The top 10 video games from 1980

Stuart Sumner

Join Computing on this trek into the verdant pastures of a burgeoning video games industry, as we remember the best games of the '80s. In this first feature, we start where it all began in 1980 itself

In  1980 the home computing era was just about to kick off. The ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 were both still two years away from launch, but the video games industry was in full swing.

Most games released in this period were on coin-operated arcade cabinets, but a few were developed for the mainframes found in most universities and large businesses. Some even found global acclaim.

Join us on this stroll through the archives as we remember the best games of the '80s, starting at the very beginning, in 1980.

Or, if you're more interested in the top ZX Spectrum games of all time, this should tickle your retro bone.

Amiga games more your thing? We've got that covered too.

Or, for a more hardware-based rundown of the best machines of the home computing era, try this.


10. Space Panic

Released originally as an arcade game in November, Space Panic is notable for being revered as the first ever platform game. The game's aim is to progress through the levels, digging holes in the platforms then knocking aliens in to kill them.

The game wasn't wildly successful, a fact which its publisher put down to its novelty - it wasn't just the first platform game, it was also the first ‘trap ‘em up', where the bad guys couldn't just be shot. Apparently this was all a bit much for audiences in 1980. What on Earth would they have made of Mass Effect: Andromeda is anyone's guess.

In 1983 CBS Electronics ported Space Panic onto the largely forgotten Coleco Vision home console - a machine which largely owed its sales success to the fact that it came bundled with the original Donkey Kong, itself often and incorrectly hailed as the first-ever platformer.

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