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The Top 15 PC Games Of All Time

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the up-for-discussion-of-course dept.

Games 315

jerkychew writes: "The UK Web site Gamespot recently released its list of the 15 most influential PC games of all time. It's a pretty extensive and well-prepared list, covering the obvious games, as well as a few I had forgotten about. The article can be found on their Web site."

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315 comments

Idiotiuc list if you ask me (2)

Moritz Moeller - Her (3704) | more than 13 years ago | (#1418994)

I mean how can Half-Life, Quake and Doom be influential? All of the were improved copies of castle Wolfenstein.

Games missing:
Rogue: Ancestor of all turn based role playing games, nethack, diablo....

Bard's Tale: First great first person role playing game

Elite: First 3D vector graphics game which combined commerce and battle.

Infocom's Zork or Adventure: the first adventure games

Super Mario Brothers: Restored arcade machines

Way of the exploding fist: One of the first great combat games (Tekken...)

Mule, Pirates: Action and economy in one game

Fort Apocalypse,

Pole Position: First car racer with 3D (sortof) graphics!

Pong: First coimmercial game

ARCHON

The guy who made the list was not a day older than 20, and has absolutely no clue about the old classics from the eighties. I mean Wing Commander was nice and maybe influential, btu it was an Elite rip-off.

EverCrack anyone? (1)

sarak72 (265887) | more than 13 years ago | (#1418996)

I know from playing EverQuest, that this was a hugely addictive game (just ask my ex-wife, ex-boss, ex-friends, j/k). Since it's so recent I don't know if you can say it's one of the "most influential games" of all times, but I think if you look at a similar list 5 years from now, EverQuest will definately be up there.

Leisure Suit Larry? :) (3)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#1418997)

Glad to see King's Quest, as it was the first real computer game I played on a friend's Tandy.

But where's Leisure Suit Larry? :) I mean, come on, I started off with the "classic" adventure games, but Larry got me "gripped", so to speak, on the whole computer gaming scene.

Total Annihilation (1)

LtFiend (232003) | more than 13 years ago | (#1418998)

Total Annihilation should replace Dune on the list. I know dune started the whole RTS thing but TA has changed it in a way unduped by the creators themselves. TA: Kingdoms sucked and was lacking many of the quality landscapes that TA brought us. I also don't agree with Half-Life. I didn't enjoy that game at all. In fact it made me realize why ID was in the lead for first person shooters. There's no reason for a storyline. What's the point. All the built in levels are just prep for online play.

Re:Bogus at best (1)

xTown (94562) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419000)

Yeah, I was playing Maze Wars+ on the Macintosh in '88. MW looks like it was a port or an outright rip-off of Midi Maze, at least based on the screen shot from gamecenter. I have never thought about it as a first-person shooter...but of course, it was.

The thing is, doesn't "influential" mean "people played it"? Being completely honest with myself, I'm not too entirely sure that anybody besides me and my roommate played Maze Wars. Not too sure how influential that makes it.

Many things overlooked... (1)

James Foster (226728) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419001)

OK, Firstly, the actual article claims its the "15 Most influential games of all time" therefore NOT PC only. Which begs the question, which deserves to be there more... Half-Life or Pac-man? Tomb Raider or Space Invaders?
I think you can see what I'm getting at...
I think the most influential games list, would include only a single game from each genre. That single game need not be the "first" in the genre... but instead, the one that gave it a kick-start. (Catacombs 3D was the first FPS, but DOOM, Wolf3D and Quake gave the FPS genre the momentum it has today)

I'm pretty amazed Tomb Raider made it onto the 15 most influential... I reckon I could think of 15 games not listed that were more influential than Tomb Raider. Tomb Raider's marketing was influential, not the game.

As usual, game magazines are stupid. (1)

Patrick McCarthy (126209) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419003)

Hasn't anyone learned yet that gaming magazines have sucked for the past six years? Computer Gaming World was nice before Ziff-Davis bought it up, then down the hole it went!

This list has some good choices and many bad. Influential is a hard word to pin down: I'd like to believe it means a game that spawned many of the cliches for a genre or outright made one themselves.

Going down the list... Wing Commander still has its claws on space sims now: Whilst the storyline has slowly been removed over time, the gameplay style has been the same. This isn't technically a good thing, as any game after WC1 lost strategy and basically got to 'Get the lead indicator in your reticle and shoot.' At least games like Terminus went past that.

Ultima 3 I can't disagree with, although I think U4 was better about it. Can't disagree with Alone.

