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The top 100 most-influential videogames (2014 edition).

Back in 2014, I contributed a list of the 100 most influential or important video games for a book called 100 x 100 in the USA or 10,000 Things You Need to Know: The Big Book of Lists in the UK. The book seems to have sold very poorly, so I’ve reproduced the list here.

The games are listed chronologically, with a second list after them clarifying where they sat in my putative top 100, back in 2014. Intriguingly, the final edition probably has a different list, as the US publisher pushed back on me to add Duck Hunt, Paperboy, Street Fighter 1, Double Dragon, Sonic The Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat, Clash of Clans, and Candy Crush Saga… and we compromised on some of them, but I can’t remember which.

Anyway, here’s the list:

In Year Order…

Tennis For Two, (1958)

Having helped develop the first nuclear bomb, Physicist William Higinbotham went onto develop the first interactive computer game, Tennis for Two, played on a Donner analog computer and an oscilloscope. A simple tennis sim, it took Higinbotham four hours to design and a technician two weeks to build. He never made a penny from the game.

Spacewar!, (1962)

Steve Russell’s PDP-1 game was certainly the first shoot-’em-up. Two players each take control of a starship in the gravity well of a star, and must attempt to destroy each other.

Pong, (1972)

The first standalone arcade machine, Atari’s tennis sim PONG was also the first video game to reach mainstream popularity. It was almost certainly copied from a game included in the first home console, the Magnavox Odyssey.

Zork, (1977)

Another game from the super-brains at MIT, Zork draws on the first interactive fiction game, Colossal Cave Adventure. The word ‘zork’ was MIT hacker slang for an unfinished program. Despite that name, Zork was smart and sophisticated, with a rich, funny story, presaging modern adventure games and RPGs, about exploring an underground world.

Space Invaders, (1978)

Everyone knows the iconic imagery of Space Invaders, created by Tomohiro Nishikado and inspired by the arcade game Breakout. Players control a mobile gun fighting off a descending invasion of aliens, with designs drawn from The War of the Worlds.

MUD, 46 (1978)

MUD was developed by Roy Trubshaw, a student at Essex University, based on the adventure game Zork. The difference was that it was a ‘Multi-User Dungeon’, making it the first massively-multiplayer game, albeit as a text adventure, allowing users to fight and co-operate online.

Rogue, (1980)

In Rogue you play an adventurer attempting to make your way to the bottom of a dungeon. Simple enough, but Rogue was the first game to use procedural generation heavily, meaning the game had infinite replay value, inspiring games like Nethack, Below and Diablo. It was programmed on UNIX systems, meaning it was only played by academics and computer scientists.

Pac-Man, (1980)

Tōru Iwatani’s iconic crescent broke the growing arcade monopoly of the space shooters and tennis games. Players control the titular character as he flees ghosts and eats pac-dots, sometimes turning the tables on his pursuers. Despite its simplicity, Pac-Man made more than $2.5bn in quarters alone and is today the most recognised video game character in America.

Pole Position, (1982)

Designed by Pac-Man’s creator Tōru Iwatani, Pole Position focused on a realistic F1 driving experience. It was released on home computers, consoles and in the arcades, making it hugely popular and establishing the tropes of the modern racing game, which has changed little since.

Elite, (1984)

David Braben and Ian Bell’s space game was notable in several ways, though it followed a path trod by 1974’s Star Trader; open-ended gameplay; the possibility of success through trading, piracy or bounty-hunting; procedurally-generated galaxies to explore; and even an included  novella. A sequel, Elite: Dangerous, will release in 2014 for PC and Oculus Rift.

Tetris, (1984)

The Russian game’s haunting music and perfect endless puzzles meant it was the game chosen to ship with the first Game Boys. As Alexey Pajitnov developed it in the USSR, the original Western versions were, strictly speaking, all pirated.

Super Mario Bros, (1985)

The defining game of the 1980s, Mario started in the 1981 game Donkey Kong, but it was 1985’s eponymous game that launched the scrolling platformer series. Players play as a mustachioed plumber who avoids obstacles, jumps on monsters, and grows larger by eating mushrooms, in a race to save Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. The series was almost singlehandedly responsible for Nintendo’s survival and the resurrection of the American video game market after the E.T.-led crash of 1983. It has over 200 sequels including the racing game Super Mario Kart, Dr Mario, the RPG Paper Mario, the intergalactic Super Mario Galaxy, Mario Golf, and many more. The franchise is valued at over $10 billion.

