As part of Trustedreviews's PC Gaming Week 2019, we thought long and hard about which PC games are the most important ever.
So, what makes a game so important? For many it is a completely subjective argument as to which games have the biggest impact on your gaming life.
However, there are some games that have attracted more than just legions of fans – this is the software that has shaped the ups and downs of the industry. From graphic milestones to the creation of a whole new genre, these are the games that drove PC gaming with every release.
That's why we've put together ten of the best to make clear why they've been so instrumental in making the PC game.
Meier's Civilization (1991)
It is impossible to exaggerate how influential Civilization was on strategy games, worldwide Sims and PC games in general.
In addition to SimCity and Populus, MicroPose's groundbreaking software was as extensive as building and maintaining numerous empires over time, providing an interactive experience with unimaginable control.
The original MS-DOS versions look positively outdated today, but over the years they have been reworked and remastered many times, so they are far from being lost. While his sequels would drive the enhancement of his simulation systems and mechanics, the original remains the blueprint that has had the biggest impact of all.
There have been so many groundbreaking shooters over the years, but the impact on the release of id Software in 1993 was huge.
Sagittarius existed before his arrival, but Doom was a pioneer of many of the principles we still see today. Playing in the first person's perspective; open levels full of secrets; spatially open environments; plenty of blood and ultraviolet.
It did not rewrite the FPS manual, but wrote the first edition. There is a reason why it was ported to every imaginable platform – its vast arsenal of weapons and the bestiary of hellish enemies are still of constant relevance today.
You can see Doom's DNA in every subsequent shooter, and you'll do it for decades.
Roleplaying has taken many forms over the years, but only one chose to take the influence of several genres like Diablo's in 1996.
Blizzard's top-down creation removed all deposits and put the "action" back into action RPG.
Diablo is all about the fight and what a wonderful fight it is. It banished the steep difficulty spikes that had made the genre so impenetrable, and instead focused on increasing the creativity of its dungeons.
Quests and level layouts were procedurally generated (a gameplay mechanic that still feels fresh today, no more than 20 years ago), while the introduction of multiplayer mode allowed players to team up or get involved in fantastic fame.
Tomb Raider (1996)
In the same year that Diablo rewrote the rules for RPGs, a small British studio called Core Design turned the world into a game (and a main character) that took 3D platform kicking and screaming into a new era ,
Lara Croft's first adventure as a Tomb Raider with its twin pistols and pointed polygonal objects has had as much impact as Mario's first foray into 3D space.
The platform no longer consisted of flowing jumps, but required a careful combination of time and precision. Environmental puzzles were profound, elaborate and multi-faceted. And the gun game? Well, few games escalate with the imagination of Tomb Raider. Wolves? No. Birds of prey? No? A T-Rex? Oh, then move on.
Doom was the game that defined what an ego shooter was for an unsuspecting PC gaming community in the early 1990s, but Half-Life would revolutionize that concept by the end of the decade.
Even ignoring how its popularity eventually led to the creation of the revolutionary steam delivery platform, Half-Life showed that shooters can be more than bullets, blood, and villains.
It was the thinking man's FPS, a game that was not afraid to write primarily a dystopian science fiction story. It has popularized the concept of using environmental puzzles and willfully spliced genres in a way we've never seen before.
Baldur Gate (1998)
The modest RPG has undergone many innovations over the years, and the one it took on in the form of Baldur's Gate is still the quintessence.
With the Canadian studio Bioware at the top, it was the first RPG to use the now legendary Infinity Engine, which gave the game an instantly recognizable 2D art style. (A style so popular that Obsidian designed the pillars of Eternity 2015 around this popular look.)
With the setting "Forgotten Realms" and the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" rule set, it would take time for Bioware to rewrite the rules with "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic", making Baldur's Gate no less than one Competitive game feels.
Deus Ex (2000)
The consequence and choice of human revolution and divided humanity may not seem so remarkable today, but around the turn of the millennium, the impact you as a player had on the world in which you lived in Deus Ex was equally invigorating and startling ,
Sure, you could pull a gun and shoot NPCs, or sneak around for dangers, if you like, but it was the depth to which these actions made the most sense.
From freedom of exploration to the many dialogues found only in traditional RPGs, this mechanical cross-pollination has made Deus Ex a unique perspective, with few titles available since then.
While folks like Baldur's Gate worked intensively on classic D & D rule sets, Bethesda worked on a very different but equally exciting action role-playing game.
Upon his arrival in 2002, Morrowind brought the series into the third dimension with a more powerful engine, creating something unique in itself.
Oblivion or Skyrim could not keep up with TESIII with its deep buried Dwemer factories and mushroom fauna soaring high into the sky. Morrowind was free of the technical constraints that haunted Daggerfall, and a virtual world that influenced every action RPG that followed in his footsteps.
World of Warcraft (2004)
While World of Warcraft has undergone countless overhauls since its inception in 2004, it has laid the groundwork for what a robust and commercially successful MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) can and can do should Be.
Weaving on the profound and rich lore of the Warcraft series, WoW broke away from its ancestor's traditional real-time strategy and focused on an action RPG template.
In a caricature of Azeroth, World of Warcraft managed to bridge the gap between a shared online space and a narrative experience that cast its spell over every player. And while it may not be the subscriber powerhouse it once was, its place under MMO sizes will never fade.
Similar to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Doom, Minecraft has been ported to virtually every modern platform, but this has not affected the huge impact on PC games as a whole.
From the early days of the late 00s to the latest innovations from the Bedrock Edition update, Mojang's creation suite has inspired a generation of gamers to think with blocks. From testing survival mode to unlimited depth of creative mode – and let's not forget the incredible mods and texture packs that have emerged from the community – Minecraft has become less of a game than an ongoing phenomenon – and one that is likely to become shape the developers of tomorrow.
It's also the bestselling PC game ever, and we'll take a closer look at the history of Minecraft for PC Gaming Week.
Welcome to Trustedreviews's PC Gaming Week 2019. Celebrating the world's most powerful gaming platform with in-depth articles, exclusive interviews, and great shopping guides that showcase everything PC gaming has to offer. Visit our PC Gaming Week 2019 Page to see all our coverage in one place.
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