Pulling together the 50 best game design innovations wouldn’t necessarily be a difficult thing, but ranking them in order probably would be. It’s a good thing that Next-Gen has done all the work for us, leaving us to nitpick, though there’s very little to nitpick over here. They went about this the right way, separating the list into categories like gameplay, input, presentational, style and genre innovations.
Next-Gen has listed things you might not think of often, like dialog trees and score tables. Think about score tables for a minute — they went from a simple list of ranked initials (Asteroids, 1979) to a whole industry of competitive gaming leagues playing for prizes and money.
If there’s one dud on this list, it would have to be “reversible time,” No. 13. It made Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time more fun to play, but I wouldn’t call it an innovation. I can’t think of any other game where it really came together to benefit the title.
The best named entry in this list is easily No. 43: Social and dating games (with or without sex).
Head over to Next-Gen to read the full article.