Editions

  • Simic Milos

    Civilization 2 ?

    • Amex Essentials

      Great suggestion, thanks!

  • Alexis Fernandes

    Sonic the Hedgehog?

  • Tiago Nêveda

    metal gear solid?

  • Бане Здравковић

    Heroes of might and magic?

  • Sorry, But Tomb Raider set the standard, Lara Croft Tomb Raider was just another rehash of an already gnare defining game.

  • Yuriy Batya Zagura

    Fallout, Angry birds

  • Vojtěch Červenka

    splinter cell – ratchet and clank – gran turismo – halo – killzone – wipeout – tekken – battlefield – vrash bandicoot – spyro and other giants – very subjective but still funny list

    • Amex Essentials

      Thanks for these great suggestions. You’re absolutely right, that these kinds of lists are always subjective, but we’re happy to inspire debate and to put a spotlight on the gaming world, which has had such a huge influence on popular culture.

  • Hilto

    Not a single RPG?

  • Issus

    No World of Warcraft?

  • Thierry Wybauw

    Resident-Evil 🙂

  • Nicola Zunino

    lol… Metroid? Baldur’s Gate? Civilization?
    OMG guys….

  • Milos Gu

    Prince of persia and heroes might of magic?

  • Garret

    Some weird choices, some solid ones though.

    Diablo should be on the list, and Thief, too (revolutionized the First Person genre).

    I mean, there’s a reason 99% of Action Rpgs are called “Diablo clones 😛 “.

  • Mark T. Henderson

    The sad fact is that not the original pictures used but the “modern variants”. This will confuse young people, who will not see how the actual game looked.

  • Mark T. Henderson

    Also, it was Wolfenstein 3D which started it all, not Doom.

    • Nicolas Quintana Zunino

      read properly, they said FPS genre was already two decades old when doom arrived, the game just made it famous to everybody else in the gaming community, not just fans of the FPS. And also no, W3D didn’t start it all, not by far.

      • Mark T. Henderson

        Not to argue, but I never said Wolf was the first. Doom was a success because of Wolf and the lesser known ones like Blake Stone. I meant that they were the breakthrough, and not Doom – it perfected the already layed out path.

        • Andrei Nartea

          YEP.

  • Mauro Rodrigues

    simcity is missing

  • Davy Haegeman

    Simcity, Age of Empires, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Angry Birds, but a pretty nice list though

    • Amex Essentials

      Thanks, Davy, excellent suggestions. The article could easily have been a Top 50!

  • Zaštićeni Svedok

    Manic Miner, Hobbit, Elite, Scramble, Vanguard, Circus Charlie, Armagedon, Crazy Kong…

  • Benjámin Kurilla

    Gordon Freeman and the Half-Life series.

  • Raul Raadik

    Ubisoft’s Prince of Persia

  • Valdis Starostins

    Looking at Need for Speed, i feell so old

  • Richard Lynch

    Fallout series?

  • Alexandre Graça

    I think the list is very good, but considering revolution of pop culture by some video games (and within gaming industry) some other classics should/could have made the list:
    – Metal Gear Solid (1998)
    – Gran Turismo (1997)
    – Tenchu: Stealth Assassins (1997)
    – The Revenge of Shinobi (1989)
    – Mortal Kombat (1992)

  • Dados

    Good list but really? Alot of these games didn’t really change pop culture.
    A game that dit: Pokemon red and blue in 1996. Love it or hate it, but it acctually changed pop culture all over the world.

  • Cristy Stanciu

    starcraft!, red alert, counter strike, diablo.

  • Aleksandar Tasevski

    Half life is one of top 10 FPS games…

  • alko

    no pokemon
    no simcity
    no civ
    no half life
    no ridgeracer/daytona
    no ArmA
    no Raiden
    no SNAKE for java phones… lol 😉
    cmon be serious …

    • Amex Essentials

      Haha, thanks, some great suggestions and many gamers will agree with you. It was an impossible choice.

