Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II, Halo and Pokemon inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame

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In March, we told you that a number of great, classic games were up for inclusion in the Video Game Hall of Fame. The 12 candidates included games like Donkey Kong, Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, and Mortal Kombat – but just four have made their way in to the hallowed halls of The Strong Museum this year.

As a reminder, here were the nominees:

  • Donkey Kong
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Windows Solitaire
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Street Fighter II
  • Myst
  • Pokemon Red/Blue
  • Resident Evil
  • Portal
  • Tomb Raider
  • Wii Sports

The four new inductees are Halo: Combat Evolved, Street Fighter 2, the original arcade version of Donkey Kong, and the first Pokémon games, Red and Green. Blue doesn’t make the cut, as it was released globally later, while Red and Green made up the original Japanese release.

They are, to mind, worthy inductees. Donkey Kong not only kept Nintendo in business in the 80’s, it also launched the career of a fellow named Shigeru Miyamoto. Donkey Kong also introduced characters that would go on to define an industry – like a moustachioed plumber who is now one of the most recognisable symbols in the world.

I’m not Halo fan, but its impact on the industry is undeniable. It showed that first person shooters on console weren’t only viable; they could be a mainstream success. The series has gone on to sell over 65 million copies.

Pokémon’s impact on the gaming industry is without question. The game about rounding up critters is still a phenomenon, 20 years on. People are still running around saying “Gotta Catch ‘em All!”

I am personally happy that Street Fighter II made it in before Mortal Kombat. I understand why many people prefer Midway’s visceral fighting game to Capcom’s, but Street Fighter II had a much bigger impact on the arcade industry – which spilled out into consoles with the release of the game on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

Previous inductees include Doom, Grand Theft Auto III, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, Pac-Man, Pong, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Invaders, Super Mario Bros., Tetris and World of Warcraft.

Last Updated: May 5, 2017

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Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • Original Heretic

    After reading this, I…I feel memories from my childhood bubbling to the surface.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      All that therapy wasted.

      • Original Heretic

        It’s the animals, man… All those kicked puppies…

      • Skyblue

        ROFL!

      • Captain JJ

        lol

  • Hammersteyn
    • Original Heretic

      Day 41: I have successfully integrated myself into the group. They don’t suspect a thing.

      • Hammersteyn

        XD
        I bet he can hit the broadside of the barn though

    • Skyblue

      Lol, wasn’t that bad. I only got into Halo when Halo 2 was released on PC and that game had some boring levels but was fun overall. The remasters I played start to finish and I really got into the Halo universe… but better than Windows Solitaire though…? ;-p

      • What people forget about Halo is that it revolutionized FPS games on console. That control scheme that just about everybody uses now and the slight aim assist to make sure you still feel like a badass with analog sticks? That was Halo.

        • Skyblue

          It was for a new generation of gamers. For a hardcore Quake player it still felt like someone wrestling with my thumbs for control of the Master Chief. That said, I adapted once I was convinced to get my first Xbox 360 (2 x RROD’s) and can quite comfortably play FPS titles on console… IF I really have to ;-p

          • I went from being a hardcore Quake player to Halo and while I agree it wasn’t close it was 100% the first FPS on a console that could compare to PC. Before that there was nothing even close in my opinion.

            Halo is the game that moved me from a PC gamer to a console gamer. It really did change the game and brought on the likes of Call of Duty which turned consoles from kids machines to the massive industry it is now.

      • Hammersteyn

        I’m not saying it shouldn’t be there, just seems out of place when compared to the other titles which are much older compared to Halo

        • Skyblue

          I agree completely. Quake revolutionized FPS gaming far more than Halo ever did.

          • Hammersteyn

            I’ll never forget where and when I saw Quake the first time. It blew my mind out of my skull, I couldn’t grasp the concept of 3D movement then at all. Play with a mouse, what madness was this?

    • Pieter Kruger

      There there, I’m sure Knack will make the list one day……

      • Hammersteyn

        LOL!

  • Skyblue

    I can live with it. Donkey Kong was the first game that really got me into video games when I was 6yrs old and had my mother dragging me out of the store. Streetfighter II got me not only into competitive gaming but fighting games as well. Yes, I’m old.

    • Original Heretic

      You ain’t the only one, m’man…
      My first memories of games are PRE-Nintendo, before 8-bit was the in thing.

      • Skyblue

        Asteroids was next to Donkey Kong but I didn’t like the black and white and the thrust ALWAYS got me killed.

  • Captain JJ

    The real games that deserve awards in the modern age are the ones that aren’t exclusives.

    • Skyblue

      I tend to disagree as great games are great games regardless of platform, sales or general popularity at the time of their release. I’ll use Blade Runner, Fight Club and Alien as examples from film where time has triumphed over “flavour of the month” critics lost over time with cinematic purveyors of greatness.

      • Captain JJ

        Yea, but don’t deny a player a game just because he can’t afford to have all the platforms. Then a great game to you might mean absolutely nothing to me, because I can’t ever play it. Also, Fight Club was good thanks to the book, which also had the better ending 😛 But it’s certainly one of the better book-to-movie adaptations we’ve seen.

    • Hammersteyn

      Just buy a PS4 already 😛

  • Captain JJ

    I don’t think I’ve ever played a Halo game, but I can see why they’re so popular and it does seem like they deserve a spot here simply for what they’ve achieved.

  • miaau

    Myst? Myst nominated?

    Seriously, I thought that was very, very niche.

  • Mark Treloar

    How are Counter-strike and Quake not there by default, yet somehow Halo gets in?

    • Skyblue

      ^this for Quake, had another four letter name for C@!# Strike

  • Galbedir

    I dunno, the fact that The Sims is on that list, and Mortal Kombat is not…all respect gone.

  • Avithar

    i still remeber play Donky Kong on my Gameboy

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