The 15 best video games of the 1980s

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4. Pac-Man

Released: 1980 (Pac-Man) / 1982 (Ms. Pac-Man)

Platforms: Arcade originally, but you can play Pac-Man (or variants thereof, like Ms. Pac-Man or Pac-Man 256) on pretty much any platform you can think of, including in a Google Doodle

One of the oldest games on this list is also one of the best. If, by some chance, you’re familiar with ‘80s games but not familiar with Pac-Man, all you need do is consume everything in sight while not getting defeated by ghosts, whom you can also consume so long as you consume a special pellet. (As Gordon Gekko says in Wall Street, released later in the decade: “Greed … is good.”)

Its basic concept still holds up to this day, and it also has cutscenes (yes, really). It doesn’t require knowing any special combinations, just fast reflexes and a willingness to play and enjoy. However, that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It takes a lot of practice to get yourself past the first few levels.

Ms. Pac-Man adds in the difficulty of chasing down the bonus point foods, but it’s not enough to displace the original entirely. Instead, we’ll honor both here and call it good, because we don’t want to discount how ludicrously popular Pac-Man has actually been.