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The Most Influential Games In History?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the aside-from-duke-nuken-forever dept.

Games 254

Kotaku reports on a list published recently by Guinness World Records which credits Super Mario Kart as the most influential console game in history. "Tetris ranks in at number two, according to the list, and the original Grand Theft Auto is in the number three spot. Where does Super Mario Bros. turn up? Way down at number 17, beneath Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas." Several other franchises have multiple entries on the list, such as Final Fantasy and Resident Evil. What console games have influenced you the most?

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Mario Kart?? (2, Interesting)

bluephone (200451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27008917)

Yes, it's fun, people love to play it with friends, it's a very casual game. But number one? No, sorry, not even close. The rest of the list looks very accurate, if not a little debatable, but Mario Kart is in no way the most influential console game ever.

Re:Mario Kart?? (1)

martinw89 (1229324) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009015)

Yeah, but think of all the games that were like it! Like.... Crash Bandicoot Racing! And....

Ah fuck it.

Re:Mario Kart?? (5, Insightful)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010327)

For this list not to put DOOM on the #1 most influential spot - insane. Maybe the editors at Guinness are a little too young to remember life before first person shooters, but such a life existed (and you were likely to be eaten by a Grue!) Doom was the shot that started a revolution in gaming - in other words, the grandfather of most of the games we play today.

Mario Kart. It's too early in the morning to come up with a response to that. Bah.

Re:Mario Kart?? (4, Insightful)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010361)

No, Wolfenstein 3D would be the revolution maker. It was the proof of concept that John Carmack and his team of misfits at Id needed to even go to the next level with DOOM. It proved that you could do a first person shooter in a realtime 3D-like (because it wasn't really 3D, just looked like it) space.

Re:Mario Kart?? (5, Informative)

Faylone (880739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009081)

Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said of the selection process: "We knew this would be a complex task so we invited a crack team of industry experts to form a judging panel - and the result is a "top 50" list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play."

Emphasis mine.

Including fun totally skews the results, since it knocks off games like ET for the Atari 2600, while adding on games that aren't that influential, but the judges just liked.

Re:Mario Kart?? (2, Insightful)

Faylone (880739) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009125)

Also, I can only assume whoever posted that on Kotaku either didn't read the quote, or has a very short memory. They claim a few paragraphs below the quote that the list was NOT judged on fun.

Re:Mario Kart?? (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009203)

No matter what the guy said, it's odd that "fun" would factor into "influential." Two totally seperate things as GP pointed out so well with ET. It's especially ridiculous when you consider the aspect of history: pong isn't on there? The original super mario bros is at 17?

It seems that the people who made this list for guiness were 15 year olds who were drunk off of guiness at the time.

Re:Mario Kart?? (1, Insightful)

Probie (1353495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009999)

I guess it depends in what respect 'influential' is used. Influential to the gaming industry? Then yes, pong has its place in the history of games. Influential in the media... then you're talking things like grand theft auto. (even though I just don't get the point!)
But if we are talking games that have influenced us personally, then of course fun factors into the ordering of the games, after all that's the point. Yes funs a subjective thing, but I can see where Mario kart it getting the recognition from.
My only problem is where the hell is Half-Life?!?!?!

Re:Mario Kart?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010385)

In other words:

Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said of the selection process: "We knew this would be a complex task so we invited a team of industry experts on crack to form a judging panel - and the result is a "top 50" list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play."

There, fixed that for them.

Additionally: fun for who? (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009575)

Additionally, fun for who? It's a thoroughly subjective thing.

As a good example, take The Sims. It sold more copies than the top two FPS _combined_, and got more women into gaming than any game before it. Some people obviously loved it. But put some l33t FPS'ers in front of it, and most of them will find it a pointles waste of time: where's the score? Where's the competition with other players? Where are the bragging rights? Etc. And make no mistake, viceversa too. A lot of the people who loved The Sims, thought that Quake 3 or CounterStrike sucked.

E.g., if we're talking about consoles, take _the_ number one flame-war from the N64 era: platformers vs RPGs. At a time when there were more Final Fantasy games sold than all N64 Nintendo games combined, the his-own-fanboy Hiroshi Yamauchi shot his mouth all over the place with such pearls as "[People who play RPGs are] depressed gamers who like to sit alone in their dark rooms and play slow games" and (about RPGs again) "Stop playing boring games." Never mind that he was proud to never having played either kind of game (or any game at all, for that matter,) so he was basically just telling us "buy my game and not the competitors" in the most obnoxious asshat way. But lots of actual gamers did fall squarely into one of the categories:

A) "if I wanted to read, I'd get a book" vs

B) "what's the point if there's no story?"

