The World Video Game Hall of Fame announces its 2024 inductees

Video game hall of fame 2024 inductees

A total of 45 games are included in the Hall of Fame. Strong Museum

There are a lot of great video games, but only a select few are considered pivotal enough to earn a place within the World Video Game Hall of Fame. Established in 2015 and located within The Strong National Museum of Play, the Hall of Fame highlights titles that meet four major criteria—iconic status, longevity, international reach, and cultural influence.

As of Thursday, five new inductees officially make up its 10th class, and will become part of the World Video Game Hall of Fame’s permanent exhibit. Without further ado, the 2024 winners are:

  • Asteroids (1979)
  • Myst (1993)
  • Resident Evil (1996)
  • SimCity (1989)
  • Ultima (1981)

Although anyone can nominate a game for Hall of Fame consideration, the Strong Museum selects its annual inductees after consulting a wide range of video game journalists, scholars, and industry experts.  This year’s potential finalists also included gems like Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, and Metroid, but ultimately the above five were deemed ready for Hall of Fame status.

Asteroids was an instant arcade staple upon its release in 1979, eventually selling over 70,000 cabinets to become Atari’s bestselling coin-operated game of all time. In 1981, Asteroids arrived for the Atari 2600 home console, propelling the game to even greater popularity.

[Related: A 13-year-old wunderkind is the first human to ‘beat’ Tetris.]

Asteroids made a simple, yet challenging game about blasting rocks into one of the most widely played and influential video games of all time,” assistant vice president for interpretation and electronic games Jeremy Saucier said through the Hall of Fame’s May 9 announcement.

But while Asteroids was “simple” as far as things go, 1993’s Myst for CD-ROM confounded and mesmerized players with its intriguing storyline, immersive environments, and downright maddening puzzles. People apparently were up for the challenge, however—Myst became the bestselling computer release of the 1990’s, with over 6 million editions purchased by (soon-to-be stumped) gamers.

Where Myst confounded its fans, Resident Evil terrified them. Capcom’s 1996 PlayStation title helped launch the “survival horror” subgenre by pitting players against ruthless zombies and gruesome monsters, all while forcing them to conserve scarce ammunition and supplies. Aside from its mountain of sequels across various platforms, Resident Evil also spawned a $1.2 billion film franchise that (appropriately) refuses to die.

Although the more strategic, methodical SimCity is scant on zombies, players could still manage to wreak havoc on an entire metropolitan area of their own making. Maxis’ top-down city-builder from 1989 was the first of many sequels, offshoots, and imitators, but SimCity’s replayability, complexity, satisfying mechanics (and natural disaster problem solving) opened up video games to entirely new demographics.

“At a time when many people thought of video games in terms of arcade shooters or console platformers, SimCity appealed to players who wanted intellectually stimulating fun,” on their newly bought personal computers” research specialist for Black play and culture Aryol Prater said yesterday.

The Hall of Fame’s final 2024 inductee, Ultima: The First Age of Darkness, isn’t necessarily as instantly recognizable as Asteroids or Resident Evil, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less influential. Richard Garriott released his sprawling fantasy/sci-fi role-playing game in 1981, providing an entirely new, electronic medium for fans of tabletop questing like Dungeons & Dragons. There arguably would be no Final Fantasy, Skyrim, or Diablo without Ultima—and its eight sequels—serving as a foundational template.

This year’s five inductees don’t just highlight video gaming at its best—they also serve as a great reminder to revisit some of the classics. At the very least, Myst’s puzzles alone should keep players busy until next year’s class is announced.