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The Strong's World Video Game Hall Of Fame has added a handful of new titles to its line-up, including popular games spanning decades back, from The Legend of Zelda to Oregon Trail to The Sims.

The six games inducted into this year's hall of fame are all widely respected franchises that most gamers would recognize from a mile away. Over on the Museum of Play website the list of games were made, including the following six entries that were whittled down from a selection of 15 nominees.
Grand Theft Auto III
The Legend of Zelda
The Oregon Trail
The Sims
Sonic the Hedgehog
Space Invaders

I don't think there's anyone who would really argue with that selection. Some of the other nominees included games like Tomb Raider, Sid Meier's Civilization, Street Fighter II, Minecraft and Final Fantasy, but I think the entries above make sense both from a historical and technological standpoint.

For instance, GTA III was not only a widely popular and best-selling title on the platforms it released on, but it was also a technological marvel at the time, introducing players into a proper 3D open-world with drivable vehicles, guns, fist-fights and car chases. 3D games weren't quite doing that back then, with the closest game probably being Refraction Games' Codename Eagle, which utilized precursor tech that eventually evolved into the Battlefield series. There was also Beyond Games' 1999 release of Redline – a personal favorite of mine – and while it mixed Mad Max with DOOM, it still wasn't quite on the same line as GTA III when it came to polish, characterizations, feature depth and story scope.

It also makes sense to see games like The Legend of Zelda on the list, given that next to Super Mario and DOOM just about everyone the world around knows or at least have heard of The Legend of Zelda. Link and Zelda have become iconic figures in the action-adventure genre and paying respects to a series that helped jump-start the puzzle-adventure genre is definitely the right move from the Strong's World Video Game Hall of Fame.

I was personally never really a fan of Oregon Trail, but there's no denying that the edutainment title helped bridge strategy, storytelling and history together like no other game before it. You could say it was one of the few games that made edutainment mainstream.

Another one of my personal favorites of the list is Sonic The Hedgehog. It's nice to see the little blue speedster on the list. The 1990s in console video games were practically defined by animals with attitudes, and Sonic was at the forefront of a list of wannabes and B-listers like Jazz Jackrabbit, Bubsy, Aero the Acrobat and Rocket Knight, Crash Bandicoot, Gex and a bunch of others. Utilizing new processing techniques to render a sense of speed was what made Sonic so memorable back then and still memorable to this day. It's a shame that Sega has fallen so far off the path that helped make them mega-stars in the gaming space back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Will Wright's The Sims has earned its spot just based on its historical value to evolving the life simulation sub-genre. According to the Video Game Hall of Fame the series has amassed more than 200 million sales across 60 countries. The game's customization and user-driven playability has helped it grow and maintain a very dedicated audience for more than 15 years.

And what's there to say about Space Invaders? If this didn't make the cut it would have been a crime against gaming. Space Invaders, along side Pong, are probably the first AAA games in console gaming to break through into mainstream and become widely recognized.

You can learn more about the inductees into the hall of fame as well as the other nominees by visiting the official Museum of Play website.
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