The Liberty Bell was the world’s first slot machine. Charles Fey created it in 1895 and it set the standard for the modern technology that governs these games today. The Fortune Coin Co. then went on to develop the first video-based slot in 1976. And the online version followed in 1994, running on software developed by Microgaming.
While there are thousands of different titles available to players today, only a handful can be said to have shaped the industry. In order to make this list, they need to have been innovative in some remarkable way, have broken records, and remain as popular and relevant as they ever were.
Blazing 7s by Bally Technologies
Blazing 7s is the oldest slot on this list and was introduced by Bally Technologies in the 1970s. It’s still being played today thanks to the Progressive Jackpot it features. It starts at just US$1 000, and it’s a $1-dollar machine. While this prize may not change your life, it certainly has the potential to brighten up your day, week, or even month!
Blazing 7s was one of the first of the quick-hit Progressives. So, whenever you’re enjoying a slot featuring this kind of prize today, you’ve got this 50+-year-old game to thank for its inspiration.
Cash Splash by Microgaming
While Microgaming launched the first-ever online casino platform in 1995, another three years would be needed for the invention of its first linked Progressive Jackpot game.
Cash Splash had already been released in a 3-rel format, but the 5-reel version added a Wild that helped to activate the games big prize. To win the Progressive Jackpot, you need to line up 5 Wilds on the 15th line.
Double Diamond by IGT
Double Diamond hit the internet in 1989 and has gone on to become a mainstay in the world of online slots. It’s available in 3-reel mechanical, 5-reel video, and online formats 30+ years on!
Double Diamond has a classic, sophisticated feel thanks to the diamond symbol multiplier which increases the payout of any winning spin by 2X. So, 2 bar symbols along with a double diamond will pay out double what 3 bar icons will. 1 bar symbol and 2 double diamonds will pay out 4X as much as 2 bars and a double diamond will and so on. Land 3 double diamonds and you’ll take home the top reward!
Gonzo’s Quest by NetEnt
Gonzo’s Quest was initially released in 2011 and debuted a brand-new idea when it did. Avalanche Reels had arrived, which saw any winning symbols being removed from the reels and getting replaced by whatever icons were sitting above them. In addition to this, there’s a multiplier attached to the prize which keeps increasing after every successive win.
All the biggest slots developers now feature their own version of the original Avalanche Reels in their games.
The Incredible Hulk by Playtech
The Incredible Hulk was released in the mid-2000s by Playtech as part of a bigger series of games they were developing with Marvel. Other titles include The Fantastic Four, Iron Man 2, and X-Men. This game features many paylines, an adrenaline-pumping Smash Bonus feature, and special expanding hulk icons.
But when Marvel was taken over by Disney, the family-friendly media conglomerate felt that slots weren’t an on-brand product, so this innovative series was brought to an end. Don’t be too sad about that though. Click this link to find tons of games that filled the void!
Jack and the Beanstalk by NetEnt
Although 3D slot games have been around for some time now, very few are as excellently designed as Jack and the Beanstalk by NetEnt. This fairy-tale-themed game features a flawless animated introductory film showing the hero trying to get out of the giant’s castle in the clouds, golden eggs in hand.
Jack and the Beanstalk was the first-ever slot feature Walking Wilds, special symbols that shift 1 reel to the left after every respin. It’s also been adapted into a trial virtual reality format, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in Jack’s magical landscape while you play.
Mega Moolah by Microgaming
While Microgaming’s Major Millions Progressive Jackpot slot has been in the news lately for the size of its prizes, Mega Moolah is light years ahead. It debuted in 2009, just after this producer marked its 400th slot release milestone and features a well-developed African theme along with a free spins bonus game. There are 4 separate prizes available for lucky players to win and it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest-ever online slot payout.
Thunderstruck by Microgaming
Thunderstruck is a slot release by Microgaming featuring a Norse mythology theme and part of a wider software upgrade by the developer. And despite it being successful enough to warrant a frequently played sequel, the beloved Thunderstruck II, players are still flocking to play the original, almost 20 years after its debut.
Players can land free spins by landing 3, 4, or 5 scatters and all wins during this feature are multiplied by 3X. Thor, the God of Thunder, is the wild icon and can stand in for all other symbols to get you the payout you need.
Tomb Raider by Microgaming
Tomb Raider was released in 2005 and stands as one of the earliest examples of a branded online slot. Microgaming developed the game alongside Eidos Interactive, the original makers of the original video game series.
While the technology at that time didn’t allow for any kind of skill-based bonus round based on the original game to be featured, the slot still shows us actual images of the heroine Lara Croft which was ground-breaking at the time.
Wheel of Fortune by IGT
Wheel of Fortunes is another IGT slot release that has remained as one of the world’s most popular slots for over 20 years now. It features sound and graphics from the TV game show it’s named after and you hear a lot of audio effects from it while you play. It’s a trendsetter that inspired wheel spin bonuses in many other titles.