Dean's List of Top Video Games
This will be a fun list of games across many platforms including Home Consoles and maybe a few computer games, too. No particular order, just a list of fun games that everyone should try! Check back: We plan to add more games. Want to learn how to make your own game? Check out the Rhode Island Computer Museum's workshops!
Released to North American arcades in 1981 as a sequel to 1979's Galaxian. Galaga is one of those games that never seems to get old. It's been ported to many home consoles and computers over the years, such as the NES and Atari 7800. It's been updated and modified in releases such as Galaga '90 for the TurboGrafx-16, and even recently on the title Pac-Man and Galaga Dimensions for the Nintendo 3DS.
Galaga's gameplay and sound effects are as classic as you can get, and the original arcade game was even featured in the movie WarGames (1983). Its concept is simple, you are a spaceship, and you shoot everything that moves. Let your ship get captured, then rescue it for double-fire power!
Super Mario Bros. 3
This game was a BIG DEAL back in 1988. Every kid had to have it. It introduced many things that are now standard in any Mario game. Such abilities to have Mario fly, swim better, varied boss fights, and even the map screen to pick which level to enter. It was such a success, it eventually was bundled with new NES consoles.
The Legend of Zelda
The Zelda series is a world-wide staple in gaming today. It started out in 1986 on the Japanese Famicom Disk System, and 1987 in the US in the NES. Notable differences in comparison to other games in the same era, were its non-linear gameplay and the ability to "Save" your progress.
The cartridge had built-in battery-powered RAM which provided the "Save" ability. The initial Japanese Famicom version came on a format called a "Disk Card," which was similar to a 3.5'' floppy disk, but slightly smaller, and only 112KB capacity. The US version came on cartridge since the Famicom Disk System peripheral was never released state-side.
The game featured 9 different dungeons (levels) that were accessed via an over-world. The first few dungeons could completed in any order, but some would require the player to have obtained certain items to access them. For example, the raft, which is needed to access the fourth dungeon, is only found in the third dungeon.
The Oregon Trail
Many kids and adults using computers in the 1980's and 1990's remember traveling the Oregon Trail! Originally a text-only game in 1971, the game has been released in many versions up to the present. You can currently play it on a Nintendo Wii, Apple iPhone, or even as Facebook game. However, the version most people remember was on the Apple II.
The game was a simulator type of game. The player would plan everything as their family left Missouri and traveled to Oregon in a covered wagon. They would choose how much food and supplies to bring and make plans for unexpected events, like crossing a river with no bridge.