Video games have come a long way since their inception in the 1950s when computer scientists created simple programs that could be played on early mainframe computers. Over the decades, video games have evolved from simple black and white, pixelated games like Pong and Space Invaders to the high-definition, immersive experiences of today’s games.
Some of the most iconic games in history have played a significant role in shaping the way video games are made, played, and perceived by society. Here is a look back at some of the most influential games that have changed the video game industry.
1. Pong (1972)
Pong was the first commercially successful video game, and it brought video gaming to the masses. Created by Atari, Pong was a simple game that mimicked table tennis, where players moved paddles up and down to hit a ball back and forth. Pong proved that there was a market for electronic games and paved the way for more sophisticated video games to come.
2. Pac-Man (1980)
Pac-Man was a hugely popular game in the 1980s and was an instant hit in arcades worldwide. Created by Namco, Pac-Man had players navigate a yellow, pizza-shaped character around a maze to eat pellets while avoiding four ghosts. Pac-Man’s popularity led to numerous sequels and spinoffs, and the character became an iconic mascot for video games.
3. Super Mario Bros. (1985)
Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. was a game-changer, literally. It was the first side-scrolling platform game with a coherent narrative that took players on a journey through various levels to rescue Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser. Super Mario Bros was an instant hit and remains one of the best-selling video games of all time.
4. The Legend of Zelda (1986)
The Legend of Zelda was another classic game created by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game introduced players to the fantasy world of Hyrule, where they played as Link, a young hero tasked with rescuing Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon. The game was known for its rich storyline and challenging puzzles, and it remains a beloved classic even today.
5. Doom (1993)
Doom was a game-changer in the first-person shooter genre. Created by id Software, Doom was a 3D game that had players navigate through dark and eerie environments, shooting down hordes of demons and monsters. Doom was a commercial and critical success and set the standard for future first-person shooter games.
6. Grand Theft Auto III (2001)
Grand Theft Auto III changed the way open-world games were made. It was the first game in the Grand Theft Auto series to feature a fully-realized 3D world that could be explored by players. The game’s storyline followed a character named Claude as he navigated the world of crime in Liberty City, taking on various missions and jobs for different gangs. Grand Theft Auto III was a groundbreaking game and paved the way for other open-world games like Saints Row and Just Cause.
These are just a few of the iconic games that have played an essential part in shaping the video game industry and earning video games their place in popular culture. Today, video games are more popular than ever and have become a multi-billion dollar industry. With new technology and advancements in virtual reality, it will be exciting to see where video games go in the future and what new games will be added to this list of iconic games that have changed the landscape of the industry.