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IGN’s Top 10 Most Influential Games

December 11, 2007

IGN’s released a list of the top 10 most influential games of all time, and in the runner up list, along with the likes of SimCity, Doom and Pong, is Wizardry. Working on that series was certainly influential to me (and I’ve been grateful a 1000 times over both publicly and privately for having had that opportunity), but to see it included in a list like this is pretty hip.

Wizardry logo

As time passes and the gamers who grew up with Wizardry become less and less a fixture in the gaming and editorial world, the series is discussed less and less. In a class discussion on great game designers in digital games, I brought up Richard Garriott and Roberta Williams, and a great majority of students hadn’t heard the names before. When I mentioned the games they worked on, it did ring a universal bell. However, there was a time when the mention of those names would bring about comments like, “Oh, I love his/her games!” They had the power to influence careers, and in fact, a number of people in the industry are there today because they fell in love with the their games. I suppose the same can be said for any of the games on IGN’s list, and a great many more games that are not mentioned.

The days when a single designer could have such an enormous impact is both beyond us and upon us again. In the AAA world, enormous teams put these things together, and while someone might have a lot of influence, it’s a team effort, and the smallest decisions can have big pay off. I don’t think there’s a designer out there working on a AAA title that would claim, “It’s me. It’s all me!” The indie market and board game market are telling a different story, though. A single person can still make a pretty big statement there. This afternoon, I plan to play Passage, which has been receiving a lot of favorable commentary from within the games community. Tonight, I’ll again be hosting some friends for Blokus, Fluxx and Ghosts!.

There are a few notable exemptions from the list, particularly M.U.L.E., MUD, and Civilization. The first two laid the ground work for many games to follow, and Civ will always represent many magical moments (and late nights) for me.

For a look at the game in action, sort of, check this site out.

Thanks fanciest45 for the heads up.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2007 11:44 am

    Congrats, that’s awesome!

  2. fanciest45 permalink
    December 11, 2007 1:29 pm

    It was my pleasure. Congratulations again!

  3. December 12, 2007 12:33 am

    Good list. I might up the list from 10 and add or replace from this list as well:

    Archon (“game within game” -strategic game view to tactical game view zoom)

    Adventure/Zork series (many features that are conventions in games now)

    Quake (heralded 3D shooters and 3D action games, and fundamentally changed the industry)

    Thief: The Dark Project (stealth/world skills/sound propagation/level-less roleplaying?)

    Telengard/Rogue/Hack/NetHack (Diablo & Fate)

    Underworld/System Shock (3D crpgs)

    Elite (Privateer)

    Starflight (space crpg; complex universe; multilevel gameplay; Star Control 2)

    Wasteland (skill system; Fallout series)

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