1996 has been named as video gaming's ‘golden year' by a survey of 2,000 GAME customers.
Big hits released that year included Resident Evil, Super Mario 64, Tekken 2, Crash Bandicoot, FIFA 96 (which was the first in the series to use real-life licenses) and the mighty Tomb Raider.
2002 was the runner-up with releases such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Elder Scrolls III and Halo.
Perhaps more surprising is the Wii's nomination as the best console ever released. The all-conquering PS2 only achieved a fourth place finish.
Here are all the results:
Top Five Years for Gaming
1. 1996 (14%): Tomb Raider and Crash Bandicoot on the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 launched. We were singing along to Baddiel and Skinner's Three Lions and Brit Pop was at its height
2. 2002 (13%): Halo and Elder Scrolls III on the Xbox and Grand Theft Auto Vice City. BBC 6 Music arrived on our airwaves and Arsenal won the FA Cup
3. 1991 (12%): Street Fighter II and Super Mario World on SNES and Lemmings was out on the PC. It was the start of the Iraq war and the year Bryan Adams made history when (Everything I Do) I Do It For You entered its 15th successive week at number one
4. 1985 (11%): Super Mario Bros, Duck Hunt and Donkey Kong Jr on the NES and Ultima IV and Oregon Trail on the PC. It was the year Eastenders went on air and the mullet was considered the most desirable hairstyle for men and women alike
5. 1980 (10%): Pac-Man and Centipede in the arcade, Space Invaders on the Atari 2600 and Zork on the PC. It was the year John Lennon was shot dead and David Bowie was at number one with Ashes to Ashes
The Top Consoles of All Time
1. Wii (15%)
2. Xbox 360 (10%)
3. PlayStation 3 (9%)
4. PlayStation 2 (8%)
5. Sega Mega Drive (7%)
6. PlayStation 1 (6.5%)
7. Super Nintendo (6%)
8. Game Boy (5%)
9. N64 (4.5%)
10. Nintendo DS (4%)