The 15 best video games of the 1980s

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15. Duck Hunt

Released: 1984 (Japan) / 1985 (North America)

Platforms: NES / Wii U Virtual Console

You may be scratching your head at this one, but the collective consciousness of video gamers everywhere has probably never hated dogs more than it has hated the dog of Duck Hunt. There are those who can still hear that annoying 8-bit laugh to this day.

That alone is enough to bring this game onto the list. (Fewer still can still hear the success jingle that played when the dog rose, duck in paw.)

But beyond that, Duck Hunt helped introduce a few concepts that still resonate today. It’s an early console shooter, though it’s not quite a first-person shooter. Instead, Duck Hunt is more well-known because of the NES Zapper. This light gun was, honestly, even cooler to hold than an NES controller, and that’s saying something considering the sheer coolness of the NES controller. Peripherals like the Zapper made things a little more interesting for gamers, and Duck Hunt remains the best-known use of the Zapper – and perhaps the best-known peripheral game of the ‘80s.

Sure, there’s R.O.B. But R.O.B. didn’t mock you for failing to be quick on the draw. Also, R.O.B. didn’t have a cool name like the Zapper did. These things matter.