For many people, the beginning of video gaming will probably be ancient history. The first game – “Cathode-Ray Tube Amusement Device” was released in… 1947!

Unfortunately, due to the level of difficulty and horrendously high production costs, the project did not catch on. The attempts at game development were mostly academic projects until 1972 when the iconic Pong was released.

Since then, a lot of time has passed, and the video game market is still booming, giving the world thousands of great titles. Some of them have become classics and have had a significant impact on pop culture. Their influence was noticeable not only in the next generations of games, but also in the world of movies and series. Read on and discover the list of 15 most influential games of all time!

DOOM 1993-12-10 FPS id Software 49%
Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game 1997-11-01 RPG Interplay Inc. 92%
Half-Life Complete 1998-11-08 Action & Shooter Valve
Grand Theft Auto III 2002-05-21 Adventure Rockstar Games 1%
Crysis 2007-11-13 Action & Shooter Crytek 67%
Minecraft Java Edition 2013-11-19 Action Mojang 17%


Release year:1972
Genre:Sports game

Pong is a 2D table tennis simulation developed by Allan Alcorn. The aim of the game, just like in the traditional version, was to defeat the opponent – a person or a computer.

Pong gamescreen

Pong was so successful that Atari, riding on the wave of its popularity, also released Pong Home in 1975. Later, numerous sequels appeared, which differed from the original in some gameplay elements, but the graphic design remained the same.

Pong has become one of the most influential video games and is considered as the factor that allowed the gaming industry to go mainstream.

Key features
  • Table tennis simulation
  • Multiplayer option
  • Different game difficulty/speed levels

Space Invaders

Release year:1978

Space Invaders is a 2D arcade shooter designed by Tomohira Nishikada. The player’s task is to shoot down the hordes of aliens attacking them using a cannon which moves sideways.

Space Invaders gamescreen

Since the game turned out to be a great success, many reissues and sequels were created over time, including Space Invaders Part II, which introduced colourful graphics and new gameplay elements.

Space Invaders gained immense popularity and popularized the interactive style of gameplay

Key features
  • Hordes of enemies reacting to the player’s movement
  • Three speed levels
  • Only three lives
  • Scoring records

Ultima 3: Exodus

Release year:1983
Developer:Origin Systems

Ultima 3: Exodus is the third installment of the nine-part Ultima RPG saga. Its development, as well as its release, was handled by Origin System.

Ultima 3: Exodus gamescreen

The plot takes place in the magical land of Sosaria, where a sinister creature – Exodus – is hiding in the dungeons. The player’s task is to explore the world, solve puzzles and, ultimately, defeat Exodus. This title introduces the possibility of creating a four-character team. We also have 5 races and 11 classes to choose from.

The ability to control the team turned out to be a success. It was an extremely innovative solution that had a huge impact on RPGs that appeared later.

Key features
  • Well-developed storyline
  • Controlling a team of four
  • 11 classes to choose from
  • 5 available races


Release year:1980

Pac-Man is an arcade game designed by Toru Iwatani.

Pac-Man gamescreen

The player’s task is to control the character, which moves around the maze and eats dots. However, it is necessary to avoid ghosts! The game is divided into levels – each of them finishes when Pac-Man eats all the objects in the maze.

Pac-Man was so successful that it spawned not only a sequel, but also the creation of many gadgets and two series related to his character. Pac-Man himself became the official mascot of Bandai Namco Entertainment. It is still one of the most profitable and most influential video games.

Key features
  • Different difficulty levels
  • 255 levels to complete
  • Multiplayer based on alternating turns


Release year:1984
Genre:Logical game
Developer:Alexey Pajitnov/Tetris Company

Tetris is a puzzle game created by the Russian engineer Alexey Pajitnov. It was published by a huge number of companies, which resulted in a copyright dispute. In 1996, the rights returned to the creator, who later founded the Tetris Company.

Tetris gamescreen

Tetris is about… Arranging lines out of falling blocks of various shapes. Elements can be freely rotated and moved. 

Tetris is a phenomenon of its time, which conquered the world with its simplicity. Its influence is evident in many areas of culture, even in music and architecture.

Key features
  • Logical fun
  • Increasing difficulty of the next levels
  • Endless gameplay

Super-Mario Bros

Release year:1985

Super-Mario Bros. is a platformer developed by Nintendo. It is a worthy successor to 1983’s Mario Bros. and the first game in the Super Mario series.

Super-Mario Bros gamescreen

The game is a typical arcade platformer in which the player takes on the role of the plumber Mario, whose task is to save Princess Peach. Mario travels through the levels by running and jumping. Fortunately, on his way, the hero often finds power-ups, thanks to which he can improve his features.

It is a game that has been a huge success and despite the passage of time, it has not aged in terms of mechanics and continues to entertain next generations.

Key features
  • Cult platformer game
  • Legendary music
  • 8 worlds consisting of four levels
  • Secrets and bonus stages with countless rewards

The Legend of Zelda

Release year:1986

The Legend of Zelda is an isometric action-adventure game designed by S. Miyamoto and T. Tezuka, which was the beginning of The Legend of Zelda series.

The Legend of Zelda gamescreen

In this title, we play the role of a young man named Link, whose task is to rescue Princess Zelda from captivity. The player’s task is also to find 8 pieces of a powerful artifact – the Triforce of Wisdom.

The Legend of Zelda, while not the first adventure game on the market, was one of the most influential games of the genre. The most important innovation it introduced was the ability to save the state of the game.

Key features
  • Open world
  • Extensive plot
  • The ability to acquire and use items to progress in the game
  • First save game option on the cartridge

Doom (1993)

Release year:1993
Developer:id Software

Doom is a dynamic sci-fi FPS developed by id Software. It is also the first part of the Doom series.

