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Essential 50 my ass.

February 22nd, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

1up.com has recently completed their list of the essential 50 video games. This is not about the best, but supposedly about the most important.

The whole point of lists is to argue about them, so 1up.com can’t expect everyone to agree with their choices. After all, with all the games out there, choosing the most important ones is neither easy nor obvious.

The list has only four strategy games on it: M.U.L.E., Populous, Herzog Zwei and The Sims. The best selling genre of all time, and only four titles. That’s fine, I guess. There aren’t many sports games on the list, and importance is importance regardless of the genre.

It’s the absence of certain titles that is really surprising. Where is SimCity, the first game to demonstrate that software toys and sandbox games could be huge hits? Where is Civilization, the landmark strategy game that opened up new worlds for so many people?

Even the choice of Herzog Zwei is curious. First, the idea that it is the first RTS is probably debatable. Even more debatable is the idea that “first” is the same as “important”. Warcraft II or Age of Empires had a more lasting affect on the industry simply through their success and are not necessarily descended from Herzog Zwei.

What’s with Dragon’s Lair? Sure, it was a hit at the time, but it has had next to no influence on how adventure or arcade games are made (thank, God.)

And where are the flight sims? Dying genre now, but the bread and butter of the industry for a long time.

Time to work on a counter list – the 50 essential strategy games. Feel free to pitch in.


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