Ultima Online? It was the first 'massive multiplayer' game simply because it had the funding and marketing for it. Otherwise it's essentially a big MUD, and a poorly designed one at that. (That Evercrack is another poorly designed one is of no surprise, so I guess you could say the influence is there.) I cannot disagree too much, but this is another influence I wish we'd get away from.

Tomb Raider? Yay. It's third person. It's 3d. It had mass market appeal for no apparent reason whatsoever besides topheaviness. It must be influential. Cultural, indeed. Even they state that it had been done before on consoles, they were just the first for the pc.

Falcon I can't comment on. SimCity is unarguable in its influence, although clones are far and wide, despite its influence towards today's realtime 'strategy' games. (I don't know why that wasn't mentioned there... It's there if you look.)

HALF-LIFE?!?!?? Uck. Half-Life was Quake with a litshoad of scripting and movie sequences. I guess all I can say about it is that it was one of the first to bring things to mass market appeal; most of what had happened there had been done before and done better under less popular games.

Can't disagree with Civ.

Diablo? There have been virtually no spinoffs of Diablo, it hasn't influenced any of the RPGs out there now, and it was a cheap ripoff of nethack (Blizzard admits this) in the first place. This doesn't deserve a spot.

Dune 2. Yup, and RTSes haven't changed all that much since. KQ4? I thought Lucasart's were better and more influential towards adventure games on the whole, but oh well. Myst is a big'un, but there haven't been many offshoots so much as staking out a genre for itself.

Doom. Can't argue there; Doom is the one that brought actual levels of 3d (well, 2.5d if you ask me) to games. It was a real eye opener, and all id games following it were the same, only lamer.

Quake brought multiplayer and scriptability to a new level, as well as the console. You can see every one of these in every FPS since.

And that's that. It's kind of sad how few genres there really are these days when you look at it. Not many have really been brought to view; I can think of a few games that deserved spots that are still around today. Oh well.. Flame away on my opinions. ;)

Re:They're all graphical... (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419005)

I guess they hadn't heard of Commodore or Atari, or the myriad of even older companies.

Wizardry! (1)

alcohollins (64804) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419006)

It's too bad Wizardry didn't make it on that list. That was THE defining role playing game for me. Mapping out the levels, building up characters, fighting monsters. That was the first time I've seen that in a game. Fight Fight Fight, Parry Parry Parry...

No Sports Games!!! (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419009)


No sports games made it to the top 15 here. Althought Quake/CTF MIGHT be considered a sport since CTF is played in real life.

Deer Hunter and Test Drive were among the runners up, though no basketball, football, baseball or soccer games, made it in either list.

Hmmmmmmm. I wonder what this says about the geek community. I for one like it!!
========================
63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs,
ya get 1 whacked with a service pack,

Falcon 3.0 (1)

sandman935 (228586) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419022)

Good to see Falcon 3.0 on the list. It's a shame that this is a dying genre. There's simply no real market for realistic flight sims.

Narrowband hell (1)

commbat (50622) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419025)

I'm on a very slow connect and they want me to load up all their ads and images for each game when all I want is a list... could someone help out a slow brother?

The ultimate game... (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419110)

For the true geek, writing programs is the best and most enduring entertainment that a PC has to offer.

--

minesweeper! (3)

waterbiscuit (241198) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419113)

I'm sorry, but this game just has to be mentioned. It surely is the most addictive of games, and you just have to keep on trying. Minesweeper is so simple, but completely addictive because of its simplicity. And then when you get down to the very last bomb, and you have to guess between two, and you guess wrong...

Aaaaah!

And you have to start all over again until you get it.

And then you get within one second of your best score... noooo!

And then, your dear sister goes and beats your best score...

I'm sorry, but this game must have wasted more hours of people's lives than any other.

Message from K'tithrak Mang (1)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419116)

It's about time someone remembered Wing Commander... That game was absolutely mindblowing in its time. Too bad you need a go-slow prog to play it today...

Where's Panzer General? (1)

typical geek (261980) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419119)

I think they should have made room for Panzer General in the top 25.

I'm an old school war game player, when playing war games meant clearing a large, horizontal surface the size of akitchen tabel for a week, setting up hundreds of little cardboard counters, and spending 20 hours reenacting WWII in Europe, or the siege of Stalingrad.

Now, with a curious 4 year old daughter, the only time I attempt something like that is when she's away. The rest of the time, there's Panzer General.

The AI isn't bad, I don't always win, and the scale is nice enough to allow for tactical decisions.