And the flamewar between the two laid waste to many a board.

Which of them was right? Neither, actually. In a subjective matter of taste there is no "right" or "wrong".

But what I'm trying to say is: who decides which game is more fun? A lot of the guys from category A would have ranked FF7 as the biggest pile of crap, while a lot of those from category B thought that Mario 64 was a simplistic kiddie game. And both were right... for their own subjective tastes.

So basically it seems strange to me see such a list which combines something which can be measured objectively (sales, sequels, whatever you measure success and influence in) with something purely subjective (fun.) It's like claiming to make a top of cars based on horsepower _and_ how nice their colour is.

Re:Additionally: fun for who? (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009623)

But what I'm trying to say is: who decides which game is more fun? A lot of the guys from category A would have ranked FF7 as the biggest pile of crap, while a lot of those from category B thought that Mario 64 was a simplistic kiddie game. And both were right... for their own subjective tastes.

Everything you said was absolutely right, and it's a real shame that people can be so pigeonholed into one definition of what types of game they like.

FF7 would still rank as the closest thing to my top choice in a game, but I still thought Mario 64 was fantastic, I loved Halo single player and Halo 2/3s multiplayer, the best game I have played in around a year was Fallout 3, Sim City 2000 has wasted an indecent amount of my life and one of the most played games on my 360 is Geometry Wars. There are good games in so many different genres, it seems like a real waste to ignore so many for no good reason.

Re:Mario Kart?? (1)

mcfatboy93 (1363705) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010395)

"top 50" list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play."

if thats the case I would put Halo and WOW up there. its not that they are important (even if Halo is high on the list) its that there is a HUGE community based around the game and therefor very fun

Re:Mario Kart?? (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009179)

There's plenty wrong with that list. One that struck me: THREE grand theft autos on the list. Another: Lego Star wars, the complete edition. It's nuts.

DOOM or Wolfenstein? (2, Funny)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009423)

Doom and Wolfenstein were the ones that I remember most. Oh, and the Microsoft BSOD - that game could just jump up by surprise at any time.

Re:DOOM or Wolfenstein? (4, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009543)

Doom, C&C, Total Annhialation were all big ones for me. UT was pretty huge. Oh and Starcraft should be pretty close to the top. C&C I think was one of the big games that brought the RTS to the world. And TA is an RTS which I still don't think is matched to this day.

Re:DOOM or Wolfenstein? (1)

ADT7 (1458965) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009937)

And TA is an RTS which I still don't think is matched to this day.

Personally I don't think it ever will be. Myself and a small group of my friends still play it on occasion.

Supreme Commander was such a letdown. It did many things brilliantly (the cartographic view included in one of the later patches being one of them), but it just wasn't TA at it's heart.

Those aren't console games (4, Insightful)

ConanG (699649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009673)

The list is totally fubar, but remember one thing: it's a console list.

Re:Mario Kart?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009615)

I agree and the list looks like it is completely biased towards console games.

Where is Ultima 1-7, Monkey Island 1 & 2, Wing Commander 1-3, Wolfenstein 3D, Star Control II, Dune II, Syndicate, Tie Fighter, Doom, Mechwarrior 2, Duke Nukem 3D, MDK2, System Shock 1 & 2, Unreal Tournament, Need For Speed III, The Longest Journey, Deus Ex, Freelancer, Morrowind?

Re:Mario Kart?? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010215)

Its also biased towards recent games. I don't think you can really call Freelance influential if you've played Elite...

Re:Mario Kart?? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009899)

I came here to say the same thing you did, I had a post ready and everything.

Then I looked down and realized I was wearing Mario Kart pajama pants. Now, I think that they just might be on to something.

No oldies (5, Insightful)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 5 years ago | (#27008981)

No Pong.
No Space Invaders.
No Elite.
No Dune 2 (first RTW)
No Flashback (first motion capture)
No Doom.

All of those are top-30 for their initial and lasting impact, especially Doom. There are loads more too, you could argue that Jet Set Willy, Manic Miner and Zork all had an massive impact upon gaming.

This isn't the most influential games list, it's a favs list from someone born in 1990.

Re:No oldies (2, Insightful)

the white plague (1436257) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009053)

This isn't the most influential games list, it's a favs list from someone born in 1990.

True enough, but it's a console list - plenty of the games you list had no or shitty console ports.