Legend of Zelda, (1986)

Nintendo’s second huge series, the 17 games have so far sold over 67 million copies. Zelda is a princess normally in need of rescue by a young hero, Link, who must acquire a range of objects to save her and often the world. The mix of puzzles, exploration and action, and its hugely varied settings have thrilled children for nearly thirty years.

Metroid, (1986)

Where Mario and Zelda are fantastical, Metroid is Nintendo’s science-fiction franchise. Unusually, it has a female lead character, Samus, a bounty hunter exploring a non-linear action-adventure world, sometimes by curling into a rolling ball. Though most of the games have been platformers, the exceptional Prime spin-off series had a first person twist.

SimCity, (1989)

Will Wright’s seminal city-builder required players to manage a city, balancing its budgets, keeping the citizens happy, building utilities, and zoning areas for development. Subtly educational, this sandbox led to The Sims.

Prince of Persia, (1989)

Jordan Mechner’s was one of the more original 1980s games, bringing rotoscoped animation and permadeath to platformers with the Arabian Nights-themed Prince of Persia. As the Princesses’ nameless lover, you must evade the vizier’s traps and reach her within 60 minutes.

Wonderboy III: The Dragon’s Trap, (1989)

An weird Japanese series, the third Wonderboy game introduced RPG mechanics and an open world to platformers.

The Secret of Monkey Island, (1990)

With humour that ranges from absurd to acerbic, Monkey Island was the first adventure game to show that games could be out-and-out funny, and charming too. Follow-ups Sam and Max and Day of the Tentacle drove the point home.

Minesweeper, (1990)

Given away free with Windows, Minesweeper was an entry drug for many gamers. The simple puzzle game has you marking mines in a field using mathematical indicators. It also has a bizarre underground competitive scene.

Pilotwings, (1990)

The Super Nintendo’s only flight sim let players fly, hanglide, and parachute through a range of targets. Simple but beautiful and challenging, it established an entire new form of challenge game.

Madden NFL, (1990)

While the rest of the world has FIFA and Football Manager, the Americans mathematical obsession with their homegrown sport has led to the endlessly-selling and polished Madden.

Wing Commander (II), (1990)

Chris Robert’s cinematic space combat games secured the services of Mark Hammill (Luke Skywalker) as its lead hero, appropriate given how closely the series modelled itself on Star Wars. Roberts went on to produce Hollywood movies.

Sid Meier’s Civilization, (1991)

One of the few series to be associated with a single designer, Civilization was based on a board game of the same name, but takes the strategy concept much, much further. Your task is to guide a tribe from the stone age all the way into the near future, exploring the world, expanding your cities, researching new technology and dealing with other civilisations diplomatically or militarily. The series has sold more than 8 million copies.

Street Fighter II, (1991)

Though the mo-capped Mortal Kombat was more graphically-stunning, it swapped tactical depth for gore. But the balanced combat and fluid movement of Street Fighter II encouraged players to get better with their characters, and established many of the standards of the genre – drop in combat, endless rematches, and tricky special moves.

Lemmings, (1991)

DMA design went onto make Grand Theft Auto, but their suicidal crowd-control puzzle game was what they became famous for. The cute lemmings and classical music gave it all-round polish.

Alone in the Dark, (1992)

In just a year, Frederick Raynal’s team created this otherworldy horror game set in 1920s Louisiana, where every step might lead to death, and which established the action-adventure genre. The polygonal enemies were notably unique in an era dominated by hand-drawn sprites. (Avoid the spin-off movies though – they’re terrible.)

Super Mario Kart, (1992)

A mock-3D go-karting game featuring eight characters from the Super Mario Bros series, SMK’s addictive local multiplayer, power-ups and self-balancing gameplay made it huge. You can tell it’s deceptively simple because so few successful copies have been made.

Ultima 7, (1992)

Richard Garriott’s Ultima series reached its peak with Ultima 7, a role-playing game that provided a huge world to explore. Crucially, most of the world was irrelevant to the smart, gruesome plot, allowing players to explore at will.

