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Genre-Defining Games? 231

Posted by Zonk
from the because-who-doesn't-love-maniac-mansion? dept.
Gamasutra has up responses from its frequent feature, the question of the Week. This week's question was a call for the best of the best. "For any genre of your choice, what is the game that defines that genre for you?" From the article: "For the RPG, simply Final Fantasy 6. It has the best story, greatest variety of characters, tons of different music, and added many secret areas. It was the first game to truly to define a real experience of an RPG to the player. -Anonymous" What games would you refer to as Genre Defining?
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Genre-Defining Games?

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  • by g-san (93038) on Friday April 15, 2005 @07:29PM (#12250853)
    Gotta be pong!
    • Well a lot of times they put Racing in the sports category. So, I'll talk about racing...

      One of the crack-addict submitters to the original story said: "PC racers include Burnout, Need for Speed, and so on, with the same dull, lifeless AI."

      If he thinks Burnout 3 (he mentioned the '3' earlier in the story) has dull, lifeless AI he is completely insane.

      That game has the most aggressive AI I have ever played against. The first time the other cars came after me and rammed me off the road in a big ball of
  • Genre Defining? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BridgeBum (11413) on Friday April 15, 2005 @07:31PM (#12250873)
    Wouldn't a genre defining game have to be something which MADE a genre? To me, FF6 isn't even close for RPG's. Pick one of 'Wizardry' or 'Bard's Tale'. For FPS, Castle Wolfenstein. (I'd accept Doom, since that's what really made FPS 'take off'.)

    A genre defining game is hardly the same as 'best game in genre'.
    • I thought castle wolfenstein was a top-down shooter for the C64. anyway, there are FPSes that predate Wolfenstein 3d for years, with vector graphics and such.
    • Re:Genre Defining? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by fwice (841569)
      As far as interaction with the environment, Duke Nukem 3D completely changed the way I thought about fps. Unlike Doom, you could jump, duck, fly (jetpack), and interact with the environment other than going into elevators and opening doors. And the multiplayer fun was amazing and brilliant. From being able to demolish buildins, starting moving projectors, blowing halls, and giving strippers money to see those horribly drawn boobies, it paved the way for the FPS series' to come (Quake & Half Life).
    • Pick one of 'Wizardry' or 'Bard's Tale'.

      Pfft. Ultima Series. It set the standard for stand alone RPG. Then "evolved" into Ultima Online. It was not the first online RPG (MUDs, Meridian 59 pre-date it), but it was the first truly massive and inmersive.
      • Re:Genre Defining? (Score:2, Informative)

        by eurasian (786214)
        Quake is genre defining quite apart from Doom, as Quake was ACTUAL 3D, Wolfenstein 3D and Doom were just tons and tons of pretty sprites.
    • Re:Genre Defining? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by orkysoft (93727) <orkysoft@NOsPam.myrealbox.com> on Friday April 15, 2005 @07:57PM (#12251094) Journal
      How about Dungeon Master? I'd say that would be one of the CRPG-defining games, if not the CRPG-defining game...
    • Not Exactly (Score:2, Insightful)

      by beakerMeep (716990)
      "Genre defining" I think means the game that best represents what the genre is about. So not necessarily what made a genre take off or started a genre but more like the first game that comes to mind when someone mentions a genre.
      • Re:Not Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Koiu Lpoi (632570)
        I must disagree with the article. If Final Fantasy 6 defines RPGs as a genere, then I hate RPGs. Experience has shown I do not hate RPGs, just the Final Fantasy series/style. I would submit KOTOR. Or Phantasy Star 4.
        • Re:Not Exactly (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Final Fantasy defines the Console RPG, which is to real RPGs what tofu is to beef: a poor substitute that people will continue to try and insist somehow fills the niche.

          Console RPGs are, without fail, really "turn based battle simulators," in that the game, such as there is, does not consist of "playing a role" but instead repeatedly fighting the same stupid battles over and over again. A console RPG is all about leveling.

          Real RPGs focus on an environment and the role your character plays in it. Console
          • by Danse (1026)

            Final Fantasy defines the Console RPG, which is to real RPGs what tofu is to beef: a poor substitute that people will continue to try and insist somehow fills the niche.

