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 / Updated  / Source: NBC News

Mario defeated Bowser and saved the princess. His next challenge? Defeating "Angry Birds," "Pac-Man" and other classic titles vying to enter the World Video Game Hall of Fame.

This week, The Strong museum in Rochester, New York, announced the 15 finalists for its inaugural hall of fame class. Only five to seven of them will be voted in by an international panel of judges. Other candidates include "Doom," "The Legend of Zelda," "Minecraft" and "Tetris." (See the complete list here.) Each will be judged on its cultural influence, longevity and geographical reach.

"Whether it’s the groundbreaking game 'Pong' or a more recent viral sensation like 'Minecraft,' all of these games have helped shape the way that people across the globe play and relate to one another," Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games, said in a statement.

The winners get an extra life as part of a permanent exhibition at The Strong, which houses an extensive Barbie collection, pinball machines going back to the 1930s, and a large archive of early sketches and notes connected to everything from Atari games to "Dungeons & Dragons." The entrants to the World Video Game Hall of Fame will be announced in early June.



— Keith Wagstaff