Top 10 Video Game Moments That Broke the Internet



Top 10 Video Game Moments That Broke the Internet

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Robert Flis
These video games did more than just entertain. For this list, we'll be looking at games that had the largest online impact, and worked their way into the public consciousness. Our countdown includes “Minecraft”, “Fortnite”, “Grand Theft Auto V”, and more!
Script Written by Robert Flis

Top 10 Video Games That Broke The Internet

It ain’t a party till something gets broken. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Video Games That Broke The Internet.

For this list, we’ll be looking at games that had the largest online impact, and worked their way into the public consciousness.

#10: “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” (2017)

This Switch launch title broke the internet by breaking the mould for what makes a Zelda game - and honestly, it single-handedly redefined how open-world games should be made. From the moment the game was released in 2017, “Breath of the Wild” became a new benchmark that some say games are still struggling to live up to. It received almost unanimous praise from reviewers and quickly became the best-selling Zelda game of all time. But what’s more, its free-flowing open world gameplay and ridiculous attention to detail inspired a non-stop flood of online content from players sharing their discoveries and the things they accomplished.

#9: “Destiny” (2014)

Despite some growing pains early on, “Destiny” was instrumental in popularizing the “games as a service” model on consoles. It was released in 2014 to generally positive reviews, with most of the criticism aimed at the game’s weak story and design choices that emphasized endless farming for XP and loot. Over time, “Destiny” and its sequel ironed out many of the ethical concerns surrounding their gameplay model, introducing elements - such as the season pass format - that make it clearer what the game is trying to be. With “Destiny 2” now being free to play, the franchise has grown into one of the most popular FPS properties in recent memory, and it isn’t going away anytime soon.

#8: “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” (2018)

Whenever a new character is revealed for Smash Bros, it’s a big deal and has the whole internet talking. But when Nintendo announced that “Everyone is here” in Smash Bros. Ultimate during their E3 2018 Direct, there was a total meltdown. Seriously, search “Everyone is here reaction” on YouTube and grab a bag of popcorn. For the first time ever, all the characters from each previous game in the franchise would be available, plus several new additions. The excitement was real and fans could not stop talking about it until the game’s release in December 2018. Since then, Smash Ultimate has gone on to become the best-selling fighting game of all time.

#7: “Untitled Goose Game” (2019)

2019 asked us a very important question: who wants to be a goose? The answer: everyone. What started out as an inside joke at Australian indie game developer House House became one of the biggest memes of the year. It began when the game’s trailer went viral in 2017 and the project started to gain a following online. When it was finally released in September of 2019 the game crushed expectations, outselling mainline Nintendo titles like “Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.” All of a sudden celebrities were getting their goose on and sharing their feathered antics on social media. In just over three months “Untitled Goose Game” sold over a million copies and took over the internet.

#6: “Grand Theft Auto V” (2013)

GTA V burst onto the scene in 2013, bridging the gap between seventh and eighth generation consoles, and its legacy is still strongly felt in the gaming world. Like most other Rockstar games, it was met with a fair bit of controversy upon release, with many organizations and groups taking issue with the game’s themes and messaging. That didn’t stop the game from breaking sales records and becoming the fastest selling video game in history, earning its first billion dollars in just three days. With the subsequent launch of GTA Online and a healthy modding community, the game’s relevance extends to today and it still makes headlines in 2020.

#5: “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” (2020)

As much of the world went into self-isolation in March of 2020, Nintendo could not have chosen a better time to release the latest game in the Animal Crossing series. “New Horizons” was the perfect form of escapism for millions of people stuck at home. The game broke records for most digital downloads in its first month, selling 5 million copies, and was praised by critics. Its reach extended to mainstream media outlets which covered the phenomenon it had become. The game caused a spike in Nintendo Switch sales, which ultimately led to a shortage of the console. This game is a perfect example of video games’ power to bring people together during hard times.

#4: “Five Nights At Freddy's” (2014)

The internet helped turn this indie game into a media franchise spanning several sequels, spin-offs, books and even a theme park attraction. The first game in the series was released in 2014 and quickly gained a cult following. It became a popular subject of “Let’s play” videos on YouTube and was covered by many of the most popular gamers on the platform. Fans really started getting into the lore, discussing it on Reddit and creating videos analyzing the story and theorizing about the in-game universe. It also drew a fair bit of criticism for the effect that the horror elements of the game may have on young children drawn to the cartoonish characters and merchandising.

#3: “Pokémon GO” (2016)

Many of us fondly look back on 2016 and remember the summer of “Pokémon GO.” This mobile game broke more than just the internet, it broke barriers, encouraging players to get out and explore their areas together. Pokémon has always been as much of a cultural phenomenon as it is a game franchise, and “Pokemon GO” proved it. It became a viral social media trend with the game reportedly being mentioned over a billion times on Facebook and Instagram the month it came out. The app was downloaded over 500 million times by the end of 2016 and as of May 2020 is the sixth highest grossing mobile game of all time, with millions of active players.

#2: “Fortnite” (2017)

When you talk about a “cultural phenomenon” in gaming, it’s hard not to immediately think of “Fortnite.” The game launched in 2017 and exploded when the free-to-play Battle Royale mode was released. It eventually eclipsed “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” in popularity, another “battle royale” game which it drew a considerable amount of inspiration from. “Fortnite” became incredibly popular among streamers and drew huge numbers of viewers on Twitch and YouTube. Celebrities like Drake, Travis Scott and pro gamers like Ninja broke streaming records playing the game, leading to live events and even concerts being held within it. To date, the game remains one of the biggest pop culture phenomena in recent memory.

#1: “Minecraft” (2010)

Just try to name a game that’s remained as relevant for so long. We’ll wait. “Minecraft” is arguably the most influential game of all time, spawning endless waves of social media content and effectively fuelling the creation of livestreaming culture as we know it. “Minecraft” popularized sandbox games and took them to new heights. Its blank canvas approach to gameplay allowed gamers to run with their creativity and be actively involved in the development of the game as it grew and evolved. To date, it has sold over 200 million copies, making it the best-selling game of all time, and hosts over 125 million active users.