New York’s Strong National Museum of Play has announced the finalists for its inductees to the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The Strong’s The Video Game Hall of Fame honours and celebrates video games across all categories and platforms.

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The 15 finalists were selected after an extensive submission process and voting by video game experts. The criteria used by the expert to vote for the 15 World Video Game Hall of Fame finalists were:

  • Icon-status;
  • Whether the video game is widely recognised and memorable;
  • The game’s longevity and whether it was just a passing fad or enjoyed popularity over a prolonged period;
  • Whether the game meets the above criteria internationally; and
  • Whether the game had significant influence on the design and development of other video games, the entertainment world or pop culture.

The last requirement is probably the most important with The Strong stating that:

The 15 finalists span decades, gaming platforms and geographies, but what they all have in common is their undeniable impact on popular culture and society in general.

The 15 World Video Game Hall of Fame finalists that met the required criteria are (in chronological order):

Angry Birds (2009)

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This highly popular game comes from Finnish developer Rovio. It became a frontier for mobile games and was the first mobile game to achieve such international success and successful brand identity. Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 2 billion times across all the different franchises and devices.

Minecraft (2009)

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What makes this endless-play video game so popular is its massive worldwide, online community. This pixellated building game has sold over 54 million copies across all platforms.

World of Warcraft (2004)

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This online multiplayer role-playing game has grown to over 10 million players since it debuted in 2004. It deserves its spot as one of the World Video Game Hall of Fame finalists by being the highest grossing video game in history

The Sims (2000)

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Designer Will Wright’s simulation game changed how the world viewed open-ended video games. The Sims is the best-selling PC game franchise in history and has sold over 180 million copies word-wide.

Pokémon (1996)

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Pokémon‘s success is in the numbers: more than 260 million copies of the game has been sold, 21.5 BILLION (!!!) trading cards have been sold and 800 TV episodes have been created as well as 17 movies.

Doom (1993)

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Doom was developed by Id Software and was one of the first first-person shooter video game in the action/combat/violent genre to gain popularity across almost all demographics. Back then these types of video games were thought to be too violent and Doom broke that stigma. But the main reason this game made the list is because it revolutionised the feel, function and design of first-person action shooting games to come after it.

FIFA (1993)

FIFA has survived for 15 years and FIFA 16 is set to be released in September 2015. What sets FIFA apart from other football games is that Electronic Arts releases annual versions that always bring exciting updates to gameplay, players and, most-notably, graphics. The franchise is also known for its popular soundtracks and has achieved word-wide success, having sold more than 100 million copies.

Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)

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Sonic the Hedgehog was a favourite amongst Gen X gamers who loved how cheeky Sonic was. Many South African might remember that the game was played on M-Net’s kids entertainment show, KTV back in the 90s. The game boasts more than 20 spin-offs, sequels, TV shows and comics and had a big influence on pop-culture.

Super Mario Bros. (1990)

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It’s obvious this 90s game made it as one of the World Video Game Hall of Fame finalists, because of its major influence on the gaming world as well as pop-culture. If you think video games you think of Super Mario Bros. and this family friendly game put Nintendo on the gaming map. The game initially sold over 40 million copies thanks to its child-friendly and simple gameplay as well as its memorable characters and catchy tunes.

The Legend of Zelda (1986)

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This 80s video game put non-linear open-world exploration games on the map and even inspired the late Robin Williams to name his daughter Zelda. It became the first Nintendo game to sell more than a million copies. The game has made a major influence on pop-culture and has inspired many sequels, comic books, TV shows, movies, etc.

Tetris (1986)

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This is another one of those games that every one of all ages, nationalities or cultural backgrounds know about and have probably played at least ones. Since it was first introduced in 1986 it has taken many different forms across most platforms.

Pac-Man (1980)

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Pac-Man is a video game that everyone has heard of and is a pop-culture hit across the world. The popular maze game is the best-selling game from Atari of all time.

Space Invaders (1978)

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This retro arcade game was first released in the 70s and has since had many different spin-offs across different platforms. The game popularised space games and the concept of the high score.

Pong (1972)

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Pong was the second arcade game from Atari but is known as the world’s first arcade video game. Even if you aren’t into video games you’ve probably played this simple tennis-like game and it is known amongst people of all ages.

The Oregon Trail (1971)

This educational game might not be so widely known across the world, but it is a household name in the USA. The game teaches children history and introduces children to technology and computer skills.