The Top 7... Precursor Games

What can we learn about the future of gaming by looking at what's survived the past? We've picked out our seven favorite precursor games that sired some of today's most successful hits. Read on to find out what jump started GTA III, who the Big Daddy's father is, and how you just might be able to figure out Halo 3's ending before the game releases.

Marathon begat Halo

Dual-wielding pistols, integrated voice chat, King of the Hill, and a super soldier with way too many guns. No, we're not talking about Halo; we're talking about its father, the game that made Master Chief possible: Marathon.

Many of the Halo's defining features are actually re-hashed from Bungie's first big hit. Sure, Marathon's "Kill the Guy with the Ball" multiplayer mode doesn't have the same ring to it as Halo's "Oddball," but you get the idea.

Similarities between Marathon and Halo don't end there. Parallels between the plots of both titles are so strong that some fans have taken it upon themselves to speculate on how Halo 3 will end by looking back on the first three Marathon games.

If Marathon does wind up being the Halo Rosetta Stone speculators make it out to be, expect Master Chief to time travel to the past to save the future or bust through the space time continuum to patch things up in an alternate reality.

If you're hungry for more Halo 3 details, check out our exclusive interview with the first games journalist to beat and review the gamehere.

Above: Will Halo 3 end with some good old fashioned time traveling to the past to save the future? Only time will tell

Useless Facts:
- Halo was originally announced at the 1999 Macworld Expo. Microsoft later bought Bungie and repurposed Halo for release on the Xbox in 2001. PC and Mac gamers had to wait 2 years to get their hands on Master Chief in 2003.
- Expect a 40 point achievement titled "Marathon Man" for those who find all the terminals in Halo 3's single player campaign. In Marathon terminals provided mission details and backstory.
- It's hinted that Master Chief is the last remnant of an elite military battalion, the Spartans, while the unnamed protagonist in Marathon seems to be the last survivor of the Mjolnir.
- Both Halo and Marathon feature memorable missions that require you to defend a space cruiser under siege.
- Both Halo's Forerunners and Marathon's Jjarro are technologically advanced races that have mysteriously disappeared.