Thirty years is a long time to spend doing anything, let alone trying to cover an industry as wide-ranging and fast-moving as videogames. Needless to say, the landscape has shifted quite a bit since 1993, when a multiformat magazine dedicated to ‘the future of videogaming’ landed on newsagents’ shelves for the first time. Edge’s mandate hasn’t changed a great deal since then, but it’s rare you get to celebrate such a milestone (much less so in print media), so issue 390 sees us take time out from considering the future of interactive entertainment to look back on some of the highlights of the past three decades.
Central to that is the result of the largest poll we’ve ever conducted – the votes of readers, former and current staff, and a broad selection of leading lights in game development and publishing collated to produce a list of the 100 greatest games of the past 30 years. We’ve expanded the magazine’s pagination for a huge feature in which we sum up the finest interactive accomplishments of Edge’s lifetime with the help of some eloquent testimony from those we polled. In Knowledge, we provide a statistical analysis that’s sure to provoke debate (if you want to truly know the best ever year for videogames, here’s where to find it), and we hear from the developers that kindly provided the reasons behind their number-one selections, including several personal choices that missed the final cut of 100.
We’re in reflective mood elsewhere, too. In Time Extend, we go another round with a seminal game reviewed in our very first issue, asking whether Street Fighter II Turbo still deserves to be called “the ultimate beat-’em-up”. In The Long Game, the subject of perhaps Edge’s most frequently quoted review, Doom, comes under the microscope, as we examine the impact of Id’s groundbreaking FPS. Another pioneering shooter gets the deep-dive treatment as we talk to a string of Bungie alumni for The Making Of Halo, and in our Studio Profile slot Jeff Minter and Ivan Zorzin explain how Llamasoft has one-upped Edge by enduring for /four/ decades. And we welcome back a beloved columnist in the form of Toshihiro Nagoshi, who outlines his 34-year journey from Sega rookie to gamedev royalty.
But as our masthead says, we’re still firmly invested in what’s to come in this ever-changing medium, and in issue 390 we also invite key figures from the industry to predict where the /next/ 30 years of videogames might take us. And there’s still the small matter of previews and reviews. In Hype, we take a closer look at Eve Vanguard, Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth and Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name, while in Play we hand down our verdicts on Starfield, Cocoon, Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Chants Of Sennaar and Lies Of P, among others. With an exclusive art spread for upcoming ‘slapformer’ Thank Goodness You’re Here and a detailed look at The Making Of Karateka – perhaps the finest interactive documentary yet made – this 148-page anniversary edition celebrates everything that continues to fascinate us about videogames. Celebrate with us by picking up a copy of Edge 390, which is on sale now.