Doom, (1993)

The videogame equivalent of a video nasty, Doom was all about killing. Following on from id’s earlier title Wolfenstein 3D, the aim of the game was to survive against an array of demonic beasties. It was one of the first games to introduce networked multiplayer, and to allow players to create their own levels. And it had a killer soundtrack too.

Myst, (1993)

The Miller brothers’ twisty puzzle game let you explore fantastical 3D worlds, step by step, unlocking their secrets by completing environmental puzzles. Until The Sims was released, this was the best-selling game of all time.

Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds, (1993)

The Underworld series introduced first-person action to a true 3D environment, allowing the player to look up and down, and explore the world. It had a non-linear RPG storyline, allowing players to roam eight bizarre parallel worlds.

NBA Jam, (1993)

The speed and exaggerated realism of this basketball game changed how sports games were made, and brought in over $1 billion in quarters, making it the highest earning arcade game ever.

System Shock, (1994)

The follow-up to Ultima Underworld II was a first-person RPG masterpiece, dealing with a hacker trapped on a space station taken over by SHODAN, a rogue AI. Players must switch between cyberspace and a space station full of mutants and cyborgs, often focussing on avoiding combat, to defeat SHODAN and escape.

Star Wars: TIE Fighter, (1994)

George Lucas’ games company LucasArts had been making adventure games for some time, but TIE Fighter and its predecessor X-Wing substantial added to the Star Wars universe, foreshadowing the great KOTOR.

UFO: Enemy Unknown, (1994)

In Julian Gollop’s tactical masterpiece, aliens have invaded the Earth and you’re in command of the organisation tracking them down and researching them. Its tight turn-based battles, inspired later games like Advance Wars.

Chrono Trigger, (1995)

Criminally-underplayed, this SNES RPG was created by a ‘dream team’ of Japanese developers, and shipped 2.65 million copies at launch. Set in a parallel Earth, the player controls a team of time-travellers gathered from throughout history as they seek a way of stopping a creature that will destroy the future.

Command & Conquer, (1995)

Though Westwood’s Dune II started the real-time strategy genre, it was their sequel C&C that perfected it. You could play the entire game as either the terrorist NOD or the militaristic GDC, each with unique storylines, missions and troops. Its hammy full-motion video sequences are a thing of legend.

Tamagotchi, (1996)

Tamagotchis are rarely referred to, but were an entirely different side of games that’s only been explored in The Sims and Nintendogs. The name comes from ‘tamago’ meaning egg, and the English word ‘ watch’, and were originally designed for teenage girls, to show them what it would be like to take care of children. Each egg-shaped device contained an artificial lifeform that players had to hatch, raise and grow, making sure they fed it and petted it at appropriate intervals. Over 80 million official Tamagotchis have been sold, though it was heavily copied. Because of the disruption caused when a Tamagotchi ‘died’, they were often banned from schools.

Tomb Raider, (1996)

Some might argue that Eidos’ game succeeded because of its protagonists’ pneumatic attributes, but they’d be ignoring the game’s superlative mix of puzzles, traversal and combat. And Lara’s endless sass.

Diablo, 16 (1996)

Blizzard’s fantasy hack and slash game was brutal, gritty, and horribly addictive, with a sadistic, twisty plot.

Ultima Online, (1997)

Having revolutionised the RPG with Ultima 7, Richard Garriott revolutionised multiplayer gaming with Ultima Online, the first true MMOG. Aside from compelling combat and a huge RPG tree, players could farm, build housing, and establish businesses that would run while they were offline. A true original.

Final Fantasy VII, (1997)

For the Playstation gamer, FFVII was the peak of the JRPG (Japanese Role-Playing Game) series, with a plot twist designed to break fragile hearts. Its team-driven, turned-based combat was also a big attraction. The series continues to this day, with FFXV being released in the near future.

Fallout, (1997)

What would have happened had the Cold War turned hot? Fallout attempts to answer this with a tactical RPG set in a post-apocalyptic world grown out of the 1950s. You play a bunker-dwelling survivor thrust out into this dark, unfamiliar world in a desperate attempt to find a new water filter.

Dungeon Keeper, (1997)

Ever wanted to be evil? Dungeon Keeper let you play as a dark lord, building an underground fortress then sending your minions to despoil and crush do-gooding dwarves and elves.

