From Centipede to Zelda, these are the 20 best (and most influential) videos games of the '80s


Source: Moby Games (Image credit: Source: Moby Games)


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Developer: Will Wright, Maxis

Platforms: Amiga and Macintosh

Release Date: Feb. 2, 1988

Why this game mattered: SimCity is relatively simple by today's standards. This city simulation game had the player build a city and its infrastructure while creating areas for work and living and collecting taxes. It wasn't a huge seller at the time of its release, but thanks to word-of-mouth and a successful SNES port, its popularity exploded. It then paved the way for a little game series called The Sims — maybe you've heard of it.

Fun fact: Wright began developing the game in the mid-1980s but couldn't find a publisher to sell it because it couldn't be played in arcades. It finally found a publisher in 1989, continued selling into the '90s, and the rest is history.

Future games influenced by this title: As we already mentioned, SimCity was just the first entry in what would become The Sims franchise. It's best known these days for the base "Sims" life-simulation titles, but there have been other SimCity games, along with SimEarth, SimMars, and more. (Technically, Spore is a Sim game, too.) If you've ever played a game that used urban planning as a mechanic, you likely have SimCity to thank.

Where you can play it today: Build your SimCity on the Software Library.

WC Staff