games / Columns

411 Games Top 5: Top 5 Games from 1985-1989

September 5, 2016 | Posted by Sean Garmer

Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. This is the 411 Games Zone Top 5, where 411 writers get to make lists on a different topic each week. This week, we return to our on-and-off series looking at the greatest games in five year blocks. This week, we look at the Top 5 Games from 1985-1989. This is using United States release dates only.

Austin Foncannon (Reader Voice)

5. Castle Wolfenstein: The Great Grandfather of all First person Shooters, and coming along before even the ever popular DOOM, this game helped put the shooter genre on the map and has ushered enough Sequels to be known by even modern gamers who could not experience the original escape from the castle.

4. Street Fighter: Coming near the end of the decade, This is a name that few gamers do not know. It is almost an insult to gamers to not know what Street Fighter is. Without this first title, the fighting Genre may not have ever been popular enough to spawn the likes of Mortal Combat, Dead or Alive, and Tekken.

3. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!: Mike Tyson’s Punch Out is a slightly challenging experience that, while aimed at slightly older audiences, has not stopped younger generations from trying this game and testing their limits against the likes of Glass Joe, Soda Popinski, and Mike Tyson himself! (Or Mr. Sandman if you are playing the Wii version where Mike was no longer in contract for the game)

2. Legend of Zelda: Unlike other entries on this list, there were multiple games from the same series released in the 1980’s, all of them becoming instant classics. Grab your Master Sword, Dawn your green drab, and break those pots! Because the Legend of Zelda series is an experience that any age can enjoy.

1. Super Mario Bros.: As I type this, the theme son is probably already playing in your head. If gaming had a face, Mario would be it. This game was so popular, you could say that without Super Mario Bros. The gaming revolution may have never lifted off, and you would have the chance to be right. Even though the princess is in another castle, you still go to the next castle. Eager to save the princess and show King Koopa that he stole from the wrong Italian Plumber. “It’s-a me! Mario!”

Marc Morrison (Games Zone Reviewer, Co-Host of the Video Games 2 the MAX Podcast, Writer of the Games Zone 8-Ball)

5. Paperboy: Paperboy isn’t the deepest game in the world, most arcade games really aren’t, but it is fun, and had a good hook. Having to deliver papers, hopefully in the mailbox, while avoiding obstacles and various enemies that threaten you is a pretty novel game, even in today’s world. The ultimate goal is to convert all the houses on the street to your paper which earns you more money.

4. Arkanoid: Arkanoid really is just a refinement of Breakout, but you know what, Breakout was a solid game as well. Arkanoid had more power ups, better music, more varied stages and more annoying enemies to deal with. Plus, the boss, Doh, was very challenging but fun to fight against. There have been a ton of Arkanoid/Breakout style games over the years, and Arkanoid remains one of my favorites

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Arcade Game: I’m probably wrong here, but the TMNT arcade game might be one of the first 4 player arcade cabinets that came out. It’s certainly the first one I experienced as a kid growing up. This was at the height of the Turtles in mainstream popularity so the machine was almost always in high demand, despite it being a brutal beat’em up game that was designed to suck quarters from kids. It’s primitive by today’s standards, but it evokes a good nostalgia feeling whenever you load it up.

2. The Legend of Zelda: It’s funny in retrospect how much of the original Zelda formula that Nintendo usesfor Zelda games even now. While the elemental dungeons were introduced in LttP (and really solidified in Ocarina), there are aspects like gaining a heart container after you vanquish a boss, elements being unexplorable until you get a certain item, silver arrows, upgrading your sword, or even starting you off without a sword until you go find it, etc. The original Zelda game is as playable today as it was in 1986.

1. Super Mario Bros 3: People may be outraged that the original Super Mario Bros isn’t on this list, and that’s fine. I love that game, but it didn’t really impact me that much, probably because I didn’t buy a NES new, and didn’t start with the game. Even comparing the original to SMB 3 though, there is no comparison. Frankly, SMB 3 is a minor miracle on the NES, for the time, with its overworld structure, amount of new suits, drastically different worlds (and physics for some of them), and new enemies to jump on. Plus, this is the only real Mario game that had Kuribo’s Shoe (Mario Maker doesn’t count), so that means it has to be here at number one, automatically.


List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:

5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation

This is where I’d like to remind readers that the 411 Games Zone does have an official podcast called “Video Games 2 the MAX.” Every week, Marc Morrison and myself, Sean Garmer, talk about the big news, games they are playing or reviewing, the new releases, and even entertainment stuff as well. So, be sure to check it out on I-Tunes, Stitcher, Sound Cloud, Youtube, or wherever you like to listen to podcasts.

This week, the guys talk about the 9/1 Nintendo Direct, the Titanfall 2 Tech Test, the passing of Gene Wilder, Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom, WOW: Legion, God Eater 2: Rage Burst and more…