WCW Thunder made a big impression on me. At the time, I couldn’t imagine a game being better than it. Gotta miss that innocence..
Final Fantasy VII had very detailed textures. Even though it was all pre-rendered, it came across as being really advanced. Then you had the FMVs that were just beyond anything ever seen. You could say Resident Evil II did something similar with its backgrounds.
The Bouncer was the first game I ever saw on the Playstation 2. Tekken Tag was the first game I ever played on it. Both games seemed to be so ahead of their time. (Of course The Bouncer was actually one of the worst games ever.)
I’m looking forward to Splinter Cell: Conviction in terms of graphics. It looks pretty off the hook.