One of the most important video games ever released, StarCraft‘s enduring legacy can be summed up in three letters: MLG. As in “major league gaming,” or just “eSports,” a form of competitive video game play so serious in South Korea that the best players can earn more than comfortable livings just playing the game (to date, the game accounts for millions in prize money).
Storming the real-time strategy scene when it arrived in 1998, StarCraft turned the genre upside down with its inclusion of a third faction (most RTS games up to that point had employed just two). Like most Blizzard games, StarCraft was less about rolling out wildly new RTS mechanics than honing the traditional rock-paper-scissors dynamic to perfection. That, its ferociously competitive multiplayer and its broadly appealing multi-part story (three unique campaigns, to say nothing of the expansion packs) explain the game’s record sales — 11 million to date, and the fourth bestselling PC game of all time.