The Very Important List Of PC Games, Part 1/5

By Jim Rossignol on February 14th, 2011 at 12:30 pm.

Some board games, there.

Here at Rock, Paper, Shotgun we take the business of PC gaming entirely seriously. There is no smiling, or making rude noises at the back of class, there is only important gaming fact. So when it came to compiling an exhaustive list of the greatest, most important PC games of all time, we realised that the only way we could articulate the importance of the various titles was to present them as a five-part series of important lectures, explaining their importance. Over the next four articles and related appendices, you will discover why the various Great Games are great, and what their meaning is to you as a PC gamer. Follow this list, and play these games, and you will find yourself with very little spare time. But also, you will understand what it truly means to be a PC gamer.

Brilliantly, Intel have elected to sponsor this feature as part of their AppUp developer program. So thanks to them! And any developers reading should definitely make some All Time Best Games Ever alongside your apps, because that would just work out for everyone. Now then, let’s make a list. The first lecturer to the podium is Dr Rossignol…

Hello, everyone! What follows should be imagined as a Powerpoint slideshow, or similar, because I am making a presentation of, and an argument for, a bunch of games that I think are critical to the existence of PC gamers. And don’t read this and then say “what about X-Com!”, because that’s in Dr Meer’s lecture, along with a lot of very other important things.

This, as the title suggests, is simply Part One, and is the list of games that I am charged with talking about. By coincidence, I spend a lot of time talking about all the games that I think are important to the First Person Perspective dominance of so much of PC gaming. That really is actually an accident, but it seems like a useful one. And let me stress that these games are split between five essays, and that the full, merged list will be made public at the end of this five-part series. And with that reiterated, let us begin.

PLEASE NOTE: I have listed this group of games by descending importanceness.

Doom
RELEASE DATE: 1993
IMPORTANCENESS: Extremely high.

To start with Doom is not to start at the beginning, but to start at the most important: to climb atop a towering spike in the middle of the great graph of PC gaming development. We had already covered vast distances by the time Doom came along, but the point about Doom is that it is a landmark, a beacon, a waypoint, and a scene of transformation. It was not the first of the first-person games, but it was the point at which the first-person perspective took up its enormous significance within the landscape of PC gaming. Suddenly, our understanding of what kind of experience games were to offer had changed. There was suddenly depth, and zombies, and rocket-launchers, and cyber-demons. There was fear. But there was also co-op networked play, and user-made maps, and shareware versions of an incredible game circulated freely over the internet. If ever there is a triumphal arch through which PC gaming moved into a modern age, then it is the large M at the end of Doom. Does that metaphor work? No.

See also: Doom 2.

Half-Life
RELEASE DATE: 1998
IMPORTANCENESS: So, so incredibly high, basically


In the late Nineties the first-person shooter chewed up its cardboard packaging and combined it with a special saliva to make a chrysalis, into which it then crawled. What emerged from that miraculous tube of transformation was Half-Life, a game which made the world of a shooter game into seamless, dynamic, and intelligent thing. It was a remarkable trick: not diluting the action-element of the FPS, but impregnating every aspect of it with story. It was scripted, it had a script, but it never controlled the character or took the motive out of your hands. Half-Life was a game that made people realise that making interesting moments, staging microscoping dramas amid the carnage, would make games live anew. Things would never be the same again.

Half-Life 2
RELEASE DATE: 2004
IMPORTANCNESS: Very High

This was a good moment
“Things would never be the same again,” seems a bit of a silly thing to say, but I’ve said it now. Surely it’s always literally true? Anyway, Half-Life 2 wasn’t quite the ecosystem-wrecking genesis-meteor that the original was, but instead articulated the mature statement of that previous game’s studio. Using all the same techniques, honed to razor-sharpness, and throwing in a brilliant set of physics-manipulating puzzles, Half-Life 2 broadened the mandate for first person games to include awesome companions, and puzzles that involved more than simply killing lots of similar-but-different enemy zombie-demons. It was also a game that its own exclamation: “Physics!” That is what we would cry.

System Shock
RELEASE DATE: 1994
IMPORTANCENESS: Quite High


Long before the Half-Lives, of course, there were other experiments in first-personess that really meant something. Chief among these in the mid-nineties was, arguably, System Shock. This was one of the games that acts like a landmark at the borders What Is Possible In Games. Lost in the belly of a giant space station and hunted by malignant AI, this game tore at definitions of both RPG and FPS, before either RPG or FPS were really defined. Made more playable today by a mouse-look mod, it remains a kind of masterwork of the balance between complexity and necessity in game design.

Counter-Strike
RELEASE DATE: Various Dates
IMPORTANCENESS: Worringly High


Counter-Strike was practically all that was played in the PC Gamer office when I arrived in 2001. The game has remained consistently popular on the wider internet since that time. As I will argue later, the Quakes represent a higher level of design in terms of multiplayer games, but I believe that Counter-Strike had a greater influence on game design than any other multiplayer shooter. The widespread shift towards pseudo-realism and “real-world” settings for manshooting can, I believe, be traced to this mod. That it was a mod, of course, has been celebrated for years, and as such it remains the ultimate example of how modding on the PC has had a profound influence on the entire culture of game design.

Battlezone
RELEASE DATE: 1998
IMPORTANCENESS: An Austere Martian High


Battlezone was a rare and beautiful creation: a shooter that carried on the tradition of bold vehicular things like Carrier Command and Armageddon, but also sat in its own creative bubble. I regard Battlezone as crucially important because it did so many things that PC games do well: vehicles, terrain, genre-blending, and moving between tactics and strategy in a single engine. It also had an excellent fiction underlying it: of the Cold War extending into space, and then breaking out into violence on Mars. The difference between Russian and American sides still lingers in my imagination.

Also see: Battlezone 2, Hostile Waters.

PlanetSide
RELEASE DATE: 2003
IMPORTANCENESS: High


There has only really been one MMOFPS, and this is it. Whatever happened after the launch – and what happened was a plan of expansion and development that looked like an unhappy ape had been placed at the controls, ultimately ruining the game’s ability to maintain a high population of combatants – it remains a singularity in the landscape of gaming. We’ve written about its capacity to create experiences, and for those experiences to create veterans. It’s a shadow of a former self now, of course, but it’s coming back. For that reason alone it is enormously important. How SOE handle the remake later this year will be one of the most critical and interesting events of the decade. No pressure or anything, guys…

Unreal Tournament 2004
RELEASE DATE: 2003. No wait, it was 2004,
IMPORTANCENESS: Vitally high


Looking back, it’s easy to concentrate on all the mods and things that UT2004 spawned. It was an amazing piece of work for the creative folks among us, and it spawned amazing things like Air Buccaneers. However, it was also an astoundingly well-engineered piece of gaming technology. The Unreal engine was, at this point, as smooth as a marble, and the game that sold it was only slightly less fun to play than its nearest rival, the awesome…

Quake III: Arena
RELEASE DATE: 1999
IMPORTANCENESS: Riding a rocket

Me too!
Yes, my evidence might not be entirely impartial on this one. I was hooked on Quake 3 from the day of its release for almost three years. The pace and precision of it became the most important thing in my life for quite some time, even losing me my job at the time. It remains Id’s greatest work of game design, but its legacy was short, despite the continued life of the thing in Quake Live. Slower paced more “realistic” games quickly smothered the deathmatch future we were promised. Quake 3 is like a velociraptor of game design. Ultimately a dead end, evolutionary speaking, but a killer if you ever have to face it down in the real world. We shall never know its like again.

