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There seems to be no end to the Animal Crossing series’ success, with New Horizons recently receiving a BAFTA nomination and becoming Europe’s fastest-selling game in history. This time, it’s the game that started it all that’s gaining some recognition, with the original Animal Crossing a 2021 finalist for the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

The Strong is one of the largest history museums in the United States, dedicated to “the history and exploration of play.” It holds the World Video Game Hall of Fame event each year in order to recognize games that have had the biggest impact and influence over popular culture and society.

On the 2021 finalists page, the Animal Crossing entry reads:


Nintendo’s Animal Crossing debuted in 2001 and found mass appeal with its open-ended social simulation and leisurely gameplay. Players took on the role of a human moving into a village filled with anthropomorphic animals. The game had no specific objective, giving players the freedom to complete activities and collect objects as they liked. The mellow gameplay proved a success with casual and advanced gamers alike, and it bred numerous sequels. The game’s latest installment for the Nintendo Switch proved a huge hit during the pandemic isolation of 2020, breaking the record for the most digital downloads of a console game in a single month (31 million worldwide).


Here is the full list of 2021’s finalists:

  • Animal Crossing
  • Call of Duty
  • FarmVille
  • FIFA International Soccer
  • Guitar Hero
  • Mattel Football
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Pole Position
  • Portal
  • StarCraft
  • Tron
  • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?


The winning titles will be announced at The Strong museum on Thursday, May 6th at 7:30 a.m. PT | 10:30 a.m. ET.

A number of Nintendo games have made it into the museum over the years, including Super Mario Bros. in 2015, The Legend of Zelda in 2016, and Donkey Kong and Pokémon Red and Green in 2017, and Super Mario Kart in 2019.


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Written by Reece Heather

A lifelong Nintendo fan and a longtime editor at Zelda Universe, Reece will forever be grateful that he somehow dodged the Naughty List of Christmas 1998, when Santa delivered the life-changing gift of a Nintendo 64 with Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and Mario Kart 64. When he's not playing games, Reece is usually reading Punisher comics, delving helplessly into the weirdest depths of anime and manga, or spending time with his cocker spaniel Gracie -- the goodest girl ever!