16. Taking a starfighter online for the first time
In 1997, some people still spelled "online" with a hyphen. Maybe you had attended a LAN party for Doom deathmatches, but few of us had ever activated our 28.8-baud modems to leap into the world of online gaming. X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter changed all that for a lot of Star Wars fans. Through free-for-all, cooperative, and team-based modes, the game's initial launch focused solely on multiplayer dogfighting in space – quite the technical challenge largely due to the fact that "the internet sucks," according to network programmer Peter Lincroft in 1999. To the chagrin of many fans, the multiplayer focus meant no story at all. LucasArts and Totally Games rectified this seven months later with the release of the Balance of Power expansion pack, featuring 15 story-based missions for each side of the Galactic Civil War.