Arma II
RELEASE DATE: 2009
IMPORTANCENESS: Moderately high

All men, all the time
One of my colleagues will iterate the importance of Operation Flashpoint within the grand scheme of games, but it is down to me to highlight where the arc of soldier simulation, that began with OpFlash, now sits. Arma II – a huge, demanding, unoptimised monstrosity of feature heaviness – is unlike anything else in the gaming landscape. Buggy on release, not ideal for single-player – the problems with it are considerable, and they all pale into nothing against the technical achievement and possibility for military simulation experiences that are disgorged from this game on a daily basis.

STALKER: Shadow Of Chernobyl
RELEASE DATE: 2007
IMPORTANCENESS: Moderate


It would please me to be able to say that Stalker was more important than it actually is, but it sadly remains one of those games that is out in an isolated intellectual region, unencroached by the large trade of ideas from other games. Plenty of games from the West have influenced Stalker, but I’ve yet to see any Western studios mimicking GSC’s achievements. Is that because Stalker is bad or unimportant? No, it’s because most game studios are basically boring, or hideously constrained. The lack of constraint that GSC were under for Call Of Pripyat shows (thankfully) that the brilliance of the original game wasn’t all down to THQ’s money and expert producers.

Quake
RELEASE DATE: 1996
IMPORTANCENESS: Higher than you’d think


Quake did not invent mouse free-look (that was arguably Marathon on the Mac), but it did make it a standard control method. It also spawned the most intense use of the mouse-keyboard control system to date, with the astonishing QuakeWorld multiplayer. That said, I do believe the single-player game to be overlooked at your peril: it remains fiercely playable, and a reminder of how brutal and thrilling things could be before the transformations of Half-Life.

Left 4 Dead 2
RELEASE DATE: 2009
IMPORTANCENESS: Moderately moderate

Are zombies men?
Including this in the list was complicated. A sequel not that different to the original, and not a game that I felt, on its first outing, really changed anything. However, it seems clear that Left 4 Dead 2 was both closer to what was intended for the game, and also a huge move in the direction of pure co-op, which wasn’t something that even seemed possible a few years ago. At the start of the 00s I remember asking developers about their plans to make things co-operative, and the consistent answer was that it was too difficult, or not possible, or whatever. Valve looked at that notion, assumed it was possible, and turned the FPS on its head. And the world is richer for that.

Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines
RELEASE DATE: 2004
IMPORTANCENESS: Moderate


There was no greater tragedy in the game world of 2004 than the unfinished state of Bloodlines. This was a game that reached for the stars: a multi-threaded RPG with action elements, brilliant dialogue, a story that made sense and even surprised us at times. What a shame it degraded into a ludicrous meat-grinder at the end of the game, if you hadn’t hit a show-stopping bug before that time. Bloodlines is important because it signposts a direction to a future of games that we were denied. It is a lament, and a warning. It’s also brilliant.

Battlefield 2
RELEASE DATE: 2005
IMPORTANCENESS: Not high enough to avoid the flak


If there was any need to explain the significance of Battlefield 2, then we only need to point to the hype being generated for its sequel, some six years on. Combining squad-based combat across huge maps, with realistic-but-actually-still-silly physics and general handling made this a videogame charged with manshoot satisfaction. It never really seemed to ever hit a perfect balance, either, which somehow seems quintessential of the most profoundly PC games.

Also see: Battlefield 1942

Team Fortress 2
RELEASE DATE: 2007
IMPORTANCENESS: High enough.


That Team Fortress 2 is a sequel and a remake seems almost irrelevant now. But it’s part of what makes the game so important. Valve took years and years to settle upon a model for what has become one of the firmly-entrenched favourites of the PC gaming fraternity, and that they did so allowed it to prove that a multiplayer first-person shooter can be funny, even witty, and that constant experimentation and progression can keep a game alive and evolving long after it should have ground to a halt. Team Fortress 2 felt like an experiment, and it still feels like an experiment, and that experiment was a success.

See also: Team Fortress.

Tribes 2
RELEASE DATE: 2001
IMPORTANCENESS: Depends whether you are into jetpacks.


Tribes 2, I would argue, was the game that made jetpack combat into one of the great trends within the overall current of first-person PC games. It was far from the first game to do it, and arguably games like Terra-Nova were more ambitious. The original Tribes had even defined the model, but it was this sequel that nailed everything down and made people behave as they now do towards anything with multiplayer combat, jetpacks, and some vehicles.

Hidden & Dangerous
RELEASE DATE: 1999
IMPORTANCENESS: Well pretty damned important to me, actually.


It’s at this point in my list that I begin to trundle away from the first-person perspectives and its unfair dominance over the game universe to look at some games that use other perspectives. Hidden & Dangerous, for example, used a third-perspective across a squad of special ops characters conducting clever missions in exciting World War II scenarios. This game is important because it was the subject of the sample review I produced for my interview at PC Gamer magazine, thus getting me through the door of the industry. It was probably a fairly good game, too.

Frontier: Elite 2
RELEASE DATE: 1993
IMPORTANCENESS: Moderate to middling


The dream of being able to just head out into a galaxy of stars, each with its own planets and other satellites. There’s seldom been as strong a vision in all of gaming, and Frontier remains its best realisation on PC. Also: it has remained Frontier than any other space game. Possibly the frontiest space game ever. Ahem. Sorry.

Also see: Freelancer.

Syndicate
RELEASE DATE: 1993
IMPORTANCENESS: Surprisingly moderate, given how good it was.


