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Thread: Top Ten favorite games of the 80s

  1. #1

    Default Top Ten favorite games of the 80s

    Okay, I know it's not Heisei, but I can't bare to see this one decade left off. It's practically the only outstanding decade for which people would have top 10 lists for games, except maybe a top 10 classic arcade games. I definitely have enough favorites from this decade to fill a top 10 list and I'd like to see others. Same story as the Wolf Kanno threads, only between 1980 and 1989 this time.

  2. #2
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    10. I feel you would be hard pressed to find a game more additive than Tetris. The killer app for Nintendo's Gameboy, and possibly the highest profile Russian developed game, Tetris is a game I've lost countless hours to. I bet you saw that screenshot and instantly started humming the theme song.

    9.The game that started it all for one of my favorite RPG franchises, While it can be pretty clumsy in it's execution, the games high replay value, interesting lore, and killer boss battles make this one of the premier RPGs for the NES. One of my fondest memories was getting to tackle the original NES version one summer on my Wii. Despite it's age, I feel it still holds up pretty well.

    8.It's funny to think this game started as a test bed for a new Mario title before it was converted into a non-Mario promotional title for a gaming convention in Japan, and then came full circle when Nintendo converted it into a Mario game for the Western market. This game had some unique gameplay and solidified a lot of the ideas that would go on to distinguish Mario and Luigi from each other while also giving us our first playable Peach and Toad.

    Battletech: Crescent Hawk's Inception
    I know most of you have never even heard of this title, but this was my first RPG and my first foray into the awesome Battletech/MechWarrior franchise. The combat was fun, the scenario was actually well written, and the flavor text is surprisingly good for a game of it's time frame. I really need to see if I can find this game somewhere...

    Super Mario Bros. 3
    My second favorite Mario game after World. SMB3 pretty much started all of the crazy conventions the franchise would be known for. Costume powers, themed world maps, Koopa's kids, and our first chance to see Mario fly. Hell, the game even has a throwback joke to the first game in it's ending. Still and incredible title that has aged beautifully over the years.

    5. Long before Disney and Square teamed up to make Kingdom Hearts, the first awesome collaboration between Disney and a game company was with Capcom, who made a stellar series of titles based on Disney's Disney Afternoon cartoon block. For me, the cream of the crop was easily Duck Tales which happened to be both a fun game and a fan dream with all of the various in-jokes and cameos from the series.

    4. While Symphony of the Night will always be my favorite entry, I have to pay homage to the game that started it all and is still a pretty stellar title in its own right. Castlevania introduced the world to the Belmont's and their never ending battle against Dracula and his chaotic eldritch castle. It's still a fantastic title, and I'm looking forward to the collection coming out soon.

    3. While I have largely moved one from most of Nintendo's flagship franchises, Zelda is the one lone exception. I love this franchise and it all started with this game. My fondest gaming memory was actually finally beating this game for the first time, no guides, no cheats or anything. Took me over a year but I still adored every minute of it.

    2. I consider this to be one of the best RPGs on the NES and it's still my favorite Dragon Quest title overall. It's kind of scary how groundbreaking this game was how even to this day, the series still plays some heavy lip service to it. It might have one of the neatest plot twists in the whole franchise. Love this title.

    Mega Man 2
    My absolute favorite entry of the Mega Man franchise and easily my favorite NES game of all time. Fun gameplay, awesome level design, groovy boss battles, excellent replay value, and my favorite classic video game score of all time. MM2 made me a fan of the franchise and became the gold standard the rest of the series tried to emulate. I can't tell you how much I love this game and it's the oldest game that is still in my Top Ten favorite games of all time.
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  3. #3


    10. Bubble Bobble.

    This game is a childhood classic, I don't remember how I started playing it, but there's a high chance that older siblings were responsible. I also think that they had it in the local arcade still when I was little ? But that might just be a false memory. I love the music and it's gameplay. Why is it at the beginning then ? Because while it's entertaining, it's only for about a short hour, then it becomes repetitive.

    9. Metroid.

    I've only recently just started getting into this series, so this may change one day, but at the moment this game is impressive and I will always love the game's plot-twist; even though everybody knows it today, even though it's common knowledge; thinking back though to when this game originally came out though, the surprise that Samus is actually female must've been huge.

    8. Ghost N Goblins

    I'm terrible at this game, but the fact that this game is one of the most difficult games around and is still likeable, is saying something. Speaking of this - smurf you Battletoads.

    7. Wonder Boy III : The Dragon's Trap

    This game is so cute, and it feels beyond it's time when it comes to platforming adventure.

    6. R-Type

    Fun shoot em up arcade game, again, this game is pretty tricky, but it's also addictive and worth it. I also quite like how unique and creative everything feels without it feeling "weird". Thought that may be YMMV.

    5. Duck Tales

    That theme song, that moon song, that pogo stick jumping. What a fun game, even today. The remake is brilliant too if you are unable to handle those NES graphics. Though you must play at least one version ! This game also started a Disney Video Game Golden Age from about 1989 to 1994.

