It’s hard to believe sometimes how much computer games have come on in the short time they’ve been around. From black and white graphics made up of a few pixels with simple and repetitive gameplay, to fully 3D affairs with intricate graphics and intricate scores and incredibly immersive plots and special effects – the industry is hardly recognizable when compared to its early days and it’s almost impossible to compare those early games to today’s blockbusters.
That said though, some early games still have managed to stand the test of time and are still counted among the top 10 computer games of all time – either because of the influence they had on the industry, or because of their addictive gameplay and loveable characters. Here we will look at the top 10 computer games across the lifespan of the industry.
Pong is low on this list because it’s the most dated entry here, but despite its retro… everything… the game remains the first commercial gaming success and an absolute icon of gaming everywhere. And actually it’s still fun to play today!
Another very early classic, this retro arcade game has one of the most recognizable characters of all time. Everything from the sound effects to the gameplay are known the world over, and it’s a game that has spanned every generation and device pretty much since its inception making it very much one of the top ten computer games of all time.
Starcraft is a real-time strategy game that was well ahead of its time when it released in 1988 and deservedly became the best selling game of that year. Its success since spawned a whole franchise of Starcraft games, and its influence can be felt in every game since that uses a ‘class’ system for its playable characters.
7 Wii Sports
The Wii was the console that opened computer games up for the whole family to enjoy and the first to really introduce motion-based gameplay as a serious option. It was this that made the console the best-selling of the most recent generation, and the flagship ‘Wii Sports’ title that came bundled with it that opened our eyes to this world of possibilities. A true revolution in gaming.
6 Halo: Combat Evolved
As the name suggests, this was the game that really did evolve the first person shooter by introducing amazing online multiplayer, huge open landscapes and a mixture of on-foot and vehicle based combat. It helps too that it had an amazing score and brilliant lead protagonist. Not just one of the top 10 video games, but the main reason for the success of the Xbox360.
Halo might have evolved the FPS, but it was Doom that truly defined it – and even though there was Wolfenstein before it, this is the game most of us consider to be the Daddy of the genre.
This wouldn’t be a list of the top ten computer games if there wasn’t a handheld entry on here. And when you think handheld gaming there’s only two games that spring to mind. One’s Pokemon of course, and the other is this classic puzzle game that cemented the success of the original Gameboy. I dare you to whistle the tune – you won’t be able to stop all day.
3 GTA 3
Grand Theft Auto 3 was more than a game, it was a cultural phenomenon. Not only did this game truly offer ‘open world’ gameplay in a way that we hadn’t seen before, but it was also the first game to be so highly controversial and to grab so many headlines. Whether you like it or not, this was a big moment in gaming history.
2 Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic and Mario have always been the Pepsi and Cola of the video game world, and the original Sonic game is truly deserving of its place as ‘the alternative to Mario’. Not only did it feature eye poppingly colourful graphics and blinding fast scrolling, it also had a highly addictive gameplay and wonderful soundtrack that could only be described as ‘Mario on speed’. One of the top 10 video games of all time yes, but also my personal favorite.
1 Super Mario Brothers
Any number of Mario games could have made the top spot of this list (this very nearly said Mario 64), but it has to be the original Super Mario Brothers that just clinches it for truly defining the platforming genre – perhaps the most enduring genre in the industry and a mascot for Nintendo who’s up there with Mickey Mouse in terms of popularity.