Top 20 80s Arcade Games

Today, games are now accessible on many devices and platform. Whether you have a phone, a console or a personal computer.  Today people also use custom controllers,  Fightsticks or even customized personal gaming computers. You can even talk with your friends while you play the game all thanks to technology and the internet. But that wasn’t’ the case back in the 80’s. You had to buy a console or go to an arcade just to enjoy and pass the time while playing Super Mario or Pac Man. Many of those classic games live on in our memories of great days playing video games. And if you are looking for a safe platform where you can play solitaire online, visit Solitaire Masters.

You could be a retro video game buyer or you might just have started to get into retro gaming whatever your reason for visiting us, welcome. 8Bitbeyond has a range of early games and consoles from the 8-bit Mastersystem (region free) through to newer systems like Nintendo Wii u PSX Xbox 1 handheld devices galore! Whatever takes your fancy they’ve got it there at 8bit beyond with something new arriving every day so if there’s an old favorite system missing in our collection chances are good that will soon become part of ours too because as they say “everything must go”.

We made this top 20 list of 80’s video games that set the bar and started the trend. Most of them still exist today but they have been upgraded and you can play them through your phone. So take a seat, and read along. We’re going to take you on a trip down memory lane.  

1. Super Mario Brothers

Super Mario Brothers

This game that was created and published by Nintendo was the follow up for their 1983 arcade game, Mario Bros. This was first released in Japan in 1985 at the Famicom. Then it was later introduced in Europe for Nintendo Entertainment System at 1987. This game was always named as the greatest video games of all time and the bestselling games of all time because it has sold over 40 million physical copies worldwide.

2. Galaga


This Japanese arcade game was published by Namco in 1981. This was the sequel to the 1979 game Galaxia. Galaga’s gameplay is to score as many points as you can while you’re in control of a spacecraft that is on the bottom of the screen. All you have to do is fight off enemy aliens that comes in groups in a formation. This video game is one of the most commercially successful games in the 80s and has had several sequels. Today, you can download an app of this game named Galaga 30th Collection for iOS.

3. Ms. Pac Man

Ms. Pac Man

This arcade video game was released in 1982 as a sequel for the original Pac Man. It was almost identical to the Pac Man game but it has, of course,  a female version of Pac Man with a little red bow. There were certain levels that shows Pac Man and Ms. Pac Man’s relationship. This became one of the most successful American produced game in 1982 with over 115,000 arcade cabinets sold.

4. Q*bert

Q Bert

Q*bert was published and created by Gottlieb, an American arcade game corporation, in 1982. Your goal is to hop from one cube to another and change the color of every pyramid without falling off or getting caught by the bad guys. One of it’s popular antics was whenever Q*bert was caught by the enemy, a dialogue bubble shows up with “@!?%@!” that represents swearing. This video game was one of Gottlieb’s successful games that’s why it has resulted into several sequels and different merchandise such as toys, lunch box appearances and even an animated TV show. This game was even featured in a Disney movie entitled “Wreck it Ralph” in 2012.

5. Tron


Tron was based on a Disney Film of the same title that was released in 1892. It has four different subgames that includes tanks, spiders, cycles, and a “breakout” style wall that was inspired by the events of the said movie.

6. Burgertime


This 1982 arcade game features Chef Pepper who walks over hamburger ingredients and layers of sandwich to create hamburgers while avoiding enemies such as the hot dog, egg and pickles. Peter Pepper is lost if he gets run over or trapped by an enemy.

7. Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong

This 1981 game follows the adventure of an ape-like lead named Donkey Kong. It has two different genres and a spin-off titles. Donkey Kong was first seen as an antagonist but later on he was turned into a protagonist on the game Donkey Kong Jr.. This game has a total of 30 sequels until 2015. Characters in Donkey Kong even appeared in Super Smash Bros, and Mario Kart series.

8. Pac Man

Pac Man

Considered as one of the famous and iconic video game of all time, Pac Man was released in Japan with the title spelled as Puck Man in 1980. When it was widely released, its title was changed to Pac Man. This game is so popular that Pac Man derivatives was made, such as Pac and Pal, Ms. Pac Man, Pac- Land, Baby Pac Man and many more. Its merchandise showed success too. Pac Man also had an animated television series and a hit song by Buckner and Garcia entitled “Pac Man Fever.” This truly created a new genre for arcade games.

9. Star Wars

Star Wars

This Star Wars game was released in 1983 and it is based on the original Star Wars movie. In this first person space combat game, you will control Luke Skywalker’s X-wing fighter through different levels. Unlike other games, this does not require you to fight every enemy to get to the next level instead, you will have to survive a certain length of time. This game was hailed as one of the greates video games of all time.

10. Pole Position

Pole Position

This arcade racing video game was released in 1982 by Namco. This was the most popular arcade game in 1983 because you can actually play it with a steering wheel complete with a gear shifter for high and low gears. This became the highest grossing arcade game in 1983 because it had sold over 21,000 arcade machine.

11. Zaxxon


This isometric arcade game was released in 1982 that features a space craft that flies through a fortress was released by Sega. It is the first video game that was advertised on television. In order to play this game, you will have to control a spaceship and hit as many targets as you can without running out of fuel or being shot down. At the end of the game, you will have to battle the boss Zaxxon robot.

12. Frogger


This 1981 arcade game was released and developed by Konami. All you have to do in order to win this game is to lead the frogs on their way home by having them cross a busy road and rivers that is full of threats. Frogger was one of the popular game in the 1980s. This game reportedly sold 20 million copies worldwide. This game was also famous in other pop culture like television shoes and music. It also set the bars in the video game world.

13. Defender

This game was probably one of the most difficult games in the 80’s. The objective of this game is you must defeat waves of aliens in an unnamed planet while you’re protecting astronauts. What makes this more difficult is you need to play with a joystick and five other buttons and fast because you will lose. This game is one of the best selling arcade games in the golden age. Selling almost 55,000 units.

14. Mario Bros

Mario Bros

This arcade game is created and developed by Nintendo in 1983. This game follows the adventures of the Italian-American plumber named Mario and his brother Luigi as they defeat different kinds of creatures that comes out from the sewers.

15. Donkey Kong Jr

Donkey Kong Jr

This game was one of the many sequels to the Donkey Kong series that was released in 1982. In this game, you will have to control Donkey Kong Junior in order for him to save his dad from Mario who is guarding Donkey Kong’s cage.

16. Xevious


This vertical scrolling game that was released in 1982 lets you control an aircraft so you could shoot and drop bombs. You will be fought by different aerial enemy that fires slow moving bullets at you. This game was created and released by Atari, Inc.

17. Centipede


This game uses a roller ball to control the game as you fight off spiders, centipedes, fleas, and scorpions in order to complete a level. This game was considered as one of the most commercially successful games in the 80’s.

18. Tempest


Tempest was one of the very first arcade games in the 1980s. You will have to control a claw shaped spaceship that moves the edge of the playing field. This was one of the first video games that features a progressive level design that gives you different layout on each level.

19. Rampage


This 1986 game allows the players to take control of enormous monsters that is being pursued by the military forces while they climb and destroy the buildings and eats people, taxis, boats and police cars. This game allows three players to play at the same time.

20. Dragons Lair

Dragon’s Lair

This video game was made by Cinematronics in 1983. It follows the adventures of Dirk the Knight who is trying to rescue a princess from an evil dragon. Dragon’s Lair was successful that it had several sequels, and home ports. It is one of the three video games that is stored at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C.

These are the top 20 video games in the 80’s. Which of these would you want play again?