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The Most Influential Games In History? 254

Posted by Soulskill
from the aside-from-duke-nuken-forever dept.
Kotaku reports on a list published recently by Guinness World Records which credits Super Mario Kart as the most influential console game in history. "Tetris ranks in at number two, according to the list, and the original Grand Theft Auto is in the number three spot. Where does Super Mario Bros. turn up? Way down at number 17, beneath Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." Several other franchises have multiple entries on the list, such as Final Fantasy and Resident Evil. What console games have influenced you the most?
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The Most Influential Games In History?

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  • Mario Kart?? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bluephone (200451)
    Yes, it's fun, people love to play it with friends, it's a very casual game. But number one? No, sorry, not even close. The rest of the list looks very accurate, if not a little debatable, but Mario Kart is in no way the most influential console game ever.
    • Yeah, but think of all the games that were like it! Like.... Crash Bandicoot Racing! And....

      Ah fuck it.

      • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Glonoinha (587375) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:21AM (#27010327) Journal

        For this list not to put DOOM on the #1 most influential spot - insane. Maybe the editors at Guinness are a little too young to remember life before first person shooters, but such a life existed (and you were likely to be eaten by a Grue!) Doom was the shot that started a revolution in gaming - in other words, the grandfather of most of the games we play today.

        Mario Kart. It's too early in the morning to come up with a response to that. Bah.

        • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:30AM (#27010361)

          No, Wolfenstein 3D would be the revolution maker. It was the proof of concept that John Carmack and his team of misfits at Id needed to even go to the next level with DOOM. It proved that you could do a first person shooter in a realtime 3D-like (because it wasn't really 3D, just looked like it) space.

        • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:29AM (#27010693)

          DOOM wasn't a console game. I'm aware that it was eventually ported to a number of consoles, but I would say the grandpappy of console shooters was probably Goldeneye 64.

          Looking at the release dates of the port, the first systems DOOM was ported to, in '93 and '94, were the Sega 32X, the Jaguar, and the 3D0.

          It didn't hit a system owned by more than six people until the SNES the following year---after the release of the PlayStation. Apparently the PlayStation version sold a fair number of copies worldwide, I can't for the life of me remember anyone owning it.

          Wiki gives sales figures for the PlayStation version at ~600,000.

          Goldeneye, on the other hand, was ubiquitous in its day. It was like the Halo of 1997, the only reason to own the hardware platform. Wiki gives sales of the cart at ~8,000,000. On a console which only sold 33 million worldwide.

          So while I agree with your sentiment that DOOM ought never be slighted, I don't think it has business being on a list of influential console games any more than the Mona Lisa deserves a place on a list of influential novels.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Phisbut (761268)

          For this list not to put DOOM on the #1 most influential spot - insane. Maybe the editors at Guinness are a little too young to remember life before first person shooters, but such a life existed (and you were likely to be eaten by a Grue!) Doom was the shot that started a revolution in gaming - in other words, the grandfather of most of the games we play today.

          Mario Kart. It's too early in the morning to come up with a response to that. Bah.

          Let's see what the article is about...

          Super Mario Kart has the longest legacy and the biggest impact on video games in history, according to Guinness World Records which compiled a list of the top 50 consoles games of all time.

          Oh, it's about console games. While I do recall DOOM being a great PC game that played well with a keyboard and mouse, I also remember that the console versions, played with a controller, sucked, hard.

          Wanting to put a first person shooter played with a D-Pad on the top spot of most influential games of all time is insane of you.

        • by fruitbane (454488)

          I disagree with many entries on the list, but the list IS talking about CONSOLE games. I would argue Doom wasn't very influential as a console game at all. It was a landmark PC game, but not very important as a console title.

    • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Faylone (880739) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:28AM (#27009081)

      Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said of the selection process: "We knew this would be a complex task so we invited a crack team of industry experts to form a judging panel - and the result is a "top 50" list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play."

      Emphasis mine.

      Including fun totally skews the results, since it knocks off games like ET for the Atari 2600, while adding on games that aren't that influential, but the judges just liked.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Faylone (880739)
        Also, I can only assume whoever posted that on Kotaku either didn't read the quote, or has a very short memory. They claim a few paragraphs below the quote that the list was NOT judged on fun.
        • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:58AM (#27009203)

          No matter what the guy said, it's odd that "fun" would factor into "influential." Two totally seperate things as GP pointed out so well with ET. It's especially ridiculous when you consider the aspect of history: pong isn't on there? The original super mario bros is at 17?

