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40 Years of Gaming – A look at some of the best Video Game Classics

We’ve had nearly 40 years of console gaming and the video game industry has evolved immensely since the beginning! The first video game console was named the Magnavox Odyssey, which was released in 1972. This article explores some of the best video game classics to be released. With so many awesome video game releases, it wasn’t easy to form a list of favourites.

Super Mario 64


Super Mario 64 was arguably one of the best games to have been released on the Nintendo 64. The game was published by Nintendo and released in June 1996. The game sold over one million copies. You control Mario throughout the game, and whilst the main area of the game is based in Princess Peach’s Castle, the gameplay involves exploring the vast open worlds and completing missions. Doors within the castle can be unlocked with stars, which are earned in missions; the doors unlock new missions and challenges. There are also many other secret and hidden missions to find and complete, which are required to complete the game.


Asteroids is a video game that was first released by Atari in 1979. It first appeared on arcade machines, but then made its way on the Atari 2600 console in 1981. The gameplay involved the player controlling a spacecraft, the objective was to shoot and destroy the asteroids whilst ensuring you didn’t get hit by one. The player earns points as they attempt to progress through each stage, the aim is to get as many points as possible.


Pac-Man has to be one of the most popular games of all time, and one that any true gamer can relate to. The game was released by Namco in 1980 and first appeared on arcade machines; however, it has since been released on the majority of consoles. The player has to control ‘pac-man’ around a maze whilst trying to collect food, but the player must also avoid the various enemies within the maze. Interestingly, Pac-man is currently the most successful selling video game, with total gross profits of $3.5 billion.

The Sims

The Sims is one of a kind, and by that, we mean there aren’t many games like it. The series first began back in 2000 and was published by EA. The game allows the player to control and manage Sims, whilst also been able to construct the living environment. You act as the god of your Sims, been able to control many of the decisions they make and opportunities they take. Gameplay lacks an overall goal, and progresses with small goals and achievements, for example, a goal might be to help get one of your Sims to get a job. The franchise has proven popular and grown rapidly since the first release, with many expansion packs for each major release. It has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.


Try asking anyone born before 1990 if they have heard of Battletoads, I bet you get an answer like this; Are you crazy…! Battletoads was my favourite games back then! This classic was created by Tim and Chris Stamper and developed by Rare; the game was released in 1991. It was arguably one of the best games released on NES.


The original release of SimCity may look amazingly bland today, however, back when it was first released in 1989, it was state of the art, and the beginning of the city simulation-management genre. There have been many different releases of this classic since. Whilst this genre of game is best suited to a PC… using a mouse… it has also appeared on many consoles prior to 1995. This city building game was the beginning of a large series, which is set to expand further in 2013 with an all-new SimCity release.

Gran Turismo

Gran Turismo was published by Sony and released in 1996. Who would have thought that this game would be the beginning of Sony’s GT PlayStation exclusive racing series? The game has sold more than 10 million copies as of 2008. Gran Turismo is a racing-simulation video game, which allows the player to complete races, earn money and win new cars. The game has won many awards and continues to excel with rumours about a PlayStation 4 release in 2014.

Grand Theft Auto



It all started back in 1997… thanks to RockStar. Yep…we wouldn’t have Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V, or any of the other amazing releases if it wasn’t for the original Grand Theft Auto! This title really does deserve all of the awards it has won. The player takes on the character of an out-of-control gangster, with the ability to steal any car, shoot at any one, and generally cause mayhem! Gameplay is set in an American themed city where the player is able to roam with freedom. Various missions are scattered around the city for the player to take part in.

Metal Gear Solid


Metal Gear Solid was published by Konami and released in 1998. This is another PlayStation exclusive that has developed into a series. This title has sold more than six million copies since release. Gameplay involves stealth, tactics and action. The player controls a character named Solid Snake, and must try to remain undetected by enemies and progress to the end of the mission.

Golden Eye 007


Golden Eye 007 is another title that you would say is arguably one of the best titles to have been released on the Nintendo 64. The game was developed by Rare, released in 1997, and featured first-person-shooter action.

Super Mario Kart


If you have ever owned a Nintendo 64, then you are likely to have owned Super Mario Kart. This game was certainly one of the best racing games to be released on the console. Super Mario Kart was released in 1992 and was the first title in the series. Whilst finishing first at the finish line is the main aim of gameplay, players can also use power-ups and weapons to help slow down opponents. The game could be played in both singleplayer and multiplayer modes.

Crazy Taxi


If you remember playing on an arcade machine driving a yellow taxi and desperate to get the next taxi fare, then you were most likely playing Crazy Taxi!

Guitar Hero


The Guitar Hero series first began in 2005 and was released by RedOctane on PlayStation 2. Some would argue that this was the beginning of the console game music-genre. The gameplay features the player attempting to correctly copy the notes played on screen on the gamepad or compatible accessory. The series has grown since the first release with 23 different releases.



The Halo series first began back in 2001 with the release of Halo: Combat Evolved. The Halo series is a Microsoft exclusive, meaning the series has only been available on XBOX and PC, with the exception of some MAC OS releases. The series involves first-person shooter gameplay.



Doom was released in 1993 as a science-fiction first-person-shooter video game. The game offers 1993 styled 3D graphics with the option of both single player and multiplayer gameplay. The player takes control of a space marine whose main aim is fighting his way through a Mars military base. The title became very popular and many follow ups have been released, the original release is also available as an arcade download on XBOX 360 and PS3.



If you’re a gamer and haven’t heard of Teris, then you should really question if you’re a gamer! Every gamer has played or has, at least, heard of Tetris. This tile-matching-puzzle game involves the player trying to piece random coloured blocks / tiles together, with the aim of matching a ‘same colour’ horizontal line. If the player successfully matches a same colour horizontal line, then the line is eliminated. The player loses the game once the blocks build up so much that the game ends. The game was first released in 1984, and has since has a release with nearly every console release.

Command & Conquer: Red Alert


If you are a fan of real-time strategy games, then you probably remember the release of Command & Conquer: Red Alert. This war-themed game was produced by Westwood Studios and released on PC, 1996. The game involved the player creating a military base and units to both counter and attack the enemies. The objective of the game was to destroy the enemies’ base. The game later developed into a series with the release of both Red Alert 2 and Red Alert 3 along with expansion packs.

RollerCoaster Tycoon


RollerCoaster Tycoon was published by Hasbro Interactive, designed by Chris Sawyer, and released in 1999. The game was first released for Windows PC, but then made an appearance on the XBOX console. As the name suggests, the game involves the running and construction of amusement parks. The player is presented with a set of challenges for each mission; some examples: construct a roller coaster that has an excitement rating of 6, get 900 guests in the park, sell 200 cheese burgers before next month, and improve ticket sales by 20%.  RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 followed, with a variety of expansion packs also released for each title. RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 has been confirmed as a future title which is currently in development.


Minecraft is one of those games that have actually created a genre. As the player, your main goal is to explore and create. You can mine the free-roam world, digging up the blocks and replacing them as you wish. The popular modes have enemies, which come out at night, and your mission is to either defeat them, or hide from them in your custom built building. Many alternatives were created after Minecraft; however, they don’t beat the original. The game was originally made by Swedish programmer Markus Persson and was publicly released in 2009. Minecraft was released on XBOX 360 in 2012 and published by Microsoft.

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