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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

RELEASE DATE: Various Dates

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.

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.


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,

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
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
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

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.

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
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

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
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

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
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
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
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.

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

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.

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.

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
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

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
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
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.


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:


  1. Stevostin says:

    Ultima Underworld is missing at the top of your list.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Please note: this is not the complete list.

    • torchedEARTH says:

      You’re not kidding.

    • Stevostin says:

      @ Jim

      Fair enough, I am waiting before cursing anyone for one million year. But remember : at the top ! Everything below that would force me to explain at lenght why there is no serious way to consider even for a second any other game as half the landmark Ultima Underworld was in its time ;-)

    • Zogtee says:

      No shit, I was thinking “WOT ABOUT ULTIMA UNDERWORLD THEN?” the whole time, while reading this.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Ha! exactly what I was thinking. Especially since the first lots were all FPS games, and UU was a rather magnificent first-person-RPG from which Oblivion and the like could learn a lot from.

      But there are still four parts to go before I have to make some sort of embarrassing faboy-ish rant.

    • Bassism says:

      I’m watching you, Walker….

    • RegisteredUser says:

      This list would already have fulfilled it’s purpose had it just been for hueg red letters on a even more hueg superslide: DOOM.

      Anything else is really just details.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      This list would already have fulfilled it’s purpose had it just been four hueg red letters on a even more hueg superslide: DOOM.

      Anything else is really just details.

    • Stevostin says:

      Hey, shame on me, I didn’t notice @first System Shock nearly at the top.

      Now I understand the symbol that is Doom and why it’s difficult not to put it on top, but for the few of us here who were PC gamers years before Doom, well sure it was a landmark but not the biggest one. Technically it was beautiful, but not half as ambitious in term of 3D, physics, AI than Ultima Underworld. Yes, UU had gravity pulling down object on the ground, goblins able to flee and regroup, fireballs lignting the walls, you could watch up or down, there could be bridges. And I am not even mentionning half of what was insanely brilliant in that 1992’s game – on year before Doom. I’ve starved for the whole industry trying to follow Ultima Underworld’s step and it seems to me we had to wait for ages before we start to get other games that were just half as good than this gem – apart from the other Looking Glass titles of course ; System Shock is absolutely great oc.

    • unimural says:

      My take on the Ultima Underworld vs Doom issue.

      Doom is the more important, if by important we mean the influence it had. Ultima Underworld is of course more ambitious in just about every regard. And, as pointed out UU came out some 18 months earlier (early 1992 vs Christmas 1993). Get this: Ultima Underworld was released before Wolfenstein 3D. UU truly is the Adam and Eve, the progenitor of modern 3D fps.

      Despite this, there were hardly any games directly inspired by UU. Doom, on the other hand singlehandled spawned the entire fps genre. Doom was a great game that got lucky.

      Even if Doom had never been released, I believe that after both the Wolfenstein 3D and Ultima Underworld (and the Bethesda Terminator games), those ideas would have eventually found their successful culmination in some other game.

      Even if, in a just, better universe, it should have been UU :-)

  2. Meat Circus says:

    You rank Doom as MOAR IMPORTENCE than System Shock?


    • Jim Rossignol says:


    • Collic says:

      I noticed there was no ‘see also’ for System Shock 2. I am therefore clinging to the hope, no matter how tenuous, that it will get it’s own listing.

      IT HAD BETTER! *pre-emptive sobs*

    • Starky says:

      Doom was VASTLY more important for gaming than System Shock.

      Nerds of the time may have been overjoyed at System Shock (I was one of them)…
      But Doom got played every lunch break in my schools IT suite by people who’d never played a game on a PC with a mouse and keyboard in their lives. People who probably had never played a game on a console either.

      Hell even some girls would play Doom at lunch too… I know, unbelievable.

    • GoodPatton says:

      I couldn’t applaud your Doom choice more.

    • Baf says:

      Right, the thing is, this isn’t a list of what games we like. Or rather, it is, but it’s more primarily a list of games that are importance. Whatever you think of their relative merits, it’s hard to deny that Doom had far more influence on the games industry than Ultima Underworld did. Thus, it is not only more importance, it is more first on this list.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Well, it totally depends on what you mean by importance. I love Doom as much as the next person. But I see System Shock as far more important, especially now. If they keep churning out generic shooters for too much longer games are going to die a slow death in their own excrement.

  3. Kevin says:

    I should hope that Homeworld and Company of Heroes makes an appearance on your list at some point.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Please note: you’ll have to wait and see.

    • oceanclub says:

      It’s seriously impossible to overstate the importance of Doom. I still remember walking into a large computer lab in my college back in 1994 to find _everyone_ playing it. At a time when VR was the buzzword of the day and millions were being spent on it, a couple of kids came along and created a game that at the time seemed as immersive as reality.


