Super Mario Kart: Most Influential Video Game in History

Super Mario Kart has the longest legacy and the biggest impact on video games in history, according to Guinness World Records which compiled a list of the top 50 consoles of all time.

Tetris ranks in at number two, according to the list, and the original Grand Theft Auto is in the number three spot. Where does Super Mario Bros. turn up? Way down at number 17, beneath Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said of the selection process: "We knew this would be a complex task so we invited a crack team of industry experts to form a judging panel - and the result is a "top 50" list of games ranked both on their importance and on how fun they are to play."

I would love to know who was on their team, because their picks are just friggin insane.

The team said they picked Super Mario Kart for the top spot because it is the best-selling racer on the SNES, the GameCube and the DS. Tetris, a good choice for number two, was selected because it is available on at least 50 different gaming platforms. And Grand Theft Auto holds the record for the most controversial series of games.

The full list, shown here, appear in the newly-released Guinness World Records 2009 Gamer's Edition.

Look over that list and then tell us what your top ten picks would have been. Keep in mind this is being judged on a game's initial impact and lasting legacy, not necessarily how fun they were.

1. Super Mario Kart
2. Tetris
3. Grand Theft Auto
4. Super Mario World
5. Zelda Ocarina of Time
6. Halo
7. Resident Evil IV
8. Final Fantasy XII
9. Street Fighter II
10. GoldenEye
11. Super Mario 64
12. Tomb Raider
13. Metal Gear Solid
14. Call of Duty 4
15. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
16. GTA San Andreas
17. Super Mario Bros
18. Zelda: A Link to the Past
19. Gran Turismo
20. Final Fantasy VII
21. Pro Evolution Soccer 4
22. The Orange Box
23. Lego Star Wars Complete Saga
24. Tekken 2
25. Wii Sports
26. Pokemon Red/Blue
27. Guitar Hero
28. Project Gotham Racing 4
29. Super Mario Galaxy
30. Resident Evil
31. Ico
32. Chrono Trigger
33. Gunstar Heroes
34. Soul Calibur
35. Advance Wars
36. Ridge Racer
37. Super Metroid
38. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
39. GTA Vice City
40. BioShock
41. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
42. The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
43. God of War
44. Sega Rally Championship
45. Starfox 64
46. Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
47. WarioWare Inc
48. Saturn Bomberman
49. Crash Bandicoot
50. Outrun 2


    I think that the list that you put up here is just fine as is.

    I also like how you judged them on initial impact and lasting legacy, rather than controversey and how many platforms they were on.

    I'm surprised Mortal Kombat didn't make the list. Regardless of what you might think about the game it was certainly influential as it paved the way for many, many violent games to come. MK and it's first sequel, MK2, were one of the main reasons the ESRB and similar rating systems were actually introduced. That's gotta be a big influence.

    Was this "crack team of industry experts" formed entirely from people under the age of 25? Where's Pong - the game that really started the video game revolution, not to mention PacMan

    IMHO that list sux as influential games goes.


    1) Space Invaders
    2) Tetris
    3) Wolfenstein 3D
    4) Donkey Kong
    5) LOZ Ocarina Of Time
    6) Sim City
    7) MS Flight Simulator
    8) Mechwarrior 2
    9) Pokemon (Sorry can't stand the game)
    10)Final Fantasy VII
    11) Halo (got MS into consoles)

    Bioshock is there but neither of the System Shock games, nor Deus Ex?

    God of War? Crash Bandicoot? Oblivion? COD4?!?

    Donkey Kong, the game that invented the platform genre isn't even on the list? Super Mario single handedly saved video games from extinction is number 17?

    What the hell is this?


    I agree. Pong - How could i leave that one out.


    Mechwarrior 2... haha love it. That game was killer back on the old pentium.

    Street Fighter II is number 9? and King Of Fighters didn't even make the list? THE ORANGE BOX IS NOT A GAME!

    I would have taken Wolf3D, Doom or Quake as a number one. I mean, F***, FPS' owe id their legacy. I think this list is poorly compiled.

