The World Video Game Hall of Fame announced its 2017 class of finalists Tuesday, ranging from the arcade classic Donkey Kong to 2006's Wii Sports, which introduced millions of non-typical gamers to the Wii's motion controls.
12 games made the cut: Donkey Kong, Final Fantasy VII, Halo: Combat Evolved, Microsoft Windows Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, Myst, Pokémon Red and Green (known as Red and Blue in the U.S.), Portal, Resident Evil, Street Fighter II, Tomb Raider and Wii Sports.
Donkey Kong, originally released in 1981, was the world's first introduction to Mario. It sold 132,000 arcade cabinet units and helped solidify Shigeru Miyamoto as a legendary game designer.
Final Fantasy VII is arguably the most beloved entry in Square Enix's long-running RPG series. The game was a huge selling point for the original PlayStation console. Its upcoming remake has been hotly anticipated for years.
Halo: Combat Evolved, released in 2001, reinvented the first-person shooter genre with then-revolutionary ideas of regenerating health instead of health packs. Its thrilling story has engrossed fans for years.
Microsoft Windows Solitaire was an iconic fixture of any PC user in the past two decades, though its contributions to gaming as an art form may be lacking compared to the rest of the class.
Mortal Kombat, released in 1992, made violence in video games a national debate due to its brutal depictions of blood and dismemberment.
Myst was one of the pinnacles of the classic point-and-click adventure game genre. Its graphics were staggering for 1993, and the game went on to sell 6 million copies.
Pokémon Red and Green (known as Red and Blue stateside) was the world's first introduction to the now-ubiquitous franchise. The Pokémon games have sold more than 260 games since 2014. And that doesn't count Pokémon GO.
Portal was originally an add-on to Valve Corporation's 2007 "Orange Box," a repackaging of its Half-Life and Team Fortress 2 games. But the four-hour game quickly developed a rabid following thanks to its innovative puzzles, witty storytelling and catchy soundtrack.
Resident Evil was the first of what would become one of Capcom's biggest series, despite now being mocked for "tank controls" that prevented players from walking and turning at the same time. Largely credited with creating the "survival horror" genre, the 1996 classic has also spawned a series of movies.
Street Fighter II, another legendary Capcom property, was released in 1991, changing the landscape of fighting games forever. The one-on-one formula lent itself to tournaments, and it's still an e-sports staple.
Tomb Raider, which also spawned a film series, drew widespread attention for its protagonist, Lara Croft, in an era where female game protagonists were rare.
Wii Sports may be the least likely contender on the list. The game was free with the Wii console in 2006, and it largely served to introduce new players, many not considered traditional "gamers," to motion controls.
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