1. Super Mario 64
Explore Princess Peach’s castle to rescue her from Bowser. The castle acts as a hub world that from here different areas can be challenged by jumping through paintings on the walls. It gave focus to the exploration of the worlds to complete multiple missions within an area, but still with some linear area of play. Taking a Wing Cap and then flying over an area was a great way to explore and even helpful in finding Stars to gather. When finding Power Stars, it unlocks the next area to explore. But that doesn’t mean the previous is out of things to do and find.
This game became an early pioneer for 3D and open world gaming. Highly regarded to be one of the greatest and most influential games of all time. The camera system that allows for being to move freely of the character was first implemented in this title and standard going forward. The first of many to transition their 2D style graphics into a 3D model. Many designers have said to use this game as inspiration for their own 3D game titles. This includes makers of Grand Theft Auto series and Kingdom Hearts.