Has anyone played with the Wargame Publisher? [wargamesbymail.com] This looks to be the salvation of paper and cardboard wargames.

hmmm women. (1)

MetL Hed (222753) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419126)

You know, even though there are 0 women playing games it seems, Lara Croft sure is a 10 point woman! :) prrrr

AlleyCat (2)

bjb (3050) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419128)

What about AlleyCat? C'mon, it was a PC only game that STILL has my attention 18 years after I first played it.

Ok, so it might not be influential, but it certainly is a blast to play and it is a PC game (it even says it's written for the IBM PC in the title screen).

--

Civilization, or why I keep win 3.11 (1)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419146)

Civilization is a drug for me, the best $2 I ever spent at a garage sale.I have it on my 486/40 laptop, and that's why I haven't deleted the DOS partition to make it an X Window client.

I could spend hours straight playing it, heck, I did at my hotline job.

Microsoft Solitaire (3)

Juln (41313) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419150)

Some people think it this is some sort of internal, hardware based program that is the reason their employers bought them that 900 Mhz PIII.

Re:Narrowband hell (1)

Ctrl-Alt-Del (64339) | more than 14 years ago | (#1419153)

I cannot believe that Elite is missing from the list... it defined the space combat simulator, and still has not been matched, especially by Wing Commander.

How about... (2)

polbit (206213) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419154)

the ultimate dungeon crawler - Dungeon Master? And my FAVORITE game of all time, the Sundog for the Atari ST by the same group, FTL. Anybody that hasn't played Sundog is missing out. Of course the list wouldn't be complete without Civilization II and Homeworld.

Re:AlleyCat (1)

bjb (3050) | more than 14 years ago | (#1419156)

Actually, the version I quote is from Tiny Tim's first album sang just before "All I want is 30 million dollars" (or whatever the title was exactly). Anyway...

--

Adventure and Trade Wars (1)

nubis (126403) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419160)

Too bad they didn't choose the 15 most influential computer games of all time. Then we would of gotten to be reminded of the *real* classics: Adventure and Trade Wars.

Re:Narrowband hell (1)

Bojay Iverson (261262) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419162)

From 15 down to number 1:-
Wing Commander
Ultima III
Alone in the Dark
Ultima Online
Tomb Raider
Falcon 3.0
Sim City
Half Life
Civ
Diablo
Dune II
King's Quest IV
Myst
Doom
Quake

Re:Eamon Lives...sorta (1)

jms (11418) | more than 14 years ago | (#1419167)

Cool! I had no idea there were 236 of them. Thanks for the link.

Re:Wizardry! YES!!! (1)

Brian Dupuis (124800) | more than 14 years ago | (#1419169)

I played Wizardry (and defeated Werdna a few million times) without owning a computer. That's sick. I would spend the night at "friend's" houses (where "friend" is loosely defined as "someone who owns an Apple IIe and a copy of Wizardry") and stay up the whole night playing. Perverted. I apologize to all those folks to whom I committed this heinous act.

Anyone remember the old Identify "9" exploit? Also, I was the F-F-F-P-Tiltowait-Tiltowait kinda guy myself. With my delightful "CRITICAL HIT" 3 ninja front line and my dominant bishops waiting to level whatever remained standing... ahh! Gaming bliss.

Only problem was my poor characters were old farts by that time. I can just imagine my geriatric party cruising through the dungeons with walkers and dentures. Monsters were more in danger of being gummed to death than anything else.

Re:Message from K'tithrak Mang (1)

WinDoze (52234) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419172)

I loved how all the dialog strings for the game (since they were displayed, not spoken) were in a separate file. Load up a hex editor and modify to your heart's content! My personal favorite was changing one of the characters' "death line" to "I think I just shit my pants."

Only "Computer" games (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419174)

The list only goes back to the apple //e era. Its forgetting some arcade clasics.

I loved ultima III . I think it is one of the most engrossing games ever. I date myself by saying I played and played till I won. Doom was also great (also a great time waster....)

Although i fail to see how Quake and Half-Life are listed. They're almost the same as doom with fancier graphics.

I guess the list depends on what games you were exposed to when younger.

A truly great PC game (2)

Rudeboy777 (214749) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419178)

Trying to load that site reminds me of CmdrTaco's all-time favourite PC game (and what a fun one it is):

SLASHDOT THE BASTARDS!(tm)

Memory lane. (1)

SunCrushr (153472) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419185)

Talk about a walk down memory lane. KQ4. When I saw that listed in the top 10 list I was so happy it made it. I have most of the games on that list (even Falcon 3.0) and have a great deal of good memories of those games that helped launch me into the relationship I have with computers today. What a beautiful tribute and what a beautiful article.

