice “fuck you” to Nintendo), Awkward Man #1 and Awkward Man #2 showed off the new PlayStation motion controller that they swore was an early prototype and would change drastically in design (it didn’t). It was a similar looking device as the Wii Remote, except it had a large ball on the end that would change colors, and while the Wii used a motion sensor bar to track your movements, Sony’s new motion controller would use the PlayStation Eye to track your movements. Showcasing an almost 1:1 accuracy to your own movements, the controller (or wand) would take on the shape of whatever the game needed it to be; a sword, a whip, a gun, and even hands. That’s right, not just one hand, but both, as you could incorporate two wands together to give yourself a true immersive experience, one that we would eventually see morph into the PSVR. As the Awkward twins showed off the tech demo for this new controller, you could really see how impressive it was going to be, even if, despite what the market was telling them with the Wii, gamers and the public at large just weren’t that interested in motion controls.

While Sony seemed to view motion controls as just another part of what the PS3 could do, Microsoft seemed thoroughly convinced that the Xbox 360, and every piece of gaming hardware afterwards, was going to be fully motion controlled. During their 2009 E3 conference they brought out games that really seemed to drive this point home, opening the show with a massive The Beatles: Rock Band performance with a presentation by surviving members Paul and Ringo, and then trotting Tony Hawk on stage to show off his feigned enthusiasm for Ride and its gaudy skateboard controller. While they did show off traditional games like Modern Warfare 2 and Metal Gear Solid Rising, the big end of the show reveal was Project Natal, a brand new camera peripheral that they believed would replace the controller with hand gestures, body movement, and voice commands. In fact, SVP Don Mattrick even came on stage to throw shade on both Nintendo and Sony for still offering antiquated wands and nunchucks to play games with, like they were fucking morons; the hubris was palpable. Natal, later known as Kinect, was showcased with “live” demos, and a slick video that showed tech demos being “played” by actors. The biggest thing they seemed to show, though, was a new game from Peter Molyneux called Project Milo. In the video, a woman named Claire interacts with a digital child on a TV screen. She is able to hold a conversation with him, interact with him, and teach him things to do. It all looked so revolutionary and futuristic, but at this point it was all just words with no tangible thing. That didn’t matter, because the promise of the future is what drew people in, including legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg who appeared to be so blown away by Natal that he felt it was literally the next evolution in video games in the same way that going from the 4:3 aspect ratio to the 16:9 aspect ratio was for films (the kids love a good history on aspect ratios). The world left the 2009 Microsoft press conference wondering what was going to happen to video games in the future; was this truly the next step in interactive entertainment?

I generally don’t like discussing the future too much because if this column goes on long enough we’ll reach that point in time, eventually, but I feel like I have to give the postmortem to these decisions. Microsoft’s Kinect was a big success, bolstered by hits like Dance Central and Just Dance (which should have been a sign to Microsoft), while the PlayStation Move was not very successful as it was mostly ignored by the hardcore gaming fanbase that supported the PS3 (again, which should have been a sign to Microsoft). As I mentioned above, the hubris of Don Mattrick and the executives at Microsoft was off the charts. They assumed that the Kinect was the new norm and forced their next console, the Xbox One, to require one in order to work. Suddenly this neat little side peripheral used for dancing and working out was mandatory, driving up the price of the Xbox One and making the system, with it’s always-on camera and microphone, seem intrusive and creepy. Sony, meanwhile, continued to focus on the hardcore, story driven gaming experience while also iterating the PlayStation Move into the PlayStation VR. By not putting all of their eggs in the motion control basket Sony was able to offer a safe haven for Xbox devotees to jump ship to, and continue to cater to the gamers that made them the dominate force with the PSX and PS2. As we saw with 2008, and even more so in 2009, those casual gamers were a fleeting market, and they left the Wii and the Xbox 360’s Kinect for smartphones and tablets. When faced with the choice of sitting on the couch and tapping their phones, or standing up and waving their hands around, people chose the finger tapping, who wouldn’t? Microsoft and Sony’s 2009 E3 announcements are, in hindsight, two of most important conferences in modern gaming, as it truly laid the foundation for not just their futures, but also Nintendo’s, and defined the next generation of console gaming…but that’s a story for another year.

