Each year, the Strong National Museum of Play inducts new games into its World Video Game Hall of Fame. This year, the winners are Halo: Combat Evolved, Donkey Kong, Pokemon Red and Green, and Street Fighter II.
The winners were selected from a group of 12 finalists, and voted on by a panel of judges with experience in video games. Some of the other finalists included: Final Fantasy VII, Mortal Kombat, Myst, Portal, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, Wii Sports, and Windows Solitaire.
Here's what the Museum had to say about each of the winners:
Donkey Kong (Arcade, 1981): “Without Donkey Kong there would be no Super Mario Bros., a member of the inaugural class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame. But Donkey Kong is also about much more than one character. Its overarching narrative of love and its vibrant graphics brought the game to life in a way that few other games could in the early 1980s. It captured the hearts of a generation.” - Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games
Street Fighter II (Arcade, 1991): “Street Fighter II allowed for head-to-head battles between human opponents, instantly attracting spectators and generating fierce tournament play in arcades across the world. This communal style of game play reinvigorated the arcade industry in the 1990s and helped give birth to a generation of fighting games.” - Jeremy Saucier, assistant director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games
Pokemon Red & Green (Game Boy, 1996): “Pokemon Red and Green launched a franchise that has taken the world by storm, vaulting many of its characters, such as Pikachu, into popular, mainstream culture. Nearly two decades after its inception and with the introduction of Pokemon Go, ‘Poke-mania’ shows little sign of fading.” - Shannon Symonds, The Strong’s associate curator
Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox, 2001): “Until Halo’s launch, the most successful shooters required a personal computer and the precision offered by a high-quality mouse. Halo proved a console could be just as effective, if not better, than a PC. It also boasted one of the strongest multiplayer experiences of its time and created a legion of hardcore fans that refer to themselves as the ‘Halo Nation.’” - Symonds
The Hall of Fame was founded in 2015, and made its first inductions that year of Doom, Super Mario Bros., Pac-Man, Pong, Tetris, and World of Warcraft. In 2016, the inductees were The Oregon Trail, Grand Theft Auto III, The Sims, Sonic the Hedgehog, The Legend of Zelda and Space Invaders.