It’s an inevitable debate among gamers young and old: what are the greatest video games of all time? While the industry is still a fledgling when compared to other media, video games have undoubtedly cemented their place as celebrations of storytelling fused with digital artwork and mastery. As most would argue, though, there are some titles that stand above the rest and conjure some of our favorite memories of our childhood and teenage years.
Brett Weiss’ book, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 is a smart, light, and fun compilation that avoids delving into ranks, and instead focuses on highlighting the best console titles of a decade of rapid advance for the video game industry. As Nintendo, Atari, and other notable companies began pushing their consoles into the market, Weiss collects 100 titles that resonate with most of the gaming community.
Obvious inclusions such as the original Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers, and Legend of Zelda are to be expected, but more fascinating are the titles often unremembered until you flip the page and see the original box art. Remember The Incredible Wizard from the Astrocade? How about Shark! Shark! on the Intellivision? From Air-Sea Battle to Zaxxon, there are some wonderful trips down memory lane to be had here.
Also fun to indulge in are tidbits and fun facts about each and every game. It’s always interesting to find out often unknown details about titles you thought you knew absolutely everything about. I remember beating Missle Command many times over as a child, but I never noticed that lead designer Rob Fulop encoded his initials as an easter egg in one of the games’ harder levels.
While impossible to cover every single title to debut in an entire decade, Weiss’ book is a wonderful anecdote of a great time in our industry’s evolution. Definitely a prize piece of a gamer’s coffee table space and a place of fond recollection, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987 is a must-have for any passionate gamer.