10 Best Video Games in the '80s

The 1980s were the video game industry's golden age for many people worldwide. Video games experienced an uphill battle in the 1980s. The first year of the decade saw a "video game crash," with sales reaching a peak of about $3.2 billion in 1983 and then falling to about $100 million by 1985.

The 1980s produced some of the best arcade fishing casino games ever created, and many of them are still producing sequels today. The 10 games on this list are among the most significant ever produced, not only shaping the 1980s but also helping to establish the video game industry.

Top 10 Best Video Games in the '80s

As we all know there are countless of titles today to occupy our time including free pokie games. The most popular video games are titles like CS:GO, Dota 2, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and League of Legends. Those games are mostly either FPS, Battle Royale, or MOBA games. But in the ‘80s, Battle Royale and MOBA didn’t even exist. Back then, video games were a little different, mostly arcade games. So, let’s check out which are the top picks for the best video games from the 1980s:

Contra (1987)

Contra, the first "git-gud" game, introduced to home consoles the action from 1980s films like Rambo and Predator. Players engaged in gunfire on a dangerous island against an army of mutant soldiers and an alien threat while armed with various powerups and weapons.

Contra pitted the player(s) against the villainous "Red Falcon Organization," which is about as gung-ho as video games can get. Contra, which also has one of the best videogame soundtracks in history, became a mainstay in any gamer's collection in 1987 because there weren't many cooperative experiences available then.

The Legend of Zelda (1986)

Mario wasn't the only incredibly well-known Nintendo character to emerge throughout this decade. The Legend of Zelda series has been so enormously successful since its debut, both commercially and critically, that it has joined the portly Italian plumber as a household name.

The Legend of Zelda, a game released in 1986, was innovative in its gameplay and technology. It was inspired by Shigeru Miyamoto's early exploration of forests and caves.

Defender (1980)

Defender was one of the most difficult video games ever at its release. It could only be controlled with a joystick and five buttons. The defender was a challenging experience for many gamers when it first came out.

The fact that it was one of the most significant arcade games ever released has since been acknowledged. Players can maneuver it across a rocky terrain by changing the elevation and orientation of a spaceship while shooting weapons.

Donkey Kong (1981)

When Donkey Kong was released in 1981, it gained popularity very quickly. Nintendo also gained popularity in the United States as a result of this game.

Donkey Kong introduced a new era of gaming at a time when video games had never been so popular. Players had to jump over moving obstacles and climb ladders to save the princess from evil Kong. Shigeru Miyamoto, a gaming industry legend, created Donkey Kong, a keystone in gaming history.

SimCity (1989)

SimCity, which was first released at the end of the decade, is credited with creating an entire genre. In particular, SimCity offered a game that, in theory, could never end, with the city getting more optimized.

Many players found the sheer volume of options in the game's first incarnation to be, at times, overwhelming, especially since each choice they made affected the little citizens of their virtual city. Most importantly, it demonstrated that not all video games had to revolve around monsters or alien invaders.

Pac-Man (1980)

Most children born in the 1980s can instantly recognize Pac-Man on their own. The video game that has required the most quarters and has become a cult classic is Pac-Man, the original Maze Runner. Its reputation has surely only improved with the introduction of home consoles and more contemporary methods to play.

Every new generation of gamers has only served to whet the appetite of the dot-muncher, who has been eluding Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde for years. Whether on a home console or in a cabinet, no arcade enthusiast should miss the chance to play a few entertaining games of this iconic game.

Duck Hunt 1984

Duck Hunt enjoyed tremendous financial success with its 1984 release for the arcade and 1985 release for the NES. The game became famous for a non-playable dog that appears in the background, in addition to its appealing gameplay.

Every time the player misses a duck on the screen, the dog appears from the tall grass and smugly chuckles at the player. Due to its notoriety, the dog remains a prominent referenceable figure in gaming, appearing in many Nintendo games as both a playable character and a cameo.

Prince of Persia (1989)

The Sands of Time in 2003 marked the start of the franchise's 3D editions, but it all started with this straightforward game back in 1989. Players assume the prince's role in this game as he travels through perilous tombs and dungeons in antiquity.

In the original game, visual clues were provided to players to help them time their jumps. Motion capture techniques were used for the first time to animate the sprites in this game, giving them a more fluid and lifelike motion.

Super Mario Bros. (1985)

This is unquestionably among the most important video games ever produced. This game pioneered many features that are now standard in the gaming business. One of the factors for its popularity was the ease with which the controls could be used, and of course, who could forget the iconic characters as well.

Although it wasn't the first game to have Mario as the main character, it was the one that forever changed the platform genre. Since 1985, playing through the Mushroom Kingdom has become a cherished gaming ritual, and the plumber's career has only grown.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

The Super Mario series is mentioned again for a purpose. Super Mario Bros. 3 improved the platformer genre's formula, which the first Super Mario Bros initially developed.

With the addition of new worlds, enemies, puzzles, and powerups, Nintendo produced a snappy and difficult entry in their already popular series.

Mario had to deal with various new dangers in addition to the usual Koopas and Goombas to preserve the kingdom, including Koopalings and the Boomerang Bros.


Our top choices are for the best video games set in the 1980s. These video games set the bar for a period that would produce a multi-billion-dollar industry and change kids' childhoods worldwide.

Image courtesy Depositphotos

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