The Strong National Museum of Play introduced its World Video Game Hall of Fame last year with its inaugural six inductees: Pong, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Doom and World of Warcraft. This year they’ve announced six more influential titles from gaming history will be added to the Hall: Grand Theft Auto 3, The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog and Space Invaders.
Strong’s logline for GTA 3’s induction reads as follows:
Developed in Great Britain and released in 2001, Grand Theft Auto III was the first 3-D open-ended, “sandbox-style” game to achieve massive mainstream popularity and widespread critical acclaim. The third standalone title in the franchise sold 14.5 million copies by 2008, becoming the first breakout hit in a series that sold more than 220 million units as of 2015. “By providing players with a license to do virtually anything they wanted to do on foot or behind the wheel, Grand Theft Auto III renewed debates about the role of games and violence in society while it signaled video games aren’t just for kids,” says Jeremy Saucier, assistant director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “And the game’s unlimited play possibilities became a model for many other open-world games that followed.”
To get an idea of what might come next, some of the nominees that failed to make it into the Hall this year include Elite, Final Fantasy, John Madden Football, Minecraft, Nürburgring, Pokemon Red and Green, Sid Meier’s Civilization, Street Fighter II and Tomb Raider. Several of this year’s Hall finalists were rejected from last year.