My top 5 (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419192)

Zork II
Aces Over Europe
Pirates!
Warcraft II
Duke Nuk'em 3D

Pirates! rules the Earth. I wasted many hours I could have been studying, which would explai the 6 years it took me to end up with a 2.8 GPA

Re:Narrowband hell (3)

hiryuu (125210) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419198)

On the offhand chance someone else hasn't done it:

  • Wing Commander
  • Ultima III: Exodus
  • Alone in the Dark
  • Ultima Online
  • Tomb Raider
  • Falcon 3.0
  • SimCity
  • Half-Life
  • Civilization
  • Diablo
  • Dune II: Battle for Arrakis
  • King's Quest IV: Perils of Rosella
  • Myst
  • Doom
  • Quake

And the top-ten runners-up were:

  • The Seventh Guest
  • WarBirds
  • Pool of Radiance
  • Ultima Underworld: the Stygian Abyss
  • Deer Hunter
  • X-COM: UFO Defense
  • Populous
  • Myth: the Fallen Lords
  • Test Drive
  • Mechwarrior II

Biased (2)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419199)

Well, of course. Nevertheless a good choice in terms of influence after all.

However, I think in shoot-em-up category there's probably Castle Wolfenstein - actually a predecessor of doom - which introduced the 3D scenario into gaming. Also Duke Nukem should probably be on the list.

What I missed is the best game ever crafted:

The Castles of Dr. Creep

Broderbund

That sucker merged adventure into arcade into role playing. And - it was proof that frizzy graphics and dorky sound effects are not really essential as opposed to the actual scenario of a really great game.

No way man (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419204)

It was all about Oregon Trail baby.
I used to play this in school when I should have been learning to type.
Hunt to survive!
Dare you ford the river?
Oh yeah, that's what I am talking about.

If it were not for this computer game, I would not have known anything beyond Atari.

Something's not quite right . . . (1)

Kreeblah (95092) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419208)

The 7th Guest didn't even make it into the top 15? That game was one of the first ones to be released only on CD (never mind that it was originally supposed to be released on floppy, too . . .), and one of the first to have lots of in-game movies. I think that T7G had to be one of the key games in the puzzle series, making it more visible to the mass market. Who can forget "SHY GYPSY SLYLY SPRYLY TRYST BY MY CRYPT"? Or the bishop puzzle? Some of those puzzles were REALLY creative, and likely influenced a few puzzles in later games.

for those who just want the list... (1)

coug_ (63333) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419210)

Oh.. and btw.. the title is incorrect.. it's top 15 most influential, not 15 best (#12 comes to mind as a counter-argument *grin*).


15. Wing Commander
14. Ultima III: Exodus
13. Alone in the Dark
12. Ultima Online
11. Tomb Raider
10. Falcon 3.0
9. Sim City
8. Half-life
7. Civilization
6. Diablo
5. Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis
4. King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella
3. Myst
2. Doom
1. Quake

And.. for your enjoyment.. the 10 runners up..

The Seventh Guest
WarBirds
Pool of Radiance
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Deer Hunter
X-Com
Populous
Myth
Test Drive
MechWarrior II: 31st Century Combat

I've got a few rants about the games chosen.. but I'll leave that to you guys.

That's a strange list (1)

prisoner (133137) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419213)

I play alot of games and, looking through that list, I've only played 2 of their "Top 10". Aside from the notoriously buggy Falcon 3.0(patch "g") they seem to ignore military strategy/action games almost completely. Another thing that's annoying is that they seem to veer between the games that started a genre and those that were the best in that genre. Maybe two lists would have been better.

It's unbelievable, almost like a curse (2)

Flavio (12072) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419215)

Looking Glass Studios' games weren't even mentioned.

These people mentioned Half-Life, a 1998 game but didn't mention System Shock I, published much earlier (1994?), with similar graphics (even though it lacked OpenGL/Direct3D support and was a DOS game) and a MUCH better plot/gameplay/engine.

I agree that perhaps Counter-Strike should've been mentioned, as its counterpart, Rainbow 6, is pretty weak, but there is _no way_ that Half-Life is better than System Shock I.

And there's also Flight Unlimited, which defined the standard regarding photographic landscapes and non-military flight models.

And what about Thief?

I'm outraged.

