First strategy game: Civilization
First RTS: Dune
First adventure: King's quest or Monkey Island
First FPS: Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake
Funny thing is, these aren't the first ones. They are the first to hit it big time and enter the history. One entry is missing:
First MMORPG: EQ, World of Warcraft
In some cases, descendants from those games outlived the originals. Command and conquer and Warcraft are legacy of Dune. Adventure genre died, and never produced anything above the Sierra and LA series. Unreal and Half-life are the descendants of the ID era, but they don't show anything new as such. Just better graphics and a few more weapon tricks.
So, what's the next genre?
This is also, why the UO/SWG sandbox design is a thing of the history. All descendants of those games shared one common trait. Exactly the same gameplay.
There were alternatives to Civilization style, but only titles that survived were the clones, most notably the Microprose series: Master of ... . There were other FPS out there, but only the Quake and Unreal engines were the contendants. They defined the WASD concept. Just about all adventures shared the hybrid Sierra/LA interface and gameplay. Dreamweb was a notable exception.
And WoW. It's glorified EQ.
RIP SWG. The MMORPG as it existed is over. Now we need to wait for the next one to come around.
Just some food for thought.