The 15 best video games of the 1980s

6 of 16

11. Galaga

Released: 1981

Platforms: Arcade, NES, MSX, Atari 7800, PlayStation 4, iOS, PC, Xbox One, Wii/Wii U/Nintendo 3DS Virtual Console

“That man is playing Galaga!” If you’ve ever seen The Avengers, then you’ve seen Galaga in action, although we’re pretty sure Tony Stark’s line may have been the first time some members of the audience had ever heard of this arcade classic.

Galaga has a pretty simple objective for players: shoot invading aliens, and don’t let your ship get caught in tractor beams by the boss Galaga or hit. And that alone is pretty addicting – enough for an agent of SHIELD to play it while the world is being invaded by the Chitauri at any rate. That’s what makes it so good. Well, that and its pretty strong sound design. (That tractor beam is right up there with the Duck Hunt dog’s laugh as an iconic ‘80s gaming sound.)

It’s available on pretty much every modern platform in one way or another, as it often appears in the Namco Museum series as well. In fact, it’s even made it into the Super Smash Bros. series as an item: Boss Galaga debuted in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS. All in all, you won’t regret spending a few hours with Galaga.