Gaming’s most important multi-player games

Gamasutra polled people in the gaming industry what the most important multi-player games of all time are.  I was all ready to protest the article before I even read it, because one of my favorite games was sure to be missing, I thought.  Well, looks like my personal number one game for the list made it:

tribes-screenshot.jpgDynamix created the template for both team-based gameplay and “kit selection” that have been iterated on by every multiplayer-focused FPS since its release way back in 1998. Despite having a steep learning curve that scared off more than a few potential players, Tribes still managed to find a strong following that progressed the game to an ultra-competitive artform of teamplay.

Tribes‘ focus on playing as a team, filling roles, seperating offensive and defensive units, supporting flag carriers, etc, etc. pushed the future of FPS multiplayer gaming from pure deathmatch/”cowboy” gaming to one where squad play and team focus is just as important as “point and click” kills. Tribes represents a significant quantum leap in FPS multiplayer gaming…and sucked away five years of my life!

I played that game for 3 years before moving on to my current game of choice (City of Heroes).  And I kicked all kinds of ass on the map pictured above.  The other two games I felt HAD to make the list, Bomberman and Quake, did make the list.  I could go on for a long time about the multi-player games I played the most, but this short article highlights very well some of the most important.  I might consider Unreal Tournament for the list, as well, but I realize that some games have to get left off in the interest of brevity (not one of my strong points, admittedly).

Also missing is any mention of Massively Multiplayer gaming, of which perhaps Ultima Online and World of Warcraft are most important.  Yes, there were other MMOs before Ultima Online, and there have certainly been more successful ones than UO, but it made MMOs acceptable to many.  And there is no questioning the importance of the 1200 ton beast that is World of Warcraft.  It’s Ginormous.  I think at least one of these should be on the list.

[tags]The most important multi-player games of all times