Flavio

Most influental games ever (1)

SigVn (166099) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419219)

What no Pong, or Adventure were these not the games that started it all?

Re:Zork? (1)

Strog (129969) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419225)

I have to agree that Infocom should have had some kind of mentition for being influencial. I've spent many hours on Zork, Hitchhiker's Guide, etc.

Re:Civilization, or why I keep win 3.11 (1)

Skater (41976) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419227)

Try the freeciv Civilization clone. It's great, and still very addictive!

Re:Narrowband hell (1)

buttfucker2000 (240799) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419229)

Populous is mentioned later in the runners up, but I would agree that to overlook Dungeon Master, Magic Carpet, Theme Park & Syndicate is pretty disappointing.

Diablo? Why? (3)

Tet (2721) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419231)

What on earth is Diablo doing in the list? It's a half-hearted rip-off of Angband (or any of the other rogue-like games), but with all the gameplay removed and replaced with flashy graphics. The game has *no* depth to it at all, and I can't see me still playing it in a few years. In fact, I don't play it any more now. In contrast, I'm still playing Moria (in it's Angband form) over a decade after I first played it. That's the mark of a true classic...

Re:Only "Computer" games (1)

Maryck (84) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419233)

Keep in mind that the article is about the most influential games, not necessary the most popular.

Quake is significant because it introduced internet-wide gaming on a large scale along with the first real support for user mods (Doom allowed mods, but it was more of a hack than a standard game feature.)

Half-Life is considered important because it showed that the Quake format could be used for more than just multiplayer and shooters. It demonstrated the ability to create a consistent and engrossing story that progressed relatively naturally through the game. Of course one could argue that the original System Shock did the same, but it did not have the impact that Half-Life did.

That list sucked! (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419235)

ugh.

Oh Grand Prix Legends is THE best racing sim ever. And it's old now.

Re:Narrowband hell (1)

vperez (162398) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419238)

I've got an ISDN connection at work and the damn thing still loads slowly. I hate it when I see interesting articles on UK servers... they are always so much slower (being that I'm in the US).

Stonekeep (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419240)

Man, Stonekeep was cool.
I know that it is not that old, and perhaps not very influential, but it rocked(still rocks)!
I think more people should make games like Stonekeep. I lost my copy, though I still have the novel it came with. I still need to read that thing.

As a poor kid... (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419241)

this is really rubbing it in. When most of these games were released I was hacking away on a C-64 and the UNIX boxen I could connect to with my 1200/75 baud modem. I occasionally got to play on a PC at a user group or a friend's house (a friend of mine actually owned a computer shop but we weren't allowed to play games on the PC's). When I finally did get a PC (why parents sold the family home and splashed out to buy me one) I was utterly suprised to find that I could program in C on it. Luckily the first game I got on my new PC was Another World. A truely revolutionary game, both in it's graphics and story line and in the fact that it was put together by one man (ok ok, and a musician).

Re:Civilization, or why I keep win 3.11 (1)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419245)

I tried freeciv, I had trouble with it though.

I tried running 3 players in 3 separate windows, but it wouldn't start.

I'll try again.

Re:Civilization II (1)

emir (111909) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419246)

it says "influential" not best games :)

btw i agree with you civII is among top5 games ever made. civ. ctp was quite good also, i hope loki will release ctp2 for gnu/linux so i can try that one too...

Re:Aces over Europe rocks (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419248)

--Oh you played the USA... um me too...

USA USA Uber Alles Uber Alles USA...

Re:AlleyCat (1)

lunenburg (37393) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419250)

Alleycat was classic. Luv dem mousies!

Thank God for dosemu - I can play The Cat whenever I want to now!

15 Most Influential Games of All Time? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1419252)

The article is interesting, but they are really limited in their scope. They only consider relatively recent vintage PC games (although they cite classics like zork, adventure, wolfenstein and king's quest). I would think that space wars at MIT, asteroids, pong, breakout, space invaders, street fighter II, centipede, tetris, tank commander, and mine sweeper were all influential. Although I'm not generally a fan of sports simulations, surely there was an early sports simulation that caught peoples attention. What about Microsoft flight simulator (maybe not the best but widely deployed early on) and Windoze Solitaire (talk about influence, how many hours of work are lost to those games each year :-)?).

Re:The best C64 game (1)

polbit (206213) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419253)

I think the The Way of The Exploding Fist, The Great American Cross-country Road Race, Pitstop II and Loade Runner are surely one of the best C64 titles ever...

Re:Zork? (1)

sandman935 (228586) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419256)

After I posted that, I then began to wonder. What influence?