          It seems that the people who made this list for guiness were 15 year olds who were drunk off of guiness at the time.

      • by Moraelin (679338) on Friday February 27, 2009 @05:28AM (#27009575) Journal

        Additionally, fun for who? It's a thoroughly subjective thing.

        As a good example, take The Sims. It sold more copies than the top two FPS _combined_, and got more women into gaming than any game before it. Some people obviously loved it. But put some l33t FPS'ers in front of it, and most of them will find it a pointles waste of time: where's the score? Where's the competition with other players? Where are the bragging rights? Etc. And make no mistake, viceversa too. A lot of the people who loved The Sims, thought that Quake 3 or CounterStrike sucked.

        E.g., if we're talking about consoles, take _the_ number one flame-war from the N64 era: platformers vs RPGs. At a time when there were more Final Fantasy games sold than all N64 Nintendo games combined, the his-own-fanboy Hiroshi Yamauchi shot his mouth all over the place with such pearls as "[People who play RPGs are] depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games" and (about RPGs again) "Stop playing boring games." Never mind that he was proud to never having played either kind of game (or any game at all, for that matter,) so he was basically just telling us "buy my game and not the competitors" in the most obnoxious asshat way. But lots of actual gamers did fall squarely into one of the categories:

        A) "if I wanted to read, I'd get a book" vs

        B) "what's the point if there's no story?"

        And the flamewar between the two laid waste to many a board.

        Which of them was right? Neither, actually. In a subjective matter of taste there is no "right" or "wrong".

        But what I'm trying to say is: who decides which game is more fun? A lot of the guys from category A would have ranked FF7 as the biggest pile of crap, while a lot of those from category B thought that Mario 64 was a simplistic kiddie game. And both were right... for their own subjective tastes.

        So basically it seems strange to me see such a list which combines something which can be measured objectively (sales, sequels, whatever you measure success and influence in) with something purely subjective (fun.) It's like claiming to make a top of cars based on horsepower _and_ how nice their colour is.

        • by N1AK (864906)

          But what I'm trying to say is: who decides which game is more fun? A lot of the guys from category A would have ranked FF7 as the biggest pile of crap, while a lot of those from category B thought that Mario 64 was a simplistic kiddie game. And both were right... for their own subjective tastes.

          Everything you said was absolutely right, and it's a real shame that people can be so pigeonholed into one definition of what types of game they like.

          FF7 would still rank as the closest thing to my top choice in a

    • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by interkin3tic (1469267) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:54AM (#27009179)

      There's plenty wrong with that list. One that struck me: THREE grand theft autos on the list. Another: Lego Star wars, the complete edition. It's nuts.

      • Doom and Wolfenstein were the ones that I remember most. Oh, and the Microsoft BSOD - that game could just jump up by surprise at any time.
        • by MadnessASAP (1052274) <madnessasap@gmail.com> on Friday February 27, 2009 @05:18AM (#27009543)

          Doom, C&C, Total Annhialation were all big ones for me. UT was pretty huge. Oh and Starcraft should be pretty close to the top. C&C I think was one of the big games that brought the RTS to the world. And TA is an RTS which I still don't think is matched to this day.

          • by The Moof (859402)
            I'd give the "bringing RTS to the world" crown to Warcraft II. Everyone I know played it, even people I would've never imagined touching a computer in their lifetime. Looking at the list, it looks like any iterations of Warcraft were left off. Even WoW.

            Despite how much I'm personally not a fan of WoW, you can't deny its influence over the MMOG market.
            • by The Moof (859402)
              And now that I've stopped to pay a little more attention, it's a Console Game only list, so scratch that whole... everything. Then again, not sure how you can make an 'influential' game list and limit it to console-only...
        • by ConanG (699649) on Friday February 27, 2009 @05:56AM (#27009673)

          The list is totally fubar, but remember one thing: it's a console list.

          • by uncledrax (112438)

            I agree that the list is FUBAR, and that for the most part it is in fact a consoler's list (but hey, they play games too)..

            One thing I really dislike about lists like this is 'newer' games often float towards the top because it's fresh in people's mind.

            I'm sorry, but I don't see anything Novel about CoD4. I just don't.

