Five Influential Arcade Games Of The Early 1980s

Daryl Deino

In the 1980s, long before you could have a robust video game experience in your living room, there were arcade games that cost a quarter to play. Home video game systems such as the Atari 2600 and ColecoVision tried to emulate these arcade games, but the experience just wasn't the same.

Here are five arcade games that defined the genre and influenced the games we play on our computers, PS4s, or Xbox systems today.

Pac-Man was so popular that the game led to antisocial behavior, like kids stealing quarters from their mothers' purses and video game gangs hanging out at 7-Eleven to wreak havoc in between chomping on dots and running away from ghosts. It's safe to say that Pac-Man is the most popular arcade game ever.

In 2009, Wil Wheaton of L.A. Weekly described his fascination as a child the first time he played Centipede.

"It was unlike anything I'd ever played before. It was fast, it was colorful, and it had a unique controller that set it apart from all the other joystick - controlled machines I was used to. I don't know how my first game went, but I recall feeling like I'd touched the Monolith when I was done."

Donkey Kong was such a huge hit that it led to spinoffs such as Donkey Kong Jr, which was arguably a better game. Then came Donkey Kong III, Donkey Kong Country, and many others. Its main character, Mario, would go on to star in many arcade spin-offs, such as Mario Bros.

What are your favorite Arcade games from the early 1980s? Do you have any special memories attached to any of these arcade games? Let us know in the comments section.

[Photo by AP Photo]