            That's just what I was wanting to say. As PC RPGs go, I would submit Ultima IV as the genre-defining game of my own experiences. It was just one of the most enthralling gaming experiences I can remember. I played that game forever.

          • Of course, it depends on which Final Fantasy you're playing. FF8, for example, doesn't really fit within the paradigm you're talking about, though FF6 certainly does. And then there are other console RPGs that have decent gameplay (though granted, most of those aren't "traditional" console RPGs). I agree that computer RPGs are superior in the role-playing aspect to console RPGs, but the latter still shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand.

            Rob
    • Logical enough. But then the game that defines RPG games isn't even a computer game [lyberty.com].
  • Populous (Score:4, Interesting)

    by andyh1978 (173377) on Friday April 15, 2005 @07:34PM (#12250895) Homepage
    No mention of the pure classic that is Populous? It's the classic God-genre game; although it's a genre mostly consisting of Peter Molyneux games. It's got to be a strong influence for many RTS games, though. I also see the infamous Brandon Every puts his (apparently) unqualified oar into the proceedings...
  • by TrippTDF (513419) <hiland&gmail,com> on Friday April 15, 2005 @07:34PM (#12250900)
    There is a moment in Max Payne 2 where you can listen to recorded messages from Max's tapped phone lines. You hear a couple of phone conversations that push the story a little, and then there is one where Max calls a phone sex line. He sounds depressed, lonely and in a way, confused.

    The whole game you have Max in your ear, talking in this very noir tone. He's narrating his own story, if you will, and telling the player what he wants them to hear. That moment when you hear the phone sex call was almost like a breach of privacy between the player and Max. It was on Max's intention for the player to hear this low moment in his life.

    Games are great at making one scared, surprised, intrigued and a bunch of other emmotions, but that was the first time that I felt empathy towards a video game. It's not genre defining, but it was a moment that shows that there can be a lot of depth to what games can be. They can be more than just shoot-em-ups. They can convey some serious, complex emmotions. We will see more of this in games in the future.
    • I played through Max Payne 2, but never found that point in the game. Where was it? Can you point me to any audio clips of it on the 'net, seeing as I don't want to play through it again?
      • it's just after the snipers are shooting at Max in his apartment. You make your way up to the apartment they are shooting at you from, and there is a recording device there.

        You should go back and play it- it's a great game.
    • We will see more of this in games in the future.

      I hope so, I really do.

      I would like to see the games industry flirt with the film industry on more occasions, focusing a greater proportion of attention on great story writing and character development. I know, fat chance of that happening when the morons out there just want to blow shit up in their latest Conflict: Iraqi Prison Guard adventure.
  • Disgusting (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Nasarius (593729)
    For the RPG, simply Final Fantasy 6.

    The Final Fantasy games are considered RPGs? Oh right, they're "console RPGs".

    It has the best story, greatest variety of characters.

    OK.

    tons of different music

    So? If the music is really exceptional, it might be worth noting, but quantity is different from quality.

    and added many secret areas

    So?

    It was the first game to truly to define a real experience of an RPG to the player.

    Hilarious. So prior to FF6 (released in 1999?), there were no "real RPG experiences"?

    • Re:Disgusting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yobgod Ababua (68687) on Friday April 15, 2005 @08:21PM (#12251252)
      I'm afraid I must agree, although the term "RPG" is really way too broad to be defined by any one single game.

      Wasteland helped define the post-apocalyptic party-based RPG "genre".

      Bard's Tale defined the standard form for many party-based RPGs for quite some time.

      Ultima IV was a defining game for RPGs where your in-game choices changed your character, and where certain situations would have no "correct" solution.

      Ultima VII showed that you could create a surprisingly living world.

      FF6 may be genre defining for it's little niche of the RPG landscape... I haven't played it myself and can't really say.
      • Re:Disgusting (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nifboy (659817)
        I'd say FF6 and Chrono Trigger jointly defined the game-as-storytelling subsection of RPGs (most "console" RPGs). Ultima and later refinements like Baldur's Gate helped define the game-as-storymaking subdivision (most "PC" RPGs).

        It's worth noting TFA was split between the FF series and the Baldur's Gate series, though.
    • Re:Disgusting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Bongo Bill (853669)
      (released in 1999?)

