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Destructoid Community Videogame Canon Version 1.0

I present to you the first version of the Destructoid Community Videogame Canon. It took us 19 weeks and a lot of discussions to build a more complete version of the videogame canon. I want to thank everyone who has participated this far.

While this version of the videogame canon is a clear step forward, there are still some things left to be done. First of all, the canon can still be discussed and still is open to new suggestions. It is essential that we keep this process going. The other thing that I want to achieve are a series of blog-posts going more in depth with some games. These articles should provide more informations and opinions on particular games of the videogame canon. If you want to help out, just name your article „Destructoid Community Videogame Canon: *Name of the Game*“ and write about a game on the list. If the article is good enough, I will link to it in the weekly updates.

Remember to check out the Topic in the Forum and participate in the ongoing discussions. The list is still open for suggestions!

Destructoid Community Videogame Canon V. 1.0


Jump 'n Runs

Super Mario Bros (NES) : This was the first platformer to have scrolling. (Count_Zero) (alternate reason would be required)

Super Mario 64: The concept of a 3d platformer was relatively alien at the time yet this worked so well first time out. (garrfunkel)

First Person Shooter

Half Life Series: Since the very beginning the people at Valve have been pushing the boundaries of interactive narrative with the Half Life series. On top of that the controls are perfect and the graphics have always been cutting edge. (DaedHead8)

Castle Wolfenstein 3D: it opened the eyes of the gaming community as to the possibilities of the FPS-genre... there were a few games before it, but it was wolf3d.exe that convinced everybody that this was a great new style of gaming. (mistic)

Deus Ex: Most of its gameplay elements are drawn from other genres and not groundbreaking in themselves, but the degree of freedom and player control were unprecedented. (...) Also probably the only game where the "moral choice" mechanic felt like a true choice and not a tacked-on gameplay decision. (Shinryu)



Metroid: Extremely good combination of action gameplay, both in terms of platforming and shooting, in an action framework (massive world to explore). (Count_Zero)

The Legend of Zelda: Similar reason, a fairly simple - at first glance - quest game, with a massive world (for the NES) to explore, but with fairly simple and accessible gameplay. (Count_Zero)

Metal Gear series: All of them really but most importantly the first Metal Gear game and Metal Gear Solid. Both of which were responsible for creating and popularising stealth gameplay. (dmgi)

Ocarina of Time: One of the few retro series to jump into 3d so well and adapt so quickly. (garrfunkel)

Tomb Raider: this was the break through game in the mid-90s. I can't think of any other video game character that was on the cover of non-videogame magazines. (Ali D)

Silent Hill: revitalized the horror genre by going in an entirely different direction from what the mainstream was at the time (i.e. Resident Evil) and putting you in the shoes of an "average Joe" character with no particular combat/survival skills. (Shinryu)

Cave Story (Dōkutsu Monogatari): For the simple fact, it has not only one of the best stories, and some of the best gameplay and music of any Indie title, but of any game period. For the work of a one man dev team to be placed up upon the same high pedestal as those done by entire full studios is a remarkable feat, and a true shining opus for Indie developers and fans to look to. (Scary Womanizing Pig Mask)



Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: (DS 2005) The first non-Eroge Visual Novel to gain Western popularity and significance; proving to many that the genre could craft a quality gameplay and narrative experience, and paving the way for other such games, like Professor Layton, Hotel Dusk and the other Ace Attorney titles. (Scary Womanizing Pig Mask)



Wii Sports: Like it or not it is something that completely defines what the Wii is and will always be remembered. (garrfunkel)


Tetris: It pretty much single-handedly popularized the Game Boy (and more importantly, portable gaming in general). (Clyde and Badstar)

Braid: A masterpiece in every sense of the word. (DaedHead8)

Bubble Bobble: For pioneering the „puzzle platformers“. (BulletMagnet)

Puyo Puyo: Sets the standard for every "ochi" puzzler to come after it. (BulletMagnet)

Puzzle Bobble: It popularized the "shoot stuff upwards" puzzle subgenre. (BulletMagnet)



Fallout: It was different and innovative for its time, doing brand new things that heavily, heavily influenced the RPG genre. (Angra)

Final Fantasy IX: It presents the basic structure of Final Fantasy (classes, magic rules, linear world spanning quest, high quality cutscenes to move the story) but its also, perhaps, more immediately palletable than the entries on either side of it. (Tubatic)

Final Fantasy VI: It's just an incredibly realised story. (Aurain)

