Top 10 Blasts from the Past!

September 23rd, 2020 | Blog

What better way to start off a fresh blog site than to dive into the past where video games first started to gain traction? This post is for those who remember playing these games as kids, or for those retro-inspired millennials that can’t get enough of these pixelated gems. Regardless of which category you fall into, you’ve probably heard of these titles. Here are the top ten video game titles of the 1980’s!

10. Galaga (1981)

Galaga was known for it’s innovative use of using obscure enemy movement to create the challenging task of eliminating enemy ships. It was so popular that it retained its position in arcades for four years following its release in 1981. Even now, almost 40 years after its release, there are still tournaments held for Galaga. In fact, there was recently a new world record winner for the game in 2019. The newly crowned Galaga King goes by the name of Armando Gonzales and was able to achieve an astonishing 17,684,050 points in his attempt to shatter the previous record of 15,999,990 points set by Stephen Krogman in June of 1989.

9. Contra (1987)

This fast paced, side scrolling, shoot-first-ask-questions-later platformer was originally released as an arcade game. However, due to its popularity, the title was quickly made compatible with the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1988, bringing this action-packed game to homes across the US. By the end of 1996, Contra had sold an incredible four million units worldwide. If you’re looking to run and gun like a true commando, this game is one you should definitely give a try.

8. Duck Hunt (1984)

Have you ever wanted to go hunting but either didn’t know how to shoot a gun or simply didn’t want to kill something for sport? Well, there’s a game for that, and the only thing that might get hurt is your confidence. This seemingly easy game was one of the first “rage-inducing” games of the 1980’s, as the goal of the game was to shoot ducks as your trusty side kick gets them to fly in the air. The kicker? The flight patterns of the ducks were so wonky that even veterans of the game still had trouble predicting them. Not to mention, if you fail to hit any of the targets, your dog promptly laughs at you (the player). As if your failure in the game wasn’t enough.

7. Pac-Man (1980)

If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that you and everyone else in the world has heard of Pac-Man. What started off as an arcade game, blew up into what is now known as the best Atari 7600 game to have ever existed. This yellow man and his not-so-friendly ghost pals were able to sell a total of seven billion units, making it the best-selling game of its time. Despite critics claiming that the game possessed poor visual and audio quality, the game was widely successful. Even today, there have been movies and games made in memory of this masterpiece. A timeless gem that has seemingly kept its flair 40 years after its release.

6. Super Mario Bros (1985)

Whenever there is a list of the best games from this time period, Super Mario Bros can’t be left out. The success of this game still reverberates today, as there have been countless Super Mario games made since this timeless masterpiece came to fruition. The most recent title in the series being Super Mario Odyssey, where the player gets to explore an entire world with one of the most popular characters in gaming history. The hard part is deciding which games are better: the oldies or the countless titles made afterward? (Let me know what you think in the comments, which is your favorite Super Mario title, old or new?)

5. Street Fighter (1987)

Ah, Street Fighter. The original punch-’em-in-the-mouth title from Capcom that featured characters from all across the world. This was actually a technique used by the developers to help users connect to the game more. Surprisingly enough, their intended efforts payed off as the title skyrocketed in sales, selling 45.88 million software units, 500,000 coin-operated units, and 300,000 arcade units to date. Some say that this was not only the first title to feature player vs. player competition, but the best of its kind; even today. Street Fighter is still making games, so while you may miss out on the nostalgia that the 1987 version has to offer, you’re still in luck to experience these fighters in modern day graphics (which are quite amazing).

4. Donkey Kong (1981)

Now, you may be asking yourself, “is that Mario?”. And the answer is, yes… and no. This title was made before Mario was created, and was actually the inspiration behind what the main character of Super Mario bros would look like. The same can be said about Princess Peach and Donkey Kong. You may remember Donkey Kong in a different way, as one of the games he’s featured in contains its own world and levels. While this game was more of a precursor to Mario and later Nintendo titles than anything in retrospect, it was still a major hit when it was introduced to arcades during the 80’s.

3. Tetris (1984)

While this game may not look like much, it is one of the most addicting and methodical games ever produced. This title had players glued to their screens trying to memorize patterns in shape disbursement. As many other titles, this game held tournaments shortly after its release, usually granting a monetary prize to those who were crowned champion. While Tetris hasn’t made any huge movements in modern day society, tournaments are still held for the game. The craziest part? They still feature the 1984 version in most tournaments. The most previous winner of the Tetris tournament was Joseph Saelee, who won in 2018 and 2019, beating the previous tournament winner (2017) twice in two consecutive years.

2. The Legend of Zelda (1986)

Fun Fact: Zelda is the princess that you have to save in the game, whereas Link is the name of the character that you actually play as in the game. Sadly, to this day people still mistake Zelda for Link, which may have hurt his ability to be remembered as well as he could have been. Regardless, he was such a hit in 1986, that Nintendo made a sequel a year later for fans that couldn’t get enough of the sword and shield wielding bad ass that Link is. Since then, Nintendo would continuously make Zelda games (as they did with most of their successful titles, such as Super Mario Bros and Donkey Kong). Today, Link sits at the number 3 spot for the best video game character ever created.

1. Super Mario Bros 3

Perhaps the best Super Mario Bros title to be made to date, even considering all of the other titles Nintendo featured Mario within in the years since this masterpiece was created. There isn’t a dull moment in this game. From spinning hammers being thrown at you, to Bowser’s minions attacking you, to defeating bosses along the way, the game was a nonstop, action-packed adventure you never wanted to end. This game was the first time Mario gained the ability to fly, creating a society of dedicated gamers that would try to find ways to fly through maps. Even today, there are speed runners that try to beat the game as quickly as possible. But me, personally, I take my time on this title as I feel it is an experience worth savoring.

That’s the top 10 games of the 1980’s! Didn’t see a title you were sure would make the list? Let me know. Feel free to drop your favorite 80’s nostalgic titles in the comments below, as well!


One Response to “Top 10 Blasts from the Past!”

  1. I have visited your blog daily. I like to read this kind of stuff and information. Thanks for sharing such a great blog.

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