10 Most Important Games

Apologies if already posted, I searched and didn’t see any.

NYT reports 10 Most Important Games.

The List:
Spacewar! (1962)
Star Raiders (1979)
Zork (1980)
Tetris (1985)
SimCity (1989)
Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)
Civilization I/II (1991)
Doom (1993)
Warcraft series (beginning 1994)
Sensible World of Soccer (1994)

Never heard of that last one. Actually surprised that I’ve played 8/10.

no Elite?..inconceivable


I am leaving out Will Wright and Sid Meier because they basically cancel each other out. Also, it saves me from having to mention the Uwe Ford Schumacher of God games, Mr. Peter Molyneux. That mention does not count. No it doesn’t.

Pong - Obligatory

E.T. - Hitler was important too.

Super Mario Brothers - Responsible for Nintendo

Final Fantasy - Introduced the genre to America, more so than Phantasy Star or Dragon Quest, despite Dragon Warrior 1 being given away with subscriptions to Nintendo Power. You can put Bard’s Tale or Wizardry here, or even Ultima, this space is reserved for dorks and I am phoning it in at this point.

Tetris - Most famous puzzle game, obligatory

Maniac Mansion - Zork and King’s Quest are Liberian warcrimes compared to SCUMM. I am thinking mostly of the warcrimes involving the child soldiers and rape gangs dwelling in the bush, not the weak ass warcrimes like blood diamonds for a helicopter or no medicine for orphans. Not the warcrimes that just kind of automatically happen when you fight a decades long civil war, the ones that you have to encourage your people to commit by making your people view the victims as mere animals.

Star Wars - Demonstrates that you can make a good tie in.

Madden '94/Tecmo Bowl - One half credit to each.

Castle Wolfenstein - FPS.

The game from the videogame design school ads where they tighten the graphics and reuse sound effects using the controllers. This may be the same as the game they make in Grandma’s Boy, it may not. This is the equivalent of the credits ending and then something about how you are a winner and thank you for playing or a hint that you personally were really the hero of the story. Also, you disappear on a new adventure.

Never heard of Sensible Soccer either. It’s tough to argue with any of those but it is interesting that they’d pick Doom over Wolf 3D and Warcraft over Dune 2.

I love “Most Important” lists, mostly because they’re so self-important. (Though I haven’t seen too many since the fin of the last siècle.) And drawn up by a committee, too! Anyway, now that I’ve gotten my pooh-poohing out of the way…

The choices are pretty sound, though I would drop the following:
Star Raiders: Owned it, played it, read the comic. But I wouldn’t say that it had a big impact on game design or the world at large.
Sensible Soccer: This has got to be a sop to the English.

In their place, I would drop in Pac-Man and GTA3. So there.

It’s tough to argue with any of those but it is interesting that they’d pick Doom over Wolf 3D and Warcraft over Dune 2.

By saying “Warcraft series”, they can implicitly include Warcraft, Warcraft 2, Warcraft 3, and, of course, World of Warcraft, all using only a single entry.

You have to include one of the early MMOPRGS. Everquest is the one that springs to mind but one of the handful of somewhat popular ones before that could also work.

You know, we played the hell out of the Sensible Soccer games way back - they were quite fun. I, however, have no idea how the series or this particular title made it into that list.

It certainly did not have “cultural” or “historical significance”, and most of the younger gamers, heh, even people in this thread don’t remember it at all. Its spiritual successor, the C64 classic Microprose Soccer, would have deserved a nod instead. Or FIFA Soccer. (I, like many, prefer the Pro Evo/Winning Eleven series, but FIFA does deserve some credit.)


Only if you weren’t playing Ultima or Wizardry several years earlier, which Dragon Quest copied…

I’m suprised Space Invaders isn’t mentioned.

I think he specified “not World of Warcraft” in the presentation. But I find it incredible that GTA3 would be left off of that list.

Star Raiders… Super Mario 3… Sensible World of Soccer… WTF? Also, note to the crazy liberals at Stanford: “Warcraft series” or “Civlization 1/2” is not a game, depending on your definition of “a”.

This is a seriously maladjusted list. I think it’s funny as hell that the three people for whom the author of the article goes into detail are the two academics and the journalist. Hello, what did my main main W-Spec have to say? I’m pretty sure he didn’t claim that Superior Soccer Riot or whatever is one of the most important video games of all time.

Dude, Super Mario Bros 3 was in The Wizard.

someone makes list, people disagree, film at eleven.

Too loaded towards the early days. Though I personally seem to forget all the time, it’s actually 2007.

Take Zork for example, loved it at the time but did it really have a lasting impact? I don’t even think Zork was the very first text adventure (I could be wrong on that), and text adventures are a pretty dead genre now.

As others already pointed out, some are the right idea wrong game, like Doom instead of Wolf3D.

Ha! This is just the standard “Top 10 List” problem. Really though, I would just take each major game genre and pick the most canonical implementation and use that. I mean, surely there are ten top genres:

First-Person Shooter
Real-Time Strategy
Turn-Based Strategy
flight/space sim

Also, since this is “canonical” and not “first,” I don’t have a problem with using Doom instead of Wolf3D, particularly considering that Doom had the all-important multiplayer component. Then again, I might have used Descent instead, which wasn’t as popular, but which was a pioneer in use of 3-D level design.

  • Alan

Even though Wolf3d came first, Doom had a much greater, and far wider, impact. Much like Mario, even people who don’t play video games know what Doom is. Before gta3 came out a few years ago, the phrase violent video games and Doom were pretty much synonymous.

I’m sorry, but shouldn’t Wing Commander be on this list?

I would like to nominate Saving Private Ryan as the most important video game that wasn’t a video game.

No Street Fighter 2? Although I’m no VG historian, SF2 was HUGE in its day.

List = Void