The 15 best video games of the 1980s

3 of 16

14. Q*bert

Released: 1982 (North America)

Platforms: Arcade, NES, Commodore 64, Atari 2600/5200/8-bit, Intellivision, PlayStation 3/4 (re-release), various other platforms

Q*bert, like Duck Hunt, has a fairly simple premise: You, Q*bert, must change the colors of tiles on a pyramid by jumping on them. Q*bert also “swears” using different symbols, because swearing is kind of funny to this day. Combine the two together, and you have a game that made it to so many platforms that it’s almost a waste of time to list them all (we’ve settled for the highlights above). Ultimately, though, it’s best known as an arcade game.

Q*bert may not have reached the ubiquity of some other titles on this list, but it’s one of the best examples of 2D mimicking 3D, thanks to its use of isometric graphics. It wouldn’t be until the ‘90s that 3D graphics became the standard, after all, but Q*bert came in the early ‘80s and did its very best to get gamers to think in more than just two dimensions.

Although it’s not the same kind of legendary title as others on this list, Q*bert has appeared in some films recently – both Pixels and Wreck-It Ralph feature cameos from the little orange guy.