We aren’t quite done with Sony though, as they announced two new consoles would be coming in 2009. First we’ll talk about next version of the PSP, the Go, which was Sony’s attempt to make the PSP more convenient and casual friendly. Featuring no disc drive, the handheld system was going to be a digital only device, with users downloading all of their games to a memory stick. From our current perspective this is not actually a wholly terrible idea, as physical media continues to die a slow death, but in 2009 this was incredibly controversial, least not because the vast majority of the PSP library was only available in physical form, rendering current owners libraries unusable. Couple this with a price point that was far above the price of the PSP that contained an optical drive, and you had a recipe for failure; this wouldn’t be the last time a Sony handheld would fail either, as we’ll find out in just a few short years. The second new Sony console was the PS3 slim, yet another controversial device. While the system was much smaller and featured a massive new hard drive size of 120 GB (woah!), it would lose two key features of the original “fat” PS3. The first is sort of silly, but the original Spider-Man font that was plastered on the console was retired, making way for a more tasteful “PS3” logo. However, the second feature lost was one of great concern, and was again a harbinger for the future; PS2 backwards compatibility was removed. It had been nine years since the system released, and three since it was replaced by the PS3, but the system still boasted an impressive library of games, one that could arguably be called the greatest of all time, but with no real desire to celebrate or preserve its history, Sony, like most game companies, just abandoned and ignored their previous consoles. This is a trend that would continue with the PS4 and XBone, but as time went on both companies backtracked on this and have either added the functionality (Microsoft), or promised that their next console will feature it (Sony).

On the game company side, Ensemble Studios, best known for Age of Empires, shuts down just about a month before the release of their final game Halo Wars (which you can read all about in Jason Schreier’s book Blood, Sweat, and Pixels). Square Enix acquires Eidos, giving them control of the Tomb Raider and Hitman franchises, which they will reboot in subsequent years to critical acclaim.

The influence and popularity of gaming personalities continues to increase, as evidenced by ScrewAttack launching their own convention called SGC in Dallas, TX. ScrewAttack would eventually be bought out by Rooster Teeth, another collective of online gaming personalities, and would eventually cease production in 2019.

Well, looking over this list and I’m not really seeing a memorable year in gaming software for 2009. Yes, we had some massive hits like Assassin’s Creed II, Dragon Age: Origins, Batman: Arkham Asylum, inFamous, Just Dance, Modern Warfare 2, and Street Fighter IV, but it really just felt like the console industry was taking a breather, or trying to cater to the casual market. We had some titles come out that showed promises for the future like Borderlands, Minecraft, Angry Birds, Demon’s Souls, and League of Legends, but these were not the juggernauts they would become, as they would either get popular updates in the future or release a groundbreaking follow-up. We also got to see Harmonix and Activision release their most critically acclaimed titles, The Beatles: Rock Band and Guitar Hero: Metallica, to a dwindling rhythm game player base that was already showing signs of fatigue in 2008.

  • Angry Birds
  • Assassin’s Creed II
  • Band Hero
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum
  • The Beatles: Rock Band
  • Borderlands
  • Brutal Legend
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

  • The Conduit
  • Dead Space: Extraction
  • Demon’s Souls
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy
  • DJ Hero
  • Dragon Age: Origins
  • Empire: Total War
  • Fat Princess
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

  • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
  • Flower
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned
  • Guitar Hero 5
  • Guitar Hero: Metallica
  • Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
  • Guitar Hero: Van Halen

  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo Wars
  • inFamous
  • Just Dance
  • Killzone 2
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days
  • League of Legends
  • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • Left 4 Dead 2

  • LEGO Rock Band
  • MadWorld
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2
  • Metroid Prime: Trilogy
  • Minecraft (Now known as the “Classic” version)
  • Muramasa: The Demon Blade
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii
  • Noby Noby Boy

  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • Pokemon Platinum
  • Punch-Out!!
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Scribblenauts
  • Silent Hill: Shattered Memories
  • The Sims 3
  • ‘Splosion Man
  • Skate 2
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope

  • Street Fighter IV
  • Tales of Monkey Island
  • Tekken 6
  • Torchlight
  • Trials HD
  • Trine
  • Tropico 3
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War II
  • Wolfenstine
  • Wii Sports Resort

We’re at the home stretch folks, just one more week left in 2019, and guess what, TOMORROW’S CHRISTMAS!!!! To put you in the mood please enjoy this holiday classic, I think you’re really going to enjoy it:

Shit, that’s not right…let me try again…