      I don't mean to nit-pick (except really I do), but FF6 was 1994, and was ported to the Playstation in 1999. Still, it's hardly genre-defining. Perhaps it defines the 16-bit subset of console RPGs... but then you're getting far too specific for this issue.

      I think it's safe to assume that console RPGs are a whole different animal than PC RPGs. They're only likely to diverge farther, too.

      If there were a defining game for console RPGs, I'd put it at Dragon Warrior III.

      • Re:Disgusting (Score:4, Insightful)

        by miyako (632510) <miyako@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:47AM (#12253267) Homepage Journal
        I don't think that it's necessarily that PC and Console style RPGs are so different as I think that the difference is in the japanese vs american style of story telling (and types of stories). In american style RPGs, the focus seems to be on adventure for the sake of adventure, collecting treasure, and the story of a common person picking themselves up by the bootstraps and becoming a hero. In contrast, Japanese style RPGs seem to focus on the reluctant hero, chosen by fate, to to fulfill some great destiny/prophacy/etc. In American (or perhaps Western style would be more appropriate) RPGs, there is a bit more lattitude in the characters themselves, essentially the entire gamut frrom Lawful Good to Chaotic Evil can still be seen as being Heroic. In Japanese style games the storyline tends to only work with a character, though often reluctantly, struggling with the morality of a situation and eventually becoming something like Chaotic Good.
        I think that these differences end up effecting the games in a number of ways (or rather, each type of story faces it's own technological limitations). In the Japanese style games, since there is a more fixed character (the player controls the character) A much less branching storyline is acceptable. In Western style games (the player IS the character) the character has more choice, and that limits the possibilities for the pre-written scripts. Because of the limitations on how much story can be written in American style games, the games themselves seem to focus more on dungeon crawling, accumulating treasure and experience (which also fits in with the image of the western style hero as the rouge adventurer).
        I think that the reason it seems to be divided among PC/Console lines is that most PC games are developed by american companies, whereas historically the majority of console games (especially RPGs) were developed by Japanese companies.
        Although I don't think that either style is inherintly superior to the other, I personally tend to prefer the more story driven Japanese style games to the Adventure driven American style games.
        • I'm not sure you can really say Japanese RPGs are more story driven than their Western counterparts. Maybe this more "Adventure drive" style you speak of was true of early Western RPGs, but it was also true of early JRPGs (which featured no major story elements to speak of either). But Planescape Torment, maybe KOTOR, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, some of the Ultima games, and more all feature similar or even more storyline than what you find in current JRPGs.

          I think the only major difference is that Japanese c
  • GTA (Score:3, Interesting)

    by wed128 (722152) <woodrowdouglass@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Friday April 15, 2005 @07:45PM (#12250997)
    I think that grand theft auto and it's sequels are their own genre, and a fun one at that!
  • it's in it's own style a good game.

    but heck.. not a lot of role playing going on there. pre-determined story that you advance with fighting, that's what it is.

  • Gotta be Metal Gear Solid(PSX version). IMHO he was the first to truly introduce the concept of stealth play in a seductive way to the masses.

    Nowadays its hard not to find an action game without at least a level or mission in which you must avoid being spotted or setting off the alarm. Stealth game play its the perfect complement to action gameplay enriching the experience.

    MGS also one of the first and better aproaches to film-like videogames according to the frame of reference of mainstream movies. RPG's
    • Gotta be Metal Gear Solid(PSX version). IMHO he was the first to truly introduce the concept of stealth play in a seductive way to the masses.

      Which masses? When I think "stealth play" the first games that come to mind are Thief (came out the same year) and Deus Ex (two years later).

      Naming a genre-defining movie is hard enough. I think naming a genre-defining game is impossible. The lists that come to my mind include PC-only games, Mac-only games, and console games that only ran on one of several simul
      • MGS predates Thief just for a couple of months. However, Konami gave advances of the game years before its release, so Thief MIGHT have been influenced for it.

        However, in any discusion about which one defined the genre, Thief will always lose, because MGS had a LOT more people who played it, maybe even on the PC.

        Maybe the PSX just flew under your radar, but the fact that the PC has better graphics for more money, doesn't actually means that its games are always the best.
    • There is only room for one genre-defining slealth game, and it's Pac-Man! Pac-Man ownzorz your boxxors !!!1

      (apologies)
  • We'll probably never get over it's reiterations.