    • Johnny Smith

      most you mentioned are not really iconic in any way, apart maybe from civ

      • Quintox

        Half-Life pioneered story driven FPS, Pokemon’s impact is still strong to this day ( It’s the turn based rpg as to what Super Mario is to platformers ).

        The rest I don’t see as iconic either.. good games don’t make them iconic.

      • alko

        pokemon-> pratically defined a 2 (TWO!) generations of gamers on portable consoles.

        simcity-> defined a genre back in the days

        civ-> defined a genre back in the days

        halflife-> disrupted a genre , cannot count innovations that game introducted.

        90’s arcade racers-> started 3d era to masses along with 3d fighting games (tekken, virtua fighter ect)

        ArmA-> not “popular” but the most important shooter at today on PC .

        Raiden-> defined the reinessance of a genre and set new standars

        Snake on cell phones-> opened to BILLIONS of people the concept of portable gaming.
        first java games and Nintendo DS Nintendogs pratically saved portable gaming where nokia sony and Microsoft failed. (apple never market and promoted iphone as a gaming console , they tried with apple tv instead and failed hard)

  • Kim Ursin

    In Europe the 8-bit computer, C64, Spectrum, Amstrad and later Amiga changed the culture, looking at this list, its very clear that the staff is below 30. A LOT happen in the 80’s and 90’s.

    • Ballock

      Indeed a lot did happen in the 80’s and 90’s. But this is a list of iconic games not systems.

    • Jorgebuja

      Sorry, also a European here, in my late 30’s. Spent hours and hours in front of my Amstrad CPC… and I’m afraid no game from that era has made it to “pop-culture” status as much as those described in the list. Could argue about not including Metal Gear or Pokémon, but Head over Heels or Match Day are certainly not as popular as Lara Corft, Mario or Link.

      • Fernando Reyes

        Zack McKracken on 8-bit Computers had quite an impact on “pop-culture” or Test Drive (early Need-for-speed?).

        Metal Gear or Splinter Cell missing in that list is IMHO a shame.

      • Adura

        The staff is more likely below 20. Not even World of Warcraft is on the list. A game which not only created mainstream Online Gaming entirely, something which probably resulted mainstream Internet overall.

        It’s not entirely far fetched to theorize that without WoW, this website wouldn’t had existed.

  • Rabensblut

    Prince of Persia, Wolfenstein, Legacy Of Kain : SoulReaver, and Half Life missing?

    • Amex Essentials

      Thanks for the suggestions. Time for a Top 50? 😉

      • Big Chris

        The list was very good but we definitely need a Top 50. And I have repeatedly seen the name of this list’s writer in some of the world’s greatest gaming and pop culture websites. He’s one of my favorites actually. Is he writing for you now? If yes, that’s a high-quality addition to your team.

        • Amex Essentials

          Yes, Theo’s a regular contributor to the site and has a lot of fascinating stories lined up.

  • Mars Pité

    Cannot Avoid Warcraft in 1994 and World of warcraft in 2004

  • Jānis Zālītis

    Medal of Honor!!!???

  • Manuel Chagas

    How come Minecraft is not in as one of the latest entries? Not for pushing technology of games but sheer volume and oh so flexible gameplay!

  • Innuendo Pozeri Queen

    All of you saying “oh this should be here , why that should not be there , this list sucks ” guess what . Those games are cornerstones to today’s gaming . It does not matter if WOW is popular today . You the sucess of video games to them . No matter how you cry that they are wrong , they are not . Doom is the first one , Tetris is the holy grail of video games , Pacman is the Super Arcade game , Street Fighter was and still is the purest duel fighting game , every one of them has its role in todays empire of video games and …

    SUper Mario is and will be the most Video Game ever made . EVER !

    • Christian van Caine

      Damn right.

    • Adura

      There are definitely games that were bigger cornerstones to today’s gaming. I agree with the first part of the list, absolutely. Street Fighter, Doom and so on.

      But God of War and Bioshock were practically small dots on gaming history, compared to say Assassin’s Creed that’s also on the list, which popularized parkour in real life.

