Golden Age of Video Games 1978-1982 - Top Ten

In the spirit of top 10 threads, asking what are peoples top 10 games from the Golden Age of Video games. These are games that were in the arcades, ( the ones you put 20 cents in ).

" The golden age of arcade video games was the era when arcade video games entered pop culture and became a dominant cultural force. … This led to the rise of both video game arcades and the mention of video games in other media, such as songs, cartoons, and movies like 1982’s TRON."

My top 10

1.Galaxian 1979 - The first colour raster game, no overlays, enemies swarming down, extra points for shooting formations, this game was everywhere, the precursor to Galaga but Galaxian set the tone

2.Donkey Kong - 1981 The iconic plumbers first game, although he was first called Jumpman, this set the tone for platform games

  1. Puck Man 1980 - Yes Pac Man was originally Puck Man but due to the english conversion it occurred that many people where scratching out part of the P to make it ■■■■ Man, many units went out as Puck Man and the original marquees can still be brought. A franchise that has netted over 14 billion dollars, a true classic. It’s designer thought of it while eating pizza!

  2. Asteroids 1979 - The first big arcade vector game, vector graphics were so cool, this was 1979 and the game had 5 buttons, left/right , thrust/fire and hyperspace, my friend has an original cab. Still kicks my ■■■■.

  3. Space Invaders 1978 - the game that started the craze caused a shortage of the equivalent coin in Japan, they had to print more because of this game, still a hard game to play and so iconic. I enjoy the thumping boom boom when playing the game with a sub woofer, gets quite frantic.

  4. Galaga 1981 - Spent so much time on this game, it was just perfect at the time, getting the additional ship when yours was captured, or horrifying accidentally shooting it for a 1000 points, it introduced the bonus stage. Have played this in many MAME comps over the years and finally clocked it, a few years ago, player 1 clocks at 1,000,000 but player 2 actually can handle 9,999,999, this was due to limitations on memory BITD. I can only play or two games now at a time as my firing arm aches with repetitiveness. an Australian holds the world record around 17,000,000

  5. Centipede - first Arcade game designed by a women apparently, and it was set in a garden shooting bugs, nice use of a trackball, love the colours, sounds, still a fun game.

  6. Defender - Here is a game that had 5 buttons and a joystick (only up/down ) killer game and still difficult to the day, another my friend owns, never ever been good at this game, but the Williams sounds and frantic gameplay.

  7. Moon Patrol - Still play this one regularly, had the first parallax scrolling in side-scrolling video games, where the back grounds moved differently. Pretty good at this one can get through Championship course and then it is just Championship course repeat, still fun and one a few of my friends always have a bash on. Love the tune too!

*Will add the rest just have to go and do something

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Five years seems restrictive, but okay.
These will just be favourites.

Time Pilot
Moon Patrol
10 Yard Fight
River Raid (Atari)

I’ll reserve a spot for one I’ve forgotten.

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I was too young for 20c machines. At least 60c or 2 games for $1.

all good games and love River Raid but only Arcade games from the arcades not console games

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Can I replace that with the monochrome Tank game?
(Green on green version, not the black and white).


Battlezone! yes actually first developed for the military

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Pac Man
Space Invaders
Elevator Action (meh 83 but I still count it)
Donkey Kong (oops forgot that one!)

  1. Pac man
  2. Donkey Kong
  3. Frogger
    (Hang on, hyper Olympics/ track and field was 1983, damn)
  4. Space Invaders
  5. Phoenix
  6. Galaga
  7. Asteroids
  8. Dig Dug
  9. Qix
  10. Defender

I like Phoenix, too.
What I really liked about UniWars! was that they had enemies beneath you, too.

Battlezone (thanks!) actually made me jump.

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I forgot to add I also loved DK. Played it all the time.

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I may have been biased towards Phoenix, because we all had it programmed into our uni calculators (hp48) in 1992. It didn’t get as good a work out as Tetris, but it got me through many lectures!


It was definitely a classic. I can remember the first time I saw it at the milk Bar (?) On Bribie Island in maybe 1981

I was in the arcade the day they rolled it in around 12 years old, all the big dudes were like, this game is awesome you have not seen anything like it. The line of 20 cent pieces were all along the game, everyone knew whose game was next. Still remember stepping up with a crowd around me, great memory!

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For me it was the local F&C shop at Heathmont with the table top games. I played a lot of the olympic games on there as well. Kept destroying the controllers on those for the long jumps. But I always made sure to buy food first so the guy forgave me.


The local 10 pin bowling alley was the home of most games that I played. And yes, destroyed the hyper Olympics !

(The biggest freakshow I’ve ever seen was at a caravan park in Stawell in about 1992. For the 100m I’d always known the keychain/lighter method back and forward across the buttons to be the quickest. Anyway, a guy from Adelaide comes in and using what I can only describe as a touch typing method smashes out something like a 5.xx second 100m. I’d never seen anything like it.

Pretty sure he then went out and ran a place in the gift final on the Monday…must have had fast twitch fibres.


Pengo was great & Burger Time was a fave on my Intellivision after playing it in the arcades.

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Moon Patrol
Donkey Kong
Dig Dug
Pac man


If the golden age doesn’t cover Street Fighter II then be damned with that age.


Ahhh frogger, you love it and you hate it.

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another 83 game i enjoyed: Dragon’s Lair