From Pixels to Perfection: The Top 10 Retro Video Games That Shaped the Industry

From Pixels to Perfection: The Top 10 Retro Video Games That Shaped the Industry

Posted by Dave M on

Are you ready to embark on a nostalgic journey through the golden age of gaming? Join us as we dive into the world of retro video games, where pixels ruled and imagination soared. In this blog post, we'll be looking at the top 10 games that not only defined an era but also left an indelible mark on the entire gaming industry. From thrilling adventures to mind-bending puzzles, these masterpieces will transport you back in time and remind you why classic never goes out of style. So grab your joystick or controller and get ready for a trip down memory lane - from pixels to perfection!

- Pac Man

When most people think of classic video games, Pac-Man is usually one of the first to come to mind. The little yellow dot-muncher has been a gaming icon since his 1980 debut, and his impact on the industry is still felt today.

Pac-Man was revolutionary for a number of reasons. Most notably, he was one of the first characters in a video game to have an actual personality. He wasn’t just a blocky sprite moving around on screen; he had emotions and mannerisms that endeared him to players. He was also one of the earliest examples of “synergy” between different forms of media; his likeness appeared on everything from t-shirts to lunch boxes to cartoons.

But what really made Pac-Man a gaming legend was his gameplay. The simple yet addictive mechanics were easy to pick up but hard to master, and they’re still fun to play today. Pac-Man spawned countless copycats and imitators over the years, but there’s still nothing quite like the original.

- Space Invaders

Space Invaders is a classic video game that was released in 1978. The objective of the game is to destroy all of the invading aliens before they reach the player's ship. The player controls a ship that can move left and right across the bottom of the screen, and can shoot missiles at the aliens. The aliens will also shoot missiles at the player's ship, and if one hits, the ship will be destroyed. If the player can destroy all of the aliens, they will move on to the next level.

This simple gameplay mechanics made Space Invaders an instant hit, and it is still considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time.

- Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. was one of the earliest and most influential video games of all time. It popularised the side-scrolling genre, introduced a host of iconic characters and items, and spawned an entire series of sequels. Super Mario Bros. also had a profound impact on the game industry as a whole, helping to propel Nintendo to the forefront of the console wars.

- The Legend of Zelda

The original The Legend of Zelda for the NES is one of the most popular video games of all time. It popularised the action-adventure genre and introduced a number of now-standard gameplay mechanics, such as exploration, puzzles, and an overworld map. The game's success spawned a franchise that includes dozens of sequels and spin-offs.

The Legend of Zelda is a classic video game that has inspired many other games in the industry. It was released in 1986 and became an instant classic. The game follows the story of Link, who must save Princess Zelda from the evil Ganon. The game is known for its unique gameplay, memorable characters, and stunning graphics. The Legend of Zelda has often been cited as one of the greatest video games of all time and has influenced many other games in the industry.

- Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong was one of the earliest video games and is often credited as being one of the first platform games. The game was released in 1981 and was an instant hit. In Donkey Kong, players take control of Mario (known as Jumpman at the time) who must rescue a damsel in distress, Pauline, from the clutches of a giant ape called Donkey Kong. The game is split into four distinct levels, each with their own challenges.

Donkey Kong is considered a classic video game and has spawned numerous sequels and spin-offs. The original game is still beloved by many gamers today and its impact on the industry cannot be understated.

- Street Fighter II

When it comes to retro video games, there are few that have had as big of an impact on the industry as Street Fighter II. The game was released in 1991 and quickly became a global phenomenon. It is credited with popularising the fighting game genre and is one of the most popular fighting games ever made. Street Fighter II was also responsible for introducing many of the now-iconic characters that would become synonymous with the series, such as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile.

- Mortal Kombat II

Mortal Kombat II was released in 1993 and is the second instalment in the Mortal Kombat series. The gamebuilds upon the success of the original Mortal Kombat, which was released in 1992. Mortal Kombat II introduces new characters, more detailed graphics, and more refined gameplay mechanics. The game's popularity spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs over the years.

Mortal Kombat II is widely considered to be one of the best fighting games ever made. The game's roster of characters is diverse and well-balanced, and each character has their own unique moveset and combos that can be used to defeat opponents. The game's graphics are impressive for its time, and the soundtrack is iconic and instantly recognisable.

The game's gameplay is fast-paced and intense, making it perfect for both casual players and competitive players alike. Whether you're playing by yourself or against friends, Mortal Kombat II is sure to provide hours of fun.

- Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog is a 1991 platform game developed by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis console. The game's protagonist, Sonic, is an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog with supersonic speed. He must stop the evil Dr. Robotnik from stealing the Chaos Emeralds and enslaving animals to build his Death Egg robotic empire.

The original Sonic the Hedgehog was a 2D side-scroller with simple graphics and sound design. The level design was linear, with little room for exploration. Despite these limitations, the game was a critical and commercial success, selling over 15 million copies worldwide.


- Castlevania

The original Castlevania is a platform game released in Japan in 1986 by Konami. The player takes control of Simon Belmont, who must venture into Dracula's castle and defeat the vampire himself. The game was well-received upon release and has become a classic of the genre.

Castlevania created many elements that would become staples of the genre, such as its use of Gothic settings and horror themes. It also introduced innovative gameplay mechanics, such as its use of sub-weapons, which have been copied by many subsequent games.

The success of Castlevania led to a series of sequels and spin-offs, which are still being produced today. The franchise has had a significant impact on popular culture, appearing in numerous films, television shows, and comics.

- Tetris

Tetris is a tile-matching video game originally created by Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov in 1984. The game consists of a grid of squares, where each square contains a different colour. The player must rotate and place the squares onto the grid so that they form complete lines. If the player completes a line, it will disappear and new squares will fall down to take its place. The goal of the game is to clear as many lines as possible before the screen fills up.

With versions released for nearly every video game console and handheld device. The game has been praised for its simple yet addictive gameplay, and its ability to be enjoyed by players of all ages. Tetris has also been used as a tool for research into a number of topics, including human cognition and spatial reasoning.

What is your favourite?

There are so many great retro video games out there that it's impossible to choose just one favourite. However, if we had to narrow it down, our top picks would be the classics that shaped the gaming industry as we know it today.

So, what was your Top 10 growing up?

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