Gaming Anniversaries in 2023 That You Might Not Have Realised
With 2023 wrapping up soon, it’s usually a good time to look back at how this year has fared in the Gaming Industry. We’ve seen the meteoric rise of Baldur’s Gate 3, which took the award’s ceremony by storm and won 6 accolades, The Last of Us took a leap into the world of TV and won an award for best adaptation, League of Legends Worlds had all fans in tears after T1 finally climbed back to the top and won gold for the first time in 7 years. But what has 2023 meant for our previous generations of gaming? Who’s had a big birthday this year that we might have missed? Will they be met with the same level of anticipation, and receive the same amount of fan service as the pacman 30th anniversary, with an iconic float at the Rose Parade, becoming the first video game character to do so? We’re going to turn back the clock and look at some of gaming’s biggest anniversaries that occurred this year, which will hopefully have us sighing reminiscently, accepting the wave of nostalgia about to overcome us.
The Last of Us – 10th Anniversary
When the original The Last of Us hit the PlayStation 3, it was widely received as one of the best games of the generation. And to be honest, it’s hard to disagree. The story was perfect. The voice actors were flawless. The raw emotion that the game demanded from you was unreal, from the beginning scenes right to the end. Even with its dark storyline and sometimes frighteningly realistic gameplay, Naughty Dog still managed to add elements of laughter, following Joel and Ellie’s almost impossible quest, whilst treating us to occasional moments riddled with dad jokes and banter, and topped off with fantastic character development. With all this said, it’s hard to believe that this game was actually released ten years ago, and due to the success of it and its successor, it’s no surprise that a complete remake was released last year, followed by a TV adaptation. The Last of us really stepped up the zombie apocalypse/dystopian plot, and was more than deserving of the many awards and nominations it received, including best storytelling, best action/adventure, and both Joel and Ellie Voice actors/actresses received best VA awards to boot.
Gears of War 2 – 15th Anniversary
Following the success of Gears of War, Gears of War 2 is widely considered the best installment of the series, which introduced the beloved horde mode to multiplayer, and had some of the darkest moments in the entire franchise (Figuratively and literally, as you spend a lot of the campaign underground). Gears of War became something of a poster child for Xbox after this, and it’s gorey, tough guy no nonsense approach to violence and profanity quickly made it a standout and fan favourite in the often convoluted market of shooter games, coupled with its unique third-person mechanic style of play where pinpoint accuracy and reaction was important as you vaulted, wall bounced and chainsawed your way through a seemingly endless wave of locust soldiers. This character roster was pretty impressive too, introducing the silent but deadly Tai, not to mention keeping fan favorites Cole and Baird, whose gung-ho approach to massacre and witty sarcasm added just the right amount of humor for a game taking a very intense approach.
Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire – 20th Anniversary
For many Pokefans, the release of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire was nothing short of revolutionary. It was the first edition of pokemon to make its way to the new Game Boy Advance. These editions changed the way people played pokemon for so many reasons; the introduction of abilities was added, weather effects were seen in the overworld for the first time, Pokemon contests were added, some of the baddest legendaries to date took to the stage, and for the first time, ‘catching them all’ suddenly started seeming like a pipe dream. Gamefreak really pushed the boat out on events for this one. You had to understand Braille (Or at least google Braille) to even trigger a series of events in which you could catch the Regi’s, to catch a Feebas you had to play pot luck and use the fishing rod in 5 squares of water on one of the longest routes in the game, which by the way reset every time you left the area. And we can’t talk about this series, without mentioning the brass band that so masterfully perfected the music score for this game.