Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
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?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Most Influential Games In History?

Comments Filter:
  • 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.

  • Well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DoChEx ( 558465 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:07AM (#27009003)

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

  • Re:No oldies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by the white plague ( 1436257 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:19AM (#27009053)
    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:Mario Kart?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Faylone ( 880739 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @03:37AM (#27009125)
    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: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: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 Klintus Fang ( 988910 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @04:00AM (#27009215)
    i did notice the word console in the summary. of course, the second item on their list, tetris, wasn't a console game. It was ported to many consoles long after it was already a very old game. But it was an arcade game from the 80s that wasn't ported to any consoles until much later.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • by MadnessASAP ( 1052274 ) <> 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 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 ConanG ( 699649 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @05:56AM (#27009673)

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

  • Re:No oldies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dropzonetoe ( 1167883 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @06:05AM (#27009727)
    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.
  • 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: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:Pong (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ihmhi ( 1206036 ) <> on Friday February 27, 2009 @07:01AM (#27009969)

    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:Mario Kart?? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Probie ( 1353495 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @07:10AM (#27009999) Homepage
    I guess it depends in what respect 'influential' is used. Influential to the gaming industry? Then yes, pong has its place in the history of games. Influential in the media... then you're talking things like grand theft auto. (even though I just don't get the point!)
    But if we are talking games that have influenced us personally, then of course fun factors into the ordering of the games, after all that's the point. Yes funs a subjective thing, but I can see where Mario kart it getting the recognition from.
    My only problem is where the hell is Half-Life?!?!?!
  • by damburger ( 981828 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @08:07AM (#27010269)

    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 'doom clone' for about 5 years
    4. Counterstrike - A turning point for fps, made the 'tactical shooter' popular in addition to multi-player teamwork
    5. Everquest - World of Warcraft is more popular now, but Everquest set the standard for 3D online fantasy worlds that are as immersive and addictive as being dunked in liquid heroin.

    But of course, nobody cares about history, because people have the attention span of goldfish.

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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:Mario Kart?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Phisbut ( 761268 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:36AM (#27010739)

    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.

  • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ildon ( 413912 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @09:45AM (#27010827)

    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 stops making sense.

    The most obvious problems with the list come when two sequels are on the list. Why is FF12 ranked above FF7, when GTA1 is above GTA3? FF12 might have sold more units, or even been more fun, but FF7 practically CREATED the console RPG market in the U.S. Yeah, some people had already been playing RPGs before this, but their population was TINY compared to post-FF7. People who didn't even own a console bought a PSX just to play it. When FF12 came out, its impact was pretty small. It had already become a "me too" RPG (although with a bigger budget and larger existing fanbase).

    And then you have the opposite problem with GTA1 vs. GTA3. GTA1+2 were pretty much ignored by the general console gaming populace, when compared to GTA3. While GTA1 might have had equally controversial content, and came first, GTA3 had the larger impact due to its popularity. No one bought a PSX just to play GTA1+2, but they definitely bought PS2's just to play GTA3.

    If you just told someone the history of the GTA series, without them actually being gamers at the times both games were released, then they might say "GTA1 was more controversial, and both games had the same controversial subject matter, so I'll put GTA1 first". The same goes for FF12. "Well, they're basically the same linear crap with a deep story line, but this one has a better translation and sold more total units" without looking at the units sold as a percentage of the gaming market at the time, or the social impact of the two games at their respective times. Why even pick 12 instead of 10? Because it's more recent? Because it sold more copies (even though 12 had the advantage of the largest console install base on earth since the NES, and 10 didn't)?

    Anyway, in the end, the list exists to do what all "best" lists do: make people talk about them to garner free advertising for the product. So it really doesn't matter.

  • by holychicken ( 1307483 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @10:27AM (#27011231) Homepage
    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?
  • Re:Mario Kart?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Intron ( 870560 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @10:51AM (#27011549)
    For once, even the summary got it right: these are the 50 most influential CONSOLE games. PC games and arcade games were not in the list.
  • Re:No oldies (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Creepy ( 93888 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @11:16AM (#27011889) Journal

    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 [] southerner synthesized voice (toward the end of that - he didn't show any gameplay though, which I remember not being easy)...

  • by virg_mattes ( 230616 ) on Friday February 27, 2009 @11:20AM (#27011945)
    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.


BLISS is ignorance.