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Retro Video Games: Gotta Get 'Em Titles of Yesteryear

Take a look at some of the most sought after video games of the past. Take a look at some of the most sought after video games of the past.


The latest issue of Rosebud Magazine (which features our very own smokin' hot grow expert, Deonna Marie, on the cover) contains another bang up edition of "Gotta Get 'Em Games," our regular video game column. Well, we thought we'd do something a little different as an added bonus this time around and feature an online supplement looking back at the Gotta Get 'Em games of yore. For those of us who grew up with an Atari 2600, Nintendo Entertainment System, or Sega Genesis, video gaming wasn't just a hobby, it was a way of life. The gaming culture has only continued to grow, and we pay tribute with this look back at the titles that excited us decades ago.

Missile Command

Year: 1980

Platform: Atari 2600

This arcade hit translated nicely to the Atari 2600 and helped blow up home gaming for early video game enthusiasts. You were in charge of defending a city being bombarded by unknown enemies. The simple graphics and intuitive gameplay made Missile Command an enduring classic that is still good for a spin over 30 years later.


Year: 1982

Platform: Atari 2600

Pitfall! was the title that established Activision as a go-to publisher of winning video games in the early '80s. You were Pitfall Harry, running through the jungle on a neverending quest to collect jewels while leaping over scorpions and rolling logs while using vines to swing over ravenous crocodiles and treacherous quicksand. The sidescrolling, run-and-jump style would pave the way for megahits like Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog.

River Raid

Year: 1982

Platform: Colecovision

First a hit for the Atari 2600, River Raid really excelled as a title for the newer and more powerful Colecovision a short time later. This was the quintessential scrolling shooter, building on the foundation laid by the legendary Space Invaders. You control a fighter plane as it flys over water blasting away at enemy boats, helicopters, and bridges. It was hard to have more fun in the early '80s than playing this game.

Bubble Bobble

Year: 1988

Platform: NES

Easily one of the most playable games ever released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Bubble Bobble was sort of a sleeper hit in many neighbourhoods. It didn't seem like a must-have title, what with its cutesy dinosaur-fish characters hopping around blowing bubbles, but then, once you played it, you couldn't stop.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!

Year: 1987

Platform: NES

In the Nintendo era, if you didn't own a copy of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, you were missing out and you knew it. Nintendo's hit arcade boxing game Punch-Out! got a makeover when it was ported to the home system. It was decidedly more cartoonish than its predecessor, but also providing more opponents, this was a ostensibly a sports game, but its appeal was universal. Every child of the '80s remembers the names Glass Joe, King Hippo, and Soda Popinski as if they were characters in a beloved film classic.

John Madden Football

Year: 1990

Platform: Sega Genesis

The term game-changer gets thrown around pretty liberally sometimes, but it is absolutely an apt term for John Madden Football, which has gone on to become one of the most successful video game series of all time. Indeed, gamers play Madden these days with a nearly religious fervor. But it all started back when 16-bit systems ruled the gaming landscape. Madden was the most realistic sports title ever at the time. Additionally, the NFL was ascendant, soon to become the dominant sport in American homes, and Electronic Arts rode that wave of popularity all the way to the bank with a title that has been getting an updated release annually for over two decades now.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past

Year: 1991

Platform: Super Nintendo

Widely considered one of the best video games of all time, The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past was a Gotta Get 'Em Game for any serious gamer in the early '90s. The Zelda titles have long been associated with high-quality gaming experiences, starting with the original NES titles, but the 16-bit version showed that Zelda was going to build and grow with gaming technology, and continue to take gamers deeper into an engaging world of adventure than any other game on the shelf.

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Pitfall was all the rage in the early '80s, as a young Jack Black will tell you.
Last modified on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 05:48

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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