Whether you’re talking about Half-Life 2, a first-person shooter that revolutionized its genre, Halo 2, the game that helped usher in a new age of online console play, or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the critically acclaimed sandbox title from Rockstar that likely quadrupled sales of hot coffee amongst gamers, 2004 was a pivotal year for the industry thanks to its multitude of important releases. Social lives were laid to waste with World of Warcraft, Nintendo released its money-printing DS, and shooting fans were able to scratch their itchy trigger fingers with Far Cry, Unreal Tournament 2004, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, Counter-Strike: Source, Doom III, and Metroid Prime 2.
Adrenaline junkies netted themselves Ninja Gaiden, Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Zelda: Four Swords Adventure, Burnout 3: Takedown, Fable, Need for Speed Underground 2, and Knights of the Old Republic II. Also barraging players this year were Final Fantasy XI, The Sims 2, Pikmin 2, and the nostalgia-laden Pokemon FireRed/LeafGreen. Ah, memories.