2006 – Despite inherent risks to TVs, coffee tables and players’ dignity, Nintendo Wii becomes an overnight celebrity, replacing traditional gamepads with a motion-sensing remote.
2007 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare shoots to thrill, catapulting the series from World War II into the modern era.
2009 – Missed Sony’s PSP Go before it came and went? Either Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s blistering pyrotechnics melted your face off or, given social gaming’s rise, you were too busy playing Facebook games like FarmVille.
2010 – Def Jam Rapstar finally does hip-hop karaoke justice, but like most games this year, bows to Call of Duty: Black Ops.
2011 – The first gaming handheld to offer true three-dimensional graphics sans glasses, including characters that pop off the screen, Nintendo 3DS leaves millions doubting their own eyes.
2012 – From Assassin’s Creed 3 to Halo 4, this was the year of the splashy, big-name sequel.
2013 – Two new consoles lift off—PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which packs expanded live TV options. Throw in GTA V, which allows you to control multiple heroes while pulling heists and joyriding jet skis, and history’s about to get a reboot.