5 Influential 1980s Films That Have Impacted The Video Gaming Industry

The '80s was a time of great innovation and technological advancement. This period saw the rise of personal computers, video games, and the birth of the internet. The video gaming industry was just starting to grow and many games released were inspired by popular 1980s movies. Some were better than other but are some of the most popular movies from this decade that have inspired video games!

The Terminator

The Terminator film was released in 1984 and featured an original story created by James Cameron and Gle Anne Hurd. The plot follows a cyborg named Sarah Connor who must escape from a lab where she has been held captive by an evil corporation known as Skynet. Skynet is an artificial intelligence network that has created sentinels, which are robots designed to destroy humans. It took awhile for the video game industry to see the potential of Terminator inspired games as the first was not released until 1991. Some of the best Terminator games included versions for DOS, Sega, Nintendo, and a shoot 'em up mobile game. Arcade and pinballs games based on the franchise remain popular to this day and  games released for the second film ‘Judgement Day’ were as popular as the original.

Rambo: First Blood Part II

The 1985 film Rambo: First Blood Part II was the second film instalment featuring Sylvester Stallone's character, John Rambo. The game, released in 1985, was rebranded form the Japanes game Ashura for computers and then by Sega for their Master System console. The video game is similar in overhead shooting style as Commando and Heavy Barrel. Inspired by the movie, Rambo has to escape from a military base using various weapons, such as knives, machine guns and grenades, to fight your way through the levels. The Sega Master System game has some variants from the computer game with the weaponry initially available to players.

The Goonies

The Goonies is a 1985 adventure film directed by Richard Donner. The film follows a group of kids who go on an expedition to find a legendary pirate treasure. The Goonies was one of the most popular films of the 1980s and even inspired several games such as slot titles from leovegas.com/en-gb/slots and more. Several awesome games were produced in inspiration of this iconic movie which include the 1986 sequel Goonies II. In this video game, players take control of Mikey who attempts to rescue the other seven Goonies on a treasure hunt adventure.


Ghostbusters is a horror comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis and was released in the United States on June 8, 1984. The film follows four men who start a ghost-catcher business in New York City. After the release of the movie, a video game was produced for computers and home consoles. In the game, the player must stock up on ghostbusting equipment and make enough money to complete their objectives. Computer ports even provided a code was that allowed players to start a new game with the amount of money accumulated at the end of the previous game. Ghostbusters has been such an influential film, that the jumpsuits remain as some of the best 80s costumes to wear for Halloween.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Another 80s fan favorite is Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Produced in 1983, the film continues to be one of the most popular franchises in movie history, and the games produced in inspiration of the movie are loved just as much. Just one example of a popular Star Wars game is ‘Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle’ where players aim to destroy the second Death Star. The game is split up into two sections of action packed fun and the difficulty increases throughout. The game is just one in the legacy of Star Wars inspired games which have continued through the modern day with Knights of the Old Republic and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga being just two popular examples that players around the world enjoy.

What are some of your favorite video games based on 1980s movies?

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