    • RegisteredUser says:


  4. Vrokolos says:

    You pretty much missed a huge period of PC Gaming where the most important games were the point and click adventures such as monkey island, larry and king quests.

    Also I know these are not important to most PC gamers since many haven’t played them but please consider adding these 2 to any “PC GAMES TOP”-like list in the future: Planescape Torment and Grim Fandango

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Please note: this is not the complete list.


    • Web Cole says:

      Pfffft, reading the words is, like, SO overrated.

    • President Weasel says:

      So what you are saying is that this is not the complete list???

      Frankly I would think you should have put something that important towards the top of the article, not buried it down in the comments like this. Tch.

      I concur with your statement on Tie Fighter. It is the Best Star Wars game, and I wish more developers had been inspired by the excellent way they handled the story and character development. I still remember it fondly, lo even after all these years.

    • El_MUERkO says:

      It’s not a complete list and it can never be, because you’ve listed games that haven’t had the impact you wish they did. Which is subjective, leaving it open for everyone on here who holds a flame for the obscure to call you a cunt for not mentioning their beloved.

      PS: SWAT4 deserves a mention, Irrational need to get onto SWAT5, no one cares about balloons in Columbia Irrational!!! NOBODY!!!

    • Web Cole says:

      @El_MUERkO: I’m pretty sure the Hivemind has never claimed to do anything other than put their thoughts down on virtual paper.

      Also, I’m pretty sure the tone is firmly tongue-in-cheek, so I don’t see it as being a big deal.

    • Kadayi says:

      @Jim Rossignol

      Don’t worry Jim I am. I think the RPS name tag confused people initially, though I now see you’ve wisely changed it.

    • Sarlix says:

      Jim, how did you not expect this? It became obvious the minuet I read the article title. When it comes to PC game lists everyone has an opinion. And you can never truly satisfy.

      That said, if I don’t see Dune II on the lists knuckles will crack.

    • Fitzmogwai says:

      I concur with your statement on Tie Fighter. It is the Best Star Wars game, and I wish more developers had been inspired by the excellent way they handled the story and character development.

      If only George Lucas had been inspired by the excellent way they handled the story and character development as well. Eh? EH?

    • sirdorius says:

      @Jim: That’s what you get for making an ordered list of games: a shitload of comments in the format “X should be (higher) on the list because it’s better than Y”. Please don’t turn this site into GamesRadar!

  5. diebroken says:

    Part 2 should at least mention the Thief series and Jurassic Park: Trespasser… or else! (*please*)

    • Urthman says:

      Trespasser is hugely important because:

      1. The savage, hilarious take down of Trespasser was the first big review at Old Man Murray, their first real step to stardom: link to

      2. The reason Half Life was revolutionary instead of just pretty good is that after they had the game in a playable, beta state, Gabe Newell asked everyone “What would Old Man Murray say about our game?” and they did an almost complete revision of the game, scrapping lots of what they had and essentially making an improved sequel to the first version of the game.

      3. OMM’s Erik Wolpaw got work writing for Psychonauts.

      4. Gabe hired Wolpaw and OMM’s Chet Faliszek to work for Valve where they became writers for Portal, Left 4 Dead, and all the great TF2 comics, videos, press releases, etc.

      5. The revolutionary awesomeness of Half-Life made possible Counterstrike, Steam, and every other awesome thing Valve has ever done.

      So all the greatness of Half Life, Portal, Left4Dead, Psychonauts, as well as all of Steam and Valve’s contributions to PC gaming can be traced back to the epic terribleness of Tresspasser that allowed Old Man Murray to so successfully make fun of it.

    • diebroken says:

      And the physics aspects of JP Trespasser, which also influenced the development of HL2. Ahh, OMM and those Start to Crate (StC) reviews! :D

      link to

  6. Dominic White says:

    Doom remains to be hugely important to this day. New versions of the engine are literally released on a weekly basis, and more levels and I wouldn’t be surprised if more mods and levels were being produced for it today than Half-Life 2.

    It’s a pity that almost no shooter (no, not even Serious Sam, which largely involved holding the fire button and backpedalling) seems to have hit that bizarrely perfect blend of high-agility, high-power combat that Doom created.

  7. John Walker says:

    Wow people, READ THE INTRO!

    The parts are not in order of importance. They’re written by each of us, picking the games we picked. It’s going to be okay. Counsellors are available.

    • bill says:

      That’s what you get for doing a list on the internet.

    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      But we just like looking at the pictures :(

    • Lacero says:

      This is why companies sponsor lists :D

      I felt this list was one of the most important lists I’ve read today, second to the list of what I’m going to eat today and third to the list of what I’m going to do today. Thank you for your list.