Re:No oldies (4, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009155)

It's just like every other "most games" list compiled by people who don't know something about anything when it comes to games. They just picked the results of a bunch of "ZOMG FAV CONSOLE GAME" lists and slapped it together without paying any attention to which games actually had any genuine influence on gaming as a whole.

Re:No oldies (3, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009465)

A console list of RECENT stuff only. A list of "best" console games without SMB3 at one of the top positions and "influential" ones without SMB1 is so biased it's uselessness.

Re:No oldies (2, Insightful)

dropzonetoe (1167883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009727)

I am not able to goto the site from work but as I have been reading the posts I have seen no love for GoldenEye. Console gaming at it's best. If the game is not included in the list then the list is dead to me.

Re:No oldies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010013)

I've already modded, but GoldenEye scored #10 on the list. Infact.. here's the list so you can look it over:

1. Super Mario Kart
2. Tetris
3. Grand Theft Auto
4. Super Mario World
5. Zelda Ocarina of Time
6. Halo
7. Resident Evil IV
8. Final Fantasy XII
9. Street Fighter II
10. GoldenEye
11. Super Mario 64
12. Tomb Raider
13. Metal Gear Solid
14. Call of Duty 4
15. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
16. GTA San Andreas
17. Super Mario Bros
18. Zelda: A Link to the Past
19. Gran Turismo
20. Final Fantasy VII
21. Pro Evolution Soccer 4
22. The Orange Box
23. Lego Star Wars Complete Saga
24. Tekken 2
25. Wii Sports
26. Pokemon Red/Blue
27. Guitar Hero
28. Project Gotham Racing 4
29. Super Mario Galaxy
30. Resident Evil
31. Ico
32. Chrono Trigger
33. Gunstar Heroes
34. Soul Calibur
35. Advance Wars
36. Ridge Racer
37. Super Metroid
38. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
39. GTA Vice City
40. BioShock
41. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
42. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
43. God of War
44. Sega Rally Championship
45. Starfox 64
46. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
47. WarioWare Inc
48. Saturn Bomberman
49. Crash Bandicoot
50. Outrun 2

Re:No oldies (4, Interesting)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009061)

What is this list, world history excluding everything the innovate programmers from the UK came up with in the early to mid 1980's? Ever heard of Rare, formerly Ultimate Play the Game, who dropped a little title called Knight Lore on the world and changed the industry overnight? Okay, so it led to a load of derivative rubbish, but I'd rather vote for a technically groundbreaking game packed into 48kb than a three-CD monster with pretty cutscenes.

And where is Lords of Midnight? And leaving Elite out of that list is like leaving Ms Hilton off a paparazzi's to-do list.

Re:No oldies (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009165)

And where is Lords of Midnight?

DId you know the PC port is still available? I drag it out and try to do Morkins quest every now and then. I used to find it easy when I was a young'un, but now I'm not so lucky.

I must have played it far too much back then.

Re:No oldies (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010301)

I have a copy of the PC port but I tend to play the originals in an emulator. My old favourite emu was ZX32 but just like Gerton Lunter's (sp?) Z80 emulator before it, modern CPUs just got too damn fast in the end.

I can still use ZX32 on my notebook, and that's good enough for now. (Come to think of it, a little netbook with a ZX emu and a copy of every speccy game ever written would make a nice travelling companion.)

Re:No oldies (1)

DoChEx (558465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009113)

What about...

Double Dragon
Wolfenstein 3D
Operation Wolf, arguably the first FPS game! All be it a side scroller!

Their list is crap because they want people to talk about how bad it is.

Re:No oldies (3, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009655)

Operation Wolf, arguably the first FPS game! All be it a side scroller!

No, a first person shooter would give you full control of the character's movement in a 3D environment. Games that let you control a target reticle, but give you little or no control over your character's moves and the game's scrolling -- such as Operation Wolf, Dynamite Duke, Virtua Cop, Cabal, NAM-1975 -- are shooting gallery games.

Re:No oldies (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010159)

The Catacomb Abyss [wikipedia.org] was the first FPS I ever played. It predated Wolf3D and ran on my 8086 with an EGA display, while Wolfenstein needed a 386. It was the sequel to Catacomb 3-D, another FPS using the same engine. This wasn't the first FPS though, it wasn't even the first FPS John Carmack worked on - Hovertank 3D, I think, gets that title. The first FPS was also the first networked game, and implemented its own networking system by chaining together MIDI ports.

Re:No oldies (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009147)

No Pong.
No Space Invaders.
No Elite.
No Dune 2 (first RTW)
No Flashback (first motion capture)
No Doom.