            For 'Influential' games, I'd peg stuff like the old Bard's Tale (since it pretty much solidified the semi-graphical RPG in the world), and as much as I hate it, I'd even put WoW near the top (

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by virg_mattes (230616)
              I agree that WoW is a very influential game and The Bard's Tale was a great game (although in my mind, Temple of Apshai, Ultima and/or Might & Magic would bump out that particular title), but they're not console games and the list is for console games exclusively.

              This list is full of fail (how any console list can exclude all titles for the Atari 2600 is beyond my ken), but it's not because WoW isn't on it.

              Virg
          • by PriceIke (751512)
            That isn't much consolation.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I came here to say the same thing you did, I had a post ready and everything.

      Then I looked down and realized I was wearing Mario Kart pajama pants. Now, I think that they just might be on to something.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ildon (413912)

      After reading the list, it makes total sense when you think about it from this perspective: Take about 10 people who never played videogames until after the Wii was released. Then make them well informed about video game history and statistics, and let them play the 100 top selling (for their time) games for about 15 minutes each. Then have them list them in the order of "which I liked best".

      Using this, the order makes sense, in a vacuum. Until you realize that wasn't even the point of the list, and it stop

    • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Friday February 27, 2009 @10:15AM (#27011089) Homepage

      Super Mario Kart, the original for the SNES, is definitively not your average casual game, quite the opposite. Some characters such as Bowser or DonkeyKongJr are pretty much completly undriveable unless you have some real skill and tracks like Rainbow Road were the tiniest mistakes is punished by a huge time penalty isn't exactly what you expect from a casual game either. Now the Mario Karts that followed after it were very much tuned for casual gameplay, the insanely difficult Rainbow Road got a balustrade, making it completly harmless and boring and the hard to play characters got a lot easier and the overall singleplayer difficulty went down an order of magnitude.

      Anyway, calling it the most influential game in history might be bullshit, but so would be calling any game, different games had influence in very different areas. However that doesn't mean that it influence wasn't huge. You just have to look at some pre-Super Mario Kart racing games to see that there was quite a bit of difference between what came before and what came after it. Super Mario Kart pretty much nailed all those elements that you consider given these days, replay, ghost driver, weapons, 3D track and plenty more.

    • by nasor (690345)
      Tetris is equally absurd. Yes, it was fun, but what did it ever influence? What games can you look at today and say "Ah, you can see elements of Tetris here"? I don't think you can even argue that it made action-puzzle games with moving blocks etc. popular, because those sorts of games were already around when Tetris came out (although Tetris was certainly quite good).

      Westwood's Dune was probably the first "real-time strategy game" where you build a little base, harvest resources, etc. that all modern RT
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cluke (30394)

        Tetris was originally created in 1985. So in fact, yes, every falling block based game was influenced by it.

  • Space Invaders (Score:2, Interesting)

    by GreenTech11 (1471589)
    No doubt about it, one of the first games and also quite enjoyable
  • No oldies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WarwickRyan (780794) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:03AM (#27008981)

    No Pong.
    No Space Invaders.
    No Elite.
    No Dune 2 (first RTW)
    No Flashback (first motion capture)
    No Doom.

    All of those are top-30 for their initial and lasting impact, especially Doom. There are loads more too, you could argue that Jet Set Willy, Manic Miner and Zork all had an massive impact upon gaming.

    This isn't the most influential games list, it's a favs list from someone born in 1990.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      This isn't the most influential games list, it's a favs list from someone born in 1990.

      True enough, but it's a console list - plenty of the games you list had no or shitty console ports.
      • Re:No oldies (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:44AM (#27009155)

        It's just like every other "most games" list compiled by people who don't know something about anything when it comes to games. They just picked the results of a bunch of "ZOMG FAV CONSOLE GAME" lists and slapped it together without paying any attention to which games actually had any genuine influence on gaming as a whole.

      • Re:No oldies (Score:4, Insightful)

        by KiloByte (825081) on Friday February 27, 2009 @05:00AM (#27009465)

        A console list of RECENT stuff only. A list of "best" console games without SMB3 at one of the top positions and "influential" ones without SMB1 is so biased it's uselessness.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by dropzonetoe (1167883)
          I am not able to goto the site from work but as I have been reading the posts I have seen no love for GoldenEye. Console gaming at it's best. If the game is not included in the list then the list is dead to me.
    • Re:No oldies (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Spacejock (727523) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:21AM (#27009061) Homepage
      What is this list, world history excluding everything the innovate programmers from the UK came up with in the early to mid 1980's? Ever heard of Rare, formerly Ultimate Play the Game, who dropped a little title called Knight Lore on the world and changed the industry overnight? Okay, so it led to a load of derivative rubbish, but I'd rather vote for a technically groundbreaking game packed into 48kb than a three-CD monster with pretty cutscenes.