    • destroy.all.monsters says:

      Shouldn’t it have the byline of the author then?

      Also – WHERE’S MY BELOVED DEUS EX!!1eleven

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Shhh, you’re making baby Podlington cry.

    • Consumatopia says:

      In fairness, the intro was rather annoyingly written.

    • Dozer says:

      @destroy.all.monsters – like the bit under the title where it says ‘Jim Rossignol’?

    • Nick says:

      in fairness your mother was rather annoyingly written.

    • Consumatopia says:

      Careful, Nick, she could kick your ass.

    • DrGonzo says:

      But he doesn’t own an ass.

  8. -Spooky- says:

    – Homeworld
    – Ground Control
    – Delta Force
    – Black Hawk Down
    – Joint Operations
    – Spec Op
    – Team Fortress Classic (i hate Counter Shizzle, rly)
    – Unreal
    – Unreal Tournament
    – Total Annihilation

    Oh .. wait .. Where are the cool C64 / Amiga / Atari games .. ? ;)

  9. bill says:

    Battlezone always seemed hugely over-rated to me. Never got what the fuss was about. Hostile waters was great though.

    I think Hidden and Dangerous deserves a lot more credit than it usually gets. It (possibly along with Op:Flash) basically started the whole “realistic WW2 setting” trend that is still with us to this day. It started the CoD! It was a good game too, if you could get anywhere without a bug.

    On a personal note, Tie Fighter is more important than everything! Except Doom!
    And Terminator: Future shock made mouselook cool before Quake. (by about a week!)

    • Gap Gen says:

      Was Battlezone the first FPS where you could jump into tanks? Or is there something before it?

    • bill says:

      It wasn’t really an FPS. It was boring. I don’t know. Help.

      But if it was 1998, and Quake was 1996, that means Terminator Future Shock was 1996. In that you could jump into Jeeps with lazer cannons on the back and hover drones. I think that counts as tanks.

    • Archonsod says:

      Battlezone was the first RTS you could jump into tanks. Or the first FPS you could build a base, whichever.

    • groovychainsaw says:

      Back in the day, i found T:FS a lot more interesting than Quake. More innovative, i feel, at least. I probably/possibly wouldn’t enjoy either now, so am loath to go back. I like my nostalgia where it is :-)

    • skurmedel says:

      BattleZone was awesome. Multiplayer was where it shone though.

    • drewski says:

      One of my friends raved about it, so I was quite excited to try it, but it never clicked at all for me.

    • Hodag says:

      Battlezone 98 had such a fluid interface it made the command and control parts almost instinctive. It really is an amazing game and has been released for free out on the net. If you haven’t tried it yet at least give it a shot. It is really fun.

    • Kadayi says:

      I really liked H&D. It was buggy as hell, but I vividly recall playing it co-op with a friend at Uni on a make shift Lan and we had a blast to the extent that when the sequel came out, we both immediately rushed out to buy it, only to find out that there was no co-op option. Albeit they did add a co-op expansion pack much later, the enthusiasm had died somewhat by then. Still a great game in terms of ambition.

    • wererogue says:

      I definitely agree that Hidden Ampersand Dangerous deserves a lot of credit – it did a lot to define the space that SWAT 2 and Rainbow Six existed in (after the fact.)

      I also find it a bit weird to credit Left 4 Dead 2 – it smacks of saying that L4D wasn’t important because it just wasn’t pretty enough, but really, it was fairly pretty.

      Great list, can’t wait to read the other installments.

  10. Crimsoneer says:


    Okay, I’ll go read the words now.

    • NetsukeMonkey says:

      Exactly. My first thought on reading this was ‘he he! wouldn’t it be really funny if I posted here ‘You haven’t got Game X on here!’ like a complete plonker who hasn’t read the words. Then I realised it wouldn’t be that funny, and THEN I realised that there would be people who would probably do this for real. Et voila!

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      WHY ISNT DOOM ON THERE *flails blindly inside nutrient tank*

  11. Gap Gen says:

    More neologisms. MORE.

  12. Brumisator says:

    “That really actually an accident,”
    4th paragraph, Mr. Rossignol

  13. MrWolf says:

    For fuck’s own sweet sake. No “Postal 2 – More Number 2”? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!

  14. MikoSquiz says:

    Half-Life 2
    RELEASE DATE: 2004
    IMPORTANCENESS: Not Really, No

    “Things would never be the same again” is a silly thing to say, since it’s a tautology and not relevant here anyway. Half-Life 2 wasn’t quite the ecosystem-wrecking genesis-meteor that the original was, but instead the leftovers of the original reheated. Using all the same techniques, but throwing in a half-arsed set of perfunctory physics puzzles, Half-Life 2 broadened the mandate for first person games to include half-arsed, perfunctory physics puzzles, and much longer and more frequent bits that supposedly aren’t cut-scenes because you can walk around the room while they’re taking place, which conveniently also means they’re unskippable and thus unbearably tedious by the second or third time around.