There was one game whose hype took me in completely. It was one of my earliest tastes of a company called Bullfrog. Oh how we laugh when we look back on it. But the truth was that Syndicate was a genuine marvel, a miracle of the technology of the time, and one of the first instances in which a city environment in a game felt more like the protagonist than the people who milled about in it. In my dream world, Syndicate would have spawned half a dozen imitators, while the main series would have produced a new game every couple of years, and not just its solitary sequel, Syndicate Wars. It’s one of those games whose atmosphere, attitude, and even control system (as weird as that now seems, with the all the drugs and stuff) acts as a kind of primitive, basal benchmark for all subsequent game experiences. If you played it when it came out, of course. It’s one of those games that seems less important today. That said, this will be the game that I feel most brutalised over if, when the rumoured sequel emerges, it ends up being a wonky shooter set in the same universe. Anyway, that’s for another rant, and another time. Syndicate is extremely important.

Also see: Syndicate Wars.

Hitman: Blood Money
RELEASE DATE: 2006
IMPORTANCENESS: Moderate.


The Hitman series never quite got its garotte around my neck until this iteration. Suddenly all the cogs of elegant level design, minimal UI, complex, open-ended solutions to busy, NPC-heavy levels, clicked into place. What resulted was a game of assassination that is subtle, funny, technically impressive, even sensitive. It’s that dream action game where a single shot might be fired across several levels, but the intensity of what’s happening never wavers.

Outcast
RELEASE DATE: 1999
IMPORTANCENESS: 57th most important of all time, actually


Until there was Outcast, the only real champion of the 3D pixel, the voxel, was to be found in the dry military duck-shoots of the Novalogic games (Delta Force, Comanche). Then along came a Belgian adventure game with lush, organic valleys, and a vibrant, living world. The all-American protagonist never really made much sense, but it faded into the background when you began to encounter the behaviours of the world’s characters, and to explore a game that spun away from the galaxy of games like a lone supernova into the blackness of space. A bright light, quickly vanishing from the pantheon. Outcast perhaps isn’t so much important as valuable, because there is only one of it.

Sacrifice
RELEASE DATE: 2001
IMPORTANCENESS: Like the importance of the last of a rare species.


The same might be said of Sacrifice, as was said of Outcast: it was a creation whose like we will not see again. An RTS that played like a third-person action game, that looked like a surrealist painting, that spoke like a fantasy game, that used sacrificed souls collected with giant syringes as it is main resource. Sacrifice is made from same precious substance of which there isn’t enough to go around. In fact, there seems to be a genuine possibility that this game might have used it all up.

TIE Fighter
RELEASE DATE: 1994
IMPORTANCENESS: A nerdy high, I guess.


This is the best Star Wars game. Sorry, I can’t think of one that I prefer. You can take your Lego, your Jedi Knights, your old Republics, and your assaulting rebels, and drop them down the tube for things under Bespin. TIE Fighter, which allows you to play through the career of a lowly pilot, working your way up to acting as Vader’s wingman, is the most satisfying Star Wars experience. That’s pretty important. I think any studio in the world could make a good space game, just by copying this.

Neverwinter Nights
RELEASE DATE: 2002
IMPORTANCENESS: Fairly low.


In the big scheme of RPGs, the original Neverwinter Nights really doesn’t register all that profoundly, and my colleagues will no doubt speak of other, far more significant games. What was extraordinary about NWN, however, was that it managed to take the naming scheme from Baywatch Nights and then create an RPG that – finally – was hinged on decent technology. We played a four-player RPG at lunchtimes in the PC Gamer office. This is the only time I can ever remember that happening. Later, we played user-made adventures, which is a vital and wonderful thing. In terms of broad-spectrum importance, this game sits fairly low, but I think its accomplishments merit a tip of the hat to where it sits on my shelf, gathering dust.

Eve Online
RELEASE DATE: 2003
IMPORTANCENESS: Nothing like as important as it should have been.


Whenever I talk about Eve Online, I have to be careful to remember this: it changed nothing. Eve Online can only really be understood on its own terms. That it exists, and has existed, is an amazing thing, because it is the only MMO that is actually a “living world”, or a “virtual world”, in the sense that we were promised when the idea of the MMO was coming to light. Yet, while the vast, war-mongering universe of Eve has generated a symphony of astonishing battles, and a babbling catalogue of controversies and tall tales, it has done almost nothing to influence the trajectory of the MMO genre as a whole. Eve, perhaps, is a brown dwarf somewhere remote on the fringes of the galaxy: warm enough to genuinely support satellites crammed with life and interesting evolution, but ultimately an oddity, and with little influence on the wider constellation, which revolves on one axis: that of World Of Warcraft. It’s been my endless frustration that there is no alternative to Eve. Perhaps its one copy-cat game, Perpetuum Online, can one day be that. Maybe not.

Also see: Ultima Online.

The Typing Of The Dead
RELEASE DATE: 2000
IMPORTANCE: Not that high, but we had to include it somewhere.


The importance of this game is that it made both typing tutor programs and light-gun games actually fun. That means it fixes two entire genres by creating another one. Few games can boast that. Also: the dudes with keyboards strapped to their waists were beautifully weird. Actually, I’ve emailed Sega to ask if they have any plans to bring this minor classic out on any digital distribution networks. They are looking into it. UPDATE: Sega just said “no comment” at the time of going to press.

Flashback
RELEASE DATE: 1992
IMPORTANCE: Some.


The importance of this side-on sci-fi adventure was that it both taught me what rotoscoping was, and allowed me to pass my GCSE French, because I played it in French for some reason. These reasons for importance may not apply to other people playing the game today. However, it taught us that French people can often make amazing videogames, and that platform games don’t have to be about grotesquely-proportioned plumbers. These were, and remain, vitally important lessons.

Also see: Another World.

Please note that this post is but one fragment of a larger list, which in total covers over 100 of what RPS feels is the PC’s most important games (but not all of them). You can find the other parts to date here. More is yet to come.

This feature has been kindly sponsored by:

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332 Comments »

  1. aerozol says:

    Haha, game lists = nerd rage. Without fail.

    High five for Typing of the Dead, raaage over games I think should be there.
    Jokes.

    • Sarlix says:

      And this is only part one. We have 4 more to go :-/ Should make for some interesting reading though.

  2. Sardaukar says:

    This obviously complete and finished list doesn’t have Independence War 2 or Jade Empire or Tron 2.0. I demand satisfaction!

  3. drewski says:

    I hope that System Shock 2′s failure to be included as a “See Also” means it’s going to pop up on one of the others’ lists.

  4. Rond says:

    Doom, Quake, Half-life, System shock! Yay!

  5. Iain B says:

    Typing of the Dead, being an arcade/Dreamcast port, seems a bit out of place here.

  6. Risingson says:

    Lots of 3D here I see. Nice list.

