The World Video Game Hall of Fame has announced its latest inductees, and two of the most beloved and iconic video games of all time have made the cut — The Last of Us and Wii Sports.
The Last of Us, developed by Naughty Dog and released in 2013, is a post-apocalyptic survival game set in a world overrun by a deadly fungal infection. What sets “The Last of Us” apart from other survival games is its storytelling. The game’s characters are richly developed, with complex relationships and motivations that drive the plot forward. The gameplay itself is challenging but rewarding, with tense combat sequences and clever puzzles that require players to think creatively to progress. Despite debuting in 2013, the game remains popular. It has earned itself a sequel, a remake, and even an HBO adaptation, among others.
Meanwhile, Wii Sports was developed by Nintendo and released in 2006. It is a collection of five sports mini-games that come bundled with the Wii console. Players use the console’s unique motion controls to simulate playing tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. The game was an instant hit, appealing to both hardcore and casual gamers and helping to make the Wii one of the best-selling consoles of all time.
What makes Wii Sports so memorable is its accessibility. The game’s simple, intuitive controls make it easy for anyone to pick up and play, regardless of their gaming experience. The game’s focus on physical activity also helped to break down barriers between gamers and non-gamers, making it a cultural phenomenon that extended beyond the gaming world.
Joining the two aforementioned games in 2023’s inductees are Barbie Fashion Designer and Computer Space. The former is widely acknowledged as the first market success in games for girls and became a jumping-off point for the girls’ games movement, while the latter’s release in 1971 marked the beginning of the commercial video game industry as there was “no video game industry in 1970”. Computer Space broke new ground by being the first commercially-available video game.
These four games beat out other nominees such as Age of Empires, Angry Birds, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, FIFA International Soccer, GoldenEye 007, NBA 2K, Quake, and Wizardry.
Other games previously inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame include classics like Super Mario Bros., Tetris, and Minecraft. Each year, a panel of experts from the gaming industry and media selects a handful of games to join the hall of fame, based on their impact on the industry, their popularity, and their cultural significance.
As the video game industry continues to evolve and expand, it’s exciting to see new games emerge that push the boundaries of what’s possible. But it’s also important to remember the games that came before, the ones that paved the way for the industry we know and love today. Games like The Last of Us and Wii Sports will always hold a special place in the hearts of gamers everywhere, and their inclusion in the World Video Game Hall of Fame is well-deserved recognition of their enduring legacy.