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Smithsonian selects top 80 games from past 40 years

Uncharted 2, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mass Effect 2 part of top American museum's Art of Video Games exhibit next year.

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The Smithsonian American Art Museum has since February been soliciting gamers' opinions on the most creative and influential games of all time for an upcoming exhibit devoted to the interactive medium. Today, the US-funded institution announced the results of that polling process, selecting 80 games from five different eras spanning the past 40 years to be a part of the Art of Video Games exhibit.

Starting from the earliest era, the Smithsonian exhibit will feature the likes of Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Utopia. Games from this era were pulled from the Atari 2600, Colecovision, and Intellivision. The second era spotlights the NES, Sega Master System, and Commodore 64, with representative games including Sid Meier's Pirates, Super Mario Bros., and Marble Madness.

Marble Madness will be one of more than 80 games to be part of the Smithsonian's exhibit.
Marble Madness will be one of more than 80 games to be part of the Smithsonian's exhibit.

The third era concerns itself with Nintendo's and Sega's feuding SNES and Genesis systems. From the former were drawn Nintendo staples such as Super Mario World and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, while the latter included Phantasy Star IV. Sony enters the picture with the PlayStation in era four, while Sega bows out with the Dreamcast.

The fifth era concerns itself with the two most recent generations in gaming, encompassing Nintendo's GameCube and Wii, Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360, and Sony's PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. The era also includes a variety of popular PC games, such as Portal and Minecraft.

The Art of Video Games exhibit will open in Washington, DC, on March 16, 2012, and will run through September 30, 2012.

Era 1: Start!
Atari VCS
Space Invaders
Donkey Kong
Pitfall II: Lost Caverns
Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator
Mattel Intellivision
Tron: Maze-Atron
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Star Strike

Era 2: 8-Bit
Commodore 64
The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate
Attack of the Mutant Camels
Sid Meier's Pirates!
Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
1943: The Battle of Midway
Desert Commander
Sega Master System
Marble Madness
Phantasy Star
After Burner
Spy vs. Spy

Era 3: Bitwars!
Sega Genesis
Earthworm Jim
Phantasy Star IV
Gunstar Heroes
Dune II: Battle for Arrakis
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Super Mario World
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Star Fox

Era 4: Transition
Doom II
Diablo II
Nintendo 64
Super Mario 64
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Goldeneye 007
Worms Armageddon
Sega Dreamcast
Sonic Adventure
Chu Chu Rocket!
Sega Saturn
Tomb Raider
Panzer Dragoon Saga
Panzer Dragoon II: Zwei
Sim City 2000
Sony PlayStation
Metal Gear Solid
Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy Tactics

Era 5: Next Generation
Microsoft Xbox
Halo 2
Panzer Dragoon Orta
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Microsoft Xbox 360
Mass Effect 2
Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II
Modern Windows
Fallout 3
Nintendo GameCube
Metroid Prime 2: Echos
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
Star Fox: Assault
Pikmin 2
Nintendo Wii
Super Mario Galaxy 2
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Boom Blox
Zack and Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Sony PlayStation 2
Shadow of the Colossus
Gradius V
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Sony PlayStation 3
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Heavy Rain
Brutal Legend

Additional Games (available for short play in exhibit, not included in vote)
Pac-Man (Arcade)
Super Mario Bros.
The Secret of Monkey Island
World of Warcraft

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