I'd want to move forward not back... assuming we don't nuke ourselves out of existence or (more likely) fall under totalitarian regimes that dictate our play time and what games can be made. Pessimism and paranoia aside, I'd love to see what happens when we have lightweight, mobile VR and AR setups.
I just imagine when a Boston Dynamics body crane replaces treadmills and makes full-motion VR fantasy possible. And with massively multiplayer AR applications, you could have LARPing meets laser tag meets Call of Duty meets Skyrim pulling kids to play outside again.
Likely, all of this is the "flying car" of the 60s, and gaming' future will be much more mundane (and filled with MTX) than I like to imagine. But if worst comes to worst, I'd at least get to go back and pick the best games of the past few decades to play on my Steam Holowatch or whatever.
I would probably go back to the SNES/Genesis era but with some kind of plan to make the Super Nintendo Play Station happen. I'm not saying it would have been necessarily great but I would love to see what would've happen to the industry if that add on was released and by extention, if Nintendo and Sony truely collaborated.
Last gen where you really needed all the consoles to get everything.
The survival horror genre as we used to know it was born, JRPGs were still really good, most of the big multiplayer games that my group played religiously were from this era, and the arcade scene was still awesome. A lot of experimentation and innovation was going on while still releasing super polished and refined titles from older genres/franchises.
Looking at my top 100 there are 19 entries from this era with 4 or 5 of them in my top 10
I remember the SNES launch might, but TBH, I'm happy being on the cusp of Elden Ring. No series has every captured every facet of gaming for me like Soulsiro.
Soulsiro aside, probably PS2,XBX,GC because there were single player games aplenty. Metal Gear, Half Life, FEAR, Halo CE, GTA3,VC and SA, the great stuff coming out on GC etc. PS360 was kinda the start of the dumpster fire. Outside of a few exceptions this gen I basically play Soulsiro series between the far and few between SP games that come out. Isometric indie darlings are just as bad for me as Avengers Creed drivel. But FROM Soft really makes up for it.
I would really love to experience the 90's. Particularly the SNES and N64 era. Being born in 1997 means I pretty much missed out on that era of gaming. I still grew up with those consoles as they were handed down to me by my parents and older siblings, but that was already in the 00's. Well after the systems were dead.
That era has always fascinated me. Kinda wish I was a bit older so I could've experienced it, but I'm still glad I'm pretty young regardless.
To the future when Holodecks are a thing (and affordable!), or at least when VR/AR is a thin pair of shades and utterly convincing!
If I can't go forward, then now I guess, we get all of the old games and current. I grew up in gaming from the late 70's (with my dads Atari 400), all the way through the 80's, 90's etc, I've seen it all and it was pretty darn great to see how quickly it progressed, like no other industry! I was also a gamer long before it was the popular thing to do, an actual nerd, not like so many pretenders nowadays (none like that here I'm sure). There was a real stigma attached to being a hardcore gamer at one time that wouldn't even enter into peoples minds now...
97! This year started it all for me. 5th gen with N64/PS, the end of the 90's were on another level going straight into the 6th gen with Dreamcast/PS2/Xbox/Gamecube - what a wonderful time to be alive.