GoldenEye 007, (1997)

James Bond has appeared on many consoles, but it was his N64 outing that was the most faithful incarnation, an innovative first-person shooter with an amazing combative multiplayer.

Pokémon, (1998)

The Pokémon (‘pocket monsters’) series started as two games (red and green/blue) for the Game Boy, with Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition being the most complete version of the game, developed for the Game Boy Colour. It’s a Zelda-style RPG, where players explore the world, defeating and capturing the pokemon creatures, and defeating the elite pokemon masters. Uniquely, the game made use of a connect cable to allow players to trade pokemon, leading to it becoming the best-selling RPG of all time. The huge success of these games led to the development of a heavily-merchandised Japanese children’s cartoon.

Half-Life, (1998)

Before the FPS Half-Life, almost no-one had heard of Valve; now they practically run PC games, through their Steam platform. You take the role of Gordon Freeman, a scientist trapped in a research facility that’s accidentally penetrated an alien dimension…

Thief, (1998)

Looking Glass were the masters of first-person roleplaying, as Thief demonstrated. A criminally-tough game, you played a fantasy rogue stealing jewels from the rich. It was remade in 2014.

Metal Gear Solid, (1998)

Hideo Kojima’s Playstation debut created the stealth genre and used innovative hardware tricks that have never been bettered.

Starcraft, (1998)

Blizzard’s science-fiction strategy game was a standard RTS, but the balance of its three playable races made the multiplayer scene take off, notably in South Korea where it’s practically become a national sport.

Ninja Gaiden, (1998)

This player-versus-AI action game borrowed the combo-heavy sensibilities of fighting games like Street Fighter, foreshadowing games like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta.

SoulCalibur, (1998)

Notable for its character design, this fighting game led the way in polish and, along with Tekken and Virtua Fighter, showed that fighting games could do 3D effectively.

Planescape Torment, (1999)

All Bioware’s roleplaying games are word-heavy, but none as heavily as the quirky Torment, which famously had more lines of dialogue than most books. A spiritual sequel, Torment: Tides of Numenera is due out in 2015.

Counter-Strike, (1999)

The game that made multiplayer games a true e-sport in the West, like Starcraft did in the East. Two teams, one terrorist, one SWAT, battle with realistic modern weaponry.

King of Dragon Pass, (1999)

Unnoticed on first release, this fantasy game mixed strategy, text adventure and Civilization to make something entirely unique.

The Sims, (2000)

After he’d bored of Sim City, Will Wright moved down in scale, to simulating humanity at a more granular level. The Sims let you control individuals and small families as they sought to make a living, and build their homes. It was the first game that enjoyed a large young female audience, perhaps because of its similarity to a doll’s house, and because of that is the best-selling PC game series of all time, with over 175 million units sold.

Deus Ex, (2000)

This Ion Storm RPG’s science-fiction world presaged the conspiracy theories of Dan Brown, portraying a near future world struggling with technological change. With branching storylines and philosophical questions about transhumanism, the series has continued to be cutting edge and ask probing questions about what it is to be a modern human.

Tony Hawks Pro Skater 2, (2000)

The best skateboarding game of all time, this established the genre as we know it today.

Grand Theft Auto III, (2001)

The GTA games started as top-down 2D arcade games designed by DMA Design, but under the stewardship of Take Two’s media-shy Houser brothers they morphed into a more realistic 3D world, with a speciality for creating controversy. Now they’re the amongst the biggest budget games around, combining driving, combat, stealth, dialogue and outrageous storylines. Stars from Dennis Hopper to Debbie Harry and Samuel L Jackson have starred in them.

Halo: Combat Evolved, (2001)

The game that made the Xbox viable, Bungie’s exclusive game is set on a newly-discovered ringworld, an artificial satellite of mind-boggling dimensions. With both single- and multiplayer modes of superb quality and visceral combat, the series has continued to thrill consumers, even as Bungie moved onto its own project, Destiny.

Animal Crossing, (2001)

A perfectly-peaceably town simulation, and a welcome change from the violence of many games. Players log in to chat with the AI animal inhabitants, decorate their house, and generally craft a town in their own image, foreshadowing simple social games like Farmville.

