The most influential video games of all time

Games are the world’s biggest entertainment industry. In today’s gaming world we are spoilt with virtual reality, 4k graphics and cut-scenes that look better than most movies. It wasn’t always like this, however. Before all of that, gaming was a minority interest propped up by enthusiasts as they created a whole new industry. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the most influential games that shaped the games we know and love today.

Pong

Pong is the game that started it all. Launched as an arcade game in 1972, Pong was the first commercially successful video game, making its way into embryonic arcades all around the world. By 1975 a home version was available, and the home video game industry had started. The game itself is a simple tennis simulator, controlled by two paddles. The goal is to reach eleven points before the other. Points are earned when one player fails to return the ball to the other. A classic. THE Classic.

 

Wolfenstein 3D

First-person shooters are one of the most popular game genres and all of them owe everything to Wolfenstein 3D. We had very basic 3D graphics in earlier games, but Wolfenstein 3D was the first 3D first-person shooter and its influence can’t be understated. It t only had the first 3D engine, it introduced, as the developers themselves say “blood, like you never see in games.” Not only that, but when their publisher raised concerns over the game’s violence the developers, John Romero, John Carmack, Tom Hall and Adrian Carmack responded by adding skeletons, corpses, bloody walls, screams and cries as well as replay mode called “Death Cam” to show the death of the final boss. Groundbreaking and hugely influential.

 

Grand Theft Auto 3

The first 3D iteration of the Grand Theft Auto series was probably the first sandbox design game that most gamers played. This means it’s a non-linear open world where you have the freedom to roam at your leisure. The world where you can car jack, engage with sex workers and all kinds of other activities was a smash hit and spawned countless copies.

 

Manic Miner

There has to be a platform game on this and even though Mario made the platform his own and Sonic has his fans they both owe their origins to Manic Miner on the Spectrum. For those of you too young to remember it, the ZX Spectrum was a rubber keyed machine that loaded games from cassette tapes. This was the game that started it all. Incredible programming allowed in-game music and clever use of foreground and background colours. It required pixel-perfect accuracy, the gameplay was stupidly addictive, and you could be eaten by a toilet and crushed by a massive boot. Mario might be more famous now, but the Manic Miner was the original quirky platformer with an incredible soundtrack.

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