I think that you can trace the origin of Myst back to text adventures. Was Myst influential? Hard to say. It sold a lot of copies but I can't recall anything following it that would indicate the birth of a genre. Unlike Castle Wolfenstein/Doom that begat an entire industry in FPS.

Re:No way man (1)

gwizah (236406) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419258)

Oh man I shot a bear once and got 1300 lbs. of meat, I think it was a bug in the game or something. You should see my typing skills now...LOL!

Bogus at best (2)

fleener (140714) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419260)

This must be a list of the favorite games of the reviewer. How could they leave out Midi Maze [gamecenter.com] as one of the first, if not the first, networked first-person shooter? Deathmatch and only deathmatch, against smiley faces no less. It predates Wolfenstein by 5 years! It does not even show up on their list of games that pre-date Doom [3dgamers.com]!

OK, Midi Maze was on the Atari ST, but we're talking about the 15 most influential games, not most influential DOS/Windows games. If you want a good list, use CNet's Hall of Game Innovation list [gamecenter.com].

Culturally, if not critically, influential (1)

kafka93 (243640) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419261)

Overall, that's a pretty decent, well-argued round-up. There'll doubtless be numerous posts saying "how dare they leave out", by people who don't read the article properly, but by-and-large I'd say the gamespot piece does a good job.

Judging the influence of any game is always a difficult thing; I would argue that the classic Infocom adventures deserve a place in the list, and that Elite prefigures Wing Commander, but later games such as Quake and Half Life have arguably had a bigger impact upon the success of the PC as a gaming platform, set against the mac, consoles, etc.

So, a pretty well-compiled list. It's a bit of a shame that it'll probably get lots of people all worked up (such is the nature of these lists). What I find most interesting about the list, though, is that it's presented as much from a cultural/sales point of view as from a more critical perspective -- in other words, it includes Myst, Deer Hunter, Tomb Raider -- not games I'd consider classics when compared with some other releases, but certainly milestones in home computer gaming that have changed the landscape in some manner. There are games that perhaps have a greater influence in the minds of the developers and hardcore gamers, but these are the games that shifted units, spawned hundreds of clones, and developed good ideas into genres in their own right.

Re:Zork? (1)

daveym (258550) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419262)

ZORK ZORK ZORK

Ask anyone who has ever MADE a computer game (not those who review, they're just idiots) and they will say "zork zork zork"

Sierra Games (1)

Sc00ter (99550) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419264)

Am I the only one that misses the old school text input Sierra games? God, I was addicted to the Police Quest and Space Quest series.

They started to loose there charm when it didn't take text input anymore, but they were still very cool.

Oh well.. *sign* memories....


--

Leisure Suit Larry (1)

emf (68407) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419266)


How could they have forgotten Leisure Suit Larry?

Back in the day this was as close to pr0n as you could get on your computer.

Look at us now pr0n is everywhere, all thanks to Leisure Suit Larry :)

Ok, maybe not...

Re:The best C64 game (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419267)

Jumpman.. no doubt and IK+.. god I love that game.. at least once a year I download a C64 emulator and IK+ and have a few games. It's just not the same without the Atari joysticks though.

Newbies (2)

ShadyG (197269) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419268)

Of the 15 most influential PC games of all time, the oldest is SimCity? Give me a break! Yeah, I'm sure Ultima Online really broke new ground with the whole concept of "massively multiplayer." Not like there were any MUDs before it. Hell, DIKU wasn't even the first, but I'd wager it was itself a major influence in even convincing anyone that wide-area multiplay was a viable route.

I know it's not a PC game, but if you want influential, check out the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man. Horrible game, but you can't watch a movie or TV character play a video game these days without hearing the "death" sound from it.

-- ShadyG

Lost their long term memory? (2)

Malc (1751) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419269)

Most influential games of all time? Most of those games are in the last decade. In fact many of them were after I stopped playing games in every minute of my spare time, so I've never seen them. I don't suppose the writers at Gamespot remember text adventures like Zork, or wire frame space arcade/sims like Star Wars, scrolling shoot em ups like Space Invaders (Xenon II Megablast!), or the old days of platform games, or ...

no platform games ? (4)

mirko (198274) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419270)

Why are there no platform games ???
Where are "Manic Miner", "Commander Keen 4", "Prince Of Persia", "Lemmings", "Flashback" ? Also, what about all time favorites like "Bratacas, "Breakout",, "Asteroids", "Space Invaders" , "Pac Man"?
Come on, let an older journalist write such articles !
--

Re:Falcon 3.0 (1)

d3spair (249152) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419271)

Falcon 3.0 was good for it's flight model, but the scenarios and missions were beyond unrealistic. I can't tell you the number of times I was like taking off and some AN-12 (Russian Transport) was casually flying over my airfield. Oh that's realistic! It was also buggy as hell. I did manage to use a serial cable to play multiplayer once which was cool for it's time.

