Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ten Most Influential Video Games

My youngest brother Ryan has been making favorite lists of everything he could think of. When I tried to join in and make a top ten favorites book list, I ended up going off into several different sub categories each requiring their own list. The only books we really could agree on was Harry Potter. So instead of coming with a top ten favorites video game list, we decided to come up with a list of the ten video games that have most influenced current game play. So in no particular order—hey, we may have come up with the list but we were unable to actually rank them one through ten—here are our picks.

Pong. While Ryan has never played Pong, or even seen it, Pong is where it all began. Ryan began playing video games when the Super Nintendo was released, so I had to do all the early picks.

Pac-Man, which started a video game playing craze, and spawned numerous spin-offs. Ryan has never played Pac-Man. Or Q-Bert. Or Frogger. But that's not the point.

Donkey Kong, which not only introduced us to Mario, but has become an enduring, and challenging, game franchise in its own right.

Super Mario Bros. It turns out a character can go from villain to hero, and after 25 years can still be as popular as ever, if not more so. And it's doubtful that any game has more incarnations, what with Mario Kart, Super Mario Galaxy, Paper Mario, and Mario Party, and the rest. Mario Kart is the main reason to buy a WII. Mario has staying power. Plus with Smash Bros you can intermix characters from different games. Ever wonder what would happen if Yoshi and Pichachu had a fight?

Mortal Kombat, one of the early fighting games, and a cross-platform one at that.

Goldeneye, which may be the best first person shooter game ever.

Pole Position. Would we have Blur, Grand Theft Auto, or Need For Speed if Pole Position hadn't paved the way?

Legend of Zelda. Ah, questing games. Not so much my thing, but enduring.

Halo. I haven't really played Halo, but Ryan said it had to make the list because it was one of the first games that you could play with friends via the internet.

We have been having trouble trying to decide what should be the tenth game on the list. Should it be WII Bowling, which has spawned the Move and the Kinect? Should it be Little Big Planet, which allows and encourages users to create and post their own games? In the end, I'm voting for Tetris.

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