    S’pose it did directly lead to Portal in more ways than one, mind, so there is that in its favour.

    • Web Cole says:

      Actually, nm. :P

    • MikoSquiz says:

      Holy run-on sentence, Batman. My polly loggies.

    • Mirqy says:

      contextual storytelling.

    • Archonsod says:

      To be fair, the only lesson developers seem to have learned from HL2 is “Include a physics gimmick”.

    • Gap Gen says:

      The see-saw changed everything.

    • Lilliput King says:

      ‘“Things would never be the same again” is a silly thing to say, since it’s a tautology’

      delightfully adolescent

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      I’m in agreemence with MikoSquiz here about Half life 2. It’s levels of groundbreakery weren’t as high as the physics puzzle hype lead us to believe. I don’t think this title matches the others listed in terms of affecting gaming history. Except for physics puzzles. Ah. Crap.

      I can’t be bothered to make two posts (forum bugged out, now I’m two posts) so I’ll add here that I think you’ve stumbled into a well of internet pain RPS. You do so well to avoid those fucking stupid numbers when you review games (much like Sight and Sound don’t use a five star rating to review films and are one of the most well respected authorities on critically assessing cinema) and then you slip into the treacherous quasi-quantative area of lists. I’d remove all the degrees of import from here on in lest the drooling masses die from rage induced aneurisms and you are found guilty as they lay dead at their keyboards.

    • Inglourious Badger says:


      Half-Life 2 –

      Disliked because of Physics puzzles but liked because it led to Portal?

    • Persus-9 says:

      Also it isn’t a tautology, since it’s at least metaphysically possible that things could be the same again since time could be circular.

      I’ll get my coat.

    • jaheira says:

      @ Persus-9

      Even if time is circular then things couldn’t be the same again. On each occurence of “things” we would be on a different iteration, I think. ie. if we let n=the number of times that “things” have happened before, then each time “things” re-occurred (or appeared to) n would increment, thus with a change in one variable “things” would be different. Am I wrong? I might be wrong.

      Errr … I will also will get my coat.

    • plugmonkey says:

      Am I the only person who remembers Half-Life 2 for the brilliantly constructed set-pieces, rather than the physics puzzles?

      For example, if the team behind Mirror’s Edge had played the opening chase sequence of Half-Life 2 a few more times, it wouldn’t have been shit.

  15. Oozo says:

    Flashback there, Another World in the see also? Heresy!
    Then again, it’s clearly better that you didn’t learn French from Another World. The few words that were spoken were all a bit on the mumble-core side of things. (Maybe that’s how French people talk, though, with their baguette in their mouths and everything, n’est-ce pas?)

    • Acorino says:

      I agree, Another World is a much more important milestone.
      But then, as a milestone, L4D might also be more important than its sequel.

      This goes for lots of the entries.
      It’s hard to make a proper list like this when the criteria tends to be contradictory (importance/influence, quality, uniqueness…)

      Cleary, RPS hasn’t perfected the art of list making yet.

    • juandemarco says:

      Flashback and Another World are HUGELY important in my opinion. Probably Another World more than Flashback (AW did get an anniversary edition a couple of years ago, after all, and it was epic!), but regardless they do not carry just ‘some’ importance. Even though they might have not been defining as Doom, of course, and probably the fact that they made the list is an indication of their importance after all. A game that means “SOME” on this list is still more worthy than all those that didn’t made it to the list at all, am I correct?
      Then again, the TYPING of the dead? Why? :)

    • DrGonzo says:

      You could argue that Another World did most of the things Half Life is credited with doing years before it was released. But I fucking love Half Life so whatever.

  16. Donkeyfumbler says:

    I’m very sorry to be picky (well actually I say that, but I’m really not sorry at all. More mildly regretful, I suppose), but the Battlefield entry should be about 1942 with Battlefield 2 being the ‘also see’ bit.

    BF1942 was a step change for the FPS – massive open environments, controllable vehicles (aircraft carriers!), big teams, conquest mode, etc., etc.

    BF2 simply stuck it in a modern context and added little things like squads and a commander while taking away at least half of the ‘bigness’ of the whole thing. A process carried on by BFBC2 which shrunk it still further. My hopes for BF3 are not high.

    • empfeix says:

      1942 wasnt a huge step in any of those areas, Tribes did it before hand, its even on the list! You have an argument about conquest though.

