From the beginning of videogames to the end, we have made a list of the most innovative games in the history of videogames.
In this list we will focus in all kind of innovation
1. Pong (1972)
Designed by Nolan Bushnell, it wasn’t the first game, it was the first game massively marketed and it had an innovative mechanics in that time with 2 players playing in the same time.
2. Asteroids (1979)
This game included a mechanic never seen before. When you hit an asteroids it becomes apart and new small asteroids are generated making the game more difficult and fun. You had to decided if it is better to destroy an asteroid or go for one of the enemies that appeared. Also the game was made in vectors instead of graphics.
3. Manic Miner (1983)
Designed by Matthew Smith. It was the first videogame for ZX Spectrum in-play music. During that time the CPU must had to focus all his efforts in playing music and it seemed imposible to play music in-game, this game achieved it by constantly alternating CPU time between the music and the game. Also it included very cool mechanics such as oxigen level in the cave so you must exit the level before you finish without air, slider platforms, very imaginative enemies (waters, birds, aliens, the sun with sunglasses, …) and a set of keys that you must get before open the exit to the next level.
4. Mario (1985)
Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto. Mario has one of the best game design of all times, lot of game designers have references from his level and how it is possible to teach the people. You just must realise about how many things you can do with just jumpings.
5. Zelda (1986)
Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, it is difficult to say how innovative it was, but it was very much. As a fact, it was the first console game with a save function that enabled players to stop playing and then resume later. It allowed a degree of freedom and interaction that I didn’t see before. This is a must play title.
6. Doom (1993)
It was one of the best 3D games made in that time and I used to play it in MS-DOS, the levels where very good designed and it was very fun to see how many weapons, enemies and movements you could do. It introduced deathmatching to a large audience and was also the first game to use the term “deathmatch”. I would say that it is a must play except that you can get dizzy by the graphics.
7. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (1997)
It came from Comics. The videogame was designed by David Dienstbier, it was a first-person shooter video game developed by Iguana Entertainment. This game combine elements of the run-and-gun (Doom) and exploration mechanics as Tomb Radier, also you had to combat against dinosaurs.
It was the most popular title for the Nintendo 64 and It was one of the first games to work with Direct3D, making a hug innovation in graphics. It meant a huge improvement in 3D, no more dizzy :).
8. Half-Life (1998)
Designed by Marc Laidlaw and developed by Valve, it is a groundshaking game. You just must watch the beginning, everything start without direct fight (that was unusual), just in a laboratory running an inter-dimensional experiment which (spoiler here) goes wrong.
It included so many things that was usual and unusual that in the sum was just amazing: Good graphics, nice gameplay, surprises, good storyline, not clips when story is being told, you got the health from the enemies (not randomly placed in scenarios like others), the levels where good designed, team work intelligence and voices in the enemies (like “Fire in the Hole!”), Grenades, variety of environments, puzzles to solve in action, different kind of enemies (humans or aliens), laboratories and other world, what can you ask more?
Half-life was a total hit and it was said to be the best single player shooter by some critic reviews and it definitely was, it got lot of awards, even Best PC Game Ever in E3. Here is another must play.
9. Portal (2007)
Designed and developed by Valve, it was one of the most innovative games of all of times. In this game you find in a laboratory doing some tests made by someone with a robotic voice. The cool thing is that you have a portal gun, it means that you can fire (with right mouse button) in one wall, floor or ceiling and you get a portal to another place that you fire (with left mouse button) doing like a kind of door in the space world), here is a picture.
Although it wasn’t the first Game to make Portal (Narbacular Drop was the first), it was the first to use the portals with such good story, design, graphics, physics and humor!. In this time few actions games as such good humor as this one, that can be considered another innovation and it is another must be played.
10. Minecraft (2011)
Designed by Notch, who doesn’t know Minecraft? It is one of the most innovative games of all times too, it included totally freedom, more than GTA? Much more, you can destroy everything in the world, but also you can create, craft, get materials, survive and add mods! On fact this game became so popular thanks to the mod community and his possibilities in freedom.
In this game was a back in time to the mechanics of old games, where you start without nothing, not storyline, not controls, you had to discover everything by yourself even the story (like Zelda did), however in this game people used internet and forums to help each other about how to progress and what you can discover in the game (I had never seen before in other games).
Also youtubers help to make the game even longer in time:
I can recommend more games who innovated a lot in the videogame industry like Tomb Raider, Stanley Parable and Braid,
Do you have some more? Please add it to the comments and let me know.
Note: This is a personal list.