    Tactical of course Rainbow 6.
  • by EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) * on Friday April 15, 2005 @08:03PM (#12251136) Homepage Journal
    Most of you are probably two young to remember, but before these fancy-schmanzy E-G-A video cards and Mice, we had (mostly) text games. AND WE LIKED IT!

    Zork was one of the first, and one of the best. It established some classic puns (See my .sig), and influenced the humor in many games.

    Now, go find that Grue.
    • Zork for text games (1980s) I was taking a class in personal computers in the 80s and was told by the professor that my 5 hours of personal design should be used to get him past the point in Zork where he was stuck. Great fun. Might and Magic (early 1990s)Classic Dungeons and Dragons. Morrowind and Arcanum for innovation. (late 1990s) Cant comment on the MMORPGs, as when I tried to play those, my husband would come in and want dinner or attention or something and then my group would grumble or or die (I pla
    • Being young has nothing to do with it. I've played through the first three zork games, and I'm only 18. I wasn't even born when zork came out! And yes, I liked it. Great games, in my opinion. I haven't since seen anything like it. Well, there was this MUCK called Crossroads. Oh, and nice sig.
    • While I agree that Zork gets a nod for being one of the first, and necessary playing for anyone who likes adventure games, I don't think Zork really defined the genre - though it has some story, and some great scenes and puzzles, I think the gameplay is still too close to its ADVENTURE roots.

      If I were to pick one that I think defines the genre, it would have to be either Trinity (if you want to stick to well-known text adventures), or Anchorhead if you're willing to accept games from the amateur IF scene.
    • The Grue comes from Zork, but the twisty passages comes from the real grandaddy of all adventure games, the game named, simply, "adventure" (still available as part of the base BSD gamepack).

      ~ $ adventure

      Welcome to Adventure!! Would you like instructions?
      n

      You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building.
      Around you is a forest. A small stream flows out of the building and
      down a gully.
      e

      You are inside a building, a well house for a large spring.

      There are some keys on the ground here

    • Twin Kingdom Valley!
  • I'm sick of all these FF6 zealots, FF4 is the best.
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday April 15, 2005 @08:24PM (#12251269)
    It really got the ball rolling on the whole genre.
  • Turn based Strategy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Casisiempre (691255) on Friday April 15, 2005 @08:45PM (#12251383) Homepage
    Empire or Civilization 1 were genre defining games for turn based strategy. Civilization had descent graphics for its time and endless playtime.
  • Wing Commander 2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by failedlogic (627314) on Friday April 15, 2005 @09:15PM (#12251579)
    Wing Commander 2 was the best of the series. It broke the modern-video game industry (esp. if you bought the speech pack).

    The system requiements were really high, the graphics were awesome, the interactivity (and changes in story line as you progressed were somewhat unheard of). I remember as a kid saving up to buy the first soundcard in my PC just so I could buy the speech pack and play.

    Of the modern games which are listed, I must agree - Legend of Zelda Ocarina in Time is probably the greatest game made. Dare, I say, one of the best made in the last 10 years!
  • Fallout (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GebsBeard (665887) on Friday April 15, 2005 @09:49PM (#12251756)
    I'm suprised Fallout didn't show up on that list. The game and its spiritual predecessor Wasteland were genre defining in a way - post holocaust RPGs. Granted, a very small genre but on their strength alone they should have gotten at least honorable mention.
  • THIEF!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Axis of Weasel (700706) on Friday April 15, 2005 @09:52PM (#12251771)
    the only genre-creating and defining game

    First Person Sneakers!!!!
    • the only genre-creating and defining game

      Roguelikes!!!!
    • I too was looking to see if anyone had mentioned Thief. Go Garrett! Wooooo! :)

      Seriously, there can be no better stealth game(s) than Thief. Anyone who has not yet played the series should get onto eBay and pick up the trilogy for about the cost of a brand new game, maybe even less. The hours of entertainment from both official and fan missions will pay for itself a hundred times over.

      Warning, you will probably not like Thief if you are of the following mindset:
      • Impatient
      • A graphics whore (Deadly Shado
  • Platform Game: Manic Miner

    Adventure: The Hobbit and Myst

    Real Time Strategy: Total Annihilation

    Turn based Strategy: Alpha Centauri.

