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The Best Video Games of the '80s

by: Lin Clark ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Videogames of the 1980's are the ones that have inspired the gaming industry today. They had basic plots but they were more about game play and difficulty. Which games of the 80's were the best and most popular?

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    Games of the 80's

    Retro 80s games were once part of a golden era, the arcade generation. Console games also started to flourish and by the mid 80’s there were many titles that could be played at home on the television. Most of these videogames were the ones that spawned many sequels and are still being produced today for gamers at any age.

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    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

    Zelda II  

    The Adventure of Link is a 1987 video game released in Japan and was the direct sequel to the first Legend of Zelda. This game is the exact opposite of the first game, as it is a side scroller instead of a bird’s eye view camera. This game also adds RPG functions in it such as gaining experience points, learning magical spells and more dialog with the non playable characters. The graphics also added a bit more color for the time and the game was received well despite the new game play method, that did not return to the series in the next installments.

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    Released for the Commodore 64, NES, and Atari ST, this 1986 game was one of the first beat’em up games to be released on a console system. You play as a vigilante who beats up street gangs in order to get to his friends who are hostages. This game paved the way for Double Dragon, as the game play is a side scroller with the enemies coming at the player left and right. The easy controls, just pressing a button to punch and kick made the game less cumbersome and actually made it quite addictive.

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    Donkey Kong Jr. Math

    Donkey Kong Jr Math  

    Released for the NES in 1985 and being one of the first learning video games, Donkey Kong Jr. Math was fun for children and adults alike. The whole premise of the game Is controlling the young Donkey Kong Jr. while answering addiction and subtracting questions, moving him to the correct numbers on the vines. The harder levels have multiplication and division, and the game itself does not have a true ending, it is merely a brain game to keep the mind active.

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    Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

    Simon's Quest  

    As another NES game, Simon’s Quest came out in 1988 and gained much praised for its new type of game play for the Castlevania series. As a platform game, you control Simon Belmont through hordes of enemies trying to find pieces of Dracula and stop his resurrection. This game also added a new feature, night and day, where the townspeople were around the day to give Simon hints, and zombies and ghouls came out at night. With game gaining popularity, its safe to say the Castlevania series is still going strong.

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    What 80's Games Inspired

    There are so many console game titles from the 80’s it is hard to the list the very best that are also unique. Retro 80s games paved the way for the intense graphics and intricate plots of video games today. If you think about it in the long run, no one knows what types of games will be made in the future with the games of today as inspiration.