Doom (1993)

The plot is quite uncomplicated – scientists accidentally discover the gates of hell, as a result of which the base on one of the moons of Mars was destroyed. We play the role of the last surviving marine, whose task is to fight his way out of the base, defeating hordes of enemies from hell.

Doom is a game that added freshness and gave an entirely different perspective to FPS games. In addition, it introduced deathmatch and co-op.

Key features
  • Action-packed gameplay
  • Pioneering 3D graphics
  • Cooperative online game
  • Distinctive arsenal of weapons


Release year:1996
Genre:Action RPG

Diablo is an action RPG created by Blizzard North. It was embedded in the convention of dark fantasy, which aroused much controversy. Diablo became a bestseller, and was the beginning of the whole series.


The eponymous Diablo is a powerful demon who was freed by his servant and tried to regain his strength to take over the mortal realm. The player’s task is to travel the vast world, defeat evil enemies and finally defeat the demon. We have the option to choose a character at the beginning of the game, and the gameplay is based on combat, casting spells and upgrading the character.

Diablo and its innovative approach paved the way for a new sub-genre of action RPG – hack&slash. Diablo’s influence was significant in many following games.

Key features
  • Three character classes: warrior, rogue and sorcerer
  • Multi-level gameplay
  • Real-time combat


Release year:1997
Developer:Interplay Productions

Fallout is a post-apo RPG, which was a huge commercial success and spawned a powerful franchise.


We start the game by creating a character using the unique S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system, which assigns specific skills to the hero. The action takes place in the USA in the 22nd century, in a world destroyed by a nuclear war. Our hero sets out to look for an important component on which the lives of his kin depend.

Even though Fallout, for its time, was not a graphical masterpiece, it gained great recognition thanks to the epic story and open world.

Key features
  • Large arsenal of weapons
  • Open world
  • Character creation based on the S.P.E.C.I.A.L system.
  • Turn-based combat system


Release year:1998

Half-Life is a sci-fi FPS created by Valve Corporation. It is also the first installment of the Half-Life series.

Half-Life gamescreen

During a failed experiment, scientists accidentally open a portal through which hostile creatures enter our realm. Our character’s goal is to escape the research facility occupied by monsters and soldiers whose task is to cover up the event. The game is based on the fight for survival, but there are also puzzles, the solution of which will help eliminate the enemy.

Half-Life has won over 50 Game of the Year awards. To this day, it is considered one of the most influential games of the FPS genre.

Key features
  • Iconic FPS
  • Numerous logical puzzles
  • Ingenious elimination of enemies
  • Large arsenal of weapons


Release year:2001
Genre:Action adventure
Developer:DMA Design/Rockstar North

GTA 3 is a game produced by DMA Design (now Rockstar North). This is the third main (and not the last) installment of the GTA series.


In the game, we play the role of a character who, betrayed by the person closest to him, sets out to seek revenge. This path entangles him in a world of crime, gang wars and corruption. During the game, we have full freedom to complete missions, as well as use cars or weapons. In addition to the main storyline, there is no shortage of side quests and missions with limited time.

GTA 3 turned out to be a breakthrough in the world of computer games. As the first part of the series, it was completely embedded in 3D, and the gameplay elements influenced modern open-world games.

Key features
  • The first GTA in 3D
  • Non-linear storyline
  • Dozens of driveable vehicles
  • Variety of missions

World of Warcraft

Release date:2004
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment

World of Warcraft is the fourth installment of the Warcraft series, and at the same time a continuation of the events from the previous part.

World of Warcraft gamescreen

The world of Azeroth is on the verge of a conflict that we must resolve. We start the game by choosing a race, class, and faction to which we will belong (it affects the campaign). The plot is based on exploring the world, fighting and building the reputation of your companions. There is the possibility of both cooperation and competition with other players.

World of Warcraft popularized the MMORPG genre among gamers. Rapidly, it became the most popular MMORPG of all time.

Key features
  • 12 races and 9 classes to choose from
  • Extended world
  • Possibility of cooperation and competition with other players
  • Thousands of players from all over the world


Release year:2007

Crysis is a sci-fi FPS published by Electronic Arts, set in 2020. It is the first installment of the Crysis series.


In the game, we play the role of the USA special unit member, whose task is to save scientists captured by North Korean troops. However, it soon turns out that there are many other dangers waiting for us. Using an advanced exoskeleton allows you to develop superhuman abilities, such as, e.g. camouflage. In addition, each weapon can be adapted to our needs.

Crysis won many awards, including Game of the Year and Best Shooter thanks to the phenomenal graphics, combined with fantastic gameplay. It took video games to a whole new level.

Key features
  • Phenomenal graphics for its time
  • Large arsenal of weapons
  • Non-linear plot
  • 2 online gaming modes


Release year:2011
Genre:Survival sandbox
Developer:Mojang Studios, Microsoft Studios

Minecraft is a survival adventure game created by Markus Persson. Interestingly, the game gained popularity and got many awards even before the official premiere (after the release of the test version).


Minecraft is a typical sandbox. The freedom of the gameplay is so great that there are often problems with the classification of the game. Minecraft has no specific goals, except for one… survival. The game has a day and night cycle. It is possible to explore, build, fight and craft. The player’s task is exploring and continuous development.

Minecraft has won countless awards, including those for innovation. For many, it was the first game with the ability to build in an open world. And its influence is visible in various areas.

Key features
  • Unlimited world
  • Unlimited building and crafting possibilities
  • 4 difficulty levels
  • Endless fun