    First Person Shooter: Battlezones (Atari Arcade)

    Cheers, N

  • Final Fantasy 6 is an awesome game and I personally don't think that a game has bested it yet. However, to me it didn't define the modern console RPG. That honor goes to its grandfather, Final Fantasy 4.

    While it wasn't the first of its kind, FF4 defines all the aspects of a modern console RPG and was the framework on which everything else built on top of. It gave us ATB and a battle system that was fast, fun, and at times totally insane. (Remember Plague?) The storyline was fairly deep for its time, and yo
  • Strategy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qbhobart (737200) on Friday April 15, 2005 @10:19PM (#12251910)
    I compare almost all strategy games I play to X-Com.
    • Re:Strategy (Score:3, Informative)

      by nelsonal (549144)
      I just wish someone would come up with something that had the fun of the orignial game with more modern graphics. That was the only game I put down and walked away from after I started dreaming about it and seeing the red pulsating alien indicator when not playing. I still recall my first terror mission when the Etherials showed up, I was feeling pretty badass until I turned tail and ran with about half my squad. That and Master of Orion got more gaming time than anything else I've played in the last dec
  • Mr. Boogaloo will always be the genre defining grasshopper game to me. I don't think any other game has quite captured the act of grasshopping like that game.
  • by DanthemaninVA1 (750886) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @12:06AM (#12252458)
    I'm just going to point out some things that I think.

    I would take Planescape: Torment for RPGs over any Final Fantasy game, hands down.

    Ico had an emotional pull like few other games I've played.

    Not that I don't love Splinter Cell, but I'd rather play any of the Metal Gear Solid games any day.

    I hate to use newer games that have just come out really recently, but in WWII shooters, Call of Duty and Brothers in Arms are just head an shoulders above the rest.
  • by Thenomain (537937) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @12:14AM (#12252497) Homepage
    In the category of Graphic-Based Adventure Games, I nominate The Secret of Monkey Island. It was not the first by a long shot. If this were a thread about "created the genre" I'd probably put King's Quest in this place.

    I almost said Grim Fandango, but really Grim Fandango is just as good as Monkey Island or Sam & Max Hit the Road or Day of the Tentacle but not so hugely better that I'd think it defined the genre. Re-introduced it, yeah, and that was wonderful. Monkey Island was funny, intelligent, not so entirely hard that I couldn't finish it, and has a fantastic soundtrack. (MI2's was even better.)

    My love of Monkey Island 1 & 2 was what made the cancellation of the second Sam & Max harder to take. We all want to re-live the glory days in new and interesting ways.
  • Hungry Hungry Hippos defined mindless button mashers before there even was such a thing.
  • I would say that Genre defining game has the following characteristics.

    1) It sets the standard for its gameplay type.
    2) It has signifigant retail success.
    3) It is imitated.

    The third one is very important. Metroid succeeds at the first two, but it is hardly imitated.

    Diablo, Doom, Warcraft 2, Final Fantasy, Super Mario Brothers, and Street Fighter 2 are all genre defining.

    END COMMUNICATION
  • by PyroMosh (287149) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @02:48AM (#12253106) Homepage
    For me, any game to be genre defining needs to pass a couple tests.

    1) If I pick up the game a few years later, will it be hard to play, because the genre has moved on so signifigantly, that it feels wrong somehow? (controls off / genre defining things haven't appeared yet)

    Super Mario Bros 1 is hard to play for me because the controls feel stiff and unresponsive now (even though they felt fine in 1986). And the inability to go back is frustrating. Contrast this with Super Mario Bros 3, which plays as well as it did the day I first picked it up. Doom is practically unplayable for me today, because the controls are simply so alien to what I'm used to in the FPS genre. No third dimmension, no mouselook, etc. If a game is prototypical enough that it's unplayable years later to a follower of that genre, I'd say that it can be said to have inspired the genre, but not defined it.

    2) Do lots of games try to imitate a game after it's appearance?

    How many Mario clones were there in the late 80s and early 90s? How many Tetris clones? How many fighting games came out at the peak of Street Fighter II's popularity? These games defined the genre, simply by all the copycats that folowed in their wake.