Super Monkey Ball, (2001)

Like its ancestor Pilotwings, this has a fantastically simple mechanic – controlling a monkey in a ball through a series of 3D puzzle mazes.

Uplink, (2001)

Introversions’ unique game replicates the experience of being a top-notch 1990s hacker exactly, from hardware to mucky internet forums to dodgy employers.

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, (2002)

Before Skyrim and Oblivion was Morrowind, a perfect little mushroomy island for fantasy players to explore. An experienced gamer could complete it in ten minutes, but it will take most players hundreds of hours.

Jet Set Radio Future, (2002)

Combining an addictive skating game with an anarchistic storyline and the most amazing graffiti-inspired art, Jet Set Radio trumped even Amped 3 for enjoyable nonsense.

Battlefield 1942, (2002)

The Battlefield combat series stands out for its ambition. It’s trademark is polished multiplayer infantry and vehicle combat on an increasingly-grand scale.

Eve Online, (2003)

Few games escape their creators’ control; after all they’ve programmed every element of them. Yet the rules put in place in Eve Online have created a strange, complex world that requires utter commitment to take part. Players take part as ship pilots in a huge player-run universe, with massive wars that result in terrifyingly huge loss of real money. Its corporation structures also encourage the nastiest intrigue and espionage.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, (2003)

Bioware had nothing to prove after Baldur’s Gate and Planescape, but KOTOR was the best Star Wars movie never filmed, with an epic plot that allowed players to explore both the worst and best of humanity and the force.

DotA, (2003)

The inspiration behind the MOBA genre, which includes games like League of Legends and DOTA2, DotA was a mod for Blizzard’s RTS Warcraft III. Players control heroes attempting to destroy each other’s base whilst AI characters automatically fight for each side.

Beyond Good and Evil, (2003)

Rayman creator Michel Ancel surpassed himself in this science-fiction puzzle action-adventure. It dodged many of the era’s clichés, having a mixed-race female protagonist who wasn’t just a sex object – a huge step forward – as well as innovative photography mechanics.

Planetside, (2003)

The mammoth online battles of Sony’s first-person multiplayer shooter shouldn’t have been possible at the time – and only the sequel has exceeded them.

Warioware, (2003)

The Warioware games are each a bizarre series of strange microgames, featuring Mario’s evil, stupid doppelganger. Each game lasts under five seconds, making them a test of rapid comprehension.

World of Warcraft, (2004)

Before World of Warcraft, Blizzard was a mildly popular fantasy game company; afterwards, it was a worldwide sensation. Players appear in a cartoonish fantasy world, derived from EverQuest and Ultima Online. Together they battle AI enemies and each other, and explore the enormous world. With over 100 million user accounts, it’s one of the most popular games of all time.

Shogun: Total War, (2004)

Britain’s Creative Assembly made this multi-level strategy game, drawing much on Civilization and Command & Conquer. Players control a state in feudal Japan, building fortresses and battling other states, in realistic 3D battles involving hundreds of soldiers.

Singstar, (2004)

The best karaoke game around, Singstar’s pitch-detection software allowed it to correct and train players into singing better. Its catalogue is notably comprehensive, with over 1000 songs available and over 70 games.

Monster Hunter, (2004)

A co-operative hunting game where players hunt fantasy animals in quests, Monster Hunter was notable for allowing networked console players to play together.

Shadow of the Colossus, (2005)

The follow-up to the impressionistic Ico was this beautiful giant-hunting game. Exploring a silent desert full of ruins, players must find and kill a range of ponderous, sometimes pacifist giants by climbing them.

Guitar Hero, (2005)

To guitars what Singstar was to the vocal cords. Though Rockband would later trump it, Harmonix’s first game mixed frenetic grappling with a plastic guitar with a savvy campaign mode where your cartoon band played at progressively-better venues.

Resident Evil 4, (2005)

The Resident Evil series are survival horror action games. RE4 was a departure, moving to a true 3D world and uniquely-tough combat system.

Dwarf Fortress, (2006)

The developers of Dwarf Fortress never sought to make it accessible – indeed, this is probably the hardest game to play on this list. Before you even play the game, it generates thousands of years of history in its fantasy world. Then you attempt to guide a crew of uncooperative, often insane, dwarfs to build homes and defenses, and grow food. Oh, and it’s all displayed with the basic keyboard characters of the 1980s.

