12 years ago... Kingdom Hearts happened
Having Final Fantasy characters hang out with iconic Disney creations still feels a little weird today, but 11 years ago, it was unheard of. The circuitous plot barely makes sense, but watching Sora, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy kill demons will always be exciting.
That same year: Michael Jackson dangled his baby out of a window.
11 years ago... Steam launched
Steam is as mainstream as it comes for PC gaming, but it was once the hated online system that Valve attached to its popular games. We cant imagine current gaming without its digital storefront, and the service's widespread popularity is one of the greatest comeback stories in gaming history.
That same year: Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California.
10 years ago... Acclaim closed down
Did you grow up playing Acclaim Entertainment titles like Turok, Burnout, and its dozens of terrible movie tie-ins? Then consider yourself a fossil, because that publisher shut its doors nearly a decade ago.
That same year: Janet Jackson suffered from a wardrobe malfunction.
9 years ago... Sony showed off the PSP
Nintendo had spent years with few challengers to its handheld throne, but Sony finally decided to make the PlayStation portable with the PSP. The system had its ups and downs, but its early success cant be denied, particularly the baffling-in-retrospect high sales of UMD movies.
That same year: Tom Cruise jumped up and down on Oprahs couch.
8 years ago... Hot Coffee burned Rockstar
Grand Theft Auto had been highly controversial since its first entry, but when hackers found the unreleased sex minigame (dubbed Hot Coffee) in GTA: San Andreas, the establishment lost its collective mind. In response, the US government tried its best to legislate video games, a battle that didnt end until the Supreme Court thankfully judged video games as protected speech in 2011.
That same year: Vice President Dick Cheney shot a guy in the face.
7 years ago... Mario and Sonic appeared together in a game
When Sega first became a third party publisher, it was shocking enough to see Sonic games on Nintendo systems. Eventually, the two companies decided to bury the hatchet and have Mario and Sonic appear together in a game based on the Olympics. The once-competing pair have now appeared in enough games that its barely even a novelty anymore, and there are likely some young fans that only remember Mario and Sonic as the best of pals.
That same year: Britney Spears shaved her head.
6 years ago... fans got mad about Diablo III rainbows
Diablo III has had so many problems post-launch that its easy to forget when people only cared about the visuals. When the long-awaited game was first shown, some vocal fans thought it was far too colorful for the franchise, with many begging Blizzard for something darker.
That same year: The Dark Knight came to theaters.
5 years ago...Minecraft launched
After spending some time developing his magnum opus, Markus Notch Personn released the first public alpha build of his voxel-building game Minecraft into the world. This became known as the classic version, and served as the basis for the phenomenon that the game became. Does it still feel like it just came out of beta? Because its been released on practically every platform known to man. Almost like a modern Tetris, no?
That same year: Pilot Sully Sullenberger lands a plane in New York Citys Hudson river.
Itll happen to you!
Now that youve been reminded of how long ago all these things happened, are you feeling ready to join the AARP? And are there any other gaming anniversaries we missed that make you ready for a mid-life crisis? Share them in the comments!