Most Influential Video Games of All-Time

Timeline created by NeilS
  • Spacewar! is created

    Spacewar! is created
    MIT graduate, Steve Russel, creates what is largely considered the first ever video game, Spacewar! It is a computerized game where two spacecrafts face off against each other with limited fuel and weapons. The objective: destroy the other ship before you collide with a giant incoming star. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Pong

    Pong
    Atari releases its mega blockbluster hit, Pong. It becomes the first commercially successful game. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Space Invaders

    Space Invaders
    Space Invaders broke the ice for the eventual sustained success of video games and the eventual creation of arcades. This was largely due to the fact Space Invaders became the first game to ever implement a high score, allowing gamers bragging rights at local arcades, bars, and bowling alleys. Photo Credit: GW Commons
  • Pac-Man becomes a pop culture success

    Pac-Man becomes a pop culture success
    Pac-Man Fever Song Pong may have been the first commercial success, but Pac-Man took it to a whole new level. Pac-Man created a cultural shockwave sparking novelty items like shirts, lunchboxes, and even his own song! Not to mention a number of equally successful spinoffs like Ms. Pac-Man
  • Donkey Kong breaks into the arcade scene

    Donkey Kong breaks into the arcade scene
    DK was one of the first arcade games to introduce a story to its game play. Majority of the games prior were simple shoot and destory everything on the screen games like Space Invaders or Battlezone. DK introduced a plot where a princess needed rescuing. Albeit, as simple as the storyline was, it was something that no other game was offering at the time. Photo Credit: GW Commons
  • Tetris breaks the mold

    Check out the original Tetris theme song! Created by Russian programmer, Alexey Pajitnov Tetris became the first game to create a mental challenge for gamers - one that both children and adults could enjoy. Nintendo picked up the rights to the game and began marketing it the masses in 1989.
  • Super Mario Bros. first released

    Super Mario Bros. first released
    Super Mario Bros. would help pioneer a video game revolution. It would pave the way for home console systems and introduced the world to one of the most iconic characters in video game history, Mario Mario (yes his last name is Mario). Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Metroid

    Metroid
    Samus becomes the first popular female heroine in video games. Not to mention, Metroid introduces a world with trap rooms, puzzles, and amazing boss battles that left gamers astounded. Photo Credit: GW Commons
  • Legend of Zelda hits Nintendo console

    Legend of Zelda hits Nintendo console
    Legend of Zelda introduces fans to the hero, Link, along with the wide open world of Hyrule. An open-world map like never before seen in the video game world. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Street Fighter II

    Classic Ryu vs Ken Street Fighter II changed fighting games as we know it. It introducd a cast of characters that gamers fell in love with along with a battle system that wasn't clunky. It felt like an actual free-flowing system. It stood atop the fighting game genre for years and is still heralded as one of the best fighting games of all-time.
  • Tecmo Super Bowl debuts on Nintendo

    Tecmo Super Bowl Gameplay While it wasn't a very fancy game in terms of graphics or gameplay, Tecmo Super Bowl is still viewed as highly influential because it was the first sports game that actually had liscenced teams and players (i.e. Bo Jackson, Joe Montana). This legitamized the game and paved the way for the success of future sports titles like the epic Madden franchise or EA Sports NHL, FIFA, MMA and NBA2K.
  • Wolfenstein 3D redefines first-person shooters

    Wolfenstein 3D redefines first-person shooters
    Wolfenstein was the Godfather of first person shooters (FPS). It allowed gamers the chance for non-stop over the top action and paved the way for later success such as Doom, Quake, Duke Nukem, and essentially the entire FPS genre. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Mortal Kombat pulls no punches

    The original MK fatalities Street Fighter paved the way, but Mortal Kombat took fighting games to a whole new level. The gore and brutality of Mortal Kombat not only terrified parents of violence in video games, but it helped create a novelty for the franchise. To this day, Mortal Kombat has been the most successful fighting franchise largely because of the brutality it embodies.
  • Myst quietly revolutionizes story-telling

    Myst quietly revolutionizes story-telling
    Without Myst ultra successful games like Skyrim, Fallout, and even Mass Effect would not be around. Myst was the first game to introduce an open-ended story where a player's decision-making affected the outcome of the game.
  • Doom launches on the PC

    Check out the original Doom gameplay! Doom followed in Wolfenstein's footsteps, but proved to be a more popular trailblazer in the FPS genre. It would recieve critical acclaim and produce a plethora of 'copycat' games.
  • Chrono Trigger debuts on the Super NES

    Chrono Trigger debuts on the Super NES
    Any time a game is referred to as 'one of the best,' it deserves to be on this list. Chrono Trigger is regarded by many as the best RPG of all-time. It was ahead of its time. It featured an amazing story, great gameplay, and was one of the first games to feature multiple endings. It was a true trailblazer for the future of RPG games.
  • Quake hits the PC

    Quake hits the PC
    Following in the aftermatch of Doom's success, Quake 's level of detail, graphics, and gameplay would essentially lay the foundation for modern FPS.
  • Super Mario 64

    Super Mario 64
    Just like its predeccesor in ten years earlier, Super Mario 64 changed 3-D platform gaming. It revolutionized the video game world...again. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Tomb Raider launches for Playstation

    Check out the original Laura Croft! Tomb Raider helped paved the way for female leads in video games and helped fuel the action-adventure genre. It combined mind-boggingly puzzles with action-packed sequenes that would keep even the most harden gamers on the edge of their seats.
  • Diablo launches the Blizzard offensive

