Was 2007 the Best Year for Games so far?


Why 2007 is the best year for games Ever

Quantity 2007 simply had more games coming out than ever before.

Polish All the major game types have been extremely polished this year. Whether you like race games, shooters, action adventure, sports, or music/rhythm, all those genres have gotten much better and more polished than ever before. Two good cross platform examples are Call of Duty 4 and Guitar Hero 3: these titles really perfected favorite games from previous years.

Consoles This generation of consoles delivers what is probably the biggest leap over previous generations ever. Not only does this generation deliver a major increase in processing power, but also major improvements in online functionality, user connectivity, and variety of features. These systems launched in 2005 and 2006, but none of them really took off until 2007.

Explosion of smaller games, novelty games, and retro content This is mostly driven by the Sony and Microsoft providing well funded and marketed marketplaces for this content to thrive. Free and ad-driven Flash-based PC games have also continued to explode this year.

Why 2007 is NOT the best year for games ever

Lack of new genres and new play experiences Most genres of video games start off slowly, then go through an exciting and rapid growth spurt, and then reach a maturity where they continue to be refined and perfected. Almost every 2007 game is in a matured genre. The only real growth spurt genre of 2007 is music/rhythm games such as “Rock Band”. 2001 is the year that had the most games in such growth spurt genres: GTA 3, Jak & Daxter, Gran Turismo 3, Frequency, Devil May Cry, MGS 2. Every one of those represented a significant leap forward for their respective categories. In 2001, the concept of having a hyper realistic driving simulation was new and exciting. In 2007, Forza 2 and GT5:P are far better games, but the overall concept is mature and less interesting.

Homogenization Look at the highest rated games of 2007. They are almost entirely shooters: CoD4, UT3, Orange Box, Bioshock, Halo 3, Warhawk, GRAW 2, Kane & Lynch, The Darkness, R6:V, and Metroid. Even Uncharted, Ratchet, and Mass Effect are hybrid shooters. When you take all these titles out of the equation, there aren’t that many truly great non-shooter titles in 2007. Even gamers that like shooters would prefer to see a little more diversity.

What are your thoughts?


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by ehandlr on January 2nd, 2008 [ 44542 Points ]

    You should have probably made a poll out of this…perhaps throw in the promise of a good 2008 year as an option as well.

    As far as 2007 goes…quantity was definetly working against me. I’ve spent well over a grand on games….but no where near the best year as far as quality.

  2. #2 by Steve on January 2nd, 2008

    Seriously! There are way too many shooters. They need to have more diversity…more RPG’s would be great!

  3. #3 by Pc on January 2nd, 2008 [ 1935 Points ]

    I believe 2007 was easily the best year of gaming thus far !! Think of all the great games we have played this year. Too many !! We all know for sure that 2008 is going to be one hell of a year too (maybe the best).

  4. #4 by ehandlr on January 2nd, 2008 [ 44542 Points ]

    Steve…a single RPG would be great….for any of the systems…

    Wii…Fire Emblem..which was kinda horrible.

    360…Eternal Sonata…decent…not great

    PS3…Folklore…unique..decent..not great.

    Give me White Knight Story, Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey…something please.

  5. #5 by Darrin on January 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    No great RPGs? How about Persona 3 and Rogue Galaxy. Both of those were 2007 releases in America.

  6. #6 by ehandlr on January 2nd, 2008 [ 44542 Points ]

    Not on next gen ssytems though.

  7. #7 by Darrin on January 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    So what if they run on last-gen hardware? They are 2007 titles and from what I’ve heard, they are the best in their genre. They are fair game.

  8. #8 by John on January 2nd, 2008

    Not only are the RPGs few, but they too often turn out has being shooters in disguise indeed…

  9. #9 by ehandlr on January 2nd, 2008 [ 44542 Points ]

    Besides the fact they aren’t on a next gen (this gen) console…Neither game has captured my interest even remotely.