    • Lacero says:

      Flying a shrike at the flag, jumping out and grabbing the flag then jetpacking into the still moving shrike was awesome. I only managed it once but it was worth it.

      In comparison battlefield was a much messier experience, and I think the series only really defined itself with BF2.

    • Donkeyfumbler says:

      Tribes 2 is on the list, but I see your point. I did play Tribes for a bit but it never really grabbed me, and so my memory of it is hazy. The vehicles from what I remember were fairly limited and I can’t remember them being as integral to the experience, or as varied, as Battlefield 1942. I vividly remember playing the Wake Island demo before the proper game was released and simply being blown away by how different it made the FPS feel.

    • drewski says:

      I’d agree with that. B1942 was a real “whoa!” moment for me in videogames, and I only played it a few times in multiplayer. Just the sheer scale of the maps and the variety of the action was epic. Other games might have done it with more polish since, but I don’t think anything’s captured that epic war feel like 1942.

  17. Monchberter says:

    In 15 years time Team Fortress 2 will still be with us and playable.

    A fair number of the games in this list won’t be.


    • Monchberter says:

      It will also contain more hats than actually exist

    • Brumisator says:

      CS and CS:S are still, day after day, year after year, the most played games on Steam, and by far.

    • Monchberter says:

      @ Brumisator

      Yes, I know CS / CS:S are the most played. But they are mostly preserved in amber and pretty much a snapshot of their time. I’d argue that they now constitute retro gaming.

      TF2, for better or for worse is constantly evolving and even if it had been frozen after birth, it would still be being played today as it is that finely honed.

    • Eclipse says:

      as today, CounterStrike: Source is still more played than Team Fortress 2

    • Monchberter says:

      I haven’t said anywhere that in 15 years TF2 will be played MORE than or INSTEAD of CS.

      Just saying that it will still be around and be being played as it’s evolving with the times.

      CS proves the opposite is also true. But then, it’s also perfect.

    • Sarlix says:

      Yes TF2 will evolve in 15 years, it will be called a Fashion Person Shooter – where people strut around showing off their vast collection of hats.

      You will be mocked for not wearing the right hat with the right level, and forced to wear the dunces hat, while the rest of your team go off and play capture the hat and death hat arena.

      Scores will be given in Trilby’s.

  18. Horza says:

    Oh god, I had completely forgotten how much I loved TIE Fighter. Too bad games like I-War sort of ruined the x-wing flight model for me. If only I could some day enjoy Larry Holland’s games and Freespace again :(

    This piece also reminds me that everyone else in the world loves Half-Life 2 but me.

  19. Nomaki says:

    Great read, thanks for putting that together Jim!
    Can’t wait for the next batch.

    Glad Planetside is recognized as a pretty important game for putting the FPS genre into the persistent online world.. world.

    ProTip: Read the *entire* article before posting about lack of games guize.

  20. deanbmmv says:

    Man I’ve only played 7, and most of those not all the way to the end. (nearly 4 years in I’ve yet to complete TF2) Hopefully the other lists allow me to more confidentially say “Yes, I’ve played important games!!”
    I’m just gonna guess it’s a combination of most of these games preceding my career as a gamer, even more as a PC gamer, and most on the fact I’ve only recently started to actively go hunting down FPS games.

    • Sigh says:


      The games that you played in your own personal history of PC gaming are important to YOU and your understanding of the art form. Don’t let any old subjective list deny your own moments of peering under the lid of PC games and thinking back with nostalgia.

      Lists are nice but quaint. They represent the perspective of one (or a few) individual’s perception of the medium. You don’t need to check off the boxes listed next to each game to enjoy your own rich understanding of the medium.

      Also, sometimes you just can’t go back and rekindle the spark that once blazed for 3-6 months a decade ago. Trust me, I have had moments of weakness where I tried to play some “classic” I missed…they were painful and I lost part of my soul.

      Best regards.

  21. MrMud says:

    QuakeWorld should probably be first or second on this list simply because it introduced online multiplayer.
    I dont think any one single thing has changed the industry more than that.

    • Radiant says:

      Then add Action Quake 2.

      These kids these days and they’re internet lists.
      Back in my day if we wanted to see a couple of lists we had to download it in 14 parts and then decrypt it.
      Only then did we realise that THOSE AREN’T FEMALE NIPPLES.

    • Mungrul says:

      I’d also argue that while they note Quake is more important than I think, I actually think it’s more important than THEY think.
      In addition to its truly revolutionary network game (lest we forget, THIS is where dedicated servers come from), Half Life and all of its derivatives would not have been possible without Quake.
      Team Fortress was born in Quake.
      TRUE 3D was popularised by Quake.
      The 3D graphics card race started with Quake.
      Capture the Flag, later refined by Quake 2, was again, popularised, if not born, in Quake.
      In effect, Call of Duty would not have been possible without Quake.
      Quake should be the second most important game on the list, and this only because it wouldn’t have been possible without Doom.

