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The Greatest 80s Video Games of All Time: The Legacy of Early Arcade Games on Modern Mobile Games

When you think of the 80s, what comes to mind? Big hair, neon leg warmers, cassette tapes, and of course, video games! The 80s was the era that gave rise to the video game industry, and we can thank the early arcade games for paving the way for the immersive, multi-platform games we play today.

In this article, we’ll be taking a trip down memory lane to explore the greatest 80s video games of all time, and their influence on modern mobile games.


We can’t talk about 80s arcade games without mentioning the beloved Pac-Man. Created by Toru Iwatani in 1980, Pac-Man quickly became a cultural phenomenon and is still a pop culture icon today. The simple concept of navigating a yellow, pizza-shaped character through a maze while avoiding ghosts captivated gamers around the world.

Pac-Man’s success spawned numerous sequels, merchandise, and even a Saturday morning cartoon. Today, you can play this classic game on mobile devices, bringing the nostalgia of the 80s arcade to your fingertips.

Donkey Kong

Another classic 80s arcade game that changed the industry was Donkey Kong. This game introduced the world to Jumpman, later known as Mario, and his nemesis, the giant monkey, Donkey Kong.

The game was challenging, requiring players to navigate through multiple levels and obstacles to save Jumpman’s girlfriend, Pauline, from Donkey Kong’s clutches. Donkey Kong is credited with popularizing the platform genre, which remains popular in modern games.

Street Fighter

Street Fighter was a game-changer in the world of fighting games. Released in 1987, it featured a cast of unique characters with their own fighting styles, special moves, and backstories. The game’s competitive gameplay, combo system, and signature move, the Hadouken, made it a must-play in arcades.

Street Fighter paved the way for modern-day fighting games like Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and Super Smash Bros. You can still play Street Fighter on your mobile device, and its impact on the gaming industry is still felt today.

Legacy of Early Arcade Games on Modern Mobile Games

The legacy of 80s arcade games lives on in modern mobile games. With the evolution of gaming technology, we can now play the same iconic arcade games on our phones and tablets. These games have been revamped with updated graphics and optimized for touch controls while staying true to their retro roots.

Many modern games borrow elements from classic arcade games. Mobile games like Temple Run and Subway Surfers have taken inspiration from the endless runner genre popularized by games like Frogger and Q*bert. The addictive gameplay of Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds is similar to the pattern-matching gameplay of Tetris.

In Conclusion

The 80s was the decade that gave birth to the video game industry, and we owe it all to the early arcade games that became household names. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter are just a few examples of the revolutionary games that paved the way for modern mobile games.

The legacy of 80s arcade games lives on in the games we play today. Whether you’re a die-hard retro gaming fan or a mobile gamer looking for their next obsession, there’s no denying the impact these classic games have had on the industry.

So next time you’re playing Candy Crush or Temple Run, take a moment to appreciate the 80s arcade games that made it all possible.