IDG Answers is a community of experts who are passionate about technology. Ask a question or answer one below.
Hi, so given the broad nature of the question you could really point out several games but I will point out just a few :)
1. Super Mario Brothers- started a lasting legacy and established Nintendo as a super giant thus propelling the gaming console into the big market
2. Final Fantasy- set the stage for role playing games and continued to garner unending success in the RPG community
3. Legend of Zelda- May not have been the first action adventure game, but it certainly was one of the best. The Iconic game set the standard for others to follow
4. Grand Theft Auto: Another action game that expanded more in the realm of driving games in a non racing platform
5. Civilization: Revolutionary real time strategy that set the stage for numerous games including Warcraft, Starcraft, Age of Empires, and CnC.
6. Everquest (not the first MMO by a longshot) continued production of expansion packs demonstrated the plausibility to capitalize on the masses
7: Call of Duty/SOCOM 1: Lots of shooters have been made over the course of video games but Call of Duty set the standard for FPS gameplay and SOCOM 1 set the standard for VOIP communication in conjunction with interactive commands issued to AI within the game. SOCOM 3 implemented what I believe was the first introduction of interactive vehicles into the game on the PS2.
8: Madden NFL nothing is more iconic in the world of sports than Madden NFL football. Do you remember the All-Madden teams?
As I said in the beginning, the scope of your question is huge in regards to what each game contributed to the gaming community. Most games were built on those that came before them and made improvements where people saw fit but each contributed in its own unique way.