PC Gamer has listed what they feel are the "top 5" best years for PC gaming, and while I don't think they go back far enough (1985 was a crazy good year for adventure and RPG fans, in particular), the years that they do profile bring back some very fond memories. 1998 and 1999 were definitely big years for me, as they inspired me to start GameBanshee in the first place:
The games released in 1998 are still shaping games released in 2018. Half-Life pushed the 3D shooter forward. Baldur's Gate refined the template that Pillars of Eternity sticks to today. StarCraft celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend, having spawned hugely successful esports tournaments all over the world. Grim Fandango was remastered in recent years because its sense of humour and Day of the Dead meets Casablanca design still feels fresh today. 1999 was brilliant, too, as we’ve mentioned, which made the run-up to the millennium a pretty special time for PC gamers.
There's a quick buck to be made remastering or rebooting all of the best PC games of 1999. Indeed, many of them have received updates already, but we would play the hell out of a new X-Wing, or a new Dungeon Keeper, or a new Alpha Centauri.
1999 was a year of great experimentation. System Shock 2 gave us one of the best gaming villains ever in Shodan, and pioneered aspects of the immersive sim as we know it today. You don’t have World of Warcraft without Everquest. Arena deathmatch classics Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 Arena clashed at the end of the year, giving audiences a splendid Christmas full of frags. Away from the noise and bluster of rocket launcher duels, Relic turned out the beautiful, melancholy space RTS, Homeworld.