A Lookback On Classic Games That Influenced What We Have Today

Super Mario Bros. Speedrun in 4:57.244
A snapshot of the classic Super Mario Bros for the NES Photo : YouTube / Kosmicd12

On a quest to put into writing my experience with videogames since the 80s, I did a bit of a research and was overwhelmed by the data I got. It turns out there is no such official list of videogames that are influential in a way to our modern games today. With this, I figured I'd just pull some of those games that I experienced first-hand.

Yes, during my younger years say 5 or 6, I started gaming very early. Take note that these were the 80s and videogames were stereotyped to be unproductive in many ways, even until now some still say it is. I wasn't fortunate enough to own my very own NES but I have this friend who has one. As early as 6 in the morning I go to their place to play some Super Mario, I intended to be early so that when he wants to play later on, I would give him the controller and wouldn't be in the way.

Anyway, fast forward to today, I have been playing video games ever since. Back to my mission for this article. Here are some games that are both influential to me and to modern gaming.

Super Mario Brothers

One of the first games that I really appreciate is Super Mario Brothers. This wasn't the first game I ever played as I was also exposed to Atari stuff but I was too young to remember the titles, I figured I was just 3 when my elder cousins would let me hold the Atari joystick and played some vintage Pong and that racing game. The game's takeaway is that it optimized the limits of 8-bit from character design to level progression, not to mention that original soundtrack that everyone is now covering. Most of the musicians covering the theme are kids who weren't even born when the game was rolled out.

Super Mario Brothers, for me, revolutionized the side-scrolling game genre. After it became a hit, a plethora of games then followed its style and gameplay. This is why Super Mario is a very popular character, starring in a bunch of games even making its way to the mobile industry by next year. This game also made it to Cheat Sheet's post and I couldn't agree more.

Super Mario 64

By this time, I was already in 5th grade. Still, my parents couldn't afford to buy a Nintendo 64, I only had the previous gen consoles by then as hand-me-downs from my rich cousins. Fortunately, one of my cousins was kind enough to bring along his Nintendo 64 everytime he spends the summer in our house. It was the first time that I saw a control stick on a console controller, the first one was with Atari. I say this game is revolutionary as it pioneered the transition from side-scroll platform games to full 3D. With the huge help of the analog stick to control camera angles, which Super Mario 63 pioneered as one of the first titles to come out of the N64. N64's analog stick breakthrough even had Sony install a couple of them on their controllers going forward.

Street Fighter II

I bet Tekken and other titles like DOA and Mortal Kombat wouldn't be around if it weren't for Street Fighter. I picked this one because it made me dig into fighting games. This game pioneered the button and movement combination system to produce special attacks. Today, this is the standard for all fighting games, to have special attacks with the combination of buttons and movement. Back in the days, I used to persuade my little brother to playing videogames via Street Fighter II where I treat him with my coins saved from my allowance and we go to a local arcade and spend weekend afternoons there. Today, he plays videogames, not as often as I do, but I am somewhat proud that he still catches up with the latest titles like that one time we messaged each other and he posted a picture of him and his new Uncharted 4 console bundle.

Well, I think that's it for my list of influential games that have greatly impacted today's video games. Of course, I sprinkled it with some of my personal experiences. I hope you have learned something from this, somehow. Hit me up with your comments below. Here's a commentary on another set of classic influencial games:


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