T.J.’s Best Game of 1992: Wolfenstein 3D
It’s no Half-Life 2 or Amnesia, but there’s nothing like your first time settling into a first-person shooter. Probably gaming’s most ubiquitous and well-known genre today, every Halo and Call of Duty and Battlefield owes something to a dude with an unreasonably chiseled jaw navigating rudimentary 3D, Windows screen saver mazes and shooting Nazis with a gatling gun. The feeling Wolfenstein 3D gave me on my first playthrough was similar to the one I described for Wing Commander a couple weeks back. The jump in immersion compared to the games we were used to at the time was huge. Each level was exciting and frantic. Each boss up to and including the legendary Mecha-Hitler was hilarious and over-the-top. It’s easy to dismiss Wolf3D when Doom followed right on its heels and did the exact same formula way better. But we’re not there yet, and it would be a crime to not give this one the credit it deserves as the best game of 1992.
D.M.’s Best Game of 1992: Sonic the Hedgehog 2
To this day, Sonic 2 is the best platformer I’ve ever played. The stages are inventive enough to each feel cool and unique, while still staying true to the reliable aspects of the Sonic formula. The Chaos Emerald component comes into its own, and the bosses remain some of the most memorable I’ve ever faced. “Wow!” Moments abound, from the first time you go Super Sonic to dueling Mecha Sonic with literally no margin for error. The difficulty curve was steep, but never gratuitous. This one is a classic. Enough said.