Super Mario Bros., World of Warcraft, and More Inducted Into World Video Game Hall of Fame

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The National Museum of Play has announced the inaugural roster of games they’re inducting into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

The five games getting the first place in the honorary spotlight span multiple decades, almost from the very beginnings of the home video game console industry, into the current generation of consoles and PC gaming.

Out of a field of 15 finalists, Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., DOOM, and World of Warcraft have been selected as the first to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The other finalists included: Angry Birds, FIFA, The Legend of Zelda, Minecraft, The Oregon Trail, Pokémon, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Space Invaders.

In case you’re unfamiliar with these games, you can read more about them below:

  • Pong: By most measures of popular impact, Pong (1972) launched the video game industry. A simple game involving two paddles and a ball, Pong introduced millions to the joys of playing video games. Although it was not the first electronic game, and the Magnavox Odyssey home console already featured a similar tennis game,Pong was the first game to grab wide-scale public attention. Its success propelled Atari into a preeminent role in the video game industry. Decades after its launch, Pong’s iconic sound, intuitive controls, and satisfying game play still resonate, inviting people to try their hand at keeping the ball bouncing as long as possible.
  • Pac-Man: Pac-Man, which debuted in 1980, pushed video games forward as a mass cultural phenomenon. The simple maze game captured the imagination of millions of people and became the best-selling arcade video game ever. At the same time, Pac-Man himself  became the first iconic ambassador of the video game era—at once symbolizing video gaming and transcending it as he crossed over into mass culture. The game launched the first massive video game licensing craze, spurring the sale of home consoles, handheld devices, toys, clothing, and even housewares. Since its release, Pac-Man and its many variations and sequels have munched their way into countless arcades, homes, and new digital spaces.
  • Tetris: Tetris sprang from the Soviet Union in 1984 and spread to other Eastern European countries. In 1987, Tetris launched on PCs in North America and Europe. A rollicking Russian folk tune gave it an unforgettable soundtrack. And when the Japanese video game developer Nintendo packaged it with the debut of the Game Boy handheld system in 1989, it traveled to every corner of the globe, selling hundreds of millions of copies across a variety of platforms. It’s become such a cultural icon that the game has even been projected on the sides of buildings gracing the skylines of cities around the world.
  • Super Mario Bros. Created by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario Bros. jumped onto the scene in 1985, quickly becoming one of the most recognizable games ever. Mario first appeared as Jumpman in the arcade game Donkey Kong but gained icon status through Super Mario Bros. Mario’s infectious, upbeat personality helped reinvigorate the struggling video game market. Since his introduction, the character of Mario has appeared in more than 200 games and on every Nintendo console ever created. Mario himself not only became the face of Nintendo, but also the face of the video game industry as a whole.
  • DOOM: DOOM exploded onto the video game landscape in 1993 and helped shape the course of gaming history by introducing the idea of a game “engine” (separating the game’s basic functions from other aspects, such as artwork), encouraging multiplayer interaction, and popularizing the first-person shooter genre. DOOM was a commercial success, but its most important legacy is the impact that it has had on the form, function, feel, and perception of so many games that followed, such as Half-Lifeand HaloDOOM also became a highly visible symbol of the widespread debate over the role of games and violence in society that emerged in the 1990s.
  • World of Warcraft: By bringing tens of millions of people together in a compelling virtual universe, World of Warcraftcontinues to reshape the way people think about their online lives and communities. In this “massively multiplayer online role-playing game” (MMORPG), players create unique virtual avatars to represent themselves as they explore an open, constantly evolving world.  After its release by Blizzard Entertainment in 2004, World of Warcraft became the largest and best-selling MMORPG ever created. As of February 2015, the game boasted more than 10 million subscribers—only slightly reduced from its peak of 12 million in October 2010—with 100 million accounts created since the game’s release.

These games will be permanently on display in The Strong’s eGameRevolution exhibit. It’s worth mentioning that anyone can nominate a game to the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Nominations for the class of 2016 will be accepted from now into March 31st, 2016. The finalists will be selected by the advice of journalists, scholars, and others that are proven knowledgeable with the chosen games, and their impact on society.

So what do you guys think – is this a solid line up of games to be inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame? If not, what games should’ve been included from the get-go? There’s also the opportunity to see games inducted later, so which games would you like to eventually see inducted?

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Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

  1. Michieie
    June 6, 2015 at 10:36 pm

    Some things that should be included is long-standing franchises like Final Fantasy, MGS and Pokemon for the next one.

  2. deadeye
    June 6, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Don’t like WoW, but I can’t argue with it being there. It’s a cultural phenomenon, and is still very active over 10 years after it’s release. That’s pretty impressive.

    While it of course didn’t invent the MMO, it really kicked off the genre, spurring countless knock offs.

    The others are also acceptable. Every game here has had a huge impact, both on the game industry, and the world in general.

  3. vonSanneck
    June 6, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Feel like linking AlphaOmegaSin’s video on the subject and leaving it at that, but will only leave a comment about it.

  4. Cred
    June 7, 2015 at 12:17 am

    for a starter list it does a great job at marking what might be some of the most important games that marked big steps for the medium’s evolution
    looks solid
    would expect angry birds, half life, pokemon and the first zelda to make it to the list in the future as well any of those old pc adventure games

  5. Siveon
    June 7, 2015 at 2:57 am

    Oh dear god Angry Birds and Minecraft were on that list. Remind me to hold back my gag reflex. FIFA too, the hell did series do?

    Minecraft maybe, the popularization of selling unfinished products kind of means something to the modern gaming world. Angry Birds…sold a lot by copying a popular flash game, so I guess that counts.

    But FIFA? I’m a little thrown off here.

    OT: As for the current choices, most of them are ‘duh’ moments and maybe a slight twinge at WoW. I may hate the WoW style of MMOs (in-fact I would argue WoW set back MMO development by a decade due to rampant copy-cats) but influential doesn’t always mean I have to like it.

    Just, please, no Angry Birds. Nothing involving that game deserves any sort notoriety.

  6. Cred
    June 7, 2015 at 3:20 am

    It didn’t introduce anything new to the industry but it did introduce the medium to a ton of people old and young plus it brought a new platform to the spotlight (phones)
    in that way it’s definitely less meaningful than mario or pong but it’s still very meaningful in a more limited way and worth noting

  7. R353ARCH
    June 7, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I think the fact someone even allowed an intern to consider Angry Birds as a contender for a video game Hall of Fame invalidadates any future credibility.

  8. deadeye
    June 7, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Unfortunately, these sorts of things are occasionally popularity contests.

    And Angry Birds is insanely popular. There are many people that have unironically called it the Super Mario Bros. of our time.

    Personally, I don’t really have any qualms with angry birds. It’s a kinda fun flash game that just happened to come out when smartphones were coming out. I’m not gonna exert energy getting mad about it being considered. It’s inevitable, and I’m already mentally prepared for it to be up there.

    Now, if Candy Crush Saga or Flappy Bird is even remotely considered, that’s a whole different story.

  9. xcovick
    June 7, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    Ohhh man. Whats with this list? some of it doesn’t even make a sense to me (no offense) but whats up with the angry birds? The beauty of it is that I can see that wow is included.