  10. #10 by JimmyStewart on January 2nd, 2008

    Maybe it’s because I enjoy me some shooters but I don’t think it’s fair to lump them all in together. I think most of those games were so highly reviewed was because they were so radically different. BioShock simply does not play much anything like Call of Duty 4 for example. BioShock is much more about story and an engrossing experience. Also BioShock is really a game where you’re meant to think about your environment and the world you’re surrounded in when you progress through the game. Call of Duty 4 is more of a point and shoot affair. Just a bit above you complained that no games helped to further their genres… yet games like BioShock and Mass Effect really did do that. And even though Halo 3 was more a continuation of the gameplay that already worked so well online and off, the addition of every feature imaginable helped to move that genre along. I know I’ll be looking for videos, screenshots and level customization to be so easy in every online FPS I play from here on out. No they didn’t re-invent the wheel, but these games did just as much imo as the titles you listed from 2001.

    This is especially true when you lump in “hybrid shooters”. Sure shooting is involved in the game, but what game doesn’t involve some level of projectile weapons? I mean you could pull in Mario Galaxies, Assassin’s Creed, any RPG… You’re basically left with Tetris clones. Mass Effect especially seems pretty far removed from the heading of shooter. R&C as well.

    Maybe this is again because this a PS3-centric site, but in this year of gaming I don’t think anyone is complaining about a lack of diversity… at least not those with access to all the games on all the consoles. I think this year has been one of the best years for diversity I’ve ever seen and certainly one of the best for gaming.

  11. #11 by James on January 2nd, 2008

    Three words for 2007: Super…Mario…Galaxy.
    Three words for 2008: Little…Big…Planet.

  12. #12 by Gary on January 2nd, 2008 [ 1780 Points ]

    Oblivion was a 2007 release for UK PS3 owners though. 8)

  13. #13 by John on January 2nd, 2008

    Oblivion is more a hack’n'slash/shooter hybrid than an RPG IME, especially with the world scaling which means you always face enemies of a similar level.

  14. #14 by Darrin on January 2nd, 2008 [ 17143 Points ]

    Jimmy,

    I’d agree that Bioshock and CoD4 are very different types of shooters, especially to fans of the genre; every title has its own flavor and personality. But in a larger sense, they are very similar types of games in that they both involve playing a character in first-person view through a set of mostly linear 3D levels and collecting guns/ammo and aiming/dodging/shooting lots of bad guys.

    I never said that no game is furthering its genre. Almost every game this year delivered some type of innovation. There is no question that shooters and racers and sports titles are getting better and better. It’s just that those genres are very matured, and somewhat less exciting.

    If you think the titles from 2007 were as innovative as the ones from 2001, I would disagree. I’m not saying your wrong, but I disagree. Playing GTA3 for the first time was euphoirc. It was a completely new experience. I didn’t get anything close to that in 2007. Frequency set the mold for the music/rhythm genre; I didn’t see a new type of game like that developing in 2007.

    Thanks for commenting.

  15. #15 by fleakitten on January 2nd, 2008 [ 26489 Points ]

    Untill FFXIII comes out, which will probably be in 09, i don’t expect any game to change the current gaming experiance in the year ahead.

  16. #16 by will348 on January 3rd, 2008

    I don’t really consider introducing a new genre of video games necessary to make 2007 a good year for games I agree with almost everything Jimmy said in that the current highly-rated games this year, though largely shooters (that vary drastically from one another), they added many innovations and features that the shooter genre has never seen before. It may not have been “euphoric” but it was definitely more than enough to push the genre in new directions.

    The fact that game developers can take existing genres and keep building and improving upon them to make better games for them to me is more important than trying to come out with something completely new that’s never been before (which is getting harder and harder these days). I hope to see more shooters and games from my favorite genre this coming year to make 2008 an even better year for games than 2007 was.

  17. #17 by derrickgott007 on January 4th, 2008

    2007 failed to be the year of the PS3….I hope that 2008 will change that.


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