What do people do for fun these days? Hang out with friends? Watch movies? Play sports? Read books? Yes, true, people do all these fun things. But are you forgetting something huge? Yes! One of the main pastimes these days is jamming vids. Ok, let’s go over a couple of common misconceptions. First, it’s not just men and boys that play vids – women are also into them. Another common misconception is that video games are for kids.
But in fact, according to a few recent studies, the average age of a gamer is 31. Anyway, enough stats, let’s get down to business. In this article, we take you on a tour de force through some of the most influential video games of all time. Have no fear dear reader, you’re not about to see a bunch of screenshots. What better way to show you the vids than by showing awesome photos of cosplay fans who went all out?
Pokémon Has Been Rocking the Video Game World Since the 90s
There are a couple of things that make Pokémon special. First, the idea is genius: little animals, or monsters, or however you want to describe them, with all sorts of super-powers. The Pokémon roam through their fictional world and are caught by a “Pokémon trainer” who trains them to harness their powers and make them go head to head against the Pokémon of other trainers. Don’t worry though, we’re not talking about something akin to making animals fight.
When a Pokémon loses a match, they somehow become small and hop back into their “Pokéballs”. In addition to a unique idea, Pokémon is super multi-media. Games started on Gameboy, then a Nintendo 64 version was made. There was also an awesome cartoon series. These days, if you leave your house on a nice day, it’s likely that you’ll see people walking around playing Pokémon Go on their phones. Anyway, this game is huge, and time proves it.
Metroid Is “The” Definition of a Classic
Metroid and its creators go way back. All the way back to the glorious year of 1986. At the time, video games were just starting to emerge, and Metroid was sort of ahead of its time. And who developed it? Nintendo themselves. Yep, so we can put it on the list of classics they developed, along with huge names like Mario and Donkey Kong.
In this 2D science fiction action game, you play as Samus, and you blast your way through and across a planet called Zebes. Your main concern? Space pirates that are trying to get you. The game was super successful, and in the subsequent decades after its release, many more versions were developed. Now, over 30 years later, in 2020, we eagerly await to find out the release date of Metroid Prime 4.
Doom, Still Haunting Us Today, Is the First Big 1st Person Shooter
It’s not hard to imagine what Doom involves. We’re sure when you hear the title, you’re not thinking “Oh, this game must be about playing soccer in the park.” The name is pretty self-explanatory. In this game, your character, an unnamed space marine, brings doom to hordes of demons, undead, aliens, and other dangerous creatures.
Doom is considered a real pioneer when it comes to first-person shooters. It’s one of the first in the business to be 3D. Although today we would consider the 1993 graphics primitive, Doom was revolutionary for its time. Today, it’s still going strong. And you can imagine the experience modern graphics bring to the table. In fact, the creators, Bethesda, just released a new version a couple of years ago. Give it a try, if you dare.
Inspired by a “Virtual Doll House”, the Sims Is Incredibly Fun for Everyone
The game designer responsible for the innovative franchise, Will Wright, lost his house in the Oakland firestorm in 1991. As he was rebuilding his life, inspiration struck hard. He imagined what it would be like to have a virtual experience of building a home and a life. And behold the birth of an icon.
In The Sims, you have no quest, no real enemies (except for hunger, fatigue and the like), and the whole thing consists of making an avatar, building a house, and living life. It made history because it was the first “life simulation.” In fact, as far as we know, it was such a hit, and pretty much perfect in every way, that no other games like it exist! The latest version is The Sims 4, and it’s available on every platform.
Since Its Release, Fortnite Has Been Dominating Online Gaming
Fortnite, created by Epic Games and released in 2017, has been making waves across the video game community and is a particularly big hit with the youth. The game has three distinct modes. You can link up with other players to combat zombie-like creatures. You can get into a battle royale where you can go to war with 99 other players. Or you can try your hand at being a god as you enter a mode where you can make worlds and arenas.
Fortnite has a couple of unique features going for it. For one, the game is cross-platform. This means that whether you game on Playstation, Xbox, or PC, you can play online with other players that have a different console than you. Also, when you’re in-game, you have the option to build on the go. So you can be blasting away and simultaneously be building yourself a bunker, for example. Anyway, Fortnite is a great game, and we highly recommend it.
Mega Man Is a Capcom Hit, and It Goes Down in History as a True Classic
Since it’s 1987 release, Mega Man, the lead character in Mega Man, has come to be another one of Capcom’s mascots. In some ways, it offers us a beautiful mix between east and west. The concept for Mega Man was created by a Japanese artist. The game was published by Capcom, a Japanese company. But it broke out of Japan and made it deep into western video game culture, championed by Nintendo.
