The 52 Most Important Video Games of All Time (page 5 of 8)
- April 24, 2007 00:00 AM PST
9. GoldenEye 007
Hands-down, the console killer app of the 90's, the best game ever licensed from a film, and still arguably the best console first-person shooter of all time, Rare's GoldenEye 007 for Nintendo 64 silenced the naysayers who believed the FPS would never transcend mouse-controlled computer platforms. It also established split-screen head-to-head gaming as a viable, compelling scenario, thus paving the way for a little franchise we like to call "Halo."
8. The Sims
The highest-selling computer game of all time, Will Wright's masterpiece finds its strength in its malleable nature, since this "life simulation" can be so many things to so many people. Whether you're looking for a challenging game of balance and endurance, an exercise in raising pets, or an architecture and decorating exercise, you're bound to find something compelling in The Sims or its multitude of expansions, spin-offs, and sequels. A rare match of style and substance, and absolutely a threshold step in the history of gaming.
7. Wolfenstein 3D
As revolutionary as any title in the history of the medium, Wolfenstein 3D introduced gamers to a whole new perspective in shooting-first person -- at a time when static sprites dominated flat, Super Mario-driven gaming. Wolfenstein 3D launched id, the most influential developer in the 90's rush of first-person shooters, and allowed John Carmack to bust the door open with Doom and Quake. This title was as big a step in video games as sound or color in motion pictures.
Originally launched in 1979, Namco's Pac-Man quickly became the most popular video game of all time. Pac-Man launched a global phenomenon, featuring the medium's biggest star character (and Mad Magazine's Man of the Year 1982). The title also gave birth to the 80's arcade culture while riding a wave of merchandising that reached Saturday Morning Cartoons, toys, pajamas and Pac-Man Fever, a beloved Top 40 record. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Pac-Man must have one hell of an ego -- the format was borrowed, evolved or outright stolen by dozens of imitators, and remains a staple of arcade collections and mobile time diversions today. Though its gameplay heritage doesn't influence many games anymore, it's hard to imagine another game ever having the global impact of Pac-Man.
Super Mario 64*
5. Super Mario 64
This Nintendo 64 launch title arrived in the fall of 1996 as a herald of the future: Never again would the beating heart and soul of video games live in two dimensions. Another title masterminded by Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario 64 utilized the Nintendo 64's unique controller's delicate touch to deliver an unprecedented amount of control, from Mario's cautious footsteps to a mini-stick dedicated solely to camera manipulation. Super Mario 64 also perfected the hub-based system of linear level evolution, allowing the player to re-enter levels with new powers and skills to explore new areas, a concept which dominated console games for the generation.
World of Warcraft
4. World of WarCraft
In years to come, this title may very well bound to the top of this or any list considering monumental achievements in gaming. With a worldwide player base topping eight million, World of WarCraft was the breakthrough mainstream massively multiplayer game, and the exact moment when video gaming became a social exercise by necessity. Incorporating the best of so many influences, WoW takes only moments to learn, but offers an astoundingly complex, ever-expanding world that remains accessible thanks to its evolution bite-sized increments. Simply put, the whole world is playing WoW, and gaming will never be the same.