      And where is Lords of Midnight? And leaving Elite out of that list is like leaving Ms Hilton off a paparazzi's to-do list.
      • by thermian (1267986)

        And where is Lords of Midnight?

        DId you know the PC port is still available? I drag it out and try to do Morkins quest every now and then. I used to find it easy when I was a young'un, but now I'm not so lucky.

        I must have played it far too much back then.

        • by Spacejock (727523)
          I have a copy of the PC port but I tend to play the originals in an emulator. My old favourite emu was ZX32 but just like Gerton Lunter's (sp?) Z80 emulator before it, modern CPUs just got too damn fast in the end.

          I can still use ZX32 on my notebook, and that's good enough for now. (Come to think of it, a little netbook with a ZX emu and a copy of every speccy game ever written would make a nice travelling companion.)
    • by thermian (1267986)

      No Pong.
      No Space Invaders.
      No Elite.
      No Dune 2 (first RTW)
      No Flashback (first motion capture)
      No Doom.

      Reaaly showing your age there :) If you hang out on the Egosoft X3 forums you'll find that the debate about which was the most influential Space sim emerges fairly often. For me its Elite 1 all the way.

      However, many of the games you (rightly) mention are beyond the experience of most gamers, so I suspect they left them off because either they thought their readers wouldn't know them (or perhaps the person compiling the article didn't play them).

      Its like the Star Wars thing. Lots of people think of that as t

      • by zehaeva (1136559)

        I'm not that old, pushing 30, I've played all of those games, most when they were released and seen, and love, Logan's Run.

        The vast majority of the list given don't even really qualify as influential, I mean FF12? .. 12!?!!??! what about the, you know, 11 before it? what about 7? or you know the 1st one? or what about the console RPG that started the whole FF thing, a little game called Dragon Quest?

        the thought that me being, what i understand is, only a little older than that of the average gamer to have p

    • by Winckle (870180)

      The problem is the word "console".

      The majority of non-Japanese innovation comes from PC games.

      Now that I think about it, outside of Nintendo, the Japanese games industry doesn't really innovate at all. Dragon Quest 17 anyone?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by xtracto (837672)

      I agree with the sentiment of the summary. IMHO the most influential *console* game of all time is without a doubt the original Super Mario Bros (i.e., the one that came with the Nintendo Entertainment System).

      As an experiment to confirm this, anyone could go to their closer park and ask any passerby to try to recognize a song, first you could sing (or how is it call in English when you only do "ta ta ta taratata tata ta ra ta..." to the rythm?) the song of "Mario Circuit" and then the song of world 1-1 of

      • Pong (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ConanG (699649) on Friday February 27, 2009 @06:08AM (#27009741)
        I would put Pong ahead of Super Mario Brothers. Before Pong, there was no video game industry. It didn't exist. Not just consoles, but outside a few projects by various companies and people, there weren't any games at all. Super Mario comes in second, then Space Invaders I think.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ihmhi (1206036)

          Agreed. Pong was a game that sold a console. Shit, Pong WAS the console.

          You think anyone but Tiger games could get away with selling a one-game console for a few hundred bucks these days?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Creepy (93888)

        It's a travesty that Pitfall didn't make the list - I knew people that bought 2600s just for Pitfall, which practically invented the platform genre as we know it.

        And if you want influential how about Utopia on Intellivision - the grandfather of all Sim games?

        Or B17 bomber on Intellivision (which added intellivoice... of course, it was hillarious [gametrailers.com] southerner synthesized voice (toward the end of that - he didn't show any gameplay though, which I remember not being easy)...

    • by Pearson (953531)
      I was going to say Doom, since that was the one that changed gaming the most for me, but I only played it on a PC, and this list is console only.
    • Re:No oldies (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RogueyWon (735973) * on Friday February 27, 2009 @06:57AM (#27009949) Journal

      Agreed. In rough order of age, I think my picks would have to be:

      Space Invaders - the first video game which is actually fun to play and doesn't need a second player as an opponent.

      Elite - the original thinking man's game. Set new standards for scope and depth.

      Mario Brothers - pretty much instrumental in establishing the home console market.

      Ultima IV - demonstrated that games could actually have a serious, intelligent storyline and didn't need to be just about going out to beat up the Big Bad.