In the original game, you battle your way through intense 2D platform levels, blasting bosses and other enemies with your hand cannon. What made Mega Man truly unique when it came out was the option given to the player to choose which robot boss to try to beat first. This contrasts with other games that have different bosses, incrementally getting more difficult as you progress. And obviously, Mega Man is downright fun, give it a shot!
Donkey Kong Is Big Member of the Original Nintendo Club
Let’s clear something up. Donkey Kong has no relation to King Kong. They just both happen to be giant apes with the same last name who like to keep certain damsels in distress. Donkey Kong was released in 1981, making it one of the first vids ever. In fact, it’s usually credited with being the first video game to feature a storyline. In this Nintendo-made classic, you have to maneuver across perilous platforms and dodge all sorts of obstacles.
You play as Mario, and your goal is to rescue a damsel in distress named Pauline. As you navigate the platform and dodge barrels, Donkey Kong closely guards the damsel. When you get hit by too many barrels, you die, and Donkey Kong can be seen smirking away at the top of the level. The game was a hit, and both its main characters, Donkey Kong and Mario, would go on to become Nintendo symbols.
Minecraft Is Beautiful, Ingenious, Extremely Fun, and Has Something to Offer Everyone
The concept behind Minecraft is amazing in its simplicity and elegance. You “live” in a massive open world (we’re not exaggerating, the virtual world has about as many square feet as the actual planet Neptune!) and you mine and craft stuff while trying to survive marauding zombies and other creepy creatures. In this game, the possibilities are endless. You can build a farm, you can explore the world, you can hunt monsters, you can do it all.
The game was created by Swedish developer Markus Persson, and it was purchased by Microsoft in 2014. The graphics are all blocks, which gives it a unique feel that’s hard to describe in words. In every single way, Minecraft is huge. Most estimates even say it’s the best-selling video game of all time! Also, it’s fun for all ages. Seriously, if you haven’t tried it yet, you really should.
Resident Evil Has Kept Us Looking Under Our Bed for Decades
Wow. Since Capcom released the game in 1996, Resident Evil has been terrifying. The storyline is about a zombie outbreak that engulfs the game’s imaginary world. Not just zombies though, there are also all sorts of other horrifying monsters, and they’re all created by a mega evil company innocuously called the “Umbrella Corporation.”
As you battle your way through creepy hospitals and abandoned mansions, you also need to solve puzzles and explore hidden chambers. The game is super challenging, and it’s a real struggle just to survive. Resident Evil is Capcom’s best selling franchise, and it has been credited with popularizing the zombie horror genre. Give it a go, if you think you can hack it. Just last year, the newest version was released, and it’s as scary as ever.
Mario Has Come to Be Known as the Face of Nintendo
Mario is awesome. We first encountered the little Italian in Donkey Kong (1981) where we played as him and tried to secure the release of Pauline, Donkey Kong’s hostage. The game and the characters were popular. A few years later, Nintendo developed Super Mario Land for Gameboy. In this awesome game, you fight your way across side-scrolling platforms infested with all sorts of iconic Nintendo monsters.
The end goal of the game is to save Princess Daisy from a dragon-like tough-guy boss called Bowser. What’s the deal with Mario? It seems like he really has a thing for blonde ladies who are being held hostage by supernatural monsters. In any case, the game is superb, and its successful release paved the way for many subsequent versions. The character Mario also appears in tons of other fun Nintendo games.
Portal Is Hard, Creative, and Super Rewarding
First things first: Portal is not an easy game. It can get so difficult and frustrating sometimes, that it makes you want to do more than rage-quit. It makes you want to throw your console into a portal leading to a junkyard. But the difficulty is part of what makes this game exquisitely fun. The goal is to solve puzzles and get to the next level by creating portals and getting yourself and other objects through them in a way that is useful.
It sounds a little strange, and by all means, it really is. But in order to see what we’re talking about, you just have to try it. It was developed by Valve and published in 2007. Upon its release, it quickly received critical acclaim and was praised for its unique and original concept. No matter what system you have, you can easily get your hands on a copy. If you don’t get sent into a red rage within the first five minutes, it’s really fun!
Sonic Makes You Want to Zoom Home From Work or School and Plant Yourself in Front of a Screen
First released in 1991, Sonic has been going strong for decades now. And it’s no wonder why. The game is a high-speed, adrenaline-pumping adventure and a potent source of a ton of fun. In 1990, the president of Saga, Hayao Nakayama wanted a mascot figure that could compete with Nintendo’s Mario. So he and his talented team created Sonic the Hedgehog.