    I fail to see, on most counts, how a sequel (or in the case of Orange Box, a bundle) can have greater influential power than the original or, in cases, the game that created and defined the genre. After all, an original influences a sequel.

    Super Mario World was influenced by Super Mario Bros 3 which was influenced by Super Mario Bros. Obviously the title should belong to Super Mario Bros - as a series or as the original title.

    No mention of Rise of The Triads on PC, Mega Force, Galaga/Space Invaders, Datsun 280 Zzzap or even Fantasy Star Dizzy on C64? - Perhaps "crack team of industry experts" is code for Ex-Pharmaceutical testing Chimpanzee squad.

    Crap, I can't believe Wolfentein 3d, or Doom, or even Half Life isnt up there?! WTF.

    Well, I guess it proves that 'the best of' lists are completely subjective

    There's only two pre-1990 games listed - Super Mario Bros and Tetris, and I assume they mean the Nintendo/GB version of Tetris. The logical conclusion is everybody else was influenced by Nintendo.

    My list, in no order because order would be too hard, would be:

    Pong - for essentially making arcade games mainstream
    Super Mario Bros - for redefining platformers and establishing an empire of sorts
    Tetris - for bringing puzzle games to the masses
    Doom - for making FPSes fun, for making online/IPX play popular, and for making modding mainstream
    Grand Theft Auto - for making driving sandbox games mainstream
    Street Fighter II - as almost every fighter that followed cloned it
    Space Invaders - for making arcade games popular and obsessive
    Pacman - for creating the first gaming character
    Ultima - for popularising the top-down RPG (thus FF games followed it)
    Little Computer People - the ancestor of The Sims, and thus casual gaming

    By no means a list of favourite games...and while some are obviously more popular and influential in THAT way...this is not a popularity contest.

    Other games I'd consider worthy mentions would include Mortal Kombat (popularised gore), Night Trap (controversy), Thing on a Spring (influential soundtrack), E.T. (partially triggered the '84 crash, which only affected the US I might add), Bandersnatch and Deus Ex Machina (attempted to create and created multimedia gaming respectively), Pokemon Red/Blue/Green (making RPGs mainstream), Elite (rediculously large world for 48kb), Scramble (scrolling shmup), Ultima Online (mainstreaming MMORPGs), WoW (rediculous levels of dominance and market penetration for an MMORPG), Beatmania (mainstreaming music games in Japan), Guitar Hero (mainstreaming music games in the US), Singstar (mainstreaming music games in PAL lands)...this list is far from complete but I should stop...

    That's the worst list i've ever seen. For a list containing the world's "Most Influential Video Games", i fail to see how anything matters other than, a game's actual "influence", who cares about how much fun it is to play. I can't believe this list is actually in the guiness book of records.

    Project Gotham Racing 4!!!! Call Of Duty 4!!!! What the hell have they influenced... maybe Call Of Duty 4 influenced Treyarch to make better games but that's about it...

    Elder Scrolls IV!!! How can a game have a history of influence when it came out yesterday. Did nobody on the judging panel actually see the IV at the end of that one??

    How can someone possibly put Final Fantasy XII above Final Fantasy VII......that's just laughable

    Any list without Doom, Half-Life, StarCraft, Deus Ex, not one of the LucasArts adventure games, hell, even World of Warcraft despite how much I detest that game, can hardly be considered the most influential games in history. That it even misses out the really blatantly obvious ones such as Pong, Space Invaders, Asteroids, Pacman, instead paying lip service to it with Tetris. Games like Call of Duty 4 and Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga don't belong here. Sequels and re-releases such as these don't overcome the legacy of the original work: Call of Duty 4 owes its existence waay back to at least the original Medal of Honour from 1999, even with the former's modern theme.

    The compilation of this list is atrocious. Super Mario Kart wasn't even original, its just a Mario themed version of Apogee's 1994 Wacky Wheels. If it had Super Mario Bros or the original Donkey Kong, I might believe it, but Mario Kart?

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