20 Classic Arcade Games From the Early 80s

Are you old enough to remember standing in line to play these great games at the arcade? If so, prepare for some memories to be revived.

  1. Asteroids

    Simple game, right? No. You’re floating in space, shooting at a bunch of giant rocks flying by. Every time you shoot the rocks, they don’t just explode. That would be too easy. Instead, the rocks just get smaller and smaller. And if you touch one of the, your ship explodes. And to add to the fun, every once in a while an unfriendly enemy UFO cruises by to shoot at you. Still sound easy? It wasn’t, at least once you got past the early stages of Asteroids. Sure, it might not have the flashy graphics and AI of today’s games, but Asteroids was still loads of fun to play.

  2. Battlezone

    When Battlezone first came out in the early 1980s, it was like “Wow! A game that really puts you right into combat!” It seemed pretty real at the time. Even the military thought it was pretty realistic. Atari, the creators of Battlezone, created two special versions of the game for the U.S. Armyfor training. The Army’s version of Battlezone was called The Bradley Trainer and was named after the military’s Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

  3. Burgertime

    This was kind of a goofy but fun game. In Burgertime, you played a chef who climbed around the screen while making giant burgers. Hot dogs, pickles and eggs would try to stop you. Your only weapon was a pepper shaker to stun your foes. Though you could also topple giant burger buns on them. Yes, it sounds kind of ridiculous, but Burgertime provided hours of entertainment.

  4. Centipede

    You’re shooting bugs. Centipedes. Spiders. Lady bugs. And mushrooms are constantly growing in your way. What do you do about the mushrooms? You shoot them, too. A fairly simple game, but it wasn’t easy. A lot happened very quickly in Centipede, and the various enemies came at you from all sides.

  5. Defender

    Defender seemed like a somewhat realistic game of space combat when it was released. Why? Because there were so many different friggin’ buttons to push, and each one did something different. It almost felt like you were actually flying and shooting a fighter jet in outer space. All those buttons looked scary and confusing to those of us raised on one joystick, one button, but everyone soon learned the controls and Defender became a favorite.

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5 Comments
  1. Posted June 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    great write. takes me back to a time when i would mow lawns, take my earnings to the bank and get quarters, and spend 3 days at the arcade! i tried to explain to my 11 year old, who loves video games, how cool arcades used to be, but with playstations and x boxes, he may never get it. cant close pandoras box, i guess.

  2. Posted June 2, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    I was lucky. My step-dad had a part-time job working in an arcade, and I got tons and tons of tokens to play for free.

  3. Posted June 3, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Wow, yes these are some of the best, I wish I could still play some to this day, centipede was a lot of fun, and my sis sat and played asteroids all day and night long. This does bring back a lot of memories, thanks for sharing :)

  4. Posted June 3, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    Dig Dug was my favorite back in those days.

  5. Posted June 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Great job. I like looking at all the game’s I missed because i was not yet born Lol.

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