  7. Premium User Badge Cinek says:

    Wow… I’m kinda surprised by the list.
    IF that’s the top of most important games than… well: LOL is all I can say, ;)

    Few big objections, I’ll skip the “why HW isn’t on the list” or other games. Let’s just say what is there and shouldn’t be:
    1) Half-Life 2 – in top 3? ORLY? It was as creative game as random new COD sequel. Yea, Yea, it had some puzzles in game but…. gash, that’s seriously nothing new. Maybe the new thing is using physics in puzzles… but nope, that’s also nothing new… than maybe the new thing is using the physics is puzzles in FPS game? Ok, that would work but… the importance of this event is huge enough to place it somewhere on the bottom of 100-most-important-games ever.
    2) Battlezone – I loved this game but it wasn’t really so much important due to it being it’s own unique type of game, kinda like the X-series is. It doesn’t make it more important than precursors of dozens similar games, such as for example the Frontier. Actually – few other games on the list fall into this category – Outcast, TF, NwN.
    3) Typing Of The Dead – What the heck is that? And in what this is important, cause after reading your text I still don’t get it.
    4) Flashback – Another World is actually far more important game, and for far more important reasons than being French ;)
    5) PlanetSide as a most important MMORPG – weird choice, considering that there’s only one game that jumps into memory when someone says MMORPG – the WoW. Or if you hate this title as much as I do – write about Ultima Online. This game was HUGE thing comparing to what PlanetSide was and it made dozens of breakthroughs in the gaming through it’s whole long history.

    Oh yea, and I demand Homeworld, a game that changed the face of RTS forever, and the Independence War 2, the master of Intro movies, something thanks to what we can now watch stuff as Starcraft 2 cutscenes, and the game that as one of first got good 3D combat physics!

    • mbp says:

      Flashback was hugely important for some technical reason that I can’t remember. I think it was the first game to prove you could have smoothly scrolling graphics on the PC or something like that. I know this because I actually played it way back when thanks to a chap who opened a PC game library in my local town that allowed to to rent (nudge nudge wink wink) brand new PC games for a fiver a week. You actually got to keep the box with the original floppies for a week after which you returned them and scouts honour deleted the game from your hard drive.

    • CMaster says:

      Planetside is an MMOFPS, not an MMORPG.
      It makes no pretence to any RPG elements in any sense that matters.
      Yeah, there are MMOFPSRPGs out there (Neocron, Fallen Earth, Darkfall, but so far they all have big issues). But that isn’t what we’re talking about. Planetside (and World War II Online) are the only games out there that have tried to simulate a war with combined arms, massive battles and territory control.

      Oh, and Homeworld changed nothing as far as I can tell. Everybody just ignored it and carried on pumping out C&C/SC clones for years after.

    • thenagus says:

      I though it was a shame Planetfall was mentioned as `the only MMOFPS.` WWIIOL certainly is, and actually came first. (Unless you want to call it an MMO Sim, I guess.)

    • Nick says:

      learn to read.

    • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

      Oh, and Homeworld changed nothing as far as I can tell. ” – first full 3D strategy game. And full 3d meaning full 3d, not just 3D units. GOTY 1999, a game that created the Relic studios later resposible for dozens of well known titles, as DoW or COH. It was also one of a very few strategy games having in-depth storyline behind them back in ’99s. Even though we have almost 12 years passed since the release there’s almost no space strategies keeping quality level of the Homeworld series so… you’d better learn the history a bit. ;)

      Planetside is an MMOFPS, not an MMORPG.” – ok, so it falls into point 2 – Something that was made though noone really tried to repeat. Same crap. ;)

      Flashback was hugely important for some technical reason that I can’t remember. I think it was the first game to prove you could have smoothly scrolling graphics on the PC or something like that.” – yea, I was playing it too, though I don’t recall it being a breakthrough in that matter. Nice catch, maybe the post author should add it to the list :) Though still I’d place AW instead of this one.

    • CMaster says:

      No, you misunderstand me about Homeworld. I think it was a fantastic, foward-looking, clever game. I’m just saying that it wasn’t in any way influential. Other RTS developers just ignored it and carried on churning out the same old stuff as they had before. You say it changed the face of RTS forever – I’m saying that it’s just like Planetside, Battlezone etc. It stands alone as a high point.

    • Jad says:

      “Oh, and Homeworld changed nothing as far as I can tell. ”
      Even though we have almost 12 years passed since the release there’s almost no space strategies keeping quality level of the Homeworld series so… you’d better learn the history a bit. ;)

      So in other words it changed nothing? If RPS created a reverse version of this list, “Games That Should Have Been Important But Weren’t”, I would but Homeworld near the top of that list. But in this list, it doesn’t belong at all. Remember, this list is not about quality, it’s about importance. They are different things.

    • CMaster says:

      @Jad
      But then Jim listed several games that led nowhere. That were notable for being the high point in what they tried to do (Planetside (a depressingly low high point honestly, MMOFPS could be so much more than what Planetside will ever be), Battlezone, Syndicate etc). Remember that other members of the hivemind might be more suitable to bring up some of these games later, but I think you have to consider this article as “games that Jim thinks are important” rather than “list of most influential PC games” or “list of best PC games”.

    • Urthman says:

      Half-Life 2 is one of the most important games in PC history, but not for any of the reasons listed in the article.

      It’s important because it made everyone sign up for Steam.

      If you buy more games over the internet now than you do in boxes at the stores, you have Half-Life 2 to thank.

    • Jad says:

      @CMaster

      Very good point — there are a number of games on this list that also really belong on a “Not Important But Should Be” list, really. It’s a rather idiosyncratic list. But isn’t that why we love RPS?

  8. adonf says:

    Elite 2 was TOO HARD! Stupid Newton and his invention of motion ruined it for me.

    • stahlwerk says:

      It was not easy to master the controls, but when you made your first successful sling-shot flyby of Saturn you started to see the appeal of it.

    • adonf says:

      I was thinking more about the space dogfight. Since it took light-years to slow down it was almost impossible to attack an enemy (yet the AI seemed perfectly able to pick you in the middle of space and destroy your ship)

      As I was typing this I realized that the key was probably to aim for a spot behind your target and then change your trajectory progressively to follow their trajectory. Basically you had to solve differential equations in real-time. Not my idea of fun.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Oh yes, space combat… I also never “got” it. I just sat there like a sitting duck and aimed at the enemies with my twin turreted Panther 1000MW DETHRAYS.
      Thinking back now, it must have been possible to use the thruster to accelerate towards the enemy ship, since it is already on the same trajectory – the same inertial system, if you will – that you are, strafing you. When you change velocity relative to the flight path you should be able to maneuver around as if both combatants were standing still in the beginning.
      Damn i’d like to give 12 year old me a heads up about that.

    • plugmonkey says:

      Newtonian physics was the death of the space shooter.

