Ok escapers. We’ve been working on a project on for a while now, and we can’t wait to share the results. We polled everyone at all eight of our locations, asking for their top three favorite video games. We compiled a big list with every single nomination and considered the importance of each. We then narrowed down the list to the top ten most influential of all time.
Our list of the top 10 most influential video games of all time:
10. Pong: 1972, Atari. Originally an arcade game, the home version of the game was released in 1974. It was the first home console game, and is largely credited as the game that launched the video game business as a lucrative industry.
9. Metroid: 1986, Nintendo. The first of a 14-game series, Metroid was inspired by Zelda and Mario, but was innovative in its own right with features like backtracking to previously explored areas for secret items and being able to travel left.
8. Madden Franchise: 1988, EA Sports. Since 1988, the Madden franchise has released a new game annually, and in that time they’ve sold more than 130 million copies. In addition to undeniable recreational value, many coaches and players at all levels say the game has influenced them and recommend the game for learning strategy and practicing plays.
7. GoldenEye 007: 1997, Nintendo. Created on a shoestring budget by new developers, no one expected GoldenEye to be as popular and game-changing as it was. But with features like its multi-player mode and scaled damage, GoldenEye ended up being one of the most influential video games in history.
6. Street Fighter II: 1991, Capcom. Originally an arcade game, Street Fighter II was available on SNES starting in 1992. One of the most innovative and influential features? Combo moves. According to IGN, this capability was actually discovered by players rather than intended by designers, but it was massively influential nonetheless.
5. Pac-Man: 1972, Atari. The Pac-Man franchise is the third longest running video game franchise of all time, and by 1990 it had grossed $2.5 billion in quarters making it one of the highest grossing video games ever. Recognized by 94% of American consumers, Pac-Man is truly a cultural icon.
4. StarCraft: 1998, Blizzard Entertainment. StarCraft pioneered aspects of real-time strategy gaming, and it was widely loved. At one point, three cable television channels in Korea were all StarCraft all the time. The game is still played competitively today.
3. Tetris: 1984, various developers. Has anyone not played some variation of Tetris? The game is available to play on nearly every operating system and game console in the world, as well as many other devices.
2. Super Mario Brothers: 1985, Nintendo. Super Mario Brothers may be one of the most beloved games of all time. In a word, the game is iconic. In fact, in 1990, more American children recognized Mario than Mickey Mouse. One of the most popular points of praise is the precise controls. Super Mario Brothers is also credited with popularizing side-scrolling platform games.
1. World of Warcraft: 2004, Blizzard Entertainment. It’s difficult to overstate the influence and popularity of WoW. Enjoyed by serious and casual gamers alike, the accessibility, quests, seamless gameplay, and audio are often cited as the game’s most beloved qualities. In 2014, the game had over 100 million registered accounts, and had grossed over $9.23 billion in 2017.
Video game fan? We bet you’ll love our escape rooms! Check out this recent review: