I'm inspired by the best video games of the 80s

Best video games of the 80s; a mix of game characters from the 1980s
(Image credit: Atari / Bandai Namco / Nintendo)

When looking back at the best video games of the 80s it's hard to pin down a definitive list of the key titles that changed how games were made. The list below is personal to me, judged on how they changed game design, art direction and the tech used to create them. These were games often made against a background of no common programming language and where character design relied on pixels and well-placed blocks – yet they still set the pace for future game development. 

The 80s was the decade when the most exciting and important developments took place in gaming, driven by new tech and innovative software. You can play many of these games on one of the best retro mini consoles, and as a specialist in retro gaming I've played them all over the years. Don't forget, Nintendo Switch has become one of the best ways to play the best retro games too, read our Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch OLED feature for more details.

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Martyn Carroll

Martyn has been writing about video games since 1997, when as a film student he managed to sell an article about retro games to a movie magazine. And so began a hustle which turned into a career (of sorts) and he's since written about games for numerous magazines, books and websites. In 2004 he launched Retro Gamer magazine and he still contributes to the title, along with others in the Future stable. He's an authority on games where you start with three lives and press up to jump.

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