In this speed-based, high-octane platform game, you zoom across levels, collecting coins and avoiding dangerous enemies. The innovative feature here was the smooth movement of the main character, whom you control and take on a joyride through crazy loops and across massive jumps. After the release, the game became a hit, and it was clear that Saga achieved what they set out to do.
Grand Theft Auto Might Be the Most Controversial Video Game in History
The makers of Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games, are true creative geniuses. The first game in the amazing series was released in 1997 and every new version becomes an instant hit. In the game, you do the work of crime syndicates, whether it involves assassination, heists, or of course, grand theft auto. The game is an open concept design, with a huge map stretching across one or more big cities. But why is it so controversial?
Well, basically, you are free to do anything! You could just spend your time working as a taxi driver, or you can go clothes shopping all day and then go for a dip in the ocean. But the storyline and the game engine seem to encourage bad behavior. Usually, you find yourself being a mix between a mob boss and a terrorist – indiscriminately killing people, carjacking, and causing havoc in the city. It’s dark, really dark, but it is extremely fun.
Final Fantasy Has Been a Pillar of RPGs for Decades
Final Fantasy is a classic role-playing-game where players explore a fictional world, encounter enemies, and fight for glory and survival. The fighting is turn-based, meaning each participant in battle gets his or her turn to choose and execute their deadly move. Final Fantasy goes far back. It was first released in 1987, and by 1996 it had sold millions and millions of copies.
Over the years, Square Enix (formerly Square) has released fifteen versions. Each game has unique characters, settings, and storylines, but there are recurring elements, like the spells and character archetypes. FF is awesome partly because it incorporates a little bit of everything, including magic, sort fights, demons, science, and fantasy. Anyway, the game is incredibly immersive, and we suggest that when you try it, you are well stocked up on snacks!
Goldeneye Is Timeless, and We Eagerly Await the Much-Anticipated Remake
Few games age as well as GoldenEye 007. The James Bond-derived classic came out in 1997 and it’s so good that we can still jam it and have an absolute blast. We wonder if the creators, Rare, ever imagined that the game would be alive and kicking for 23 years. Seriously though, it’s one of the only games from the 90s that’s still playable.
You play as legendary Pierce Brosnan-rendered agent 007 and shoot your way through the narrative of the GoldenEye film. Missile silos, libraries, laboratories, moving trains – these are all your battleground. Semi-substantiated rumors have been circulating that soon, there will be a GoldenEye remake. We hope this is true.
Pac-Man Reverberates Through the Generations
Pac-Man has some serious seniority points, as it dates all the way back to 1987. Developed by Japanese developing firm Namco, the game was originally called Puck Man, and was later changed ahead of its American release. The player controls a little yellow (and quite cute) hungry ball, and you need to navigate your way through 2D mazes, consume and avoid enemies, and collect points.
The impact on the video game industry Pac-Man has had is huge. Guinness World Records has pointed out that the game has broken tons of records. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t recognize the fabled yellow hero. In hundreds or thousands of years from now, people will look back at the emergence of the video game industry and remember Pac-Man for the legend it is.
World of Warcraft, a.k.a WoW, has been making players say “Wow!” for 15 Years
Many a nice summer day and promising youth have been wasted away by people sitting at home and playing World of Warcraft. And it’s no mystery why. The game is one of the most immersive virtual online experiences out there, if not the most. It’s an all-encompassing massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). You make a customized character, and then go on quests, fight monsters, and explore virtual expanses.
You also interact with other real players and tons of interesting non-player characters. The game received critical acclaim and gathered a massive fan base. In contrast to many other RPGs, the gameplay in WoW is very smooth and seamless – without a lot of “down-time.” The creators, Blizzard, can be happy that they constructed one of the pillars of RPG games.
Halo Does a Great Job of Distilling Science Fiction and Action
Halo is a phenomenal game series. Crazy vehicular battles, waging war against aliens, spaceship dogfights (air battles), since 2001, it’s always had lots to offer. Also, the premise is extremely cool. At some point in the game world’s distant past, aliens called the Flood overran the Milky Way Galaxy. The people fighting the Flood, lacking other means to fight, constructed a “Halo”, which is basically a planetary sized ring that has all sorts of weapons capacity.
