In the long history of video games, there have been many that impacted players on emotional levels, but few have influenced both the players and the industry at the same time. These games were major factors in the evolution of the gaming industry and formed the genres to be what they are today; whether an FPS shooter or RPG.
We’ve compiled a list of games that are so groundbreaking that they changed things up, created new genres and game modes, or paved the way for the future in ways no other games have before.
10 Groundbreaking Games That Changed the Industry
Many readers just rolled their eyes when seeing this first title, but no one can deny the impact and influence that PUBG has had on the gaming world. It introduced battle royale as a game mode to the mainstream industry and opened up the doors for other titles like Fortnite and more recently, Apex Legends. Not only did it create new games of the same type, but it also changed major franchises like Battlefield to add battle royale as a game type.
There were few games like Guitar Hero before its launch, creating a path for future music-genre games to emerge. Although we’re not seeing much in the way of this genre today, it made waves when it released. Not only did Guitar Hero go on to make more sequels, but another game emerged much like it called Rock Band, which added the drums, bass, and vocals to the mix.
World of Warcraft
Released all the way back in 2004, World of Warcraft is still played to this day; kept alive by numerous expansions that built off of the base title. Even though WoW was not the first in the Warcraft franchise, it was the first in its genre. We see the impact of this game in the world of online-RPGs and how they’re made and played.
When it released, Doom created a level of controversy due to its intense gore and horror elements. The game came onto the scene and changed the world with its fast-paced gameplay, explosive action, and hell-scape environments. Since then we’ve seen the FPS shooter thrive.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Fighting dragons and using ancient dragon shouts to throw enemies off of cliffs was only the beginning for Skyrim. The fifth installment in the franchise, Skyrim was the first to make the series a mainstream success. Previous titles like Oblivion and Morrowind are held in great admiration by fans, even over Skyrim, but they didn’t impact the world the same way.
A long-running franchise has to start somewhere. When Assassin’s Creed released, it impacted the industry with its unique and fresh gameplay that not only allowed players to be assassins, but it also let them explore historical sites and events with a satisfying open world. Though the franchise has evolved and improved since the first game’s release, there’s no denying where it all started.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
No shooter speaks to FPS fans like the first Modern Warfare. It streamlined the online gameplay with new class load-outs, weapon variety, and attachments as well as a leveling and prestige system that was absent in the previous Call of Duty games. This model shaped and formed the online-FPS we know so well today. Despite there being many more games in the franchise, this one is still seen as the best of the entire series.
Super Smash Bros.
No game says “competitive” like Super Smash Bros. Coming into the scene in the ’90s, the franchise has grown and had its ups and downs since. The recent success of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate proves that years later, players still want to play multiplayer in the same room and not just online. This franchise is one of the foundational titles that has brought people together and continues to do so today.
One of the longest running franchises in gaming history, Resident Evil broke ground and blew minds upon release. It mainstreamed a new horror genre; the survival-horror. Since then, the franchise and the genre remain one of the most popular amongst gamers. The original game paved the way for other franchises like Silent Hill, Dead Space, and Evil Within. Much of what the original title did right was item organization, rationing, and puzzle-solving – all staples of survival horror.
Halo: Combat Evolved
Although many believe Halo 3 to be the best in the franchise, the first title in the series started it all and changed the way FPS shooters are made. With its unique and fresh take on sci-fi and space combat, the game allowed for couch multiplayer and LAN hookup. Though this was before Xbox Live, it brought people together to put their skills to the test. Halo also felt as though skill was greatly needed to succeed in both the story campaign and multiplayer modes. The story of Halo was intriguing and opened up a whole world that led to more games, movies, and books that extended the complex canon.