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Games Entertainment

The Most Influential Games In History? 254

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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  • 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.

  • by evilsofa ( 947078 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @04:17AM (#27009297)
    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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

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

    by mike2R ( 721965 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:05AM (#27010559)
    Agree with most of that, but I think you have to add Sim City and Civilization as genre spawning games. And Star Craft simply due to its massive longevity and player base.
  • IF (Score:2, Informative)

    by nnnich ( 1454535 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:43AM (#27010819)
    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 influences the tsunamis and hurricanes?

    glad as heck to see chrono trigger on there, but what about FFIII? and what the hell is FFXII doing up there? where is dragon warrior I-V?

    but, actually, now that I think about it - they never mentioned what the object being influenced was? we all assume it is the game industry, but they could mean "what influenced us as players".
  • Star Control 2 (Score:2, Informative)

    by caubert ( 1301759 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @12:37PM (#27013091) Homepage
    I can't believe they don't have Starcontrol 2 in their coolness list. The best game ever made
  • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cluke ( 30394 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @01:19PM (#27013745)

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

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford