What’s the most influential game in gaming history?

most influential game

There have been countless games throughout video game history. Some are legendary, though some fall well below the bar. Fewer though are games that shape the course of the industry, which come few and far between. So we want to know, what is the most influential game of all time?

One excellent choice is The Legend of Zelda. The game was among the first to popularize the concept of open-world exploration. As a result of its popularity, The Legend of Zelda was the start of one of the most successful franchises of all time. Furthermore, many modern game makers, themselves children when The Legend of Zelda released, have cited the game as inspiration for becoming developers.

My personal pick for the most influential game, however, is Mortal Kombat. Back in the early 1990s, video game content was regulated (if it was at all) not by a unified body, but by individual companies. Games like Mortal Kombat and Night Trap caused controversies over the violent and sexual nature contained within. This eventually led to the 1993 Congressional hearings on video games, which in turn prompted the creation of the Entertainment Software Association and the rating board we’re all familiar with today.

So which game do you think has been the most influential? Is it The Legend of Zelda, which inspired an entire generation of game developers? Is it Mortal Kombat which changed the face of the industry as we know it? Or is it something else entirely? Let us know in the comments!

Steven Rollins
Steven has been involved in video game reporting for over five years now. In his spare time, he can be found speedrunning, writing fanfiction, or watching as much anime as he possibly can.