Wii Sports, (2006)

The Wii was the first games console that could claim to be completely mainstream. However, very few games were bought for it. Perhaps this was because Wii Sports was bundled with it, allowing players to use a motion controller to mimic playing bowls, tennis, golf, boxing and baseball. It’s now the second best-selling video game of all time, behind Tetris.

Portal, (2007)

Few games have managed to do comedy right, and they’ve mostly been adventure games. Yet Valve’s unique first-person puzzler managed it with just one character – the sadistic AI GladOS, who taunts your silent protagonist as you explore her deathtrap with your unique teleportation device.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, (2007)

The earlier Call of Duty games were highly accomplished riffs on Medal of Honor – but Modern Warfare brought the first person shooter into a believable modern day, with a smart plot and innovative character swapping.

Bioshock, (2007)

Ken Levine’s art deco masterpiece showed that it’s possible to combine a philosophical theme and unique design with the mass appeal mechanics of a first-person shooter. The follow-up, Bioshock Infinite, was equally stunning.

Mass Effect, (2007)

Not content with Baldur’s Gate, Planescape, and KOTOR, Bioware created Dragon Age and Mass Effect. The three games in the latter series are their take on Star Trek. Mature and smart, with compelling combat, you control Commander Shepard as he or she seeks to save the galaxy.

Uncharted, (2007)

Nathan Drake might have been a copy of Indiana Jones, but he’s become an icon, mainly down to the knowing script of Naughty Dog’s Amy Hennig and to the Tomb Raider-inspired action.

Team Fortress 2, (2007)

Valve’s cartoony shooter revolutionised user-generated content, allowing players to craft and sell their own in-game items. It’s also a silly, highly-skilled but accessible team combat game.

Assassin’s Creed, (2007)

These beautiful, do-anything historical action games are created by over 2000 developers collaborating worldwide.

Peggle, (2007)

A smart action-puzzle game that mingles Japanese Pachinko with the power-ups of Breakout and a range of cute animals.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R., (2007)

A perfect conversion of the Strugatsky brothers’ seminal science fiction novel ‘Roadside Picnic’ into a desperate open world shooter.

Braid, (2008)

Jonathan Blow’s debut is, on first view, a particularly-beautiful platformer. Yet, it gradually reveals its plot and tricks, showing it to be about time manipulation, regret and fear, with a possible undertone about the nuclear bomb and the predictable state of contemporary. Players take the role of Tim, who’s attempting to rescue a princess from a monster. As you explore the levels of the world, you both encounter new time-based mechanics and discover more about Tim’s relationship with the princess and his own regrets. Blow’s upcoming PS4 title, The Witness, is a Myst-like with an unusual-embedded story. It has equal potential to be a game that changes all games or a grand folly.

Spelunky, (2008)

Starting as a free game then moving to console, Derek Yu’s procedurally-generated platform game is impossibly difficult, up there with Super Meat Boy. Death comes quickly to your treasure-addled explorer, as he descends deeper into a lost tomb packed with traps and monsters, never knowing what lurks around the corner…

LittleBigPlanet, (2008)

A charming creative multiplayer platformer where players can share their creations with others, voiced by Stephen Fry.

Angry Birds, (2009)

At root, a catapult game with cartoon branding, Angry Birds is a merchandising phenomenon.

Batman: Arkham City, (2009)

Gritty and grim, this is the dark Batman of the comics. Its fluid combat system and open world has been much copied.

Minecraft, (2011)

Selling 53 million copies of an unfinished cloned game by an unknown Swedish developer seems mad, but that’s Minecraft. It’s a first-person survival game with a 3D 8-bit style where players must mine resources and craft objects to survive in a hostile world. The game’s creative mode allows players to just sculpt a world, and it has multiplayer worlds too. The idea and look was taken from Infiniminer, an earlier abandoned game by the developer behind SpaceChem. Ideal for children due to its creative aspects, Minecraft was ported to iOS, Xbox 360, PS4 and Xbox One. Microsoft recently bought the game from its developer Markus ‘Notch’ Persson for $2.5 billion.

To The Moon, (2011)

A beautifully-written pixelated adventure exploring the unfulfilled romantic dreams of a dying old man.