Reaaly showing your age there :) If you hang out on the Egosoft X3 forums you'll find that the debate about which was the most influential Space sim emerges fairly often. For me its Elite 1 all the way.

However, many of the games you (rightly) mention are beyond the experience of most gamers, so I suspect they left them off because either they thought their readers wouldn't know them (or perhaps the person compiling the article didn't play them).

Its like the Star Wars thing. Lots of people think of that as the start of decent/influential SF films, ignoring Logans Run and others that predate it. This being mainly because if you aren't a serious SF fan, you likely would only encounter older films by accident, except when buying posters of robbie the robot carrying 'that hot chick'.

Re:No oldies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009873)

I remember playing "Elite" on the old "BBC B" Micro at school. Those were the days' when the floppy disks were bigger than CD's and actually Floppy! :D

Re:No oldies (1)

zehaeva (1136559) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010497)

I'm not that old, pushing 30, I've played all of those games, most when they were released and seen, and love, Logan's Run.

The vast majority of the list given don't even really qualify as influential, I mean FF12? .. 12!?!!??! what about the, you know, 11 before it? what about 7? or you know the 1st one? or what about the console RPG that started the whole FF thing, a little game called Dragon Quest?

the thought that me being, what i understand is, only a little older than that of the average gamer to have played the older games that have the most influence on our modern gaming experience and not to list them is incomprehensible! The list on kotaku doesn't consider influence. a lot of the games listed haven't been out long enough to influence anything. and all of the sequels that added little to no features and failed to push forward their genre. the list given is a great disappointment.

Re:No oldies (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009201)

The problem is the word "console".

The majority of non-Japanese innovation comes from PC games.

Now that I think about it, outside of Nintendo, the Japanese games industry doesn't really innovate at all. Dragon Quest 17 anyone?

Re:No oldies (1)

Crumplecorn (904797) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010179)


As for Nintendo, enjoy Mario 17.

Re:No oldies (1)

Winckle (870180) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010209)

In the last three generations of consoles (a period of around 13 years) there have only been 3 mario platformers. (64, sunshine, galaxy). And you think galaxy isn't a big step up from 64, then I don't know what to say.

Re:No oldies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009259)

W T F. Dune II was *not* the first RTS. Ancient Art of War was the first one that I knew of - in 1984. Stonkers came out either right before or right after that (on the ZX). Dune II didn't come out until 1992 - 8 years. 8 years!! There were at least a dozen RTS's in the time period. I mean, even Populous (1989) came out before Dune II, not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien's War in Middle-earth in 1988. People need to stop giving Dune II so much credit.

Re:No oldies (2, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009335)

I agree with the sentiment of the summary. IMHO the most influential *console* game of all time is without a doubt the original Super Mario Bros (i.e., the one that came with the Nintendo Entertainment System).

As an experiment to confirm this, anyone could go to their closer park and ask any passerby to try to recognize a song, first you could sing (or how is it call in English when you only do "ta ta ta taratata tata ta ra ta..." to the rythm?) the song of "Mario Circuit" and then the song of world 1-1 of SMB. Guess which song will be recognized more?

Pong (5, Insightful)

ConanG (699649) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009741)

I would put Pong ahead of Super Mario Brothers. Before Pong, there was no video game industry. It didn't exist. Not just consoles, but outside a few projects by various companies and people, there weren't any games at all. Super Mario comes in second, then Space Invaders I think.

Re:Pong (2, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009969)

Agreed. Pong was a game that sold a console. Shit, Pong WAS the console.

You think anyone but Tiger games could get away with selling a one-game console for a few hundred bucks these days?

Re:No oldies (1)

vehn23 (684035) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009369)

Not having Dune 2 is a mindbogglingly massive omission, but not having Super Mario Bros at #1 is even more ridiculous.

Re:No oldies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009443)

In addition to this, the first chess programms such as NSS (1958) and Chess 3.0 (in 1970) were also very influential.

Re:No oldies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009553)

This isn't the most influential games list, it's a favs list from someone born in 1990.

Age is quite relevant. As a youth you are more susceptible to any kind of influence.
So the most influential list in history will most likely be tied to the period when most of the gaming took place.

Re:No oldies (1)

Pearson (953531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009785)

I was going to say Doom, since that was the one that changed gaming the most for me, but I only played it on a PC, and this list is console only.

Re:No oldies (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009949)

Agreed. In rough order of age, I think my picks would have to be:

Space Invaders - the first video game which is actually fun to play and doesn't need a second player as an opponent.