      Final Fantasy II - essentially gave birth to the modern Japanese RPG genre (the original was pretty much a hack and slash dungeon crawler). Gave us all the emo teen character designs with silly hair that we know and love today.

      Wing Commander - this was the game that proved that presentation could sell and meant that developers also started to think about how to make their games looked good and had well-presented stories. It also, arguably, started the long-running arms race that PC gamers face in trying to ensure that their machine can run the latest games.

      Doom - Wolfenstein 3d and Ultima Underworld might have got there first (though UU doesn't quite belong to the same genre), but it was Doom that brought the first-person action game to the masses.

      Command & Conquer - I know, I know, Dune 2 is the obvious pick for "first true RTS", but I think C&C is ultimately the game that deserves the credit. It invented the drag-click interface, which has been at the heart of pretty much every PC RTS interface since then. Today, Dune 2 feels borderline unplayable, but C&C doesn't feel all that different to its sequels.`

      Final Fantasy VII - Not fundamentally different to its predecessors, except in terms of graphics. However, this was the game that gave the Playstation credibility and changed the shape of the console market irreversibly.

      Baldur's Gate - Saved the Western-style RPG from oblivion, at a time when the Gold Box games were long since history, the Eye of the Beholder series had fizzled out and the Ultima series had subjected itself to the most hideous degradation imaginable. Without Baldur's Gate, we almost certainly wouldn't have the likes of Oblivion and Mass Effect today, as they'd never have been seen as commercially viable.

      With regard to more recent titles, it's hard to say yet how influential they are, as we haven't had long enough to see their impact on the industry in the long term. However, a few possible candidates that may be influential going forwards are:

      Halo - only a slightly-above-average game in most respects, but it was the first to actually make a console controller feel like a natural way of playing an dps.

      Warcraft 3 - the first game to successfully introduce RPG elements into an RTS. The RPG/RTS hybrid is becoming an increasingly important genre, as has been most recently demonstrated by Dawn of War 2.

      World of Warcraft - the first MMO to go truly mass-market on a worldwide basis.

    • Re:No oldies (Score:4, Informative)

      by Chabil Ha' (875116) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:33AM (#27010373)

      You also forgot all the classic adventure games like King's Quest and Space Quest. I cut my computer gaming teeth on those awesome games!

    • by grumbel (592662)

      No Flashback (first motion capture)

      Karateka was first, then Prince of Persia, then Another World and only then Flashback. That said, Flashback had the most fluent animation for quite a few years to come.

      • by Creepy (93888)

        Karateka, Prince of Persia, and Another World/Out of this World (the US name) were originally computer games, not console games, though the latter games made it to console. I'm not sure if Karateka ever was ported to a console (possibly an Atari, since I know it was on the ST computer). I'm fairly certain Karateka and Prince of Persia were originally Apple ][ and Another World and Flashback originally Amiga games.

        Another World had a sequel called "Heart of the Alien" that I recall being exclusive to Sega

  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DoChEx (558465)

    if they actually did a proper list no one would be talking about it.

  • Srsly? (Score:2, Funny)

    by rennerik (1256370)

    Mario Kart??

    Next year's list will definitely have to include Peggle Extreme.

  • The linked article uses the word "influential", while the Guiness Records list does not. Guiness uses this criteria: "a top 50 list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play." In this case, importance doesn't mean influential. Reading the linked article, it seems that by "importance", they mean which games sold the most and for the longest time.

    A list of influential games would be entirely different, with games like Wolfenstein 3D, Dune II and Ultima III at the top.
    • by Xest (935314) on Friday February 27, 2009 @04:36AM (#27009379)

      If that's true about their definition of importance then the list is even more incorrect. Have a look here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games [wikipedia.org]

      If the 8 million units figure for Super Mario Kart is true then there are tens of games that outsold it and possibly for a longer period. Halo 2 is oddly a possibility but more importantly, GTA: San Andreas, Gran Turismo, FFVII.

      About the only way Mario Kart could be top is if you bundled all Mario Kart versions together, but then if you apply the same method to say, Grand Theft Auto or the Halo franchise then it starts to slip right back down again.

      So in other words, I don't think that list is even correct by any reasonable metric at all.

      I don't really know how they compiled the list, it's certainly not on lasting legacy - I can barely even remember the original super mario kart, but everyone remembers space invaders for example. It's not on sales figures because super mario kart comes way, way down the list again, possibly as far down as past number 50. It can't be influence because really, how many SMK clones are there vs. say, Doom clones?

