The Best Year in Gaming: The Elite Eight, Part One

Welcome back to our Best Year in Gaming March Madness bracket competition! On Saturday we finished off our Sweet Sixteen, and now it’s on to the Elite Eight, with two matchups today and two matchups tomorrow before we head into our final four.

We’re in the final stretch now, and there are no easy decisions left. Each year in the competition boasts a wide array of bangers, and each will have its defenders.

2004 vs. 1991


2004 continued its run in the Northeast by beating 1999. As I’ve said before – 2004 was an amazing year for games – it has its own, better version of Unreal Tournament, even, plus Halo 2, Half-Life 2, GTA: San Andreas, The Sims 2, FarCry, and Doom 3. It’s a year with very solid tabletop chops as well. Comparatively 1991 did pretty well to get this far but I’m kind of shocked it did, to be honest – it’s not even one of the five strongest years in the decade it’s from.

1997 vs. 2002

Today we’re returning to the Southeast Conference for our Sweet Sixteen matchups. Our first matchup here has 1994 squaring off against 1997 in what’s the biggest powerhouse duel of the 90s we’ve seen yet.


I was shocked when 1997 beat ’94 as handily as it did, mostly on the back of a bunch of weeb votes from people convinced Final Fantasy VII was the height of gaming. I stand by my assessment that ’94 was the superior year. Anyways, now it’s up against 2002, the year of Wind Waker, WarCraft III, and Morrowind. I’ll be interested to see if the PC gaming crew win this one over the PlayStation kids, I guess.
If you’re interested in voting on the outcome, head over to our Patreon and join our Discord server to vote. Otherwise, check back tomorrow for the winner and the next matchup in the Southeast Conference.
This article is part of a larger series on the best year in gaming. For more years, click this link. Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at