Elite - the original thinking man's game. Set new standards for scope and depth.

Mario Brothers - pretty much instrumental in establishing the home console market.

Ultima IV - demonstrated that games could actually have a serious, intelligent storyline and didn't need to be just about going out to beat up the Big Bad.

Final Fantasy II - essentially gave birth to the modern Japanese RPG genre (the original was pretty much a hack and slash dungeon crawler). Gave us all the emo teen character designs with silly hair that we know and love today.

Wing Commander - this was the game that proved that presentation could sell and meant that developers also started to think about how to make their games looked good and had well-presented stories. It also, arguably, started the long-running arms race that PC gamers face in trying to ensure that their machine can run the latest games.

Doom - Wolfenstein 3d and Ultima Underworld might have got there first (though UU doesn't quite belong to the same genre), but it was Doom that brought the first-person action game to the masses.

Command & Conquer - I know, I know, Dune 2 is the obvious pick for "first true RTS", but I think C&C is ultimately the game that deserves the credit. It invented the drag-click interface, which has been at the heart of pretty much every PC RTS interface since then. Today, Dune 2 feels borderline unplayable, but C&C doesn't feel all that different to its sequels.`

Final Fantasy VII - Not fundamentally different to its predecessors, except in terms of graphics. However, this was the game that gave the Playstation credibility and changed the shape of the console market irreversibly.

Baldur's Gate - Saved the Western-style RPG from oblivion, at a time when the Gold Box games were long since history, the Eye of the Beholder series had fizzled out and the Ultima series had subjected itself to the most hideous degradation imaginable. Without Baldur's Gate, we almost certainly wouldn't have the likes of Oblivion and Mass Effect today, as they'd never have been seen as commercially viable.

With regard to more recent titles, it's hard to say yet how influential they are, as we haven't had long enough to see their impact on the industry in the long term. However, a few possible candidates that may be influential going forwards are:

Halo - only a slightly-above-average game in most respects, but it was the first to actually make a console controller feel like a natural way of playing an dps.

Warcraft 3 - the first game to successfully introduce RPG elements into an RTS. The RPG/RTS hybrid is becoming an increasingly important genre, as has been most recently demonstrated by Dawn of War 2.

World of Warcraft - the first MMO to go truly mass-market on a worldwide basis.

Re:No oldies (3, Informative)

mike2R (721965) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010559)

Agree with most of that, but I think you have to add Sim City and Civilization as genre spawning games. And Star Craft simply due to its massive longevity and player base.

Re:No oldies (3, Informative)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010373)

You also forgot all the classic adventure games like King's Quest and Space Quest. I cut my computer gaming teeth on those awesome games!

Key word: "console" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009171)

Did everyone miss the word "console" in the summary?

Re:Key word: "console" (3, Insightful)

Klintus Fang (988910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009215)

i did notice the word console in the summary. of course, the second item on their list, tetris, wasn't a console game. It was ported to many consoles long after it was already a very old game. But it was an arcade game from the 80s that wasn't ported to any consoles until much later.

Re:Key word: "console" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010217)

If you consider the Gameboy a console, then Tetris was very important.

All Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009223)

Rapelay is the right answer. Rapelay

the best, hehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009255)

1Âmetal gear solid,
2Â mario bros

Bad Definition of Influential (2, Informative)

evilsofa (947078) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009297)

The linked article uses the word "influential", while the Guiness Records list does not. Guiness uses this criteria: "a top 50 list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play." In this case, importance doesn't mean influential. Reading the linked article, it seems that by "importance", they mean which games sold the most and for the longest time.

A list of influential games would be entirely different, with games like Wolfenstein 3D, Dune II and Ultima III at the top.

Re:Bad Definition of Influential (4, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009379)

If that's true about their definition of importance then the list is even more incorrect. Have a look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games [wikipedia.org]

If the 8 million units figure for Super Mario Kart is true then there are tens of games that outsold it and possibly for a longer period. Halo 2 is oddly a possibility but more importantly, GTA: San Andreas, Gran Turismo, FFVII.

About the only way Mario Kart could be top is if you bundled all Mario Kart versions together, but then if you apply the same method to say, Grand Theft Auto or the Halo franchise then it starts to slip right back down again.

So in other words, I don't think that list is even correct by any reasonable metric at all.

I don't really know how they compiled the list, it's certainly not on lasting legacy - I can barely even remember the original super mario kart, but everyone remembers space invaders for example. It's not on sales figures because super mario kart comes way, way down the list again, possibly as far down as past number 50. It can't be influence because really, how many SMK clones are there vs. say, Doom clones?