    Diablo launches the Blizzard offensive
    Diablo helped create the juggernaunt that is Blizzard Entertainment. It was a fun-filled RPG that made grinding enjoyable and addictive in video games for the first time. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Final Fantasy VII takes Playstation by storm

    Final Fantasy VII takes Playstation by storm
    The original 1997 trailer Regarded as one of the best Final Fantasy games of all-time (if not the best) FFVII was the first Japanese RPG to truly establish success with Western fans. It helped take the Final Fantasy franchise from cult classic to mainstream. It provided gamers a highly in-depth storyline along with ground-breaking graphics at the time. Photo Credit: GW Commons
  • GoldenEye 007 entertains the N64 generation

    GoldenEye 007 entertains the N64 generation
    It is rare for movie-inspired video game adaptations to have success, but GoldenEye 007 proved to be the exception. It was a fun-loving FPS that allowed gamers to compete in multiplayer game modes for the first time. It helped paved the way for the future success of franchises like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, and Halo.
  • Starcraft explodes onto the scene

    Starcraft explodes onto the scene
    Another one of Blizzard's highly popular games, Starcraft paved the way for online gaming and esports. Players in South Korea began getting paid to be professional Starcraft players eventually leading the way to esports and the world of professional video gaming as we currently know it. Photo Credit: GW Commons
  • Gran Turismo becomes the foundation for racing simulators

    Gran Turismo becomes the foundation for racing simulators
    Original Gran Turismo gameplay and soundtrack!In 1998, Sony released Gran Turismo for the Playstation and it would become the staple racing simulator for the next decade. Without Gran Turismo racing games like Grid and Forza would not be relevant today. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Metal Gear Solid relaunches on Playstation

    Metal Gear Solid relaunches on Playstation
    The original MSG intro The series oringally debuted for Nintendo, but it was its re-release for Playstation that sparked a revival for both the franchise and stealth genre gaming. MGS reinvented RPG story-telling, action gameplay and the way gamers approached games. It was truly one of the most immersed storylines ever created and helped usher in the future of gaming.
  • Half-Life injects life into FPS

    Half-Life injects life into FPS
    The original Half-Life trailer (97) Half-Life took the shoot and spray fun of FPS, but they added something else to the madness - a story. Instead of running and gunning, Half-Life gave gamers an actual non-linear world to discover, enemies with actual A.I. and a story that kept them entertained.
  • DDR cuts up arcades

    DDR cuts up arcades
    A DDR tournament battle! When Dance Dance Revolution was released local arcades were on the downfall. Its introduction to the arcade scene not only injected life back into the scene, but also helped extend the stay of many mall and movie theater arcades because of the game's enormous popularity.
  • Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time launches on N64

    Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time launches on N64
    The opening theme Just like the original Legend of Zelda, which introduced gamers to an open-world map for the first time, Ocarina of Time not only became of the most popular games in the franchise, but changed the way developers approached open world navigation.
  • Halo helps launch Xbox and online console gaming

    Halo helps launch Xbox and online console gaming
    First episode of Red vs. Blue An Xbox exclusive, Halo became the household name for FPS and would eventually help pave the way to what the world of online gaming is nowadays. It helepd spark an online TV show (Red vs Blue) and in many ways helped
    transform the video game culture from mostly RPG gamers to FPS gamers. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • Runescape becomes a free-to-play success

    This is what it looked like way back in 2004!With the announcement of a MMORPG Wow a few years before its intial release date, Runescape provided players with a free-to-play system and world similar to that of WoW. It not only helped push the MMO genre, but also the free online gaming community. Even today, Runescape still has over a hundred thousand active players.
  • Blizzard launches World of Warcraft

    Blizzard launches World of Warcraft
    The infamous Leroy Jenkins Once again Blizzard Entertainment sets the stage, this time for MMORPGs. WoW becomes the first game to ever have over 10 million players and would be the most widely played game in the world for years. Despite its montly fee and decreasing fan base, WoW is still one of the most played games in the world. Photo Credit: Juanpol via Flickr
  • Wii Sports helps launch the Wii

    Wii Sports helps launch the Wii
    Wii Sports helped sell Nintendo's Wii console and any game that manages to sell over 80 million copies clearly helped influence the gaming world. It is tough to find someone who isn't famaliar with Wii Sports not to mention the concept of group gaming completely changed not only the way gamers play video games, but how the world percieves video games. Photo Credit: Mini D via Flickr
  • Bioshock makes us rethink horror games (and underwater cities)

    Bioshock makes us rethink horror games (and underwater cities)
    When 2K released Bioshock in 2007 many of us expected just another run-of-the-mill, first-person horror game. What we got was a masterpiece. Bioshock blended together suspense, strategy, and twisted story-telling into what can be argued one of the best games of its decade. Bioshock took not just the horror genre by storm, but also FPS - it made them both into so much more.
  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    Halo and COD dominate the FPS genre. The reason COD is at the forefront of the FPS discussion is because of COD4: MW. It introduced gamers to loads of online fun and introduced the prestige system; a portion of the game reserved strictly for the most talented players and of course, bragging rights. Photo Credit: Google Wiki Commons
  • League of Legends makes contact

    League of Legends makes contact
    The 2014 World Championship final - notice how many views! A slow-starter, but currently the RPG action-strategy game is the most widely played game in the world (surpassing WoW) with over 32 million players world-wide. The game is free-to-play and has some of the most competetive competitions on the planent. The world finals of LoL pull in millions of viewers world wide (fans can watch live on YouTube streams). Photo Credit: Flickr