7. Legend of Zelda
An important game for the “Adventure” genre, as well as for the console games in general. The Legend of Zelda brought forth the concept of open maps, one so big, it couldn’t be completed in a single setting. So, it was the first game which gave the ability to save the game. One of the most important feature of gaming, which we take for granted is: passwords, they sucked, don’t they?
This swords and sorcery classic for the original Nintendo Entertainment System was full of innovations. First, players could move Link, the protagonist, anywhere they wanted, an open game style that is popular in many modern games like “Grand Theft Auto.”
6. Dune II
Dune II’s deep technology trees, world map, framed interface and fog-of-war feature set a gold standard for future RTS games, most of which still contain aspects of the above to this day.
It wasn’t the very first real-time strategy game, but it was the first good one. Inspired by the best-selling Sci-Fi adventure film and novel, the game featured revolutionary game controls: mouse-operated units, resource-gathering and technology that developed along specific “trees.” When Dune II hit the stage in 1992, everything changed in the world of PC strategy gaming. Dune II popularized the real-time strategy subgenre and laid the groundwork for a laundry list of beloved successors, from Warcraft II and Command & Conquer to Total Annihilation.
The simple innovation of allowing players to use the mouse to select and operate individual units and structures was enough to make Westwood’s little licensed game a breakout hit.
5. Ultima Online
Fans of role-playing games remember fondly the Ultima series, which dates back to the original “Ultima I” from 1980.
A D&D fan and self-taught BASIC programmer, Garriott merged his love of coding and tabletop role-playing into an Apple II computer game called Akalabeth: World of Doom in 1979. But it was Akalabeth’s immediate successor, Ultima, that set the stage for future computer RPGs.
Like Akalabeth, Ultima (later known as Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness) used both top-down and first-person perspectives, and it introduced D&D-like character creation, leveling and dungeon crawling. If you’re hunting for gems, battling evil wizards and buying items in shops today, it’s largely because of Ultima (and if you’re doing the above in an MMO, thank Ultima’s networked cousin Ultima Online). “Ultima Online” was not the first MMO–”Meridian 59″ and others predate it–but it was the MMO that launched a million fantasy careers on the “World of Warcraft” (2004) and “Everquest” (1999).
Sure, people attempted to replicate D&D on computers before, but Ultima was the genre’s first breakout PC hit, and the series influenced countless other RPGs – from the Elder Scrolls series to Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.