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Continuing our list of some of the most influential games of all time, we include one of the best on-rail shooter for the Nintendo 64, two arcade classics that pretty much started the entire video gaming industry as well as two online games from Blizzard that have revolutionized the strategic and role playing game genre.
5. StarCraft (strategy)
StarCraft is virtual war taken to the highest level. A favorite national pastime in certain countries as well as a simulator for war, this game has taken strategy to a whole new level with Zerg, Terran and Protoss clans. The variations in tactics depended upon both player style and whichever of the three distinct and unique races a player used. There was a cost and benefit system that changed the way players looked at strategy, forcing them to think outside the box. One of the best selling PC games of all time, this game and its later iterations are still played today.
4. Star Fox 64 (On the Rail Shooter)
In the same vein as Dead Space: Extraction or old school Virtua Cop, Star Fox was one of the best on the rail shooting games on Nintendo 64. While subject to certain terrain and challenges, players were still controlling a weapon, albeit one that simulated flying. Players liked the smoothness of the animation as well as the non-linear level designs and the acceleration control.
Not a single player by any means, the game was a favorite multiplayer past time for gamers as well. The affect that Star Fox 64 had on games remains true even to this day as examples such as the Time Crisis shooter, Jurassic Park and Resident Evil games are found in arcade cabinets all over the world. Today, Star Fox has a new lease on life as 2011 saw ‘Star Fox 64 3D’ released for the Nintendo 3DS
3. World of Warcraft (MMO)
Perhaps the most enveloping PC game since the original Warcraft from Blizzard Entertainment, World of Warcraft has since swept the world with its expensive open world game play, excellent character design and the uncanny ability to suck in every person we know for months at a time.
This game hosted weddings and parties online over a virtual world that players were proud to be members of and was so worth it that gamers still continue to flock to its updating mega pixels like rabid wolves. Dubbed W.O.W for short, this game received rave reviews from critics and players with over 10 million+ registered subscribers. No wonder we never see our friends unless we’re playing too.
2. Pac-Man (Classic)
The stealth game that started it all, with walls to hide behind and ghosts that hunt you down and then devour you, this is one of the most classic video games in all of history. A maze of death, the mantra of Pac-Man was avoiding enemies rather than fighting them, using tactics over brute strength to overcome large enemy numbers. Spanning the arcade, console, PC, Mac and handheld gaming devices, Pac-Man is widely credited as the origin of the stealth genre.
Descendants of the Pac-Man game include the Wolfenstein series on Mac and PC, the much vaunted Metal Gear Series, the Tenchu: Assassin series, Hitman as well as the more recent addition of the Assassins Creed series. Other games that included stealth elements include Batman: Arkham Asylum, Tom Clancy’s Splinter cell and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Always striking from the dark, recent games have followed Pac-Man’s knack for avoiding enemies and using leverage tactics to fight an opponent.
1. Pong (Arcade)
One of the earliest arcade games that also eventually landed onto personal computers, this tennis sports game in modest two dimensional graphics was considered the triumph of its time. Pong gave the player the ability to play against a simpler Alternate Intelligence than those of today, one that simulated human intelligence to a small degree as a first step into the world of single person gaming.
The next step was therefore to include a second set of controls for the Pong players at the arcade before the idea to move the game to a smaller personal computer was born. From there, the branches that are created from this game span generations of designers, programming languages, spoken languages, operating systems and genres of gaming.