    4. Contra

    I'm beyond awful at this game, though I hope I get good at it one day. This is high up though, because I played it for the first time a few years ago, and I love it. Solid proof that old games can and do hold up, and it's just not all nostalgia goggles. Actually, this is mostly my list in a nutshell.

    3. Ninja Gaiden

    Just like Contra above, I just played this game a few years ago, and I love it so much. It's put a bit lower due to Nintendo Hard difficulty, though. The 80's sure loved making games almost impossible to complete.

    2. Space Harrier.

    Space Harrier just like Bubble Bobble is another childhood favourite. This arcade classic is a speedy shooter where you need to think fast or you'll crash into that tree, or a rock, or a boss. The graphics are impressive for it's time expect maybe on a few retro console ports, where they just couldn't port it all that strongly from the arcade. I still play this game a lot today. It will always be a retro favourite of mine.

    1. Strider.

    This is one of my most favourite games I've ever played. Though, I've actually never completed it, I can get up to the last level and get exhausted- maybe one day...
    I also love how the first boss is a government that transforms into a giant robotic snake thing, what a 2019 mood.

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  4. #4


    Forgot to do this myself. Probably because I wasn't really sure what to put on the number 10 slot on the list.

    10. Mega Man - I'm honestly not sure for this one. There's a number of worthy contenders that could also take this spot, but no game in particular calls out to me as needing to be on this list (unlike the other 9 entries on my list). Still this is the game that started the Mega Man series. It's not my favorite, but it got the ball rolling, and I definitely had fun going through the 6 boss levels in this game, if not so much the Wiley stuff that follows (too much). I could have gone with Mega Man 3 hear instead (among other series) and maybe should have, but truth is I didn't own Mega Man 3, so never played it as much.

    9. Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) - This game was my intro to RPGs and instilled my love of grinding when it produces fairly quick and visible results. This is why I prefer skill systems that link growth to experience levels so I can enjoy the growth from each battle more. Still, there's very little plot as an early RPG. The plot can be summed up as save the princess and kill the dragonlord. It would be hard to expand that summary to add much more details than that summary either. Acquire 3 items to make a rainbow bridge and defeat the dragonlord? The game is the grind. The rest is just window dressing.

    8. Final Fantasy - This game felt like an improvement over Dragon Warrior with multiple party members with different roles and visible during battle. The world felt bigger too. Still pretty light on plot, but a nice intro to the RPG format along with DQ.

    7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game - Sure, this wasn't releases on console until the 90s, but I'm counting it, because in the arcade was the best form for the game anyway. This is just a classic feel-good beat-em up. Sure, the enemies might be cheap at times, because quarters, but there's no denying this game is simple fun.

    6. SMB2 - I love the more relaxed style of this game as compared to the more fast-paced just keep moving forward style in SMB and SMB3. Preludes of Yoshi's Island, the greatest 2D platformer ever.

    5. Metroid - Another great exploration game that wa part of coining the term "Metroidvania." I got into this more than I ever did the Castlevania games though. These type of games weren't too common in that time, but the ones that existed were typically among the best of the era.

    4. Mega Man 2 - Best Mega Man game bar none. Best levels. Best music. Best bosses. Later entries added some interesting gameplay ideas but they never matched the simple charm of this game. The original Mega Man by comparion was, first of all, a little too hard and also just not quite as polished. It's also weird that, with only 6 bosses, they still managed to have more awkward, weird, "did-they-run-out-of-ideas" bosses than MM2. I mean, okay, Wood Man is pretty weird too, but at least the leaf shield is awesome.

    3. Super Mario Bros. 3 - This game is neck and neck with Super Mario World among the 2D Mario titles, and truth be told, I'm not really sure which I like more, but this game still stands the test of time as a great platformer (whereas the original SMB, while not bad, shows it's age more with the awkward control).

    2. The Guardian Legend - Probably the only game on my list that isn't common in "best of" lists of the era, but should be. This game was a hybrid genre before hybrids were in style. Part spaceship shooter, part Zeldalike overworld exploration. You gather different kinds of rune keys to open up different paths to explore and different spaceship battle areas with bosses and acquiring new weapon. I never did finish this game, but that's true of most games of the era before saving was common in games. Instead I just got enjoyment from playing through as far as I could go each time. I would love to have seen everything this game had to offer. It was definitely a unique game for the time.

    1. Legend of Zelda - This is the heyday of the series to my mind. Not because it's the best in the series, although it does come close, but because it stands out as the best game of its era, whereas I regard the standing of pretty much all other Zelda games as overrated in this regard. There were no truly heavily story driven games at this time (at least none that I've played and if they existed at all they were probably only on PC), so the basic growth through acquiring new equipment, hearts, etc. and using them to explore dungeons and solve puzzles that served as the mold for all future Zelda games really was among the best of offerings in the 80s.

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