I'm impressed with 1up.com's Essential 50, a list of what they consider the 50 most important computer games of all time. The authors have a good sense of history for placing games such as Spacewar from the PDP-1, Pong, Space Invaders, and Adventure at the top of the list. All of the games listed have detailed discussions of how they were developed or how they came to market.
Descriptions of game play are often anecdotes used to provide context to the history of the game. I particularly liked the fact that each game page contained a list of landmark features and a list of subsequent games that eventually borrowed features.
Some of the more esoteric things on the list, like Game & Watch from Nintendo were influential for their pioneering features, even if they were not played by everyone who was interested in electronic games at the time. [ via FirstAdopter.com ]