      And games that are missing, such as World of Warcraft which created online gaming isn’t mentioned. Neither is StarCraft that created the eSports industry, an industry which is rivaling the music industry today.
      Nor is League of Legends mentioned, that sorry to break it to you, is the most played video game in history.

      Not even Pokemon is on the list, which is a lot bigger than “God of War” (Who has even played that game, srsly)

  • Graham Houston

    I’ve played them all 😉

  • Panos Daskalopoulos

    I totaly agree

    Except for Sims
    I hate Sims

    • Andreu Sánchez

      Wait! Is it even a game?!

  • Fedor Daniel

    and Witcher 3 is the latest imho

    • Amex Essentials

      Thanks, great suggestion.

      • Adura

        Witcher 3 is practically unknown, it’s a good game for people who like the series. But I’d say 80-90% of society doesn’t know it exists even.

  • Evaldas Peciunas

    And where Heroes of might and magic 3? where Quake?
    Age of Empires? Warcraft? Half life?

  • Christian van Caine

    Fully agree. Many of them are far from the best in their genre, but they were indeed the ones making it fly the first place.

  • Dimitris

    Oh dear God what about Half-Life ??

    • Adura

      Half-Life was overshadowed by Counter-Strike tbh. But not even Counter-Strike is on the list so idkwtf.

  • It was only when it was repackaged as Lara Croft: Tomb Raider that the game gained iconic status??
    It was repackaged because it already had it…

    • Adura

      The best part is that this is based on nothing. Lara Craft: Tomb Raider is the name of the movie. The repacking I assume they refer to, happened in 2013. And it pretty much tanked.

  • Amex Essentials

    Thanks, these are all great suggestions and it’s hard to make a final selection. This could easily have ended up as a Top 50 or a Top 100.

    • Adura

      Wtf? Each of the games he mentioned are literally top 5 with League of Legends missing.

  • Sergorn Drakael

    That’s a good list but the idea that Tomb Raider only became a classic when “repacked” is ridiculous, it was an instant classic in 1996 a defining game of the PS1 era.

  • Stefan Lakerveld

    Great list, i personally miss Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Half-life/Counterstrike and the FIFA franchise which is now the biggest hype (esports).

  • Sean Scully

    Minecraft, WoW, Half-Life, Command and Conquer/Warcraft/Starcraft, and Diablo are totally missing. These were also era and genera defining games.

    • Adura

      WoW (Birthing online gaming) and StarCraft (birthing eSports) belong on the list. MineCraft was insanely huge and could in a sense be attributed with birthing Indie games perhaps? But the other games are forgotten and left no societal impact.

      And I say that while playing D2 LOD actively to this day. And I do agree that it’s the father of a genre and to this day, still the best game of it’s genre. But it’s a dead genre that almost nobody plays anymore. :

  • Dejan Markovic

    Age of empire, Half life, Fifa i Pes,Medal of honor, older for Comodore64, Phoenix, Scramble, Don kin kong, Green beret

    • Adura

      None of these games have left a societal impact, other than Half-Life since Counter-Strike was a mod for that game initially.

  • Ovidiu Adrian

    Medal of Honor – 1999, is far more iconic than COD!

    • helium

      De acord!

      • Adura

        MoH was great. COD with its 360 noscopes created YouTube gaming and celebrities like Pewdiepie. Hence COD has a much bigger societal impact. Even if I agree that MoH overall was the better game at the time.

  • helium

    StarCraft BroodWar, Warcraft II – Reign of Chaos, Commandos – Behind Enemy Lines, Heroes of Might and Magic 3, SOF, Fifa 98 RTWC, Fifa 99, Diablo 2 – LOD, Red Alert 2, Counter-Strike, Mafia, Max Payne 1, Half Life, Tropico, Black and White, Mortal Kombat, Deus Ex, Alpha Centauri, Civilization, Gorky 17, GTA 2, Homeworld, IL-2 Sturmovik, Medal of Honor – Allied Assault, Shogun – Total War, NFS Porsche, THPS 2, etc.

