40 years ago, Donkey Kong debuted and the world of video games changed. We’re celebrating the anniversary by looking at the imprint Shigeru Miyamoto has left on the industry. What does Miyamoto mean to you? What are your favorite Shigeru Miyamoto games?
To me, Miyamoto was at his best when instilling a sense of childlike wonder. There are some later projects, like Pikmin, that maintain this spirit! But in his earlier, more hands-on phase of his career, he developed and refined these ideas in The Legend of Zelda. He’s well-known for being in his head and thinking about design in ways that feel detached from the usual process. Zelda‘s commitment to an emotion was something we didn’t really see that often in games of the 1980s, but it’s all too common now. That’s, at least in part, Miyamoto’s doing. — Graham
Shigeru Miyamoto has been around for so long and has been such a foundational influence on games everywhere. So much that it’s actually hard to just pick which game is your favorite! You can feel the sheer gravity of his influence in games far beyond the list of his formal credits.
That said, I think my pick is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars on the SNES. Though the game was in large part developed by Square (then known to me as “the people who made Final Fantasy III and that Secret of Mana game I didn’t like”), playing it opened me up to the sheer potential of what you could do with existing characters. Never before would I have imagined Mario and Bowser working together with Peach and others to fight turn-based battles. Super Mario RPG took up many of my gaming “firsts”: First time completing an RPG, first time playing a game with a strategy guide, first time “100%”-ing a game, and so on. — Josh
Without Shigeru Miyamoto we probably wouldn’t have Chibi-Robo, so naturally that makes it my favorite of his games. The original GameCube game happened after he got involved, after all. And I think it is a testament to how much he does to help make games that might not be his original creations happen. His influence could help make Nintendo’s catalog stronger. — Jenni