    3) If after a game appears, does the genre suddenly die, because those imitators can't keep up? (This can't be an instant death, this takes some time)

    There are very few examples of this, but they do happen. R-Type is the best one I can think of. After it came out, it defined the genre. There have been shooters since, but few if any as good. Certainly none that managed to truly surpass it. Basicly, I'd say that R-Type was so good that it killed the genre. It killed it by perfecting it. Gamers didn't pick up new shooters much after that, because they all felt either like either inferior titles, or just like more of the same.
    • 1) Check out the OpenGL versions of the original Doom (jDoom for example). Me and a friend finished Doom3, then we tried jDoom, using the original map packs. I must tell you, it was funner than playing Doom 3. Surely, it adds mouselook and standard WASD controls, but the SPIRIT of the original game was there. It was fun.

      2) Agreed.
      3) R-Type? I have never played it, but there were plenty of shooters afterwards, for consoles and for the PC which were very fun for me, even if they aren't too famous (such as Ra
  • The question is unclear. The game that defines a genre is typically never the epitome of the genre. For instance, Wolfenstein 3D clearly defined the FPS genre as we know it today, but I would certainly pick a more modern and advanced FPS as the epitome of the genre.

    Similarly, Super Mario Brothers on the NES clearly defined the side-scrolling platformer, but I think I would have to call it a 3-way tie among Sonic the Hedgehog 1, Super Metroid, and Super Mario World for epitome of the genre.

    Personally, I
  • by Xtifr (1323) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @03:46AM (#12253266) Homepage
    I'm impressed that the article mentioned rogue! (And you should all be impressed that I at least skimmed TFA.:)

    But by the standards they used for choosing the other games, I would have to say that Nethack really defines the genre that rogue started. More so even than Diablo.

    I did like this, though:

    "Best game ever - Nethack"
    -John Root, id Software
  • Genre-defining games (Score:5, Informative)

    by RogueyWon (735973) on Saturday April 16, 2005 @04:26AM (#12253389) Journal
    Some reasonable enough picks in the article, but a lot of very strange omissions and perhaps a few unwarrented inclusions as well. Of course, it's hard to make just one pick per genre, so I'm not even going to bother trying.

    Adventure:

    I don't see how anybody can talk about genre defining adventure games without at least a nod to Zork. The license may have been driven into the ground since then, but it still has vast significance. Moving forwards, I guess the next big genre-definers were the Sierra adventures. I'm not sure which of these actually came first, so I'm just going to name the Police Quest, Space Quest, Kings Quest and Leisure Suit Larry games. Next came the Lucasarts games; I'm thinking particularly of Day of the Tentacle and Sam & Max here, although Monkey Island also merits a nod. With the "no deaths" gameplay and the quirky humour, I think these basically represent the high-point of the genre. Finally, the Syberia games deserve a nod for trying to resurrect the genre on modern hardware.

    First Person Shooters:

    Wolfenstein3d and Doom were probably the big early genre-definers here. The former basically introduced gamers to the concept, while the latter really showed what the genre could do in terms of atmosphere and adrenelin. Quake probably represented the biggest technical advance, and hence has been massively important in defining the genre, but its single-player gameplay felt like a massive step back from Doom. Of course, it also popularised the idea of online gameplay to an extent that none of its predecessors have managed. I don't actually see Half-Life (or its sequel) as being particularly genre-defining... they were just examples of existing concepts done very well; they don't bring anything new to the genre.

    Action/Platformers:

    The early Mario games are obviously the most significant influences here, although I think Sonic also deserves credit for bringing a sense of fun to to the series (at least before the hideous 3d incarnations) that Mario never quite had.

    Racing:

    I think the most significant early racing game has got to be Outrun, which was massively popular in arcades for a while, with its big, shaking cabinet. Hard Drivin' was also significant; it had a more "realistic" feel than Outrun and its clones (despite the insane stunts) and I think modern racing games ultimately owe more to it than they do to Outrun. In the modern era, I think Ridge Racer was really responsible for bringing the genre onto modern hardware, while the Gran Turismo series have pretty comprehensively established the racing-sim category.

