Today’s best video games find their genesis in the games of years past. Recognize any of these top classic video games? You know their names, and you probably play something that’s derived from them.
Before there were video games, there was Pong. The first widely available game, Pong bounced a white pixel ball between two paddles. It was played in video games and on Atari, and reigned supreme for at least a decade. Many people today have even enjoyed a few games of Pong, and players back in the 1970s played little else.
Pac-Man is perhaps the most iconic video arcade game, and at one point could be found in many arcades, bars, pizza shops and other hang-out spots. The game has since been updated with 3D graphics, Mrs. Pac-Man and other features, but the little pie-shaped character still eats dots and avoids ghosts.
Mario is the most recognized video game character. People have been helping him conquer monsters and grow with mushrooms for more than four decades now. His pet Yoshi came along a decade after Mario first came onto screens, and the whole gaggle now race each other, beat each other and fight together.
Tetris was the first major puzzle video game, and it remains one of the most addictive even today. The game is no longer only on Nintendo, but can now be played on phones, computers, and almost any gaming system. Almost every tile-matching and bubble-shooting game is an offshoot of Tetris in some way. The original music was a Russian folk song.
5. Legend of Zelda
The Legend of Zelda was an action-adventure game that debuted on the Famicom Disk System, but was adapted for the Nintendo Entertainment System. RPG gameplay today has become much more advanced in both graphics and complexity, but the genesis of open-world role-playing strategy can all be found in the first Zelda.
Doom revolutionized gaming not only in style of play, but also in the emotional impact video games can have. It’s still one of the most adrenaline-inducing games of all time. Many first-person shooter games are more popular now, but the genre began with killing zombies on PC computers.
7. Oregon Trail
Oregon Trail accomplished what no other video game has done before or since. Whereas many games claim to be educational, Oregon Trail truly was. Without it, much less would be known about the westward journeys of pioneers.
SimCity was the first major simulation-building game, where winning isn’t the goal so much as development is. The franchise has spawned many sequels that are still developed today, and also many other simulation management games.
9. The Sims
Before there was online second life, there was The Sims. The quirky world let players be themselves or someone else in a society without limits. Without limits if you were a responsible working adult with decent style, that is.
10. John Madden Football
Every major sport has at least one video game franchise, and most have several. None have been as long-lasting or as popular as Madden Football, though. The original title was John Madden Football in 1988.