10 Hugely Influential Video Games (That Made Everything Worse)

The drawbacks of being popular.

Naughty Dog

The problem with being an innovator of something new is that everyone immediately wants in on it.

At first, it's flattering. After about... ooh, the ninth imitation of it, the gimmick wears thin.

The examples on this list are not necessarily pioneers of their respective genres. It's just that, at some point in development, some fresh new mechanic or play-style was incorporated into the mix. On release, it blew gamers and critics alike away, breathing life into stale franchises or same-old tropes.

Massive in-game ride-along scenes, revolutionised combat systems, Quick Time Events and, dare I say it, microtransactions.

But of course, when something strikes oil, everyone immediately rushes to that same spot to bleed it dry. What was once an exciting new way to play a game descends into the same formulaic copycats for the next few.

Now, there are some that take the new mechanic and do it better. Which is inherently a good thing. It's just for every massively influential game we get a myriad of knockoffs, exploited gimmicks and ripped-off ideas.

So, with that in mind, let's have a look at the highly influential games that gave us new ways to play... and the subsequent strife these new gimmicks caused.


Player of games, watcher of films. Synthwave enthusiast. Has a bad habit of buying remastered games. Senior critic over at Find me on @GregatonBomb in most places.