The 15 best video games of the 1980s

16 of 16

1. Tetris

Released: 1984

Platforms: NES, Game Boy, MSX, MS-DOS, IBM, Apple II, pretty much any other platform you can think of (in variants, at least)

Yes, Tetris existed before 1989 when the Game Boy version came out. As it happens, Tetris actually first came into being in 1984 in the Soviet Union. LiveScience, in the article linked there, details how the game spread around the world.

Why is it the best game of the 1980s? Well, aside from “Korobeniki” being the song that will play in your dreams tonight, it encapsulates the principle that gaming should be accessible for everyone. There are people who record their high scores on different versions of the game, but it’s also the kind of game that you can play on your phone for five minutes at a time and end up missing your stop because you’re too deep into it.

It doesn’t need nice graphics. It doesn’t need much of anything, really, other than the ever-falling tiles and your ability to turn them to fit and clear rows so that the entire screen doesn’t fill and overflow.

Tetris, for our money, is the best video game to come out of the 1980s.

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Do you think we missed something, or that our list needs re-ordering? Tell us in the comments below.