Video games have a storied history that goes as far back as the 1970s, and its been rife with success and failure, but nothing highlights the trends in gaming quite like the games themselves. Here is a list of 5 games that have left an indelible mark on the industry and have driven trends, and STILL drive trends today.
Play sessions for this game can last four hours without even realizing it, so its best to have snacks, bottled water, and gaming glasses to preserve your eyes. Its not often that a game can become so ingrained in pop culture that it permeates everything. This is a game that launched a thousand YouTube channels and is currently experiencing a resurgence. Minecraft has captured everyones imagination by being a simple world, with simple rules and the ability to make almost anything. People have made working TVs and calculators, giant recreations of the Death Star, and evil lairs with lava weeping from giant skulls.
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. is an obvious pick for this list. It propelled the Nintendo Entertainment System into homes across the world, and some say it singlehandedly saved the industry. It is a masterclass in platforming, and any 2D platformer worth its salt borrows design elements from the granddaddy of all 2D gaming. Its a paragon of addictive and simple gameplay. Two buttons are all you need to experience this title, but youll need all your skill and pattern recognition to make it to the end, defeat Bowser, and save the princess.
Fallout is a storied franchise, and one of the most beloved isometric western RPGs. The game system itself was adapted from the Generic Universal RolePlaying System, or GURPS. Interplay lovingly crafted an enduring post-apocalyptic world with a 1950s aesthetic, and amazingly deep and well-researched lore. It really shows off the differences and design choices between western developers versus Japanese developers. It also showed there is a market for more modern settings than the more traditional fantasy settings.
Final Fantasy 7
Easily one of the most iconic JRPGs in history. Final Fantasy 7 easily drew in a ton of people to the original Playstation and raised a whole crop of future weebs. The graphics at the time and the story were a big attraction, and Square took the systems they designed in the previous Final Fantasy and perfected them. Its at the top of a lot of gamers lists and for a good reason.
Grand Theft Auto 5
Grand Theft Auto 5 was a uber-successful gaming product in the history of gaming. Its beaten Star Wars and other pop culture juggernauts in earning power. Its propelled the live service model of monetization to the forefront of almost all the Triple-A publishers. No doubt, the earning potential of GTA5 is going to be a driving force of video games for a very long time. Microtransaction driven online multiplayer content is here to stay, and GTA5 will inform Rockstars design for any game the design moving forward.
Naturally, a list of five can only scrape the surface of gamings rich and interesting history. It was difficult narrowing it down to just five, but these games are some of the biggest influences on the entire industry.