Populous

Peter Molyneux - has gone on to be one of the UK's most important gaming figures
Peter Molyneux - has gone on to be one of the UK's most important gaming figures

Peter Molyneux's Populous "injected a new genre at a time when there was little else new" recalls TIGA's Richard Wilson.

"The true progenitor of the god game genre and a major influence on every strategy series since," adds computerandvideogames.com's John Houlihan

"Who could resist the lure of smiting as a virtual Almighty and raising volcanoes right underneath your opponent's heartland? One of Peter Molyneux's finest hours."

Dizzy

Codemasters' Dizzy, the genius creation of bedroom coding brothers the Oliver twins, is one of the greatest and most original platformers of the 1980s Britsoft boom era.

The character took his name from the gravity-defying somersaults and rolls players would execute around the game's fairytale-inspired landscape.

"We never cease to be amazed by how much love there still is for Dizzy after all these years. We worked incredibly long hours in those days but loved every minute of it and we're still really proud of the Dizzy series and the place he still has in the affections of so many gamers," said Philip & Andrew Oliver, Co-Founders of Blitz Games Studios and creators of Dizzy, when we informed them one of their very first games had made it onto our shortlist.

Conker's Bad Fur Day

Sweary fun from Rare, with the studio's final title for the N64 the result of four-years' painstaking development.

Conker the Squirrel was a heavy-drinking, foul-mouthed videogame anti-hero desperately trying to stumble home to his long-suffering girlfriend.

We like to think of Conker as the videogame version of Frank Gallagher from Shameless. If Frank was a squirrel, that is). He is one of the most memorable characters in Britsoft history, the likes of which we will unfortunately never see again.

Originally intended as a family game (?!) Conker's Bad Fur Day still fetches upwards of £100 on eBay, so if you still (somehow) have a decent quality original copy tucked away in a bottom drawer somewhere, you're in luck!

Clever, funny and defiantly low-brow, in a South Park kinda way. We want to get our N64 back from the lucky young boy that bought it off us at that car boot in 2004 now…

Driver

A true Britsoft classic to top off our definitive top 20. Driver may have been inspired by the early top-down perspective GTAs, but it built the explorable 3D city before Grand Theft Auto III arrived two years later.

"While we considered racing titles such as Destruction Derby and even Blur - which brought down Bizarre Creations despite being a highly decent racer – Reflections' Driver was just a blistering play that evoked the car chase films of the 1960s and 1970s," says TIGA's Richard Wilson.

Fable - should it have made the list?
Fable - should it have made the list?

Conclusions, in-fights and thankless, Herculean tasks

There are clearly many, many important and/or great games that have come out of Britain but these listed above represent those which set the standard.

"It's really only since I became a community manager that I realised what a massive impact certain British brands have had and still have on people and how culturally important they are to us." says Mark Baldwin, Community Manager at New Star Games.

There are so many others worthy of mention in terms of technology, design, art, fun or commercial success that we simply could not include them in the above list. Once you scratch the surface, you start arguing (with yourself, as much as with other hardened gaming vets) that the list really should have included Jetpac, Knight Lore, Deus Ex Machina, Star Fox, Blast Corps, Runescape, Chaos Engine, Rainbow Islands, LEGO Star Wars, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Fable, F1 Grand Prix, Xenon 2, Broken Sword, Micro Machines, Cannon Fodder, Dizzy, Batman: Arkham Asylum

And then you gradually realise that list-making is a thankless, Herculean task!