  22. Kdansky says:

    Thank you for including Sacrifice. It is one of the truly marvellous gems that I found worth playing through (and finishing!) more than once. I would give my left leg for a worthy successor. Note that my left leg is slightly longer than my right leg.

    • drewski says:

      Sacrifice is one of those games that I really, really, really wanted to like, but could never climb over the difficulty wall.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Sacrifice is one of those games that when someone says that ‘there’s never going to be anything like it again ever’ they’re telling the unshakable truth.

  23. psp2roundup says:

    Good to see some of the titles here in our list of old games that should be brought back for NGP/3DS,

    link to

    Hope the others make it into part two, and thanks for the memories!

  24. StingingVelvet says:

    Cool feature! Quake 2 was actually the game that got me into mouselook, I used keys in every FPS before that (and skipped Quake somehow).

    • empfeix says:

      It was similar for me! I played Quake with the keyboard only online for years. Switching was painful but I suppose you could say it was worth it :D

    • My2CENTS says:

      True give Quake 2 what it deserves, that was the first game that i actually played and that hooked me up. Also don’t forget Starcraft/BroodWar as they actually revolutionize the RTS genre allowing a competitive RTS matches, a lot of different units, etc.etc.

  25. Freud says:

    Nice read.

    The shotgun in Doom is probably the single best piece of design in computer gaming history. While arthritic today, back then it was simply perfect. Looked great. Sounded great. Great at killing demonic beings.

  26. mollemannen says:

    would be so fucking nice to se a new battlezone game (pardon the swearing). just hope they keep the “deepness” of the gameplay if this would occur. also, any more news on the new planetside thingy coming up soon?

  27. olemars says:

    What does TIE Fighter have that X-Wing doesn’t? I’m talking the actual games now, no nerding over spacecraft specs please.

    X-Wing was probably my favourite game for several years, I still have the collector’s edition installed.

    • Nick says:

      Being the bad guys.

    • Thirith says:

      Better mission design, more interesting storyline, different take on the universe (you’re working for the bad guys, yet from their perspective it may not be so clear-cut). In many ways X-Wing was the prototype but it was TIE Fighter that made good on the promise of the first game.

    • Horza says:

      Gentler difficulty curve too. X-Wing threw Korolev at you pretty soon in the beginning.

    • Thirith says:

      Definitely. There were some missions in X-Wing that weren’t about player skill but about having played the mission several times and knowing exactly that at 1:22 the transports would arrive here, and at 2:45 the TIE Fighters would attack from there, while at 3:12 a squadron of TIE Bombers would launch missiles from here etc. etc. IMO that is bad design – *requiring* the player to memorise these things so they can beat the mission.

    • Monchberter says:

      @ Thirth
      I found all the X Wing games had the same strategic problems. Unless you’ve played through a few times, you’re not going to know to be in the right spot for the right attack. But then, one of the great things about the whole series was that you were given an objective and expected to meet it. Going off mission in most cases meant failure unless you did do something jammy like take out that tie spamming star destroyer in an YWing.

    • Thirith says:

      @Monchberter: The time windows were bigger with the later games. If you weren’t exactly in the right place at the right time but within reasonable distance, you’d still manage to compensate with good flying and fighting in TIE Fighter and beyond. In X-Wing you were pretty much screwed under the same circumstances.

    • stahlwerk says:

      Gouraud Shading!
      A difficulty curve!
      Doodz in Cloakz!
      A canon wrecking Super-Tie-Fighter AND THEN SOME!

      That said, I played through X-Wing, Imperial Pursuit and B-Wing, having more fun than an 11 year old kid should be legally allowed to in-doors. I don’t remember it as being highly frustrationabling, but that may be nostalgia.

    • Sigh says:

      “Being the bad guys.”

      Maybe they were not as bad as the Rebellion would like us to believe.

    • blind_boy_grunt says:

      god damn propaganda movies!

  28. Teronfel says:

    The list is ok for now,we have to wait and see the other ones before start crying about our favorite game that is not on the list.

    So,where the hell is Deus Ex???

    • Kadayi says:

      I can only assume it’s be skipped so that another Hivemind can comment on it in a later part. DX is a great game (arguably the greatest), but what makes it great isn’t the shooting.

    • frenz0rz says:

      A little too obvious, perhaps? As I read each entry I was thinking the same thing – where is it?! Although I suppose better for it to not be included than to be listed somewhere in the ‘mediocre’ range of importance, since at least in my own personal history of gaming experiences, it is unfathomably important.

      I mean, we all KNOW how important Deus Ex was, dont we? Hmm?