SpaceChem, (2011)

Puzzle out the most efficient way to create a given molecule from basic atoms, on planet after planet.

The Walking Dead, (2012)

The cross-media zombie phenomenon is here an adventure game, where you must work out how to save your twin protagonists. Telltale’s game was widely praised for its plot and script, as was the fantastical follow-up, The Wolf Amongst Us.

Papers Please, (2013)

Its childlike retro style might evoke the monochrome JRPGs of the 1980s, but Papers Please is the most mature game here. Taking the role of a border guard in a totalitarian regime, you must balance humanity, efficiency, your family’s needs and your own survival as you enforce the Byzantine bureaucracy of an insane state.

chart (1)

In Influence Order…

    1. Super Mario Bros                           1985
    2. Minecraft                          2011
    3. Doom                  1993
    4. Civilization                         1991
    5. Legend of Zelda               1986
    6. Elite                     1984
    7. Tamagotchi                       1996
    8. The Sims                            2000
    9. Braid                    2008
    10. Papers Please               2013
    11. Pokemon (Yellow)                      1998
    12. Myst                 1993
    13. Alone in the Dark                        1992
    14. Tetris                1984
    15. Chrono Trigger             1995
    16. Grand Theft Auto III                   2001
    17. Zork                  1977
    18. Planescape Torment                  1999
    19. Dwarf Fortress             2006
    20. Portal               2007
    21. Wii Sports                      2006
    22. Sim City                           1989
    23. Rogue              1980
    24. Metroid                          1986
    25. Super Mario Kart                         1992
    26. Ultima Online               1997
    27. Eve Online                      2003
    28. Streetfighter II             1991
    29. Tennis For Two             1958
    30. Counter-Strike             1999
    31. Prince of Persia            1989
    32. Half-Life                          1998
    33. Spelunky                        2008
    34. World of Warcraft                       2004
    35. System Shock               1994
    36. Halo: Combat Evolved               2001
    37. Thief                 1998
    38. Animal Crossing            2001
    39. Final Fantasy VII                          1997
    40. Metal Gear Solid                          1998
    41. To The Moon                2011
    42. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare            2007
    43. Deus Ex            2000
    44. Shogun: Total War                      2004
    45. Shadow of the Colossus            2005
    46. Bioshock                         2007
    47. Pac-Man                         1980
    48. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic               2003
    49. Pole Position                 1982
    50. Star Wars: TIE Fighter                1994
    51. Space Invaders             1978
    52. Starcraft                          1998
    53. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind            2002
    54. DotA                 2003
    55. Ultima Underworld II                 1993
    56. Singstar            2004
    57. SpaceChem                   2011
    58. Spacewar                       1961
    59. Guitar Hero                   2005
    60. NBA Jam                         1993
    61. Mass Effect                    2007
    62. Ninja Gaiden                 1998
    63. Angry Birds                    2009
    64. Pong                 1972
    65. Tomb Raider                 1996
    66. Uncharted                     2007
    67. Fallout             1997
    68. The Secret of Monkey Island                  1990
    69. Super Monkey Ball                      2001
    70. SoulCalibur                    1998
    71. MUD                1978
    72. Ultima 7                          1992
    73. Wonderboy III: The Dragon’s Trap                        1989
    74. Command & Conquer               1995
    75. Jet Set Radio Future                   2002
    76. Beyond Good and Evil                2003
    77. King of Dragon Pass                    1999
    78. Team Fortress 2            2007
    79. The Walking Dead                       2012
    80. Planetside                      2003
    81. Minesweeper               1990
    82. Batman: Arkham City                 2009
    83. Lemmings                      1991
    84. Assassin’s Creed                          2007
    85. Battlefield 1942            2002
    86. LittleBigPlanet              2008
    87. Peggle             2007
    88. Pilotwings                      1990
    89. Resident Evil 4              2005
    90. Uplink              2001
    91. Warioware                     2003
    92. UFO: Enemy Unknown             1994
    93. Diablo              1996
    94. Tony Hawks Pro Skater II                          2000
    95. Dungeon Keeper                         1997
    96. Madden NFL                 1990
    97. GoldenEye 007             1997
    98. Wing Commander (II)                1990
    99. Monster Hunter                          2004
    100. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.              2007

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