As stated earlier in the thread it seems like it's basically just one persons list of their top 50 favourite games. It certainly doesn't seem to be based on any objective measure that's for sure as I can't find any objective measure that fits their results, on the contrary, all objective measures seem to contradict their results completely even when combined in different combinations.

Re:Bad Definition of Influential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010481)

Units sold?

Look at the the top grossing films of all time as a comparison. No real film buff is going to tell you that Spider Man or Finding Nemo or (!) Transformers makes the short list for most influential film. You could handily argue against Dark Knight too - how can it be influential if it's a year out?

"Influence" is by its nature not a fully syntactic descriptor, so applying an only functional measure to gauge it misses the point.

Re:Bad Definition of Influential (1)

paintswithcolour (929954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009609)

Like the other poster mentions there doesn't seem to be any objective metric here at all.

Bioshock sold well and was well received - but I wouldn't call it influential - you'd have to put System Shock on the list then surely.

But on the other hand I thought Ico was considered a commercial failure - despite being well received. It does count as an influence for the, much better selling, Shadow of the Colossus (so why isn't that on the list instead?).

MCSE (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009301)

Minesweeper Consultant, Solitaire Expert

Only console games? (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009327)

On the console, I choose Tetris.

But if the word "game" is broadened to include all kinds of games not necessarily video games, I say it's chess. Chess has become part of history in both the West and the East (China, Korea and Japan all have traditional board games originated from the same root with chess and they remain very similar to each other to this day). In China it's even part of the language -- there are many idiomatic phrases that originated as game terms. And after all these years it's still fun to play.


Guinness who? (4, Insightful)

Scott Kevill (1080991) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009347)

Desperately trying to stay relevant. When was the last time anyone cared about them?

As for the the liquid (just) form of Guinness.. now we're talking.

the list is a total mess (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009351)

I agree with all the assumptions that the authors of the list have little awareness of console gaming history. Influential? And there's no Tony Hawk Pro Skater? Prior to Grand Theft Auto III, I believe that THPS sold more units than any other console game in history.

Oddly, Grand Theft Auto (1) is listed, but that only came out for the PC and Playstation 1, and never really created any excitement until the GTA3 was released on the PS2. Oh, well.


Re:the list is a total mess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009393)

I believe that THPS sold more units than any other console game in history.

You mean THPS sold more than 40Mil? More than SMB?
Or without counting it as a pack in more than 18Mil?
More than SMB3?

Re:the list is a total mess (1)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010145)

It's a record that's hard to compare. SMB wasn't available across multiple vendors' consoles. THPS was on several platforms. This list [the-magicbox.com] hasn't been updated since 2007, but you can look for yourself. For some reason, SMB isn't listed, but I don't doubt it had strong sales.


uhm.. (2, Interesting)

SuperDre (982372) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009367)

'Super mario kart' most influential game? with that game at the top you can't take the guinessbook of record serious anymore.. there was nothing new about that game.. I guess Doom or wolfenstein3d should be on position 1 as that one was the most influential game ever (I'm not a Doom fan, but that one really changed the face of computergaming as we know it)..

Re:uhm.. (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010617)

This was a list for CONSOLE games.

I wouldn't expect Mario Kart to be at #1, but looking back I realize I've owned 3 of the 4 (never had a N64). The one I didn't own, I spent my entire freshman year in college playing it. From 97-99 Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye were THE games to play.

So I think the Mario Kart franchise deserves it's place near the top, at the very least.

*sigh* (3, Interesting)

WWWWolf (2428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009373)

BioShock without System Shock series? (And since BioShock is such a recent game, exactly what has it had the chance to influence yet?)

Advance Wars, which is just a glorified Empire [wikipedia.org]?

Grand Theft Auto series picked because it's the "most controversial series"? Ever heard of this little game series called Doom?

No mention whatsoever of the Ultima and Wizardry series, which laid the foundation for pretty much all of the CRPGs ever?


Re:*sigh* (1)

FoamingToad (904595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009799)

(And since BioShock is such a recent game, exactly what has it had the chance to influence yet?)

Well, you could look at Fallout 3 - there's a fair bit of the style that looks astonishingly similar to Bioshock... just look at the "Please Stand By" TV display for example.

