A Discussion of the Most Influential Games of All Time

So I just finished Bioshock Infinite and I feel pretty strong about it. The game is masterfully crafted full of details and I feel like Ken Levine deserves to be called the Alfred Hitchcock of video games. I don't want to talk too in depth about it to avoid spoilers for people who haven't played it yet. While I think that the team at Irrational Games deserves a Nobel Prize in Interactive Entertainment if there was such a thing, it got me thinking, how many games out there have evolved to medium for the better. I'm not just talking about games that were widely praised by critics, I'm talking about games that changed everything. While I don't think every game that created a genre deserves a spot on the list, the ones that changed genres forever do. Here's what I'd put on the list in no particular order:

Grand Theft Auto III (2001): The size of the game was mind blowing at the time. While open world games had existed before it, none had the scope of GTA3. The game also had a licensed soundtrack to top it all off. As an Xbox owner, it made jealous of the PS2, but the GTA 3 and Vice City eventually came to Xbox in 2003. Assassin's Creed, Red Dead Redemption, Batman: Arkham City, and Just Cause are all influenced by this game.

Warcraft: Orcs & Humans (1994): While it didn't invent the RTS genre, it introduced PvP multiplayer (I think) and that allowed the genre to grow. Not to mention it created a universe which gave rise to the next entry (that alone earns it a spot) on the list. Command and Conquer, Age of Empires, StarCraft (duh!), and Supreme Commander owe a lot to Warcraft.

World of Warcraft (2004): WoW changed MMOs by popularizing them. It was the game that put "Blizzard" next to Activison. The games industry has probably spent billions trying to create the next WoW. Personally, I spent 4 years playing this game and while I no longer do so, its influenced cannot be ignored. For many people, like myself, it was their first MMO. I'd list the games that it influenced but that list would be too long. Basically, any MMORPG that came after felt its reach.

Half-Life (1998): Do I even need to tell you why? Okay, I will anyways. If you play a modern FPS with a single player campaign, it owes everything to Half-Life. The scripted sequences and presentation allows that game to be held up to today's standards. It may not look pretty by today's standards but it plays just as well if not better. Did mention the fact that the ablility to mod this game gave rise to legend that is Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, and Team Fortress (I know TF started as a Quake II mod but HL helped make what it is today). Any developer of a modern FPS should be sending checks to Valve for making HalfLife.

Wii Sports (2006): While many "hardcore" players might scoff at this entry, it may be one of the most important to the industry. It introduced videogames to a lot of people who may have even considered buying a videogame console. In my opinion, it allowed for mobile games to blow up in a big way by showing these demographics to video games in the first place. I think it was the perfect game for Nintendo to show off their system by bundling it with the Wii but it was also the worst game to include with the system because people didn't buy any other games because they felt Wii Sports was enough for them. Let's not forget that Microsoft and Sony also have Wii Sports clones for their motion peripherals.

I would have included Bioshock Infinite on here (because that's how strongly I feel about that game) but its influence has yet to been seen. Alright, enough of what I think, what games would you consider to be earth shattering for the games industry? Please list them along with a damn good explanation of why that game deserves to be considered. Let's also not forget there are a lot games I know I missed but because I can't personally speak for them I omitted them but feel free to add them yourself. Seriously, because it was the best game on the Dreamcast is not a good enough reason. Also, avoid personal reasons being the sole reasons you think a game is the best. So go ahead and add your opinion, what games do you think are the most influential?

Please be civil and courteous folks...
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