Re:It's unbelievable, almost like a curse (1)

thetzar (30126) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419273)

One runner up was Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. This was both a wonderful game and one made by Looking Glass.

Elite? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#1419274)

I was dissapointed not to find Elite on the list. I believe that it was the first open-ended 3D space shooter. Almost every 3D space game owes a lot to Brabham and Bell's Elite.

Crap List.. (2)

Milktoast (3812) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419275)

What an off-kilter list! First of all, Diablo was nothing more than a straight dungeon crawl, believe it.

Secondly, they negate all the arcade classics... Spyhunter, pacman, Pong! Where the hell are these "influential games?" Every single one of these earlier games did a lot more influencing than these new-age brethren.

And QUake is nothing more than an extension of doom, incorporating both is both lazy and idiotic. By the way, they missed all Sid Meier games, Rise of the Triad, Duke 3D, and Solitaire

Re:fp (1)

Gusheris (267378) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419276)

mmm If i were I'd start doing what the other fella in Europe is doing ... Wee Wee

Cheers, oh and i totally agree with you, Newbies need teachin the Hard way ...:)

Monkey Island et al? (2)

slim (1652) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419277)

It seems very odd to me that there isn't a *single* point & click adventure in there -- no Maniac Mansion, no Monkey Island, no Sam'n'Max, no Day of the Tentacle.

These games are influential both in the sense that they were hugely popular, and in the sense that they influenced the games of today -- Monkey Island 4 is just out and selling well.
--

What? No NetHack? (3)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419278)

Hi? Greatest game ever made? Ringing any bells here? 12-odd years since I first laid eyes on it and I'm still engrossed by it. Dungeon-based RPGs, ah... hell. 90% of FPS games take place in a dungeon, so there's no mistaking the influence this one had; the rogue(like)/variants are superinfluential badboys. Also, Myst? Huh? Honestly now. What games did it influence? Riven? Anything else? I mean, the game was gorgeous and were it not for the COP OUT ending, I'd have bought RealMyst already. But come on. Also, totally not getting the Cult of Half-Life. The game was good, but not mind-blowingly so...

Re:Falcon 3.0 (2)

sandman935 (228586) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419279)

Absolutely... Falcon 3.0 had flaws but it was the attempt to be realistic that's noteworthy. (Okay... there were some obvious failures.)

I can't recall realistic flight models being a selling point before Falcon 3.0. Maybe Chuck Yeager's Air Combat is worth noting.

I don't think any of the "realistic" sims have hit the mark, but there are a few that have come close.... Jane's F-15, Jane's Longbow II, Microprose's Falcon 4.0.

IMHO, Falcon 4.0 has probably hit closer to the mark than any other sim. It's a shame that Hasbro bought Microprose, released a faulty sim and then promptly killed further development. Hell, Hasbro does not offer support for Falcon 4.0 at all. No patches... nothing anymore. It's a shame. The continuing work of ad-hoc organizations have made Falcon 4.0 more stable, more realistic and more complete. The Realism Patch Group [falcon40.com] is an excellent example of open source success. Without their work and the work of iBeta [ibeta.com], Falcon 4.0 wouldn't be as good as it is.

Re:no platform games ? (1)

stx23 (14942) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419280)

That only worked on the Software Projects version, IIRC, not the bugbyte one.

Re:Hey (1)

Lover's Arrival, The (267435) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419282)

Hello again Mr Joe! I think you have made a mistake - there isn't really any such thing as a Linux game or a Windows game. Most games are independant of platform, and it does not matter really whether they are on Linux or Windows. The only thing stopping Linux games is the market share of the OS, which is increasing at an incredible pace! Now we are begginning to see Linux games become more and more common all the time. Look at the article after this one, about a D&D game that has been released on Linux & also Beos. Market share alone does not make an OS superior, but also the qualities it inherently possesses. If Linux has games released for it, then more people will use Linux, and so more games will be released. It seems that it has entered a virtuous circle, to me.

I bet if the top fifteen games of all time were to be compiled, Windows would be low on the list! Ahead would be the Atari 2600 and whatever, but that does not mean that they are superior in other respects!