      As stated earlier in the thread it seems like it's basically just one persons list of their top 50 favourite games. It certainly doesn't seem to be based on any objective measure that's for sure as I can't find any objective measure that fits their results, on the contrary, all objective measures seem to contradict their results completely even when combined in different combinations.

    • Like the other poster mentions there doesn't seem to be any objective metric here at all.

      Bioshock sold well and was well received - but I wouldn't call it influential - you'd have to put System Shock on the list then surely.

      But on the other hand I thought Ico was considered a commercial failure - despite being well received. It does count as an influence for the, much better selling, Shadow of the Colossus (so why isn't that on the list instead?).

  • Guinness who? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scott Kevill (1080991) on Friday February 27, 2009 @04:29AM (#27009347) Homepage

    Desperately trying to stay relevant. When was the last time anyone cared about them?

    As for the the liquid (just) form of Guinness.. now we're talking.

  • *sigh* (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Friday February 27, 2009 @04:35AM (#27009373) Homepage

    BioShock without System Shock series? (And since BioShock is such a recent game, exactly what has it had the chance to influence yet?)

    Advance Wars, which is just a glorified Empire [wikipedia.org]?

    Grand Theft Auto series picked because it's the "most controversial series"? Ever heard of this little game series called Doom?

    No mention whatsoever of the Ultima and Wizardry series, which laid the foundation for pretty much all of the CRPGs ever?

    *sigh*

  • There are a lot up there that certainly deserve to be there, but there is near equal number that aren't really 'influential' games, but rather games that people simply liked. Bioshock for instance, while a great game, I can't think of much in the way of influence it has had. As others have mentioned, there is some seriously huge omissions of games that certainly had huge impacts like Dune 2.
  • Assuming it was Influencing Education then i got to vote for:
    1) Democracy 1 & 2 (Positech games: taught in many schools in UK).
    2) Political machine 2004 & 2008: (teaches about the power of money in today's politics, something Democracy 2 leaves out)

    Influencing Sports:
    1) Wii Sports: Seriously. 30 mins of playing tennis with your spouse will leave you wheezing and gasping for breadth, and makes you tear off your head bands and just lie down.
    2) Can't think of anything close enough.

    Influencing Fun:
    1) Ma

  • It's really terrible. Not even one shooter!
  • This sort of discussion is meaningless without a decent definition of "influential". I suggest "introduced central ideas to gaming that are well known", which can then be quantified based on e.g. number of players. Games that introduce important ideas can be said to create their own genres.

    So, for example, taking modern genres to start off with, for the real-time strategy genre, the most influential game could be Dune II, from which the Command & Conquer, WarCraft and StarCraft series derive. For first-

    • by Spacejock (727523)
      Do my eyes deceive me or did they even miss the original Atari ST version of Dungeon Master? I knew a computer shop owner who used to have people queuing up to buy an ST so they could get DM with it.
  • Starfox on the SNES. Didn't that have the first in-cartridge hardware for improving performance? What about Micro Machines on the Mega Drive. Didn't that have the first in-cartridge slots to let 4 players race simultaneously?

    And as for Oblivion being on there, and Morrowind not being there.....well....I'm lost for words.

    That's the trouble with lists based on subjective criteria.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Stormwatch (703920)

      Starfox on the SNES. Didn't that have the first in-cartridge hardware for improving performance?

      Actually, no.

      - Many later games for the Atari 2600 included bank switching hardware.
      - Perhaps all but the simplest games for the NES used MMCs. [wikipedia.org]
      - Several early SNES games used DSPs. [wikipedia.org]

    • by Bambi Dee (611786)
      The Ballblazer and Commando cartridges for the Atari 7800 (1987 and 1988) had the Atari home computers' POKEY soundchip to add to the 7800's limited built-in audio capabilities... though "influential" isn't a word that comes to mind there, I suppose.
    • Yeah, as others have said, this is just a list of currently popular games or the most well-known representatives of currently popular franchises. Influence has nothing to do with it. Oblivion could never have hoped to be as big as it was without all the buzz generated by people who played Morrowind.

      I don't see how FF XII can even be on the list; it hasn't even been around long enough to be an influence to anything else, and since it is such a derivative of MMO's without adding much (anything?) new to RPG
  • But GTA was inspired first by Siren City on the C64 - this is something that the developers alluded to in GTA Vice City - where the bootup screen was a mockup of a C64 loading screen - so to me that honour should goto Siren City - and its developer Ian Gray.

