Stature plays a large role in Myst’s entry on this list; the adventure game is heralded, but far from perfect, and retrospective reviews of the game, which was originally released in 1993, have been even less charitable in their criticism. In 2000, IGN went so far as to say that Myst was no longer worth playing, despite the fact that, at that point, it was still the best-selling PC game ever.

So, why was it so successful at all? Well, for many,
Myst marks a turning point when gaming leveled up, when it was first taken seriously as entertainment for members of the population who were old enough to drink a beer. Its presentation was gorgeous, and the storytelling was initially received as fresh and original, even if it was weighed down by considerable glitches in gameplay.

So, while it hasn’t aged particularly well,
Myst is still synonymous with modern-day ambitions to elevate gaming’s place in the cultural hierarchy of popular entertainment. A line from a 1994 New York Times article is particularly telling with respect to this game’s impact: “Wired magazine, the bible of the new technology, even thinks that it has defined a new art form,” they note. To Wired’s credit, they were right; in 2013, Myst was added to the Museum of Modern Art’s collection.