[Cocking a snook at the blatant neophilia of the list]

Not a very good list (1)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009477)

There are a lot up there that certainly deserve to be there, but there is near equal number that aren't really 'influential' games, but rather games that people simply liked. Bioshock for instance, while a great game, I can't think of much in the way of influence it has had. As others have mentioned, there is some seriously huge omissions of games that certainly had huge impacts like Dune 2.

Influencing what? Education, Sports, or Fun? (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009521)

Assuming it was Influencing Education then i got to vote for:
1) Democracy 1 & 2 (Positech games: taught in many schools in UK).
2) Political machine 2004 & 2008: (teaches about the power of money in today's politics, something Democracy 2 leaves out)

Influencing Sports:
1) Wii Sports: Seriously. 30 mins of playing tennis with your spouse will leave you wheezing and gasping for breadth, and makes you tear off your head bands and just lie down.
2) Can't think of anything close enough.

Influencing Fun:
1) Mario bros under any Platform
2) Age of Empires: Rise of Rome
3) Civilization III

what they're missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009523)

They've ignored many great series, entire genres, and all of the earlier games.

I don't see any turn-based strategy titles on the list like Langrisser, Fire Emblem, or Super Robot Taisen.

I don't see any shmups such as Gradius, or the newer danmaku style like Dodonpachi. Or perhaps the Hudson Soft shmups/shooting caravan/PC-Engine Teikoku? nah, that wasn't influential at all...

none of the classics like Centipede or Pac Man?

no Megaman? no Phantasy Star? none of the early Falcom series like Ys or Dragon Slayer? no DOOM? no Ultima? no Infocom? no Warcraft!?

lol Super Mario Kart.

The point is ..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009545)

does this guy know WHAT a videogame IS?

No Metal Gear? Guitar Hero is influential? Halo?! (1)

seventhevening (1488225) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009597)

The original Metal Gear was one of the first game to emphasize stealth elements and practically birthed an entire genre. A majority of action games on the market have at least some stealth elements that originated from Metal Gear. At the very least they put Metal Gear Solid, but the original is more deserving. Additionally, why the hell is Guitar Hero on there? It's exactly the same as Guitar Freaks, which came out 10 years ago. And Halo is revolutionary how? This list is totally ridiculous.

Re:No Metal Gear? Guitar Hero is influential? Halo (1)

caramelcarrot (778148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010055)

Yes, seriously, why is HALO of all games the most influential FPS of all time? Doom, quake, wolfenstein, Half-life, Counter-strike, Unreal Tournament are all more important in terms of how they affected the industry than that, quite frankly, bland game. This article HAS to be a troll to get more pageviews.

Something's missing! (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009601)

Nothing from Id? Carmack pretty much invented the FPS! Every FPS owes something to Wolf3D! No Elite; possibly the first simulator. Where's Adventure in that list?

Okay - perhaps we're only looking at console games (Which makes Tetris a bit of an oddity). Grand Theft Auto gets three mentions, but GTA 3 isn't one of them. VC and SA may have been improvements but they weren't more influential. Outrun 2 but no outrun? Why is Pokemon all the way down at 26 and Guitar Hero at 27? Where's Singstar, and anything for Sony's EyeToy? Can you really say these haven't influenced gaming?

Are they using a meaning of "influential" that I've not heard before, or are these "industry experts" all 14 year olds?

More objective criteria needed (1)

Novus (182265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009703)

This sort of discussion is meaningless without a decent definition of "influential". I suggest "introduced central ideas to gaming that are well known", which can then be quantified based on e.g. number of players. Games that introduce important ideas can be said to create their own genres.

So, for example, taking modern genres to start off with, for the real-time strategy genre, the most influential game could be Dune II, from which the Command & Conquer, WarCraft and StarCraft series derive. For first-person shooters, most of the ideas were introduced in either Wolfenstein 3D (basic FPS concept) or Doom (up/down movement, many interactions with the environment such as triggering doors and lifts). The platform game gets much of its ideas from Space Panic (platforms) and Donkey Kong (jumping).

Re:More objective criteria needed (1)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010319)

Do my eyes deceive me or did they even miss the original Atari ST version of Dungeon Master? I knew a computer shop owner who used to have people queuing up to buy an ST so they could get DM with it.

What about... (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009735)

Starfox on the SNES. Didn't that have the first in-cartridge hardware for improving performance? What about Micro Machines on the Mega Drive. Didn't that have the first in-cartridge slots to let 4 players race simultaneously?

And as for Oblivion being on there, and Morrowind not being there.....well....I'm lost for words.

That's the trouble with lists based on subjective criteria.

Re:What about... (2, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010119)

Starfox on the SNES. Didn't that have the first in-cartridge hardware for improving performance?

