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There are certain games that changed the face of the gaming landscape. They are not necessarily the titles that lasted the longest in our memories or the ones that made the most money, though significant overlap occurs. These are games that have challenged the perception of what it means to make a game and increasing, what it means to play a game.
Consoles and PC’s of every design, color and accessory will come and go but certain game plays stay with us because they fundamentally change the way we game. Their concepts were bold and while not always the newest, still innovative today. In no particular order, here are 10 games that changed the face of gaming.
Honorable Mention: Duck Hunt (Peripherals)
Easily one of the best gaming accessories in modern gaming history, the gun for duck hunt symbolizes accessories that have made gaming more than just pushing buttons but an interactive experience. Technology has grown today where items like the Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move allow gamers an interactive involving experience with their games.
Duck Hunt isn’t so out of place in the modern world that a child cannot pick up the game and play it today. The graphics may have gotten better and wireless capability change the look of these peripherals but at the heart, shooting at the screen is much the same as it was 20 years ago. In a few years time peripherals will have a heavier hand in shaping game development but for the moment these items have not become a major concern for all developers, just some.
10. Star Wars: Rogue squadron (Franchise Game)
‘Rogue Squadron’ gets credit for being one of the most successful games based on a movie. In the franchise world of gaming, Star Wars has a mostly positive history of gaming successes. Featuring stunning graphics and excellent controls, the game was a riot for Star Wars fans to sink their teeth into. A meaty game with great sound design that made aerial combat come alive for the seriously discerning Star Wars fan.
Games such as ‘Star Wars Episode One: Racer’ and ‘Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’ are mentioned in the same breathe as fan favorites that tied well into the main Star Wars Canon storyline. More recent games that tie just as well into their respective universes include ‘Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2′, ‘Transformers: War for Cybertron’ and ‘Matrix: The Path of Neo’.
9. GoldenEye 007 (Shooters)
Not to be confused with ‘Duck Hunt’ for its shooting peripheral, GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo 64 was the seminal shooting game that started it off for many adolescent gamers. The 007 games have a checkered past, with GoldenEye 007 being well received while others such as 1999′s third person shooter Tomorrow Never Dies was negatively received by fans due to its awkward controls.
GoldenEye 007′s innovations include precision aiming, sniper shooting and generally accurate targeting profiles not seen in many other games of that era. Its commercial success may have started off because ‘GoldenEye’ the game was a tie in for the ‘GoldenEye’ movie, but the real success was built on its multiplayer level design, weapons selection, and music.
In many ways it is not unlike current First Person Shoots of today because many of those elements were taken from GoldenEye’s design. Gamers that play Call of Duty or Battlefield will have no issue playing GoldenEye 007 though they will complain about the graphics for a game designed in 1997.
8. Street Fighter (Fighters)
There were many mediums for which Street Fighter was played. There was the console, which on Nintendo and Super Nintendo were a smash success. There was the arcade, of which fans argue which variant of Street Fighter was the best and tournaments are still held today. There was the PC, where fans could not only play but also watch it played on a huge 22 inch TV size monitor.
No matter the way you played, Street Fighter made Capcom a household name. Not to be confused with a different Ken that drove a fancy car and had a beach house, these are hard core fighters with attitude. Spawning live action and animated movies, the Street Fighter franchise has grown into a powerhouse hit of fighting entertainment. From humble beginnings in the 80′s to great success in the modern era, Street Fighter remains the king of fighting games.
7. Super Mario Bros (Platformers)
The platforming plumber we all love, with a theme song that no one will ever forget and characters that never grow old, Super Mario has lasted the test of time. Those faithful to Nintendo have been awarded with a series that has grown and evolved in amazing ways from its original title, Super Mario Bros in 1985.
Since then, there have been imitators and replicators, but none shall ever top the awesome power of plumbers, mushrooms and Yoshi. Super Mario Bros continues on today, with Nintendo releasing games such as Mario Galaxy 1 and 2 as well as Super Mario 3D Land on the Nintendo 3DS.
6. Pole Position (Racers)
One of the first racers and still inspiring racers today, Pole Position set the foundation in both arcade and simulation racing. Known for popularizing the above and behind driving prospective, Pole Position is also known for tracks based on real life racing circuits, adding the first taste of realism in racing simulators for that era.
Successors now feature environmental factors and a physics engine of unparalleled power add to the experience. Games that followed in the wake of Pole Position include the Forza series, the Gran Turismo Series, the Ridge Racer series, Sega GT as well as countless others on consoles, computer and in arcade cabinets.