I’m going to agree with you that 1998 was one of the greatest year for game release, though in hindsight it’s not a as huge of a surprise, nor was it that 2007 proved to be a huge leap. The fact of the matter is that while games are just as valid a medium for ideas and feelings and whatever the hell else we want to include in them as well as sheer unadulterated play, one thing that separates them from other forms is how big a role technology plays in their creation.
Every now and then, we get a year where great games are bountiful and formative. 2011 was great. 2007 was better. 1998 was the best (I’m willing to hear an argument for 2007, but I’m not sure I’m ready to forgive Portal for the flood of puzzle-platformers that followed). 1998 gave us Resident Evil 2, Suikoden II, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half-Life, Grim Fandango, Baldur’s Gate, Star Craft, Pokemon Red & Blue, Banjo Kazooie, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, and, of course, Metal Gear Solid.