  29. Pew says:

    So many great games and great memories. I’ve always wondered where Uprising and its sequel rank in the Battlezone genre though. The Battlezone “remake” shared more with Uprising than the original Battlezone, although they are still very different beasts at heart.

    Either way, it’s about time for a new vehicle-controlling strategy game in the Battlezone/Wargasm tradition!

    • Fearzone says:

      Big thumbs up for including Battlezone on this list. There may be others I don’t particularly agree with, but this makes up for it. Sad sad day that the hover-tank/strategy/shooter genre didn’t catch on because it was fast, fun, yet you had to think.

  30. bit_crusherrr says:

    Fuck yeah Planetside!

  31. mod the world says:

    You are ranking Left 4 Dead 2 higher than Vampire the Masquerade? What the hell?!!!?!
    The later the best RPG of all times, the other a rip-off expansion for a mediocre multiplayer shooter! This is just madness!

    Readers of RPS, sign here if you think Jim should be expelled from this former fine games blog!!

    • Mirqy says:


    • Monchberter says:

      Time to set up a “Boycott Positive RPS Left 4 Dead 2 Coverage” group on steam.

      90% of joiners will have Left 4 Dead 2.

    • Fraser Allison says:

      “Order of importance”! “Importance”, not quality! Is nobody reading the words?!

    • mod the world says:

      And how is L4D2 more important than Vampire?
      I’m calm now, open for arguments, after squeezing my anti-stress ball for some time.

    • Nick says:

      in fairness I don’t see what is important about L4D2 at all, but maybe thats just me.

    • Sarlix says:

      No, Nick. Not just you.

    • Jad says:

      Vampire is less important because nobody played Vampire.

      No, I’m not being snarky or putting the game down here. I’m just noting that for the purposes of this list, a major facet of being important is being influential, and it’s hard for a game to be influential if it is obscure. (There are influential but obscure games, because game developers might play those obscure games and be inspired. I don’t think that happened with Vampire.)

      I’m not sure if I agree with Jim’s reasoning on L4D here though. He seems to think it’s because of the co-op play. Maybe so for PC games, but co-op is something that consoles have always had, from splitscreen to Sonic & Tails in Sonic 2. Even Gears of War had built-in online co-op for the entire campaign in 2006, two years before L4D (and I’m not pretending that that game was the first to do that, it just springs to mind).

      I think the important thing about L4D is in fact the Director. However, it has yet to be seen exactly how influential it will be, as few games have followed up on the intelligent-randomization idea.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Ok, don’t read this as Vampire is a bad game, because that’s not what I’m trying to say – it was a fun, if tremendously overrated game.

      Vampire is completely and utterly unimportant. It did nothing that hadn’t been done before by Deus Ex. Left 4 Dead 1/2 really did get co op narrative down almost to perfection.

      Also, to the previous comment, games had Gears of War style co op since Doom (possibly longer, but you get my point). But no games managed to let you play a narrative where all the players were truly involved in it and necessary.

  32. Acorino says:

    This is a weird selection. On one hand you apparently chose a few personal favorites and on the other titles you deemed to be most important and influential.
    I would’ve been fine with either, but both, at the same time?

  33. daphne says:

    Well, I’m happy someone resurrected that particular sacred cow. The original slayer was a little bit too… focused on his goal.

  34. ZIGS says:

    I don’t see Deus Ex. What a shame

  35. Jim Reaper says:

    Release date: 2000
    Importanceness: teh lolz

  36. ShawnClapper says:

    Was Counter-Strike originally influenced by the Rainbow Six series?

  37. Kieron Gillen says:

    Syndicate (and Hunter) stand at the top of the whole open-world GTA-esque genre. JIM UNDER-ESTIMATES ITS IMPORTANCE.


    • Shazbut says:

      Hunter was amazing. I’m pretty sure I remember people saying “we will never see it’s like again” back then too.

    • Iain B says:

      I’d put Midwinter above even Hunter in that family tree

    • stahlwerk says:

      Okay, Syndicate I know and love, but Hunter? Is there some retrospective words to be found somewhere that explain your reverence?
      I’m asking because the only thing I’ve ever read about it is the one review that gave it 46 out of 100.

      Also it wasn’t ported to PC, or was it?

    • Huggster says:

      Did you ever actually play hunter? Its basically Just Cause 2

    • Navagon says:

      Definitely agreed on Syndicate.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      stahlwerk: I don’t believe it was. BUT ALL PERSONAL COMPUTERS ARE PCs.

      There’s some critical notes in its wikipedia entry which show how it was viewed generally:
      link to

      Re: Midwinter. Yeah, it was. Thing with Midwinter was… well, it was kinda socially responsible and serious. I sort of see Midwinter as the bridge between Elite and the GTA tree.

