1996 Voted as ‘Best Year in Gaming’ by UK Public

1996: the year football came home and Gazza thrilled at Wembley; the Spice Girls hit number one with Wannabe, Oasis played Knebworth; the nation was drinking alcopops, Take That and Charles and Diana went their separate ways and a buxom British icon called Lara Croft […]
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Electronic Theatre Image1996: the year football came home and Gazza thrilled at Wembley; the Spice Girls hit number one with Wannabe, Oasis played Knebworth; the nation was drinking alcopops, Take That and Charles and Diana went their separate ways and a buxom British icon called Lara Croft entered the homes, lads mags and imaginations of millions of Brits. Maybe that’s why 1996, the year the first ever Tomb Raider was released, has been voted the most memorable year for gaming by British gamers.

UK videogames specialist retailer GAME asked 2,000 self-confessed console and PC aficionados to consider the biggest landmarks in the history of videogames with 1996 voted the top vintage year. It was the year that saw Lara Croft become a household name and the release of seminal titles such as FIFA ‘96 (the first in the most successful football franchise to use real player names), Resident Evil, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot and Super Mario 64.

Runner-up nostalgic gaming year was 2002, the year Rockstar Games shocked and delighted gamers worldwide with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In fifth place was 1980, the landmark year Space Invaders appeared in homes on the Atari 2600 console and Pac-Man debuted in arcades causing mania, bunked school lessons and pocket money shortages among British teens. In tenth place was 1975, which despite being beyond living memory for most gamers and a world away from 3D graphics, motion control and online gameplay, saw the release of the first ever home videogame Pong; the bat and ball that started it all.

Craig Ting, Community Manager at GAME said: “It’s been brilliant fun looking back through the archive with the gamers of the UK and reminiscing on what a corker of a year 1996 was. It’s great to see that the classic games of yesterday strike a chord just as much as the latest releases.

We know how passionate the gaming community is and it just goes to show that no matter how old or new and advanced a game or console is, each individual has a strong attachment to their favourite games and the memories associated with them.  We look forward to continuing to fuel that passion and share many more gaming moments into the future. With all the amazing developments in the pipeline for 2013 and beyond, there are likely to be many more golden years to come.”

Further details on the top five years in videogaming follow below, and Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with future research conducted by GAME.

 

Top five years for gaming:

1996 (14%): Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 launched. We were singing along to Baddiel and Skinner’s Three Lions and Brit Pop was at its height.

2002 (13%): Halo and The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on the Xbox and Grand Theft Auto: ViceCity. BBC 6 Music arrived on our airwaves and Arsenal won the FA Cup.

1991 (12%): Street Fighter II and Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and Lemmings was out on the PC. It was the start of the Iraq war and the year Bryan Adams made history when (Everything I Do) I Do It For You entered its 15th successive week at number one.

1985 (11%): Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt and Donkey Kong Jr. on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Ultima IV and Oregon Trail on the PC. It was the year Eastenders went on air and the mullet was considered the most desirable hairstyle for men and women alike.

1980 (10%): Pac-Man and Centipede in the arcade, Space Invaders on the Atari 2600 and Zork on the PC. It was the year John Lennon was shot dead and David Bowie was at number one with Ashes to Ashes.

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