Old-School Japanese Made Video Games

Remember those arcade games where you just have two buttons and a joystick? What about those gameboy games where your Mario character can’t move backwards? A lot of the video games we cherish from our childhood were developed in Japan, and continue to have an influence globally today. Here are some video games that Japan has made for the world to enjoy.


Pac-Man (1980)

One of the most recognizable and widely played games of all time, Pac-Man is a timeless Japanese contribution to the arcade. Pac-Man was developed by Namco, and was aimed to be a game that can be enjoyed by women as well as men. The game involves a yellow circle character (Pac-Man) who is running away from some colorful ghosts and trying to eat all the dots in order to win. This game had wide critical and commercial success, and continues to be relevant in today’s culture. Many sequels have been made, as well as new characters such as Mrs. Pac-Man has been introduced.

Space Invaders (1978)

The 1978 game Space Invaders was made in Japan by the manufacturer Taito. Space Invaders was revolutionary in the way of inspiring generations of shooting games. Being one of the first video games with music, Space Invaders also set a precedent for future video games having soundtracks. The goal of this game was to shoot the aliens moving around on the screen to get as many points as possible. The success of Space Invaders was huge, and to this day it is considered the most influential and best-selling video games of all time. The pixelated alien from Space Invaders has even come to symbolize video games as a whole, exemplified by the emoji .

Super Mario Bros. (1985)

Mario, his brother Luigi, and all of their other friends have become a cultural staple in the videogame world. The 1985 game Super Mario Bros. created by the Japanese company Nintendo. This game allows you to control Mario and Luigi as they journey through the Mushroom Kingdom with the goal of saving Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. This game is considered by many one of the greatest video games of all time, with one of the most popular soundtracks accompanying it. Nintendo has continued to make Mario and his friends into a multimedia franchise – from game series, to movies, to television shows. Super Mario Bros. has remained relevant in pop culture for over 36 years, and Mario and his friends will continue to be seen on through Nintendo games on the Nintendo Switch in the coming years.

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