    RPGS:

    Ok, this is the section where I think the contributors to the article get it most "wrong". Very disappointing to not see a single nod towards the Ultima series. These defined the whole non-Japanese RPG world up until the early/mid-90s, even if the series did have a pretty dire ending. Of course, Ultima Online was also the first really successful MMORPG. Moving on to more modern games, it's probably right to recognise Baldurs Gate and its sequel, as they revived the fortunes of the "Western" RPG at a time when they were pretty low indeed. On the Final Fantasy front, I don't actually think VI is worthy of recognition, even though it's the one the fanboys like to drool over. It was essentially IV or V with a better story. I think you have to either point at II, which was the first to have any real story at all, or at VII, which was the first time that Square had the technical resources to do their story justice. Diablo probably deserves a nod as well, for largely inventing the action-RPG genre.

    RTS

    It's sad that so many people picked Starcraft here. Successful though it was, I fail to see how it defined the genre. Obviously, Dune 2 and Command & Conquer were the really important titles; I think C&C was more so, because it introduced the now-obligatory drag-click system, as well as multiplayer. Total Annihilation should get a nod for proving that RTSes don't have to look like crap.
  • It'd be nice if they could have found some folks who actually played some games from the 20th century. Half the games on their lists are modern derivative crap.

    My list:

    • FPS: Doom
    • Text adventure: Zork
    • Graphic adventure: Much as I'd like to say Monkey Island, gotta go King's Quest.
    • Puzzle: Tetris
    • Realtime strategy: Starcraft
    • Turn based strategy: Civilization
    • Tycoon: Railroad Tycoon
    • RPG: Ultima 4 (or Wizardry)
    • Software toy: Sim City
    • Flight Sim: MS Flight Simulator
    • Sports: EA NHL (93 or so)
    • Cards: MS Solitai
  • Delphine Software (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sloose (864787)
    Delphine Software produced Out of this World and Flashback in the first half of the 90's. While not the two most recognized games from that time, they brought a deep cinematic experience that I hadn't seen on consoles prior.
  • by irchs (752829)
    FPS/RPG: System Shock 2

    Absolutely ground breaking game, just not accepted widely enough :(

    Jan
  • Was cruising through this thread, and didn't see any lists that I thought deserved modding up, so I figured I would post my own list. The problem I had with most of the lists that I saw were that they seemed to come from people who've never played a console game.

    Platformer: Mario Bros.
    Adventure: The Legend of Zelda
    Graphical Adventure: The Secret of Monkey Island
    Text Adventure: Zork
    Japanese RPG: Dragon Quest
    American RPG: A Bard's Tale
    MMORPG: Ultima Online
    Tactical RPG: Ogre Battle
    FPS: Wolfenstein
  • not a 'game' category per se

    But doom was distributed FOR FREE- with only a 1/3rd of the game.. but it was a complete game- it made you DIE for more- and to buy it!

    nobody put top of the line software out for free.
  • Story driven FPS: Marathon
    Multiplayer FPS: Unreal Tournament
  • It was this old game where this little yellow dude ....

    Not sure what genre(Arcade/console/puzzle), but for a lot of people a generation older than me, it would be the first and maybe only video game they could name.

    Can't believe no one has mentioned Tomb Raider, even though it could be a considered a derivative of the treasure game Pitfall!

    Pitfall! is also a defining game for the stepping-on-alligator-heads genre which, to my knowledge, encompasses a grand total of one game.

    and finally, Leisure Suit Lar
  • "For the RPG, simply Final Fantasy 6. It has the best story, greatest variety of characters, tons of different music, and added many secret areas. It was the first game to truly to define a real experience of an RPG to the player. -Anonymous"

    I can only assume that Anonymous' finger slipped and he meant to type "Final Fantasy 7," because that makes a lot more sense in reference to "best story" and "a real experience of an RPG" and such. Of course, even FF7 doesn't completely fit the last sentence, which su
  • Defines the genre of games that are undefined.
  • Surely defined the games-you-play-and-suddenly-it's-next-morning genre
  • by WoTG (610710) on Sunday April 17, 2005 @05:41AM (#12260608) Homepage Journal
    Thinking back now, I can't believe how many hours I spent on various platforms organizing 6 different blocks...

    I think that that game on the original Game Boy created the entire hand held gaming industry.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

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