Friday Five: 5 Most Iconic Video Games in Honor of National Video Game Day
The video gaming community is both large and diverse. The average age of a gamer is now 34 with 29% of gamers being over 50! Today, there a ton of great games to choose from, so since today is National Video Game Day, let's take a look back at some of the iconic games that helped get today's games where they are. Many of you probably not only remember these games, but remember playing them! Check out our list:
Super Mario Brothers
Today, everyone knows and loves Mario, his brother, Luigi, and the rest of their crew, but back in the 1980s they were just being introduced. Although Mario and Luigi made their debut in 1983 in Nintendo's Mario Brothers game, it was that game's pseudo-sequel Super Mario Brothers that really made them household names. Super Mario Brothers was originally released in Japan and North America in 1985 and Europe and Australia in 1987. Today, the Mario franchise is the best selling video game franchise of all time and, for those of us here in the US, Super Mario Brothers is considered the game that rebooted the crashed American video game market. In fact, it was named the "Greatest Game of All Time" by IGN in 2005.
Flash forward a few years to Doom! Back in 1993, first-person shooter games weren't nearly as popular as they are today - and the reason they're so popular today is because of Doom. Although it wasn't the first first-person shooter game, it was one of the first available for the personal computer (PC). The game featured a 3D space that players could move through, creating a immersive experience. Though the game would be considered quite primitive by today's standards, it established the basic look and feel of these types of games. Today, the game is considered one of the most significant and influential in video game history.
Now we go from first-person shooter to real-time strategy with StarCraft, which has been called one of the most important video games due to the way it raised the bar on real-time strategy games. StarCraft was first released back in 1998 by Blizzard Entertainment. The game features three species fighting for dominance in a distant part of the Milky Way in the 25th century. What set the game apart and made it one of the best selling games for the PC was its engaging multi-part story and competitive multiplayer atmosphere. This competitive multiplayer atmosphere was especially popular in South Korea, where "major league gaming" or "MLG" is now popular because of StarCraft's legacy.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved was the first game of the Halo franchise. The game was another first-person shooter and it was originally released as an exclusive title for the Xbox gaming system in November of 2001. Halo takes you another century into the future from StarCraft's universe - it takes place in the 26th century - where players take on the role of a cybernetically enhanced supersoldier named Master Chief. The game emphasized co-op play and really popularized the idea of local multiplayer shooters. Its other legacy is its influence on the Xbox's success as a viable video game console. More recently, Halo: Combat Evolved was named the fourth best first-person shooter game of all time by IGN.
World of Warcraft
It would be hard to make a list of iconic video games without World of Warcraft, also known as WoW. It is, after all, still to this day the world's most subscribed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), even holding the Guinness World Record for it. The game was originally released by Blizzard Entertainment back in 2004. It was actually the fourth game set in the Warcraft universe and was released on the 10th anniversary of the first Warcraft game's release. Since WoW's release it has had five expansions, the most recent of which is still in beta until its official launch this coming November. As a result of its many expansions and continued popularity, it is the highest grossing video game of all time, having grossed over $10 billion as of mid 2012 (and I'm sure it's only gone up since then). Even today, 10 years after its initial release, WoW still defines what a MMORPG is.
Not sure if gaming is right for you? There are actually some benefits to playing video games! Check out this list of 9 ways video games are actually good for you - it even features Mario and StarCraft in its first two points!
This post was written by Robyn Norgan, who still remembers playing the original Warcraft: Orcs & Humans back in the day!