10 Most Important Games Ever

Stanford University says so.

Posted by Staff
10 Most Important Games Ever
Oh, crap, you have to be wary when academia steams in and attaches definitive lists (or 'canons') to creativity. So, we are nervous that a Stanford professor has attempted to draw up the videogame ‘canon’ in a recent lecture straightforwardly entitled, "Ten Games You Need to Play: The Digital Game Canon".

The way to becoming an accepted art form or cultural practice - at least in the modern, pre-digital era - was to have an accepted ‘canon’ of exemplary works (of art, literature, music and so on) that was agreed upon by various ‘authorities’ and leading critics who specialised in their particular field. This also enabled universities and schools only to teach the works that sat in those canons, and thus put an end to any real thinking - cynical? No bloody way.

Seasoned gamer and clever-clogs Stanford professor Henry Lowood curates the History of Science and Technology Collections at this leading Ivy League University.

“Creating this list is an assertion that digital games have a cultural significance and a historical significance,” Mr. Lowood told The New York Times. “And if that is acknowledged, maybe we should do something about preserving them”.

The first 10 titles Lowood suggests should be in the definitive videogame canon are:

Star Raiders
Super Mario Bros. 3
Civilization I/II
Warcraft series
Sensible World of Soccer

Sensible World Of Soccer? Come on. We love Sensi Soccer, of course we do, but one of the 10 most important games of all time? A game requiring a preservation order? What exactly is the criteria here? What about Kick Off then? Or just plain Sensible Soccer? And Doom? What about Castle Wolfenstein? Come to think about it, what about Dungeon Master??!

See, lists eh? Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, you have to admit that they do serve one useful purpose, aside from informing you what you need from the grocery store, they almost demand that you have an opinion. That you agree or, more usually, vehemently disagree with an aribitrary-seeming 'top ten best of'.

So, let us know in the Forum below what you think of the above ‘starter for ten’ – is there anything you feel has been unduly overlooked? Or are any of the above titles not worthy of being in the videogame canon, in your opinion?


Joji 26 Mar 2007 12:15
I too would love to know how he compiled this list. No Zelda, Sonic etc. Don't think the WoW series and Sensible Soccer have done enough to be up there.

Zork...! WTF? I'll continue to scratch my head.

headcasephil 26 Mar 2007 13:43
games that i think that should be in there unreal for lan partys
golden eye i still class it as one of the top multiplayer games
mario 64 fist game on a console to use a 3d enviroment and a analog control
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87th 26 Mar 2007 14:36
Zork's there because it was the first videogame to have a proper storyline, but I disagree with its inclusion in the top ten. I feel Donkey Kong was more important, as it was the first to tie a story to genuine gameplay. It also saved Nintendo, introduced Mario and introduced different "levels" for the first time in a videogame.

Here's my top ten-

Donkey Kong
Grand Theft Auto 3
Space Invaders
Super Mario 64
Tomb Raider
MetalGear Solid

I know that many of these games weren't truly original, but I listed those that had the biggest effect on the games industry and general culture. Stealth was first done around 1987, but hardly anyone was interested until MGS was released, over 10 years later.
Joji 26 Mar 2007 16:01
If I'm correct stealth was also a major part of old Speccy game Saboteur and Saboteur 2, maybe some MGS influence went into the game, I can't say for certain.

My ten:

Donkey Kong (old school platfrom action
Command and Conquer (an RTS classic
Final Fantasy VII (for great story, design and game
Tetris (simple but addictive puzzler
Doom (for FPS improvements
Ocarina of Time (great adventure within limted N64
Mario 64 (pushing platform things forward into 3D
Metal Gear Solid (good story, great game
Half Life/Goldeneye (joint for changing FPS gaming

Ten isn't really enough is it?
realvictory 26 Mar 2007 19:33
You can't simply define "good games" in that way. You have to be much more specific in order to be able to make a list that's of any relevance at all. That list should be called "His 10 Most Important Games," not "The 10."

How do they even know that some aliens didn't accidentally catch a broadcast of a s**t game, like [insert your worst game], but maybe it prevented them destroying the Earth?

Basically, one person can't just make a list, without specifying why something is important.
realvictory 26 Mar 2007 19:35
10 most important games of all time:

Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
Outrun 2006
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