The fourth class of inductees has been revealed by the World Video Game Hall of Fame, and honorees include heroes of the gridiron, a globetrotting explorer, a 1960s space shooter and one of the most heralded RPGs of all time.
1990's John Madden Football, 1996's Tomb Raider, 1962's Spacewar! and 1997's Final Fantasy VII are this year's selections. Both Tomb Raider and FFVII were on last year's ballot, losing out to Street Fighter II, Halo: Combat Evolved, Donkey Kong and Pokemon Red and Green.
This year's inductees offer an eclectic mix of genres, from sports to classic archetypes that heralded the early days of arcade gaming. John Madden Football launched a franchise of yearly games that has sold more than 100 million copies and is still going strong today.
Spacewar!, created on a PDP-1 minicomputer by Steve “Slug” Russell and others at MIT, was not a commercial release, but inspired the first mass-market arcade video game from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell, Computer Space.
One her way to becoming a household name, Lara Croft made her debut in Tomb Raider for the Sony PlayStation. The action-adventure game was lauded for its gameplay and 3D visuals, and turned its female protagonist (a rarity at the time) into a gaming icon. The series has sold more than 58 million copies worldwide and has inspired three films, with Angelina Jolie stepping into the role of Croft in the early 2000s and Alicia Vikander donning the boots this year.
Final Fantasy VII is widely regarded as one of the greatest games of all time. As the name implies, it was the seventh in a long-running series of RPG games from Japan, but FFVII was the first to utilize 3D graphics and moved the series forward in a huge way, resonating instantly with North American audiences. The game sold more than 10 million copies, making it the second-most-popular game for the PlayStation.
Founded in 2015, the World Video Game Hall of Fame was established to honor games across multiple platforms — arcade, console, computer, handheld, mobile — that have made a lasting impression on the gaming community and pop culture. Final selections to the hall are made on the advice of journalists and scholars.
Past inductees include Nintendo's 1985 platformer Super Mario Bros., Blizzard Entertainment's 2004 MMORPG World of Warcraft, 1975's Pong, 1971's educational computer game The Oregon Trail and the 1984 Russian puzzle game Tetris, among others.
Anyone can nominate a game using the nomination form on the hall's website.