January 31, 1999
Silent Hill (PlayStation) is released in the US
The first of an iconic franchise involved clunky controls, horrible voice acting, and the sort of low-res graphics that keep players from revisiting older games.
But, considering it was released in 1999 and almost all the games suffered from the same issues, players were able to see past these glaring issues and enjoy this survival horror game for being completely different than other series from that time (Resident Evil, Parasite Eve, etc).
The game — and its sequels, for the most part — focused more on ambiance and a feeling of dread rather than jump scares, utilizing a radio whose static interference signaled a nearby enemy that would get louder as the enemy got closer. The player was unsure which direction the creature would be, putting one on guard until the enemy was destroyed or the player moved out of the area.
The series is currently 12 titles strong (if you include the Japanese only Play Novel, arcade game, mobile game, and Playable Teaser to the ill-fated Silent Hills), and has spawned two movies and numerous comic books.