I'm sorry that this is the second time today that I have replied to you, perhaps I should just leave you alone, eh!

Re:minesweeper! (2)

dR.fuZZo (187666) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419283)

In a similar vein, if part of what makes a game "influential" is the number of people that play it, then I bet solitare is one of the most influential games ever.

Really, it's a revolutionary idea. It helps to teach people the incredible utility of a PC when they realize they can finally get rid of their playing cards.

Re:Falcon 3.0 (1)

Kotetsu (135021) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419284)

While it's not as good a market as it once was, what about Combat Flight Simulator 2 [microsoft.com] or Crimson Skies [microsoft.com]? (I know they're both M$, but I'll admit they put out pretty good games) The primary group that seems to be suffering currently are sims of the really high tech planes. The older stuff (World War 1 or 2) has a lot of releases out.

what about Rogue? (1)

Spider-X (159360) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419285)

What aboug Rogue (aka Moraff, Nethack)? and Zork? I mean come on, your making a list of the 15 most influential (computer) games of ALL TIME. Some of those games are listed as following a pattern, yet they are also in the top 15...

Re:no platform games ? (3)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419286)

havn't you heard? There were no games before 1990.. just like there were no operating systems before 1980. This is the computer industry, we're a community of children who fail to study the past.

Re:Newbies (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419287)

Horrible game, but you can't watch a movie or TV character play a video game these days without hearing the "death" sound from it.

That, or the "swirl of death" launch sound from Yars Revenge. My friends and I treat it like a game: name that Atari Sound!

I'd much rather see... (1)

TheKodiak (79167) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419288)

"Top 15 Most Undeservedly Uninfluential Games of All Time"

Here, I'll get them started on some games that I wish they would make more like.

The Fool's Errand
Darklands
Heaven and Earth

Free games (2)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419289)

Perhaps in a few years time we will see some sort of free game released that never would have been developed because it just wouldn't sell.

Garriot story... (1)

jdwtiv (107586) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419294)

Back in '92 (before Doom was out and before the web was popular) I worked on a programming contest where we wrote a video game. Garriot was the speaker at the actual contest and a graduate student who was heavy into MUDS asked Garriot, "why don't you take these MUD back ends and put some really cool graphics on them."

Garriots response was that he didn't think there would be a market for networked games (he didn't think that gamers would be willing to invest in networking equipment for games :)

Re:Falcon 3.0 (1)

sandman935 (228586) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419296)

Trying to remember anything good that has been released since Combat Flight Simulator... European Air War was excellent. Jane's WWII Fighters failed. Activision's Fighter Squadron: SDOE missed the mark again. I haven't seen B17 yet, but what I've read doesn't inspire confidence. What have I missed?

I noticed WarBirds on the runner-up list. I think has picked up the arena sim baton and is running with it. [www.hitech...omaceshigh]

They're all graphical... (2)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419301)

Interesting, how there was nothing influential before VGA.

I guess we were all stuck playing text-based solitaire... and not enjoying it.

Re:The best C64 game (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419303)

Ah, the memories.

M.U.L.E.
Archon
Racing Destruction Set
Tapper

They did do a remake of Archon for the PC but it sucked.

I'd really like to see a modern Racing Destruction Set. Use the Carmageddon 2 engine, but include a track editor and a car editor. Carmageddon has land mines, but needs to add oil slicks.

Too bad they focused on more recent games (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419304)

They completely left out the truly innovative games that were the basis of many of the games that they listed. It's rather telling that most of the games that they mentioned were released in the very late 80's and 90's.

To name just a few classics off the top of my head:
  • Wizardry (or at very least the Bard's Tale)
  • Zork
  • Castle Wolfenstein (The original one, not that namby pamby 3D shooter (which also should have appeared in place of Doom))
  • Prince of Persia (Tomb Raider was just a gussied up 3D version of the Prince of Persia)
  • Rogue/Nethack (Was Diablo really more than just a 3D version of those classics?)
  • Lode Runner

Myst is the n'SYNC of PC Games (1)

Washizu (220337) | more than 13 years ago | (#1419305)

Anyone notice that Myst didn't have any games listed that were influenced by it? With the exception of its sequel, Riven, I can't think of any games either. Just because it is the top selling game of all time, doesn't mean it is influential. Case in point, n'SYNC sells more records than Radiohead does, but a band like Radiohead will inspire many more people to get into music than n'SYNC will.

Games like Myst are enjoyed by many, but try finding a game developer who liked it.
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