Lara Croft, zombies and crazy Bandicoots made 1996 the best year ever for gamers


The year a chess Grandmaster was beaten by a computer for the first time was declared the golden year for gaming, according to a recent poll.

1996, the year Garry Kaspirov was defeated by Deep Blue, came out trumps in a poll to find the best ever year for gamers – as it also saw the birth of Super Mario 64, Resident Evil and Crash Bandicoot.

The mega popular Nintendo64 also hit the shelves that year, delighting thousands of children that Christmas.

Lara Croft’s first appearance delighted millions of men worldwide – and angered many feminists

FIFA ’96 marked the start of the iconic football series, and Lara Croft’s first ever appearance in Tomb Raider raised more than a few eyebrows.

The second most popular year was 2002, which brought Grand Theft Auto: Vice City into the homes of millions of gamers.

With stimulation from 1980’s American culture, GTA was the best-selling game of the year, selling millions of copies across Europe and America.

The Nintendo 64 was the must-have console in 1996

Community Manager of GAME, Craig Ting, 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.”

Resident Evil is credited with creating the survival horror genre

Tom Butler, Social Media Editor for the UK’s largest games website, commented:

“When you look back at some of the iconic titles released in 1996, it’s not hard to see why it topped the poll.

“With Tomb Raider, Resident Evil, and Crash Bandicoot, Super Mario 64, Pokemon Red & Blue, Duke Nukem 3D, Diablo, and The Elder Scrolls II all out in the same year – 1996 was truly a vintage year for gamers.”

Crash Bandicoot was praised for its humorous gameplay and 3D graphics

The final word in console wars was also answered in the poll, with the innovative Nintendo Wii smashing its rivals to come out on top.


  1. 1996 was a great year for games, but it wasn’t the start of the FIFA series. I remember playing FIFA 95 on the mega drive.


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