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Top 3 Video Games That Defined the 1980s

A common myth in the gaming community is that the '70s were the golden age of video gaming, but most avid gamers know that this came in the '80s. The 1980s was when the Nintendo Entertainment System and Nintendo Gamy Boy were released to the market. This decade also featured some of the best arcade games in gaming history. Sequels of the more popular ones continued to be released decades later. 

When video games first became popular in the 70s, people who enjoyed traditional casino games and popular competitive sports had another avenue for entertainment besides playing craps and making NFL picks against the spread. While tens of fan favorites were released, here are three of the best '80s video games.

1. Tetris (1984)

As a true gaming veteran, you have probably picked up a version of Tetris. It is perhaps the most accessible one on this list, and it comes in consoles, arcades, and, most popularly, the Gameboy. Since its release in 1984, diehard fans have matched and moved falling blocks non-stop, which isn't likely to change anytime soon.


In about 38 years since the first version came out, the initial formula has been revised several times, and the developer has also released sequels. Tetris is well-enjoyed worldwide.

2. Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

As the name suggests, this video game was the third Super Mario video game series. Released in 1988 in Japan and in 1990 in North America, it was a perfected version of the original Super Mario Bros. The third series had new puzzles, powerups, enemies, and worlds, and by releasing Super Mario Bros 3, Nintendo made a daring new entry into the already thriving market.

In addition to typical threats like Goombas and Koopas, Mario also had to go up against Boomerang Bros, Koopalings, and other hazards in the third version of the game to save the kingdom. Many consider this a must-own for their NES, and it is one of Mario's greatest adventures.

3. Pac-Man (1980)

Toru Iwatani designed the famous Pac-Man game as a solution to the era's prevalent shooters. The four adorable ghosts and a sentient mouth replaced the more mainstream aliens and spaceships. Everything about Pac-Man is iconic, from its brilliant Kawaii characters to its pill-littered maze and, finally, the world-renowned "waka waka" sound effects.

Pac-Man will always be a global symbol of the love of video games as this arcade star has spawned numerous sequels and a merch gold rush.

Take away

Many video game collectors have at least one of these three video games in their selection. The value of vintage games is so high that original versions sell for hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you are just getting into video gaming or want something different from the modern scene, look into these three, and you won't ever look back!

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