      (What’s most interesting about Syndicate with relation to this is its use of cities – we’d never seen anything “living” like that before)

      Above Midwinter, you’ve got things like Mercenary and Damocles too.


  38. Blinck says:

    The lack of Company of Heroes disturbs me!
    The inclusion of Arma does not! Nice list!

  39. uzihead says:

    There is no fishing game in the list! And where is Deer Hunter? I know for sure a REAL LIFE hunter in the Bucharest – Brasov train that was evaporatively influenced by Deer Hunter 2004.

  40. Tori says:

    Look at Valve, so many games at top of the list, and still very important in the PC industry. Can’t say that about id or epic sadly :(

    (in terms of games, not engines)

  41. whaleloever says:

    The problem with using made-up words like “IMPORTANCENESS” is that they’re missed by your spell checker, and can come out as “IMPORTANCNESS”.

    I apologise for the horrifically smug nature of this post.

  42. Dakia says:

    I love how any time someone puts out a list, that covers any topic at all really, people immediately jump all over them about not including X or how could Y be ranked over Z?

    Let it be. This is a great list of games.

    Ahh, the sweet memories of Syndicate and TIE fighter!

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Man, Z was such a great game.

    • Consumatopia says:

      “I love how any time someone puts out a list, that covers any topic at all really, people immediately jump all over them about not including X or how could Y be ranked over Z?”

      Well, yeah–if you don’t want people to talk about a ranked ordering, why would you bother doing the ranking or the ordering? If you just want to talk about Doom or Syndicate because they’re awesome, then just talk about them–why bother with a list?

      In this case, I guess they got sponsorship to talk about a list, but don’t actually really feel like talking about a list (which inherently includes arguing of why A was included when B wasn’t, even assuming the list isn’t ordered). Thus the awkward partitioning into parts. The partitioning isn’t by category (e.g. FPS then RPG) nor is it by editor (e.g. here are Z’s most important games), nor is it by ranking (e.g. starting with the least important of the X most important games and working up), and the ordering is within group (and maybe only this group–maybe the final list won’t even be ordered). It’s the perfect format for people who have to post a list but don’t actually want to talk about a list.

  43. James G says:

    I’m always alarmed when it comes to ‘most important games of all time’ lists, at just how many I’ve played. I hit ten on this list, although far fewer if you take those I’ve played to completion, or for an extended period of time. I imagine the percentage will be higher on Professor Walker’s list, as we seem to share a similar taste in games.

    When it comes to books I’m usually lower, and am lower still when it comes to films. Music is a tricky one, as the nature of the beast means that it is easy to consume music passively, however if you actually look at tracks I own, it probably scores lower than film.

  44. Josh04 says:

    So would that be your Hidden and Dangerous review I read so many years ago?

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      No, that was mine. You write a spec-review to attach to your application when going for a job at a magazine.


    • JohnnyMaverik says:

      At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot… what’s a “spec-review”? O.o

    • Josh04 says:

      Ah, you win this round Mr Gillen. My older brother bought the game and many hours of fun were had sneaking, shooting, and falling through holes in the map. Hmm, reminded of Magicka actually.

    • Freud says:

      I even remember the map in the Hidden & Dangerous screenshot. My strategically placed troopers in the tunnels killed the investigating nazis while I was topside sneaking and sniping. Which kind of sums up the whole H&D experience.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      JohnnyMaverick: On Spec.


  45. Fraser Allison says:

    A delightful list. I dispute it not at all, because I READ THE WORDS.

    (I honestly thought you were taking those disclaimers to a humorous extreme. I forgot about people.)

  46. empty_other says:

    A shame Deus Ex isn’t there.

    And UT2004? Wasnt UT2003 the beginning of the fall of Unreal? The first step towards the crap that is Gears of War? UT2004 engine was smooth as a marble, but that was because they had removed every eye-candy in there. The engine looked outdated at release. But it was a fun game, just both ugly and shallow.

  47. rocketman71 says:

    Battlezone and Tribes!. Hell yeah!!!!

  48. Kikimaru024 says:

    Well, at least Typing of the Dead will forever remain abandonware, so you can freely download it.

    And regarding TIE Fighter: Yes.
    This game formed my childhood.
    Never before, and never since, have I been able to understand the control systems of a game where you end up using over half the keyboard just to navigate your surroundings.
    Nor have I felt the tenseness in a flight sim that comes from knowing that you have no shields, the enemy has shields, and oh yes you’re flying into a battery of turbolasers.

  49. tomnullpointer says:

    this is rubbish list, you have memory of things beyond sis months ago, who r u!

  50. Luomu says:

    That’s a whole lot of first person shooting.