Actually, no.

- Many later games for the Atari 2600 included bank switching hardware.
- Perhaps all but the simplest games for the NES used MMCs. [wikipedia.org]
- Several early SNES games used DSPs. [wikipedia.org]

Re:What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010387)

I wouldn't really count bank switching even in the same league as a math co-processor.

The original Grand Theft Auto... (1)

jools33 (252092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009807)

But GTA was inspired first by Siren City on the C64 - this is something that the developers alluded to in GTA Vice City - where the bootup screen was a mockup of a C64 loading screen - so to me that honour should goto Siren City - and its developer Ian Gray.

I agree with Dune / Dune 2 being on the list - as it was the forerunner of the modern RTS.

Then before Doom there was Wolfenstein...

thats with 2 seconds of thought - clearly less has gone into this list...

lyesmith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009849)

Wolfeinstein3D, Doom, Quake, Elit, Dune, StarCraft, Flashback, Half-Life etc.

Most of the published Top 50 would not be even in my top 100.

Basically they picked the best selling console games from the last 5 year, added some they could not leave out (like Tetris)

If these are the most influential console games.. (3, Informative)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27009913)

If these are the most influential console games then thank god for PC games, otherwise we'd never have ANYTHING new.

Halo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27009925)

Halo above MGS, FFVII, Resi Evil 4, Sonic, Street Fighter etc.

'nough said.

This is not a ranked list (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010003)

The team said they picked Super Mario Kart for the top spot because it is the best-selling racer on the SNES, the GameCube and the DS. Tetris, a good choice for number two, was selected because it is available on at least 50 different gaming platforms. And Grand Theft Auto holds the record for the most controversial series of games.

So basically they chose three completely different criteria for the top 3.

Just another watered down list with no care for cohesive conclusion.

This list is utter rubbish (2, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010269)

These games are just ones that are popular now. A proper list would have to include the following at minimum:

1. Elite - Procedural generation, 3D graphics, open ended game play - in 1984 on a computer with only a few kilobytes of memory. Genius.
2. Starcraft - The game that became a sport. Still being played to this day by masses of people despite its ludicrously dated graphics
3. Doom - Wolfenstein came first, but it was Doom that made Id into software Gods and replaced the term 'first person shooter' with 'doom clone' for about 5 years
4. Counterstrike - A turning point for fps, made the 'tactical shooter' popular in addition to multi-player teamwork
5. Everquest - World of Warcraft is more popular now, but Everquest set the standard for 3D online fantasy worlds that are as immersive and addictive as being dunked in liquid heroin.

But of course, nobody cares about history, because people have the attention span of goldfish.

No sense of history (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010283)

I see hardly anything older than about 15 years. Where are the console games that shaped console gaming? Where are the 2600 and ColecoVision games and make console gaming relevant in the first place?

And why limit it to consoles? PC games like Doom, Command & Conquer, and X-COM defined whole genres fifteen years ago.

Instead we have button mashers like Guitar Hero. Yeah, that's influential. Not trendy look-we-have-a-new-controller at all.

Leisure Suit Larry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010343)

..should of made the list.

GG using something subjective in a rating system.. (1)

spazghost (1346955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010457)

Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said of the selection process: "We knew this would be a complex task so we invited a crack team of industry experts to form a judging panel - and the result is a 'top 50' list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play."

Okay, so now we're rating games by how 'fun' they are to play? I'm sorry but you cannot use 'fun' as an effective way of rating something. Fun is completely subjective and there is not a solid benchmark for something like this.

Now what they should've done, is taken all the reviews for all the different titles, as well as news articles and other things documenting public reaction and hype, as well as looking into how each game actually influenced the industry, such as developing cutting edge technology, or setting a standard that redefined how games were developed. Then you would have an accurate way of rating the games.

But, I'm sorry but rating them by how 'fun' they are is just stupid. There are some games that my girlfriend thinks are the most amazing things ever, yet I can't play for more than 5 minutes without getting bored.

I think you guys are overstating the importance of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27010547)

video games just a teeny bit, for the same reason that comic books are now called graphic novels - you're a bunch of losers with bad personal hygiene and bad social skills all clustering around a niche hobby. Within a generation you'll all be extinct like HAM radio operators.

The Legend of Zelda? (4, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27010607)

I know the series got some good mentions, especially Ocarina of Time that brought the series 3D but about the original, first game with a save cartridge, over the top perspective, huge world, second quests! Seriously, a big miss for this list.
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