  9. SLeigher says:

    i think the problem with this list is that rather than it is clearly just a list of not necessarily the most important games in history but rather the games you that Jim and so on think you have to play because they were brilliant, genre defining or just signifcant. this is not clear in the intro

    i tend to agree with most things on this first person shooter list, l4d2 is definitely more significant than l4d, playing l4d now it just feels unfinished

    • Collic says:

      If you mean that the list is governed by their personal opinions, I would tend to agree. Oddly, this is like every piece of journalism ever written on RPS. Who’d have thought, eh? :)

      I don’t really see there is much difference between your interpretation of what the list is, and how it’s presented, either. Those things are not mutually exclusive in my mind.

      None of this matters of course, whatever you get out of the article is wholly personal.

    • mod the world says:

      Saying that L4D2 is more significant than the original because the overall gaming experience is better, is like saying Doom 2 was more important for gaming than Doom 1 because it had more beautiful maps.

  10. Berzee says:

    Jim, some games I like aren’t on this list.

    • Mr_Day says:

      Could be worse. Some games you don’t like could be on the list, and thus you would have to kill them all.

    • CMaster says:

      @Mr_Day
      Depends. I don’t like Doom, but I’d have to be pretty gibberingly mad to argue that it wasn’t important.

      Of course, failing to mention Natural Selection means I must tear Jim’s flesh from his bones, but there you go.

    • Berzee says:

      I stand corrected. :3

  11. Premium User Badge mcnostril says:

    Tribes 2 over Tribes?

    ASLKHDASDKHLAKHALKSHDKHA
    RAGE.

    Also confusion.

  12. frenz0rz says:

    I must continue to profess my sublime love for the word ‘manshoot’. Heres hoping the efforts of RPS do not go unrewarded, and the word eventually settles itself into the everyday gaming lexicon. If I were ever permitted to supervise the development of an FPS game, Manshoot would most definately be it’s name.

  13. mbp says:

    What a bullshit list. How can you include forgettable titles such as Quake 3 and leave out the seminal 1989 title “Barbie Princess Dress Up” the game that launched a million flash games for girls websites. Want proof:
    Google “Quake 3″: 7,890,000 results
    Google “Dress up games”: 24,200,000 hits

    In fact let me state right here right now that Rock Paper Shotgun is abysmally failing in its mission to represent PC gaming by entirely neglecting to cover the enormous market segment that is dress up games.

    Apart from that unforgiveable oversight though respect for including “Sacrifice”. I thought Kieron was the only games reviewer who understood how brilliant that game really was but I am delighted to see that is not the case.

    • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

      ROTFL! I vote for him!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I checked this and it’s true. We need an article on dress up games, now!

    • doktorfisch says:

      Well, you might be right, even The Sims franchise sold more than the top three above, it is still The Sims,

      and this isn’t Rock, Paper, Mini-Skirts.

  14. Acosta says:

    YOUR LIST IS WRONG, WRONG I SAY.

    Ehem, is Kieron going to write on this?, Planescape: Torment needs a champion that can defend the SUPREME IMPORTANCE of Black Isle magnus opus.

  15. vodka and cookies says:

    Good list played most of those games over the years.

    I loved the style of Another World but Flashback was the more fun game to play plus it has a neat sci-fi style of it’s own, such a shame the French game industry isn’t more well developed.

    Outcast another great title that fell by the wayside, one of the first proper movie games that did their homework on action/adventure movies then applied that to a game, way before the current Uncharted franchise which does the same.

  16. Premium User Badge AndrewC says:

    Oh Hidden & Dangerous! How I love thee! And how I weep at your very mention! For being the first PC game I played after years of console games! For the cruel lack of you being mentioned more on RPS! And because it took me a fucking week to get off your first level! Bastard Germans. Stupid train. Bloody rain.

    Hidden & Dangerous – it’s great, and it’s free: http://www.gamershell.com/download_3644.shtml

  17. stahlwerk says:

    I just noticed there is some degree of correlation between size of guns / count of guns in screenshot and importanceness, but the results are not conclusive. We need to extend the sample size, get to it, Prof. Walker!

  18. Wulf says:

    Hm. You cannot have experienced Neverwinter Nights unless you’ve played it with mods. It has so many things that can make so many people happy about it, and this is why I keep coming back to it time and time again. Never for the original campaigns though, because unlike NWN2 and its expansions, the original couldn’t really stand on the strength of its story and characters, but the mods… oh my gosh, the mods. The mods were glorious.

    There were the simple things, to start off, such as the ability to play anything I wanted and there were mods out there that made it all work in a balanced way. I have trouble associating myself with a human avatar and that’s something I absolutely cannot help – I suppose it’s not unlike when a person of another ethnicity might get fed up of constantly playing Caucasian heroes all the time. And Neverwinter Nights gave me options of the likes that I hadn’t seen before and have rarely seen since.

    One of my favourite examples was a Half-Dragon by a bloke named Ryuujin. I connected with that creature and he and I went through all our adventures together, as one. When I think of NWN1, I didn’t have any other characters really despite the choice. I tried, but I kept coming back to him, as there was something special. He was like a real hero, his appearance didn’t change constantly, and he was a constant in a world that kept changing around him. He was crazy, chaotic, and ethical himself, but yet still an anchor which I appreciated.

    And then there were the modules. There were some truly brilliant examples of story modules, I could just tell you to hit up the Neverwinter Vault and look at the top rated stuff, it’s all brilliant. It’s bloody marvelous even. I can guarantee that you’d have fun with any of it. But again, there was one set of memories in NWN that was special for me, it was something I kept going back to as well. The man didn’t know how to do combat and his mods were a little unbalanced but… oh, worldcrafting. Oh could Gagne worldcraft.

    He could do it like Pratchett in a way that was charming, and didn’t takke itself too seriously, with dangers that also didn’t care to be too serious, it was something that had a sense of joy and wonder threaded through it, backed up by great humour. This was triply true of his second series. But I have not named it yet, have I? I shall do so – Penultima. Penultima and Penultima II were perhaps one of the most important reasons one could own NWN. And the characters of Penultima II were some of the best I’d seen of any game.

    Man could write. And how.

    I will always have fond memories of Neverwinter Nights, not as a game, but as a toolset that enabled people like Ryuujin and Gagne to expunge their imagination toward the vault for the general consumption of all.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “I have trouble associating myself with a human avatar and that’s something I absolutely cannot help – I suppose it’s not unlike when a person of another ethnicity might get fed up of constantly playing Caucasian heroes all the time.”

      Are you saying you’re not human?

      I’d always suspected.

    • Sarlix says:

      Welcome back Wulf. You must of sniffed out this article or something.