As you fight your way through arduous stages packed with aliens, if you glance up at the sky, you can see that you’re on the Halo, and the visuals are stunning. The franchise has been highly successful and has carved out a nice spot for itself in video game history. Some critics and fans even compare the cultural impact of the game to that of legends like Spiderman and Star Wars.
Mortal Kombat Is a Real OG When It Comes to Fighting Games
Finish him! Flawless victory! These phrases have been popularized by Mortal Kombat, the timeless and epic fighting franchise. One of the things that make Mortal Kombat so great is the amazing selection of characters (keep in mind, they were also popularized by the Mortal Kombat movies). You can play as a four-armed giant, reptilian evil ninjas, militaristic tough-girls, and lots more. It’s really fun.
The game goes pretty far back in vid history. When it first came out in 1992, it was originally just an arcade game, consuming lots of candy money. But the game was such a hit, that after four years, the creators, Avalanche Software, decided to adapt it for a console version. Since its inception, a new version has been released pretty much every year. If you like a good brawl game, we suggest you give it a go.
Legend of Zelda Has, and Has Always Had, Legendary Status
Let’s just clarify something for all potential non-gamer readers. Zelda is not the elf dude that you play as, who is equipped with a sword, shield, and bow. Zelda is the princess you’re trying to save throughout the game. Ok cool, now let’s dig in. Legend of Zelda is a beautiful and bewildering game. The goal is to complete quests, kill monsters, acquire new skills and weapons, and ultimately work your way towards saving Zelda.
Along with classics like Super Mario, Donkey Kong, and Pokémon, Legend of Zelda is an important member of the original Nintendo crew. Since its creation, Legend of Zelda has been huge. In some ways, it defines fantasy games. Guinness World Records notes that it’s ranked as the highest-rated video game in history. Since it came out in 1986, it has been getting perfect reviews. And that’s not surprising, the game is amazing.
Diablo Is Diabolically Addictive and Fun
Wow, just wow. Diablo is simply a fantastic series. If you wanted to find something more addictive than playing Diablo, you would probably have to start looking at illicit substances or cigarettes (which we highly recommend against). Anyway, Diablo came out in 1997, and it has withstood the test of time in every sense. In this highly immersive role-playing-game, you hack and slash, or cast spells, through dungeons and other terrifying places.
The end goal is to go head to head with Diablo – the devil himself. And along the way, you customize your character and improve your arsenal. The online play is also huge, which is, in fact, maybe the biggest feature of the game. Something about Diablo makes it almost perfect. It’s nuanced, deep, and super scary. Big shoutout to Blizzard North for developing such a sick franchise.
Pong Laid the Foundations for Video Games to Come
It’s hard to go farther back in video game history than Pong. In some ways, when we’re looking at the evolution of vids, all paths lead to Pong. The Atari game came out in 1972 when developer Allan Alcorn wanted to make a training exercise. Beyond training purposes, Pong provided players with a certain magic. The game is super simple. You play 2D ping-pong, that’s it.
A virtual ball bounces back and forth between you and your opponent and you try to pass it back and make your rival miss, which earns you a point. These days, countless versions and editions of Pong exist, but they all stay true to the original. Pong has a special legacy, as it acts as a real cornerstone of the video game project.
Tetris, Enough Said
When talking about video games, it’s kind of hard to nail down the definition of a classic. But Tetris comes close. In this game, the goal is to arrange rapidly descending blocks into complete lines within your “workspace.” If you can’t make the lines quickly enough, game over. It was created by a Soviet Russian software developer named Alexey Pajitnov.
After being developed in the USSR in 1984, it soon made its way to the United States and onto millions of people’s screens. It’s not native to any specific platform. Versions of Tetris can be found on pretty much any device that involves a screen. It’s a lot of fun, and it can get really intense when those blocks swoop down. Also, don’t forget it’s iconic music! If you can’t recall it, we’re sure that if you heard even two notes, you’d instantly recognize it.
Street Fighter Is (Probably) the First Fighting Game Ever
That’s right. Capcom’s Street Fighter, released in 1987, is the first of its kind. The game is beautiful in its simplicity. You pick your fighter (who has a variety of nuanced moves and combos) and go fight your opponent in a 2-dimensional arena. The game was a hit and it went on to inspire tons of spinoffs, shows, and movies.
The best-selling game in the series was Street Fighter II. The game, in all its versions, whether it be arcade or console, brought in something like ten billion dollars. Whoa, that’s huge! Capcom quickly realized how big a hit it was, and then kept putting out newer versions every few years, especially in the 1990s. The last SF game came out in 2016. That’s almost 30 solid years of putting out fighting vids.