For many people around the world, the golden age of video games didn’t arrive in the ’70s; It emerged in the 1980s. During that decade, the Sega Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Nintendo Gamy Boy were all released.
The arcade games of the 80’s produced some of the best arcade games, many of which continued to produce sequels decades later. These 10 games are among the most important games of all time because their influence didn’t just affect the ’80s; It built the video game industry.
In 1980, Namco released a little game called Pac-Man, and every developer scrambled to catch up. At the time, Nintendo was trying to break into the North American market, and Pac-Man’s success only pushed them harder toward that goal. Initially, Nintendo wanted 0to release a Popeye game but couldn’t secure the license.
Nintendo opted to create new characters, so Shigeru Miyamoto got to work. He came up with characters and a backstory, which he based on elements taken from Popeye, King Kong, and Beauty and the Beast. Miyamoto was just getting started in the industry, but he was already innovating in ways that would shape video games forever.
One of the things that make Donkey Kong so special is the story Miyamoto crafted. Before the player can play, a quick cinematic reveals that a giant gorilla kidnapped the hero’s girl, and it’s up to the player to rescue her. This was the first time a video game featured any type of cutscene, and it was the first game to prioritize the story before gameplay.
Before Donkey Kong, any story attributed to a game or its characters was added as an afterthought. Miyamoto changed that with his first game, and the legacy of Donkey Kong can be seen in every video game that came after it.