The votes have been tallied and some familiar heroes have emerged as the winners for this year's Video Game Hall of Fame class. The Strong Museum of Play announced that Donkey Kong, Pokemon Red and Green, Halo: Combat Evolved, and Street Fighter II are this year's inductees to the Video Game Hall of Fame.
Each game was selected based on four criteria: icon-status, longevity, geographic reach, and influence. Donkey Kong helped Nintendo break into the North American market and introduced arguably the most well-known video game character of all time: Mario. Pokemon Red and Green launched the perenially popular Pokemon games and redefined RPGs as not being limited to turn-based fantasy fighters. Halo: Combat Evolved launched the XBox console as a rival to Nintendo and Sony's household consoles and became one of the best-selling games of the 2000s. Street Fighter II helped popularize the fighting genre of video games, especially as it was one of the first games where players could consistently launch combo moves and where players could fight each other instead of computer players. It also helped spark a new golden age of arcade games in the early 1990s.
Finalists that didn't make the cut include Windows' version of Solitaire, Final Fantasy VII, Myst, Portal, Tomb Raider, and Wii Sports.
The Video Game Hall of Fame was started in 2015, with a maximum of six games joining the hall every year. The four new games join giants like The Legend of Zelda, The Oregon Trail, Doom, Pong, Pac-Man, World of Warcraft and Super Mario Bros in the Video Game Hall of Fame.
Anyone can nominate a video game for consideration on the Hall of Fame's website. Congratulations to all the winners.