In 1998 bestselling political thriller author Tom Clancy launched a small multimedia empire with the unprecedented simultaneous release of his novelist Rainbow Six and its companion video game of the same name. They were sandwiched in between two novels revolving around Clancy's recurring hero Jack Ryan. There's currently a movie adaptation of the franchise rumored to be on the docket for 2010 and there's not a doubt in my mind that the big screen adaptation owes more to the success of the Rainbow Six video games than to the original novel. For the past ten years the RS series has been a fixture of console and PC gaming thanks to the revolutionary design of the stunning original.
The best part of the browser game as a medium is that it has become such a fertile platform for new concepts. Even if they're just little variations on long-standing ideas, the quirks that make some modern games stand out among the countless others released at the same time can be very refreshing. The most impressive games from November 2009 can best be described as clever first and foremost. They aren't enduring like some games and I doubt I'll go back to them for my own leisure entertainment, but they were great for their time.
Every month I do a retrospective of some of the best flash games of the past four weeks, which requires me to play dozens of new games just to pick out the top three. It's strange to think that such a high volume of new browser games are produced every month now. Just a few short years ago there were so few browser games in existence that every game in every language still would fill the current catalog of a given game portal. Though the most profitable change in the world of video games this decade has been the shift of console gaming to the mainstream, the most revolutionary has to be the medium's total reinvention in Internet-based titles.