    • jeremypeel says:

      Firstly – that slip, Wulf, is exactly the kind of thing NWN trained me to look for in potential were-people. Grab your long-poled gardening implements, boys, the weeds will have to wait!

      I’m not really into spitting vitriol over lists (an odd flaw that makes me feel as disconnected from the majority as my at-best documentarianist link to foot-to-ball) and wouldn’t disagree with the importance of lots of the lovingly-big-boxed games Jim’s highlighted. But the relative importance he gives to Quake 3 over something like Neverwinter Nights speaks of the myriad, utterly different pathways towards gaming nirvana I guess we’ve all taken, even if we all eventually agree on Deus Ex as a Rather Wonderful Thing.

      Neverwinter Nights was of at least Very High Importanence I’d wager, at least to a large sect of PC gamers including me. At the time of release, I couldn’t understand the strange transparent UI decisions and generic, repeated dungeon kits in the single player game, things that felt like regressions after the peak in form of Baldur’s Gate 2.

      All of these decisions though turned out to be in aid of multiplayer, in the most expensive sense of the word. I see NWN as an early ambassador for the type of gaming Clint Hocking posits in his lectures; games which link between players on a number of different levels, which don’t force group interaction but enable an incredible experience for those who seek it out. Games which grow in the public imagination after release rather than diminish.

      The NWNVault modding scene has been amazing to watch, producing single player ambitious melodramas, abstract experiments and spoofs, alongside persistent worlds with constant playerbases and deathmatch-type scenarios. Taking all of these into account, I’ve spent more time with NWN than any other game. Like, ever.

      Oh, and Wulf – did you persist with the single player until Hordes of the Underdark? There was story and character there to match any RPG you could name.

  19. kyrieee says:

    You missed my favourite game

    WHERE IS MY FAVOURITE GAME?

    • stahlwerk says:

      Exactly! Where’s Gene Wars?!

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Ah, Genewars… I’d completely forgotten about it’s existence actually! Thank you for reminding me that it exists, sir! There was a game…

  20. BurningPet says:

    I will be extremely dissapointed not to see Dune2 in this list.

    • Butler says:

      Of course it will be. Dune 2, Total Annihilation, original C&C, WC2/3! These lists are predictable, but fun!

    • Sarlix says:

      Disappointed!? If Dune II isn’t on the list I will burn down Castle Shotgun. It defined the genre, and you don’t get much more important than that.

  21. Teronfel says:

    The problem with this list is that we don’t know what to expect.I mean part 1 has a lot of FPS but not only fps,so the problem is will there be any other fps in the other parts and if there are how are we gonna compare them with the ones on this list?That’s why people complaining about games which are not on the list.

    And when we have all five parts how can we say which game is the most important?,are you gonna create a list with all the games of all five parts?

  22. cpeninja says:

    That’s weird – you forgot to include the greatest PC game of all time: Freespace 2.

    I’ll forgive the oversight, as the greatness of this game obviously deserves its own entire article to truly express its quality.

  23. baconismidog says:

    I didn’t read the list (words, blah, words, whatevs) but I came here for the YELLING and the “OMFefferG, wherz muh gAme you basticheges!!”

    As always, RPS never disappoints. I’m super pumped for the next 3 installments. There’s gonna be massive rage. Yay!

    Carry on, carry on.

  24. Bureaucrat says:

    Oddly enough, I started playing Half-Life over the weekend, for the first time ever. I don’t generally enjoy shooters (being scared and/or rushed usually means I’m not having fun), but I can take them in small doses. And I had picked the game up for a couple bucks in a Steam sale awhile back.

    I saw a lot of cleverness there, but, much like the only other Valve game I’ve played (Portal), it gave me motion sickness after about 45 minutes.

    Anyhow, I look forward to other contributors’ lists that aren’t so focused on click-on-the-man-and-he-fall-down gameplay.

  25. Binman88 says:

    I know this isn’t your final list, so I’m gonna chance my arm and nominate one of my favourite games as being *important*.

    To this day I haven’t played a more fair and balanced multiplayer game than Raven Shield. I won’t elaborate too much, because to “get it” you really have to have played it in its prime, but it had everything you could want for a challenging multiplayer experience. The map design (bar one or two porkers) was fantastic. The sound design made for some thrilling “last man” moments as you swept the quiet map using your ears to either hunt down the final member of the opposition, or as the last man, try to avoid and silently dispatch 4 or 5 members of the other team. Every weapon was available to every player, so it was a very level playing field, and it generally only took two bullets to kill someone (or one headshot). All of this contributed to a game that rewarded things like player skill, accuracy, reflexes, and map knowledge, which are key, in my opinion, to make a multiplayer game fair, challenging and rewarding. The fact that no other developer really took those aspects of the game as any sort of divine inspiration may preclude the ability to put it in this list, but hey, I tried.

    • Nick says:

      Great game indeed, sadly the closest thing to it is probably SWAT 4 and neither have a sequel that I’m aware of (the other rainbow 6 games don’t count.. although I enjoyed them for what they were).

    • Binman88 says:

      I really enjoyed SWAT4 but never got heavily into the adversarial multiplayer aspect. As a coop game though, SWAT4 was pretty intense. Perhaps too intense by today’s standards, and may alienate people looking for a slightly quicker (and less punishing) thrill. Lockdown, the game right after Raven Shield, was truly dire, but the Vegas games were much better (than Lockdown). Unfortunately they completely lost the solidity, if you will, and straightforwardness of Raven Shield’s multiplayer in the Vegas games.

  26. Symbul says:

    Why did you link UT2k4 with Quake 3? UT(99) was its counterpart.

  27. Premium User Badge frymaster says:

    can we point out more games not on the list until Jim has a mental breakdown? As an internet commentator, that’s pretty much the pinnnacle of achievement.

  28. Porkolt says:

    I think NWN should register with a bit more importance on the count of it being so extremely customizable.

    I’ll be frank. I bought NWN and all its expansions in the week each one came out, and it’s been on my playlist ever since.

    NWN provides such an excellent base to make modifications on. PvP, hardcore roleplay, hack’n'slash, persistent worlds, crafting, total conversions. It may not exactly have a huge playerbase, but it’s capable of providing every experience any other RPG could.

    Granted, the original content was pretty much rubbish. The game campaigns weren’t interesting (though they did manage to get the formula down by the second expansion pack and their DLC), and the graphics were pretty dated by the time it came onto the market, but I still can’t think of an RPG I enjoy more. I put down Dragon Age pretty quickly on the count of its controls being so much clunkier than what I was used to with NWN, for example.

    An undeservedly low valuation of a game that stands so very very high on the RPG scale!

