The fourth annual inductees into the World Video Game Hall of Fame are 1990's John Madden Football, 1996's Tomb Raider, 1962's Spacewar!, and 1997's Final Fantasy VII. The Strong museum in Rochester, New York, announced the honorees earlier this week. The World Video Game Hall of Fame was established in 2015, and the newest inductees join 15 elite others chosen over the past four years. This year's inductees span over 50 years of video gaming history and offer an eclectic look at the evolution of gaming.
Tomb Raider has been a classic since it was first released on the Sega Saturn and PlayStation back in 1996. The game received instant critical acclaim, with some critics calling it the greatest game of all time. The female protagonist, Lara Croft, is a huge piece of pop culture thanks to the iconic game as well as the movie franchises that it spawned. Additionally, the game sold over 7 million copies worldwide and is still heralded as an influential 3D action-adventure game.
1997's Final Fantasy VII is also praised for the revolutionary 3D graphics as well as its cinematic cut-scenes. The game's development began back in 1994 for the Super Nintendo, but delays caused it to be released on the Sony PlayStation in 1997. It sold 2 million copies in a matter of days in Japan upon its release and has been hailed for its graphics, memorable characters, as well as an entrancing score that fans still listen to today. Final Fantasy was a massive undertaking with over 100 developers working on the title, which clearly worked out in the end, after all of the delay at Nintendo.
John Madden Football is the Sega Genesis reboot of an earlier title for PC, but it became a legendary game for the Genesis. The franchise is still cranking out games to this day. It was also the main title to give Sega a leg up on Nintendo during the console wars of the early 1990s. As for 1962's Spacewar!, it was not a commercial game. According to Jon-Paul Dyson, the director of The Strong's International Center for the History of Electronic Games, "it helped to launch the multi-billion-dollar video game industry."
The World Video Game Hall of Fame has 4 criteria for a game to enter. The first is Icon Status, which means that the game is widely recognized and remembered. The second is Longevity, which is more than a passing fad and has enjoyed popularity over time. Next is Geographical Reach, which meets the above criteria across international boundaries. And finally, Influence, which has exerted significant influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society in general. Other notable titles include, The Legend of Zelda, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Angry Birds, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Oregon Trail. You can read more about the 2018 inductees over at World Video Game Hall of Fame website.