Video games have come a long way since the early days of the Nintendo Entertainment System. Graphics, sound, game design, controllers have all evolved significantly. With that natural evolution comes the warm fuzzy nostalgic feeling of yesteryear. Most of us look back to the "good ol' days" where games were about challenge, and platformers reigned supreme. There has always been a niche for the old school games and that scene exploded in 2008 with the release of Mega Man 9.
Rather than continuing to evolve past Mega Man 8, which had a 32-bit facelift courtesy of the Sony Playstation & Sega Saturn, Mega Man 9 literally went back to its roots. The charge-up Mega Buster, the slide, all the upgraded you could buy were all gone. Visually, it was downgraded to 8-bit, and flickered when there were too many enemies on-screen. All the only had brutal difficulty going for it. And in an era of streamlined game design, and for many gamers, this was a welcome return to form.
notable games influenced by Mega Man 9
Sonic The Hedgehog 4
Mega Man 10
Earthworm Jim HD
and just about every other "old school" game since Sep 2008
There has been a massive retro revival since Mega Man 9, numerous long-lost games have been re-released/updated. Rocket Knight hasn't seen a new game since Sparkster on the SNES in 1994. Earthworm Jim had an HD remake earlier this year, and after many failed 3D attempts, SEGA finally released Sonic 4. Mega Man 9 sparked a revolution where everything old is new again and that is why I've given it the #3 slot in my Top 10 most influential games of this generation.