"Super Mario Brothers" was released in 1985 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Developed by Nintendo for their first video-game console, the storyline features brothers Mario and Luigi battling Koopa Troops and King Bowser to save the quintessential damsel in distress, Princess Peach. The side-scrolling platform game has become a must-have for generations to follow. The latest iteration of the series, "Super Mario Galaxy 2," was met with critical acclaim and is considered one of the best Wii games of 2010.
"Pac-Man" is a simple story about a very hungry little guy. Released in 1980, the arcade game is considered one of the most iconic of all time. The maze game features the title character attempting to eat all of the pellets in a level without running into four ghosts - Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. The game has had several iterations, including the infamous Google doodle that offered real game play on the search engine's homepage. There are currently several versions of "Pac-Man" planned for all three game consoles.
The original "Street Fighter" was released for the arcade by Capcom in 1987. The fighting game pits two characters from around the world together in a one-on-one street fight. From fireball spewing martial artists to a swift-kicking vixen, each character's distinct traits and talents enhanced the game's simple premise. The popularity of the game inspired several films and comic books. The most recent update of the game, "Super Street Fighter IV," was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010.
"Donkey Kong" not only became an icon upon its original release in 1981, it introduced the world to another iconic character: Mario (whose early name was Jumpman). The game play featured Donkey Kong as the antagonist who has kidnapped a princess, throwing barrels down a series of inclined floors towards Jumpman. The platform game was originally released on the arcade and continued to have success on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The series was refreshed in 2010 when "Donkey Kong Country Returns" was released for the Wii.
"Duke Nukem" was a side-scrolling PC game that was released on floppy disks in 1991. The story tells a classic tale of one man set out to save the world from a villain by the name of Dr. Proton and his army of Techbots. The series rolled out two sequels in 1993 and 1996. The third sequel, however, was like a carrot on a stick for fans of the franchise. Announced in 1997, the game was delayed until 2011, when "Duke Nukem Forever" was released for multiple consoles.
"Tetris" has mesmerized generations of puzzle-lovers. The PC game was introduced in 1984 and featured seven colorful tetrominos falling down a well. The object of the game was to position the pieces in a row without gaps -- wiping out the row -- for as long as possible. The addictive diversion has been released on multiple platforms over the years. The most recent update was released on the PlayStation 3 in 2011.
"GoldenEye 007" is often referred to as one of the most influential first-person shooting games of all time. Released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64, the game was praised for having quality content and a deep multi-player experience. Based on the 1995 film "GoldenEye," starring Pierce Brosnan, the game takes you into the world of international spy James Bond. The popular game got a long-awaited update in 2010 with "GoldenEye 007" for the Wii.
Sonic the Hedgehog
"Sonic the Hedgehog" was released on the Sega Genesis in 1991. The adorable blue hedgehog, and namesake, is known for having supersonic speed and ring-collecting fetish. The game catapulted Sega to become a serious contender in the 1990s console world. Since then, the franchise has had many spinoffs on multiple consoles. The next offering of the series will be available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in the fall of 2011.
The Legend of Zelda
"The Legend of Zelda" is one of Nintendo's flagship titles. Released in 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the action-adventure game follows Link through a fictional land called Hyrule. The objective is to save Princess Zelda from the villain, Ganon. The series continues to be one of the most successful franchises in Nintendo's history. "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D" was recently remastered 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS.
"Final Fantasy" is one of the most highly regarded video games by fans and critics alike. Released in 1987, the role-playing game immerses a player in a battle of good and evil. The game play is a mixture of exploring the game world, magic spells and menu-driven fights. The storyline was so compelling that it was adapted into two feature-length computer animated films. The most recent update of the series, "Final Fantasy XIV," came out in 2010 for the PC, but has been delayed for the PlayStation 3.