    WTF?!?!?!?! Where are they…

    • Einārs Viziņš

      My type of Guy 🙂

    • Hélder Lima

      Metal Gear from far the first spy game (1986) and the begening of cinematic games (1998)!

    • George Cristian Matei

      All that + Dune

  • Garu Derota

    Elite is still my favorite game. Also The Sentinel will always be one of my favorites. Maniac Mansion changed videogames, too.

  • Oleg Sudakov

    Some choices look really strange to me… Quake is far more iconic than CoD, in my view. And why didn’t you mentiion Fallout, Baldur’s Gate and Skyrim (or any of the Elder Scrolls series)?

    • darklordish

      CoD invented that little thing called progression that everybody uses now. Baldurs game shouldnt be on the list cuz it was heavily influenced by one of the best RPG of all time called Diablo

      • Adura

        Whether or not BG was influenced by Diablo is hard to say. The games are actually extremely different from each other, with BG following a pretty strict D&D scheme.

        CoD invented casual gaming and 360 no scopes. But it’s biggest contribution was in fact the 360 noscopes that resulted in YouTube gaming and led to celebrities like Pewdiepie.

        None of the other games mentioned had such impacts comparatively.

  • Mickey Fk

    Bioshock and last of us ? Bof….

    I think the first Zelda was more iconic than Ocarina of Time.

  • Ryszard Karpiński

    no Witcher 3 on the list? Seriously?…

    • darklordish

      It did nothing for gaming industry. Witcher 3 is just a good game but nothing really special

  • Christoffel de Gruyter

    No World of Warcraft is just odd, I mean really odd. I’m not joking if that game’s revenue is higher than the combination of ALL of the games in this list.

  • Mikko Ainasoja

    I think there should be Zelda, and Heroes of Might and magic, and even Settlers, and maybe dune 2? Hmm… Yes.

  • Alex Perotti

    I don’t think the author really know about gaming history. God of war is a long forgotten game. Nothing compared to the Pokemon series, Monkey Island series and Baldur’s gate series.

    • Oliver Beslagic

      Agreed! They really don’t know much about gaming history. Omission of Monkey Island series is just unforgivable!

  • Dmitriy Veselov

    This is somewhat console biased. Otherwise there would be Half-Life, Portal and a bunch of mmorpgs.

    • Adura

      This list is just trash tbh. Most of these games are pretty whatever in terms of societal impact. God of War is literally, some big guy on PlayStation to every PC Gamer. Most people don’t know it exists at all, ask most non-gamers, they’ve heard of eSport tournaments. Even if they’re old.

  • Péter Csákvári

    21 is just not enought. Should be about 100 iconic games on the list which changed the pop culture

  • Goran Gacic

    Rome Total War ????? i didn’t see one of best strategy game??? what??? how kids can grow without RTW ??? and what about Heroes??? M&M??? Elder Scroll too…..

  • darklordish

    Starcraft basically created electronic sports and thats not on the list also AoE2 should be here along with WC and Civilization

  • darklordish

    How was MoW more iconic than CoD. CoD completely changed multiplayer online games by inventing progression system and before CoD you always were lone wolf in video game singleplayers now CoD created AI that represent your team mates and tries to do it as realistic as possible.

    • Adura

      Without MoH there wouldn’t have been a CoD. But CoDs biggest impact wasn’t it’s single player or progression systems. It was actually the 360 noscopes, that resulted in the birth of YouTube gaming.

  • Indie Facet

    Gran Turismo, NHL, Tekken, nevite nic…

  • Alan Kasim

    Many of the people commenting here seem to be mistaking the concept of “games that changed pop culture” with “best games ever” and most of the suggestions I’m reading have no place on a list like this (even if they’re good games). That said, the omission of Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokemon Red & Blue, and World of Warcraft is unforgivable. Most of the games on the list didn’t have as much of an impact on pop culture as any of those.

