Been doing a lot of thinking lately on this, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts. I’m talking the biggest, most impactful games, not just industry shifting but society shifting. I believe there’s only a handful:
Super Mario Bros. The game that brought games from a fad that had died off to a tried and true medium still around today.
Doom. Wolfenstein was obviously earlier in the creation of the FPS, but the phrase “Doom clone” didn’t come from the Nazi Blaster. Doom popularized a genre that is still one of the biggest culturally today.
Super Mario 64. The 3D platformer exists today because of this game. Exploration, polygons, hub worlds - all stem from here.
Grand Theft Auto 3. Again, not the first to employ the concept, but seen as the real first game to birth the sandbox, open world, make-your-own-fun game.
World of Warcraft. The quintessential MMO. The fantasy epic you played with your friends over the internet. Again, not the first of it’s genre, but arguably the biggest.
Minecraft. The game that signaled a transition from destruction to creation, of old guard to new, of a new generation that used the tools available to stretch their creativity.
Candy Crush Saga. Mobile gaming, imo, is one of the most significant milestones in moving gaming from “a kids/teens thing” to an “everyone” thing. While Angry birds came along first, Candy Crush ended up on just about everyone’s phone at some point.
Others I’ve thought almost deserve spots here are Farmville (facebook), Pokemon GO (AR), PUBG/Fortnite (battle royale, but probably too early to tell impact). What games do you think belong on this list? That have changed the landscape of gaming forever?
Bonus Question: What will be the next game to change everything? For a while it was believed that VR would have a killer app to fit this bill, but that hasn’t happened (yet, at least.)
For me, I believe the next big blowout is going to be AI. A game thats NPC’s truly react to you, that are more than just graphics and code. Games have feigned toward this, but only through clever design and thinking out all possible outcomes (Undertale comes to mind here.) While that’s great and a step forward, I’m talking true AI that learns from you and builds its own routine, having its own agency within the confines of the game - AI that is ultimately unpredictable, even for its creator.