    I agree with Dune / Dune 2 being on the list - as it was the forerunner of the modern RTS.

    Then before Doom there was Wolfenstein...

    thats with 2 seconds of thought - clearly less has gone into this list...

  • by Canazza (1428553) on Friday February 27, 2009 @06:50AM (#27009913)

    If these are the most influential console games then thank god for PC games, otherwise we'd never have ANYTHING new.

  • The team said they picked Super Mario Kart for the top spot because it is the best-selling racer on the SNES, the GameCube and the DS. Tetris, a good choice for number two, was selected because it is available on at least 50 different gaming platforms. And Grand Theft Auto holds the record for the most controversial series of games.

    So basically they chose three completely different criteria for the top 3.

    Just another watered down list with no care for cohesive conclusion.

  • These games are just ones that are popular now. A proper list would have to include the following at minimum:

    1. Elite - Procedural generation, 3D graphics, open ended game play - in 1984 on a computer with only a few kilobytes of memory. Genius.
    2. Starcraft - The game that became a sport. Still being played to this day by masses of people despite its ludicrously dated graphics
    3. Doom - Wolfenstein came first, but it was Doom that made Id into software Gods and replaced the term 'first person shooter' with

  • I see hardly anything older than about 15 years. Where are the console games that shaped console gaming? Where are the 2600 and ColecoVision games and make console gaming relevant in the first place?

    And why limit it to consoles? PC games like Doom, Command & Conquer, and X-COM defined whole genres fifteen years ago.

    Instead we have button mashers like Guitar Hero. Yeah, that's influential. Not trendy look-we-have-a-new-controller at all.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by holychicken (1307483)
      I don't mean to be a jerk but. . . I have been a serious gamer since the early 80s. If you can't see how influential Guitar Hero has been, from a gaming standpoint, and if you think it is a "button masher" you are quite possibly the most clueless gamer of all time.

      Have you ever even played it?
  • by mc1138 (718275) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:16AM (#27010607) Homepage
    I know the series got some good mentions, especially Ocarina of Time that brought the series 3D but about the original, first game with a save cartridge, over the top perspective, huge world, second quests! Seriously, a big miss for this list.
  • IF (Score:2, Informative)

    by nnnich (1454535)
    If it were truly the list of the "most influential" games, we should see the earliest most unknown games ever that inspired the would-be programmers who made the slightly less unknown games which inspired the would-be programmers who made the slightly known games which inspired the would-be programmers to make great, fun games.

    I mean, let's just be honest - what was the most influential part of the barn burning I held last night?

    one match and a piece of straw

    what influences the avalanch? what influe
  • I've read past versions of the Guiness World Records Gamers Edition. They essentially random select. The Gamers Editions are often filled with, not only incredibly subjective claims, but often flatout lies.

    I believe the last one I looked at was from 2007 and I encourage anyone to flip through it if they happen to be at a book store with an old copy. They list games as First of a genre that clearly aren't. They list games as introducing new features that had been around for a long time.

    Its just a boo
  • written by someone who was looking more at sales numbers than actual influence.

    I'm sorry, but adventure was far more influential than mario kart

    But the list isn't about influence, it's a list of the "top 50 console games of all time".

    in that case, they forgot one: Madden football.

    • by jweller (926629)

      Thank god somebody finally said this. Madden is probably the most important sports game of all time. I can remember being just blown away by the number of plays available. It's also the first game franchise I can think of that had yearly updates. It's spawned it's own superstition - the madden cover curse. Nobody even bothers to release a competing game anymore. It's even influenced how football gets covered on t.v.

      NBA Jam, while not a console game, also still ranks pretty damn high on my list of "fun to pl

  • "Journey: Escape" (Atari 2600) didn't make the cut!

  • Influential games... 1. Pong, Space Invaders, Missile Command->Nintendo 2. Zork 3. PLATO dungeon games -> Wizardry -> Everquest -> WoW 4. Wolfenstein->Doom 5. Artwick's Flight Simulator became Microsoft's Flight Simulator 6. Sim City 7. Age of Empires 8. Call of Duty (1st popularized the gaming dream of jumping into a tank or plane)
  • by n6kuy (172098) on Friday February 27, 2009 @11:28AM (#27012075)

    Why ain't it on the list?????

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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