    • Bureaucrat says:

      I think that goes in a category of “very important for a very small population.” Sometime after its release, Bioware did some research and realized that a sizeable majority of people who bought the game didn’t touch the multiplayer or the construction tools more than once. I’m a pretty serious RPG fan, and I never bought the game at all, based on how mailed-in everyone said the single-player aspect was.

    • malkav11 says:

      You should buy it, then. Sure, the original campaign is rubbish, completely and utterly the worst thing Bioware has ever done (though the expansions are better). And the engine’s pretty naff too. But the game is nonetheless a platform for hundreds of hours of excellent fan-made RPGing.

  29. Premium User Badge Hideous says:

    RPS has previously called Chase Goose 2 “best game ever”, yet it is not on this list. I am disappoint.

  30. CrazyBaldhead says:

    Sponsored by Intel? Congratulations are in order, RPS.

  31. ColOfNature says:

    I suspect you played Flashback in French for the same reason I did – you had the cracked copy (you naughty boy, you) and no-one told you you could replace the French text with the English by copying the English dialogue file over the French one. I didn’t figure that out until after I’d completed the game.

  32. hamster says:

    CS needs to be higher. It paved the way for hitscan-only FPS without doing away with the skill aspect (recoil control; headshots etc.) It probably also spawned the modern (and unjustified) hatred for sniper rifles.

    CS was also damn fun.

    What else. TF1 should be put before TF2 to understand how it constituted a changing of the guards. Namely, lowering the skill floor and making the game accessible without dumbing things down substantially.

    Q3: I actually thought it was a heck of a lot more fun when played as Team Deathmatch or CTF rather than the insane 1v1 mode where you had to memorize maps, spawn times, bhopping and everything else to be even remotely competitive. Nothing like seeing some guy skipping across the level like Bambi on crack and grabbing all the goodies. Then you hit him twice with a railgun, he chuckles, and blows your unarmored ass to giblets with a single rocket.

    UT2k3/4: Felt like i was shooting nerf guns. Too damn hard to kill people. 2k4 had the vehicles which gave it a bit of battlefield vibe but IMO not enough depth. It also made all the projectile weapons kind of useless since the maps got way bigger.

  33. Premium User Badge TheTourist314 says:

    A few years ago, my first girlfriend broke up with me. I spent the “dark ages” afterward alone in my room playing Doom, Doom 2, and Final Doom for several months. It allowed me to really explore the ingenious method id created and mastered. It truly changed the game, something id likes to do with each new installation into PC gaming (although it’s mostly technical now, with Carmack inventing some new programming whatsit each new Tech engine).

    • Premium User Badge TheTourist314 says:

      Also, when I emerged, I was the very best Doom player the world has seen. Just thought I’d throw that in there too.

  34. Whitmore says:

    Deus Ex’ll bring home the gold.

  35. HunterZ says:

    Wolfenstein 3-D was more instrumental in creating the FPS genre than Doom, although Doom was more fun and had multiplayer.

    BattleZone should be a See Also for MechWarrior 2.

    Vampire Bloodlines doesn’t belong on any list that Deus Ex isn’t on, and Deus Ex should always be at the top.

    Neverwinter Nights? Seriously? It had pretty much the worst RPG campaign that Bioware ever made (I barely played it because it was so mediocre). The only cool thing about it was also its downfall: it was meant to be an RPG engine for users to make campaigns with, so Bioware didn’t spend enough time on the default campaign.

    I don’t get this list. It’s not focused, and it’s clearly highly subjective. If the rest of the articles in the series are like this then I will be very disappointed.

    • Berzee says:

      “I don’t get this list. It’s not focused, and it’s clearly highly subjective.”

      It sounds like you get it perfectly =)

  36. Turin Turambar says:

    i agree mostly with all the games put here! woah!

  37. Premium User Badge shoptroll says:

    5 Parts? I only see 4 authors in the About!

    Should we start a betting pool on whether or not Part 5 will be a surprise Kieron list or that new guy (Lewie Corbett?) they brought in off the street?

  38. Premium User Badge whitebrice says:

    Jim lost his job over Quake 3?

    I cannot be the only one who would like to hear the story behind that.

  39. dampgnat says:

    The first ELITE was suuuuurely the most important. This pioneered the genre!!! And opened up trading in other game genres.

    Elite 2 was nowhere near as important in this respect. I don’t think it was even as good as a game.

    • Xanadu says:

      I agree – Elite > Elite 2 in importanceness. Then again, with the list being written by a young whippersnapper (French GCSE in 1992 indeed) he can perhaps be forgiven for not spending swathes of the mid-1980s playing the original.

    • Chris D says:

      I’d also go with Elite being more important but I’m wondering if it counts as a PC game. Wasn’t the original platform the BBC Micro?

    • plugmonkey says:

      It depends on whether you limit your definition of a PC to an IBM / MS-DOS based machine?

    • dampgnat says:

      ah of course, i doubt the original Elite was on the PC, that’s true. Damn, I’m starting to show my age. I must be an 80′s boy.

  40. Blackw0lf says:

    Considering Valve has said Ultima Underworld and System Shock were more influential to Half-Life than Doom, I think this puts System Shock ahead of Half-Life in terms of importance :)

    Or put it this way, without Ultima Underworld and System Shock, would we have seen Half-Life as we know it?

  41. Resin says:

    This list needs to be re-labeled as important to First Person Shooters.
    This would not be my list at all.
    It will be interesting to see what some of the other authors around here include…and why, I feel like the explanations in this article started out strong and sort of devolved along the way.

  42. enshak says:

    Can someone explain why I should play Quake single player as I am someone who found Quake 2 polished but a bit bland, fantastic audio experence and weapon feel thougth.

    • Metonymy says:

      The four military bases (e1m1, e2m1, e3m1, e4m1) were well designed, and I believe three were made by Romero. There is some great level design in episode 1. It’s exactly like Doom, in that the shareware levels were a little more consistent and polished than retail levels. Episode 4 was basically all made by the same person, and it remains some of the worst, and most boring level design ever to appear in a FPS. Flat, square, endless corridors with insufficient lighting. It’s like Deus Ex, with more instant death, and no cyberpunk.

      Quake 1 is exceptionally dated now, and strangely, even more so than Doom. Doom2 still has breathtaking gameplay, as seen in user-made levels like ‘Nullspace/NS Junior.’ The best Quake 1 has to offer is shambler dancing and backpedaling.

    • enshak says:

      Thanks I might give it a try. The thing about quake 2 level design is that I found their wasn’t much to differentiate from say the comm center to the command center and all that concrete, might explains all that CO2 on Mars. Does it have the machine gun that was in quake 2 as I would play it for that reason alone.