Final Fantasy I: For being the first to popularize RPGs in the gaming niche. (Scary Womanizing Pig Mask)

Final Fantasy VII: Cultural impact, effect on the genre and popularized/familiarized those outside of the niche with RPGs. (Scary Womanizing Pig Mask)

Tactics Ogre: It truly set the bar for grid-based "move/attack" strategy titles. (BulletMagnet)
Pokémon Red/Blue: The standard-setters. (BulletMagnet)

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne: For their unique and evocative settings and themes, as well as their robust challenge. (BulletMagnet)

Dragon Quest V: A great story of the journey of life and love. A great coming of age story too. (TurboKill)

Persona 3:FES: The definitive version of the game that has put SMT on the gaming radar for many websites/critics/gamers in the last couple of years, and introduced many new people to the SMT series as a whole. Not to mention it's moving story and addicting soundtrack. (Aurain)


Fighting Games

Street Fighter 2: fighting games came of age here. (Ali D)

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Possibly the greatest fighting game ever made. It's not a game whose depth comes from five different meters to keep track of, but it's amazing depth comes from it's actual mechanics. (LK404).


Music and Rhytm Games

Otocky: This game is widely regarded a precursor to Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s Rez (2002). It was also the first game by Toshio Iwai of Electroplankton fame. (nintendoll)

PaRappa the Rapper: Parappa the Rapper is arguably the first sight-reading game; boasting quirky characters and plot integrated with original music and art. The mainstream success of this game opened up music video games as a viable source of success and income for developers. (nintendoll)

FreQuency: It was the first music game to give you control of all of the musical instruments in the track. It was also one of the first games to implement a progress bar on the right side of the screen that showed you how far through the song you were. (nintendoll)

Dance Dance Revolution: Without DDR, some games like Guitar Hero and Rock band might not exist. At least not as we know them anyways. Also it is a great game that even brings casual players to the arcade... If all the machines aren't crowded. (TurboKill)

Samba De Amigo
DDR is intimidating; Samba De Amigo is welcoming. Shaking maracas is so charming that even people who play on easy are smiling while they play. Instead of weird, high-speed techno music, Samba De Amigo had cheesy, upbeat songs like Ricky Martin's "Cup of Life." (LK404)



Total Annihilation: the first RTS with 3D units, and so great and well balanced that people are still playing it nowadays (was released in 1990), some fans even built a full free version of it (taSpring) (mistic)



Master of Magic: a 4X game very similar to Civ II, but the battles were tactics-like battles instead of being computed automatically. This game was a shining beacon in the fantasy strategy/4X genres and was an incredibly deep game for its day. (zgerhard)


World of Warcraft - When someone mentions MMO, The first thought is always WoW.
When a new MMO comes out, It tries to copy WoW's style and Gameplay. (Aurain)



Elite: the first successful space simulator. Everything from Wing Commander, to Freespace, to X3, to Eve Online comes from Elite. (Count_Zero)

Grant Tourismo (Series): for popularising the simulation-racing genre. (Mistic)



Radiant Silvergun: The most "epic" shooter ever released. (BulletMagnet)

DoDonPachi: remains the benchmark for "bullet hell" shooters. (BulletMagnet)

Touhou 6 ~ The Embodiment of the Scarlet Devil: (PC 2002) A fantastic Danmaku/Bullet Hell shooter, and a huge revitalization for the 4 year MIA Touhou series, introducing some of the most important series mechanics, like auto-item collection and counter-bombing, and some of the series most beloved charecters. More importantly though, it was the first of the series to be developed for Windows, allowing the West much easier access to the series, and thus, introducing a large number to the hugely multi-faceted world of Touhou. (Scary Womanizing Pig Mask)



GRID: for implementing the time-back-feature that racing-gamers have been praying for since the very first racing game where you could crash your car. (mistic)

Motocross Madness (2): for the insane sandbox that they gave us. (mistic)


Passage: It was the first title to put Indie games on the map of quite a lot of people, and tells one of the deepest and most evocative narratives in all of gaming in only ~5 minutes. Most importantly, it helped show that games didn't need to be traditional, or even fun, to be worthy additions to the medium.(Scary Womanizing Pig Mask)
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About Subenuone of us since 9:57 AM on 09.07.2008

Fulltime Journalist for the daily newspaper "Letzebuerger Journal". Former News Editor over at www.Sega-Addicts.com. I also wrote a few frontpage stories here on Destructoid....

You can follow me on Twitter, if you want: @SvenWohl

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