  • Max Tranquilo

    How about Metal gear solid??????? Tekken…Even Pokemon blue and red were changing people into zombies lol:P

  • Pat Rik

    ressident evil 5 ?? really

    • darthvelez

      No way…

    • Apple Ex

      <3 game

  • Sundel Kurviz

    WTF Where is HALF-LIFE ??????????

  • Elie Sanh Ducos

    NO DARK SOULS ? U SUC|< A§§

  • teros

    I can understand that this kind of lists always leave some games out and many players unsatisfied for the choices made. Having said that, i think the addition of Myst (1993) would be necessary as its a game which defined and brought to the surface the whole genre of adventure games.

    • Amex Essentials

      Thanks, well-reasoned suggestion!

  • Albin

    “fanatic fan base” is short for “fanatic fanatic base”

  • Filip Van Bouwel

    You guys forgot StarCraft and World of WarCraft.

    • George Cristian Matei

      Blizzard all the way 😀

  • Marcin Raelian

    No Shenmue here . Of course because Shenmue is more reality than any foolish games 🙂

  • Adura

    I do agree that it’s probably based on sells data. League of Legends isn’t even mentioned. Which in theory have probably had over 1 billion players, if you count everyone who have tried the game or every created account. Based on that there’s 100+ million active players monthly, it’s reasonable that only 1/10th stuck with the game until now.

  • Jason O’Sullivan

    What about Candy Crush?!? 😜

  • f3d0n4k0z

    what about Agent 47 aka Hitman?

  • Mikhail Ashikhmin

    Ahh, this is so lame, a lot of the screenshots are not original.

  • Christian Kleinen

    Double Dragon made a huge brawler-genre impact. No brawler, no Final Fight, no Golden Axe, no Turtles, no Streets of Rage. Ignoring a whole genre.

  • Yeah, because Elite (1984) and Half life (1998) were just silly little games that nobody cared for…

    • George Cristian Matei

      And UT and his engine ,,,,,,

  • VetBedre

    God of war, iconic? Really?

    What about Pokemon, Monkey Island, Sim City, and Sid Meier’s Civilization? I’d consider those games truly defining elements of their respective genres.

    • George Cristian Matei

      yeap

  • Remus Protasio

    Age of empires was left out. This game made developing civilizations really fun.

  • Stelian Turcu

    Zuma changed my life forever .

  • Tenyo Tenev

    World of Warcraft,Mortal Combat,Diablo,Heroes of Might and Magic???

    • George Cristian Matei

      Agreed

  • Apple Ex

    no Counter-Strike 1.6 really? This game in not iconic for most gamers?

  • Phil Linstead

    Eerrmm Sonic the Hedgehog?

  • Petr Keldy Tengler

    where is Diablo II ?
    where is Morrowind ………..

    or Baldurs Gate ? Gothic ? Fallout ?

  • Paulus Fischer

    Quake 1, first polygon 360°-shooter.

  • what about fifa ?

  • warlords 3, heroes of might and magic

  • Lineage 2 , guild of wars

  • Pedro Moniz Teixeira

    No mmorpg, at least WoW had to be there, no FPS (the most popular series w/e), no DIablo, and no Starcraft, the game that had the insanest role in Korean’s culture.

    Stick to top foods or w/e if you’re going to make a stupid list.

  • Dady Riveira

    no Half life?no Crysis?no Splinter cell?no Hitman?no Far Cry 1?wtf guys?

    • Antonio Stradivari

      you’re right, this site should be scraped and tossed into the toilet

  • Buuu

    Is this a joke ? Where is StarCraft, where is Diablo, where is Warcraft, where is WoW (biggest gaming phenomenon EVER). Where are games like Heroes of Might and Magic, Quake, Half-Life.. This list is UTTER bullshit

    • Antonio Stradivari

      correct brotha

  • Hugo Miguel Fernandes

    It’s realy a joke where is the FIFA, sensible soccer comand and conquer, age of empires , any zx Spectrum game, iss and pro evolution soccer, Tamagotchi, the first Pokémon games and metal gear solid. This person out is favorite games didn’t take the time to reserch. Crappy list and try again

  • Antonio Stradivari

    WHERE is Thief, Deus Ex, RTCW, MOHAA and all the great fathers already mentioned in the comments. This topic’s been made by some young or ignorant dullard, nothing more.