    • Herzog says:

      http://own-age.com/vids/15219/mirrors/

      Watch this video, then play some singleplayer :)

    • enshak says:

      Wow colour and dogs. Sold.

  43. Plazmataz says:

    Frontier: Elite 2 may have been the best space exploration game, but this is also worth noting, even if it may not be technically a game.

    http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/home.php

    Space travel is a beautiful thing, to be sure.

  44. Grape Flavor says:

    WELL. Now that both bit-tech and RPS have sung the praises of Hitman: Blood Money, I am roundly confused.

    I played the demo, over and over to make sure I wasn’t missing something. I thought the game was totally mediocre. The graphics were poor, and poorer performing. The control was “off” and imprecise. The voice acting and characterization were cheesy as hell.

    But the worst thing is it utterly failed as a stealth game. Just for kicks I tested what happened if you ignored the “stealth” altogether. I run&gunned my way through the level with appalling ease. Not only could you play it as an action game, it was an incredibly easy, shallow, and linear action game. No use of cover, no sneaking, not even ducking behind a wall to reload. Call of Duty requires more stealth than this.

    So it completely baffles me that sites routinely mention Blood Money over any of the Splinter Cell games, which seem better in every possible way: graphically, audibly, plot, control, gameplay, balance, level design.

    Is the amusement park level totally unrepresentative of the full game? What’s the deal? Why on earth are respected websites including Blood Money in their “essential PC games” lists at the expense of Splinter Cell or Thief? plz explain.

    • Chris D says:

      The amusement park level isn’t greatly representative of the game, it’s much more of a tutorial than anything else.

      Sure, you can play it as an action game if you want, but that’s not the point. It’s really about making the perfect assassination, taking the target out without anyone else even knowing you were there.

    • Oak says:

      Is the amusement park level totally unrepresentative of the full game?

      Not in the least bit representative. To this day, its inclusion and use as a demo baffle me.

      Five years of consistent, unanimous praise didn’t sell you on the game, but please take a moment to listen to some schlub on the internet: Every single mission in Hitman: Blood Money is a masterpiece of atmosphere and open-ended gameplay that inspires improvisation and countless repeat playthroughs. It’s the result of a very smart developer actually learning from their mistakes and improving on their original idea with every iteration. And if you don’t buy it right now, I’m going to yell at you.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “Look at the photograph, Mr. Clarence”

      It’s a pretty bizarre choice for a demo, yeah. It’s pretty much a tutorial, and a naff one at that. Almost put me off the game, but I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did.

    • Nurse Edna says:

      Hitman isn’t really about the kind of stealth you’re thinking of though. It isn’t about hiding in shadows and ducking behind corners. You can sneak up behind people to do your dirty business, but mostly it’s about hiding in plain sight and blending in with the crowd while trying to get to your (usually guarded) target without raising suspicions. And yes it can be a bloodbath if you want it to be, or you can plan everything so meticulously that no one will know you were there. Or anything in between.

      It would be hard to see that just from the demo though, the Hitman series seems to have a habit of making the first level one of the most tedious.

  45. Metonymy says:

    The best part of this article is that you didn’t mention call of duty anywhere. Thumbs up, buddy. Thumbs up.

    One niggling disagreement. Quakeworld, and it’s prediction model, online competition explosion, LPBs, and CTF, was quite a bit more important than Quake 3. The gameplay of quake 3 was already a “dinosaur” when it was released, to use your example. Quake 1 had already been played so extensively, and for so many years, that Quake 3 was little more than a graphics upgrade when it was released.

    • Herzog says:

      Partly true. Still the duel mode in Q3 was a vast improvement over QW and still is. Both games have evolved immensly in playing style (you cant really compare QW multiplayer from 99 with todays) and I think both games deserve to be mentioned. For my part even Q2 is missing from this list ;) Yes.. I am a Quake fan :(

  46. Jahandar says:

    I think Team Fortress (the original Quake 1 mod) deserves more than a “See Also.” This is the game that set the mold for class-based objective-oriented multiplayer FPS.

    • Metonymy says:

      I was sad that ‘Future vs Fantasy’ never took off. Team Fortress basically took the original quake weapons, and distributed them randomly to particular classes, and then made some run slower and some faster. There weren’t any legitimate “new” classes. People just liked it because you started with your weapons already available.

      FvF wasn’t a stellar mod, but it had a lot of imagination in the design. If it had been a little more accessible, it might have replaced TF.

    • Jahandar says:

      TF had no new classes and weapons? What about the engineer, sniper rifles, flame throwers, medics, gattling guns, caltrops, grenades (of many varieties), tranq darts, etc, etc.

      Even if all they was distribute the weapons, that still doesn’t change the fact that class-based teamplay was brand new.

  47. bobdisgea says:

    i mean is this the most important games and the rest will be continuing to descend or is this just part 1 of a random assortment of important games?

  48. Recidivist says:

    Just as an FYI, if I don’t see CoD 1 & 2 in this list I will…be…sad…However, If I see any other CoD in this list I will be sure that the RPS staff are Kottick’s private rent boys.

    Also, BF2 should have waaaaaaaaay more importance on this list, just for being so amazingly awesomely awesome.

    Other than that, a fairly agreeable list. Moar plx.

  49. de5me7 says:

    Unreal 2004 Vitally high?

    I always felt UT 2003/04 was just the first game with better graphics and less maps. How can a game that was essentially a remake/update but so highly influential. Unless of course your saying it was purely the engine that was so influential. I know it had a fair few mods, and several games were built on the UT03 engine, but that can be said for alot of engines in the post 2000 era (maybe before too)

  50. Sander Bos says:

    “Flashback: that it [...] taught me what rotoscoping was”
    Yeah, if you didn’t play Prince of Persia 3 years before… (and Karateka before that, but let’s face it PoP was a 100 times more popular)
    I think the most important game is Modern Warfare 2. Since I never played any FPS before that game, I now claim that it introduced 3D first person shooters.

    Prince of Persia should definetely be on the list. What is kind of troubling for a list of PC games is that neither Prince of Persia or Flashback started life on a PC, they were ports.

    Thinking back now, I think Indianapolis 500 should also be on the list, I am sure it showed many programmer what the PC could accomplish 3D visuals wise (there was nothing like it at the time, Falcon was a bad joke compared to it).

    • Sander Bos says:

      Ooh and Wing Commander. Very influential in having extremely high production values that add little to the actual gameplay, a feature since copied by most of today’s games.

    • Recidivist says:

      “I think the most important game is Modern Warfare 2″

      Please tell me this was some sort of sick, sick joke….

    • de5me7 says:

      Modern Warfare 2, was important in confirming that the ‘creative’ part of the creativity process is thoroughly dead in mainstream shooters