The 15 best video games of the 1980s

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It’s time to go back to the era when video games crashed only to rise again. Here are the best games the ’80s had to offer.

Video games almost didn’t make it past the ’80s. Prior to the rise of the Nintendo Entertainment System — and oh, will we be talking about the NES — video games, particularly home consoles, had had a rough time in the decade. But we’re not here to talk about the video game crash of 1983 beyond this brief mention here.

We’re instead here to talk about the greatest games that still came out of the decade. These are the kind of games that spawned franchises that we still talk about today. Sometimes, there were multiple games to choose from in the same franchise for the decade. Tough calls have been made. Games have been cut; games have made it in last-minute. Practically by definition, your favorite ’80s game might not be on here.

But there’s no mistaking that these 15 titles have stood the test of time and are worth playing even today. Pick up those old-school controllers, blow into your cartridges, and hope you still remember all of the secrets without consulting those copies of Nintendo Power. Let’s-a-go!