  • Oliver Beslagic

    Weeeeeell, you’re kind of MISSING just the ENTIRE RTS (real time strategy, which includes LEGENDARY Command & Conquer, Age of Empires, Commandos, Cossacks series and many more) and TBS (turn based strategy, including LEGENDARY Sid Meier’s Civilization and Heroes of M&M series) genres! And what about point and click adventures (including ofc. LEGENDARY Monkey Island series, which is probably the funniest game ever made), then sport simulation games (someone mentioned FIFA and ofc. PES) and sport manager games (especially legendary Championship and lately Football manager series)?? Regarding RPG’s, you didn’t even mention the LEGENDARY Elder Scrolls series (especially Morrowind and Oblivion), or the ones that CREATED the genre, like Might&Magic, Baldur’s Gate, Dungeons & Dragons, Diablo, Lands of Lore.. Should I continue? Naaaah, I don’t want to do YOUR JOB for you. This research is highly disappointing, unprofessional and superficial work. It’s a big shame for those who did the research and for all of us game loving addicts. Really, it’s an unbelievable load of c**p written here!!

  • Matteo Bonanomi

    What about Minecraft????

  • John J Bradley

    Missing Donkey Kong, Elite, Afterburner, Kick Off 2, Sonic, Wipeout, and Goldeneye…plus a few more im sure!

  • Одессит

    C&C, Half-Life, Counter-Strike??

  • Florin Bogdan

    Ok, but it should’ve been RTCW instead of CoD.

  • Patrick van der Hoorn

    Doom should have been Wolfenstein 3d. Mario bros picture shouldn’t have been the wiiu version but the proper nes screen. So many mistakes

    • Peter F. F.

      I guess they listed Doom, because that made a much bigger impact, and achieved much greater popularity then Wolfi. They did not stated: the first of its kind. These games are “game changers”. Althought I also miss Counter Strike.

      • Andi “CRIMSON” Rain

        Obviously Doom was more influential than… well, anything really. I don’t know a person who hasn’t played Doom. Don’t know anybody who played Wolfenstein.

  • Marco Viana

    Match Day II for Spectrum, Chuck Egg and so on…

  • Mirza Fenrir Olovcic

    Console peasants!!!!

    • George Roberts

      cant say ive ever heard that before how original

  • Madryoch

    What about Agony, Shadow Of the Beast, Another World, Larry, Bubble Bobble, Moonstone and lots of other old games… or Mass Effect Series, Might and Magic, Elder Scrolls, Fallout damn where to stop …

  • Muz

    Good choices.
    I’d swap Need for Speed with Outrun though and I also want to give a shout out to the Fallout series.
    Also sport sims seem to have been ignored so maybe a mention of something like Sensible Soccer would have been a good idea.

  • Callum Johnathon Hunter

    No Sonic Game which I find a little odd and as for Wii Sports that didn’t really change anything

  • Michael Bonello

    No MOBAS like Dota 2 or League of Legends?? largest price pool in e-sports with winnings of $21M with largest viewership of any computer game ever??
    Starcraft? not even mentioned -> longest lasting competitive rts game ever?

    No strategy games like Civilization/Age of Empires
    No MMORGPs like World of Warcraft?

    Nothing on sports games. Where is Half-life? Inspiration for games like Bioshock etc?

    A lot has been left out unfortunately…

  • Bill

    Space invaders and Asteroids – early shoot Em ups. Double Dragon – influenced every scrolling beat Em up ever since! Super mario kart – sequels still popping out today! Also Strider, though that’s just a personal favourite – dramatic soundtrack and memorable set pieces and moments.

  • Jeffery Jeckewicz

    Start slide show? Pass.

  • Joseph Eshenroder

    Elder scrolls anyone? Morrowind perhaps?

  • Brett Morin

    Call of Duty is listed and not Half Life2??? Who made this list?


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