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Some games are great, but others are memorable for all time. Whether it’s a new mechanic, a new presentation, or simply being in the right place at the right time, these are some game changers in a growing industry.

Game Changers is a series that looks at the very best of video games. Games that help define a generation, a franchise, or the very fabric of gaming as the whole.  What it hopes to accomplish is to showcase some of the most popular games ever made and dive into their history. Looking at their development, legacym and the influence that they provide, Game Changers hopes to show why some games are more than just being great; they are important to the history of the medium.

The following is in chronological order with the newest article in the series first.

Halo: Combat Evolved

By Robert Grosso

halo combat evolved game changers

The success of Halo cannot be understated. It was the game that changed how console shooters work, invoking a slick, PC-style design into the hands of Xbox players back in 2001. A massive risk by studio Bungie, Halo as a game went through many iterations before becoming the slick, smooth FPS we know today. Thanks to that tinkering, however, Halo was able to overcome the doubt facing the title to become the biggest selling franchise in Microsoft history and arguably the sole reason the Xbox has become a household name in the gaming world. Read more here…

Grand Theft Auto III

By Robert Grosso

grand theft auto iii game changers gta 3

Open world games are a dime a dozen today, but back in 2001 they were unicorns in the mist—experimental at best and difficult to program at worst. One title, however, took the open world format and transformed it into the new benchmark for gaming, combining fully 3D environments and a large scale of interactivity never seen before in a video game. That title, of course, is Grand Theft Auto III, the first “modern” open-world game and arguably one of the best open-world games ever made. Read more here…

Pokémon

By Robert Grosso

pokemon game changers

Nintendo has a number of flagship franchises, but perhaps the biggest one today is none other than the Pokémon series. What began as a big ticket idea on a dying system in the early 1990s, all spearheaded by the auteur design of one man in Japan, has morphed into a multi-billion-dollar franchise that has, for all intents and purposes, changed the fabric of video games on handhelds as a whole. Pokémon is a series that changed handheld gaming, taking a massive gamble on what was considered a hardware failure for Nintendo until the game’s release. Read more here…

Castle Wolfenstein

By Robert Grosso

castle wolfenstein 1981 game changers

Castle Wolfenstein is a major influence in a lot of ways. It was the first PC stealth game, one of the first games to use sound effects, and one of the first games to involve the use of Nazis as enemies. The one-man project by Silas Warner crafted a maze-like labyrinth that would lay the foundations of many genres in gaming in the future. While Wolfenstein itself has become a franchise that laid groundwork for the FPS arcade shooter, Castle Wolfenstein has a much more complicated legacy, but one that nonetheless is a major game changer to classic PC gaming. Read more here…

Alone in the Dark

By Robert Grosso

alone in the dark game changers

Alone in the Dark is the grandfather of what we consider survival horror games, but its origins are more than just trailblazing a subgenre of video games. Stemming from the 1980s version of action-adventure, point and click titles, Alone in the Dark’s major innovations transformed PC gaming in the early 1990s, becoming the first true 3D horror game ever made and the first 3D horror game to influence its more well-known brethren, such as Resident Evil and Silent HillRead more here…

Super Mario Bros

By Robert Grosso

super mario bros game changers

There is literally nothing that can really be said about Super Mario Bros. that is not already well-known. The flagship title of the Nintendo Entertainment System and the game that put Nintendo on the map has such a rich history doing an article on the game is difficult, as any piece on Super Mario Bros. may not do it justice. Still, the history of how Mario became one of the gaming world’s most enduring mascots is not just based on the gameplay decisions by Nintendo, but also due to the sly business practices that just so happened to revitalize the gaming industry on the whole. Read more here…