Feature: The 52 Most Important Video Games of All Time (page 4 of 8)
Sure, StarCraft is one of the most popular video games of all time and practically the national sport of Korea, but its true lasting impact is its revolutionary Battle.net multiplayer gaming system, which enabled it to become a major "virtual sport" worldwide. Its influence is still felt nearly 10 years later.
SimCity paved the way for cerebral games while creating an entire genre and one of the industry's most enduring catchphrases. Simply say "sim-"anything and you understand the nature of the game you're describing.
17. Street Fighter II
Along with Mortal Kombat II, this is the definitive 2D fighter, and genre leader Capcom's most enduring title. Street Fighter II's popularity was such that its exclusivity is widely recognized as having single-handedly saved the Super Nintendo from losing the console war to the Sega Genesis.
Not only the most famous first-person shooter of all time (rightly deserved, for introducing the world to the gaming style), Doom's revolutionary shareware delivery was one small step for games, but one giant leap for independent game developers. This was one of the first games in which users took an active interest in modding, providing a showcase for future programmers.
What started out as a quiet, unassuming platform game with a goofy title stunned players with a plethora of surprises, from sprawling hidden areas and epic, exhausting boss battles to its coup de grace, the revelation that your fearsome hero, Samus, was actually female.
Final Fantasy VII*
14. Final Fantasy VII
The Final Fantasy series had become irrelevant in America and the PlayStation was losing ground to the superior technology of the N64 when Final Fantasy VII struck the world, reminding everyone of the power in disc-based games and setting a new benchmark for both graphics and storytelling.
Super Mario Bros.*
13. Super Mario Bros.
Arguably the most popular console game ever and one of the top-selling video games of all time, Super Mario Bros. saved the industry from the great crash after the fall of Atari and established platform gaming conventions that transcended the leap to 3D and are still widely used today.
The title that flushed a thousand toilets, Tetris, the little Russia-originated game that could, propelled the original Game Boy into the mainstream and became the fuel that launched modern handheld gaming. All that with just a few strange shapes!
The dawn of the cerebral video game may have broken with Civilization, the pioneering turn-based strategy game of politics and economy from mastermind Sid Meier. This title branded its own genre while establishing a rare breed in this industry: An auteur game.
Metal Gear Solid*
10. Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid is one of the most innovative and important games of all time for many reasons, particularly because it broke the fourth wall of gaming. Though it's not always a popular example, the mind-bending fight against Psycho Mantis epitomizes the impact of Metal Gear. It was one of the most interesting and amusing boss battles of all time; Psycho Mantis "read" your moves from the controller, making him unbeatable. To win, you had to switch your controller to the 2nd port. Weird, wacky, but downright innovative, Metal Gear Solid re-introduced game designers and gamers to the notion that a game could innovate in this day and age above and beyond graphics and level design.