When the conversation about the most influential video games begins, you’re bound to hear a few titles repeated. While there are far more than ten at this point, there really do just seem to be a few games that people keep going back to.

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These games did a lot to not only further the entire medium of gaming, but also solidify entire series’ and genres. Thanks to that fact, you probably already have a few incredibly influential games in mind, regardless of the decade or the console. Influential games are the ones that not only changed everything, but will also never be forgotten.



10 Ocarina Of Time

ocarina of time link talking to saria who is a kokiri

When it came time to make that brave jump to 3D, few games can be named as being as influential as Ocarina of Time. This incredible Nintendo 64 title is still viewed as one of the greatest games of all time to this very day.

The adventure set the standard for what video games and game storytelling could be in 3D. It’s hard to imagine where Nintendo would be if this title hadn’t become as revolutionary as it is, because if it failed, we may not have gotten the excellent Tears of the Kingdom.

9 Pac-Man

An arcade machine featuring the original Pac-Man game in Pac-Man World Re-Pac

While many games could share credit here, Pac-Man revolutionized what it meant to be an arcade smash-hit. People have been playing this classic since the ’80s, and it’s still fairly popular today with modern takes on the classic gameplay.

It is the classic arcade time-waster that had all your friends gathering around to break each other’s high scores. Without Pac-Man, arcades may not have been as big of a hit, and even worse, gaming might not have become the dominant medium that it is today.

8 Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat Genesis Scorpion vs Scorpion

This game was influential in a similar way to other arcade titles, but it also set a new standard for violence. Everyone knows that the video game rating system basically exists because of this game, and so does an increase in more adult-oriented gaming.

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Mortal Kombat proved that game developers could begin to truly push the envelope with their games while also creating an excellent fighter. Mortal Kombat has influenced countless fighters over the decades, and it’s one of the few game series that many non-gamers will know.

7 Minecraft

Minecraft game cover showing Steve holding a flower to a bee

Whether you love it or hate it, Minecraft was a revolutionary game. It was influential in many ways, but first and foremost, the game proved that developers could let you create your own adventures if they provide you with all the necessary tools.

The game has only continued to expand as the years have gone on, but it’s been clear that countless games have taken influences from Minecraft. One could even argue the battle royale craze was in part kicked off thanks to game modes people would play in Minecraft.

6 Doom

The player shoots a monster with a shotgun in the original Doom.

Sometimes all you need is a little bit of ultra-violence, and the Doom series is always happy to provide that. While there were other first-person shooters before and after it, Doom is the one that solidified the genre in most people’s minds.

It was another edgy game that combined violence, demons, and first-person action to create something truly special. Dozens if not hundreds of games have been influenced by the original Doom, and developers are always more than happy to share that fact when they get the chance.

5 Dark Souls

Dark Souls Remastered Where To Find Ceaseless Discharge

While there are quite a lot of people who don’t mesh with Dark Souls due to the brutal difficulty, it was that very thing that made it influential. Dark Souls managed to spawn an entire genre of game while also proving that a return to brutal difficulty could work.

For a long time, it felt like games were holding people’s hands too much, and Dark Souls did the exact opposite. Games are still coming out in the style of Dark Souls, and that isn’t likely to stop anytime soon thanks to the popularity of the simple mechanics, thrilling action, and stiff challenge.

4 Grand Theft Auto 3

Claude in Grand Theft Auto 3

Realistically, you could pick out most of the Grand Theft Auto games and call them the most influential game around, but the third one came out at such a unique time. This game showed everyone that mature stories in huge open worlds could work, even if they were a bit silly at times.

This was another game that really pushed the envelope for what developers could actually put in their games. With how beloved this game is, it’s no surprise that it is credited with spawning countless clone games in a similar style.

3 World Of Warcraft

World of Warcraft Goblin

As far as MMORPGs go, World of Warcraft is obviously the most influential of all time. There’s a reason it’s the chosen game TV and film go to in order to poke fun at gamers. It’s such a massive and popular title that even games out of the genre have been influenced by it.

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World of Warcraft absolutely set the standard for MMORPGs and the character that the game got across made it memeworthy. Just about everyone should remember the classic Leroy Jenkins video, and you wouldn’t have that video without World of Warcraft.

2 Super Mario Bros.

Mario Jumping Over Lava Super Mario Bros.

It’s hard to imagine a time when video games weren’t a solidified pastime for most people. Before the NES came in and dominated the market, that was the case. Everyone has Super Mario Bros on the original NES to thank for making home console gaming truly popular.

From the music to the simplistic gameplay, this game is easily one of the most influential titles of all time. Every platformer that came after it tried to replicate its magic to mixed effect, and somehow, the game has still managed to hold up to this day.

1 Tetris

A large group of Tetris blocks fall from the sky

It’s easy to forget about Tetris because of how simple of a puzzle game it is, but it’s too influential to leave out of this discussion. This game was big before handheld gaming, but it absolutely helped to popularize it in a way that only a game like Pokemon could hope to rival.

The gameplay and tunes are so simple that pretty much everyone can still hum along to the classic themes. Tetris is yet another game that influenced puzzle games, showing that to truly succeed simplicity and ease of replayability is key.

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