Gaming

50 Years Of Landmark Video Games, One Per Year, All Playable On Nintendo Switch


Before we begin, some housekeeping. For the most part, we’ve gone with the earliest initial release date of a game on whatever platform it debuted. However, with dates in different territories sometimes spread across multiple years (hi, Super Mario World), there are instances below where we’ve taken a minor liberty in order to accommodate a particular deserving favourite. Complaints to the usual address.

In some cases, we’ve added honourable mentions and even notable non-Switch nominations. You’ll also notice that the excellent Atari 50 collection and Hamster’s Arcade Archives series are doing the heavy lifting in the early years (and we had to get creative with 1972-75 — let us know in the comments if you’ve got suggestions for those early years). Overall, we think you’ll agree that the wealth of historic titles available to play on Nintendo’s diminutive console is mighty impressive.

So, enough ado. Let’s start at… well, not the very beginning, but certainly much closer to it than we are now. Come with us now on a journey through time and space, back to Minnesota in 1971…

1971 - The Oregon Trail (HP 2100)

1971 - The Oregon Trail (HP 2100)

Publisher: Gameloft / Developer: Gameloft

Release Date: 14th Nov 2022 (USA) / 14th Nov 2022 (UK/EU)

Created as an educational tool for students at a Minneapolis high school, The Oregon Trail is an iconic ‘edutainment’ text-based adventure famous for teaching US kids about the perils of dysentery for pioneers on the trail in the mid-1800s. As with many of the games near the top of this list, the original game is available to play for free online (via the Oregon tourist board’s website, no less), but it’s also available on Switch in a vastly updated, upgraded form courtesy of Gameloft.

We haven’t played this one, unfortunately, but let us know in the comments if you’ve had the pleasure of dysentery-based death on Switch.

1972-5 - Pong (Arcade)

1972-5 - Pong (Arcade)

Publisher: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11th Nov 2022 (USA) / 11th Nov 2022 (UK/EU)
1976 - Breakout (Arcade)

1976 - Breakout (Arcade)

Publisher: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11th Nov 2022 (USA) / 11th Nov 2022 (UK/EU)
1977 - Combat (Atari 2600)

1977 - Combat (Atari 2600)

Publisher: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11th Nov 2022 (USA) / 11th Nov 2022 (UK/EU)
1978 - Space Invaders (Arcade)

1978 - Space Invaders (Arcade)

Publisher: Taito / Developer: Taito

Release Date: 17th Aug 2021 (USA) / 17th Aug 2021 (UK/EU)
1979 - Asteroids (Arcade)

1979 - Asteroids (Arcade)

Publisher: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11th Nov 2022 (USA) / 11th Nov 2022 (UK/EU)
1980 - PAC-MAN (Arcade)

1980 - PAC-MAN (Arcade)

Publisher: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco

Release Date: 27th May 2022 (USA) / 27th May 2022 (UK/EU)
1981 - Donkey Kong (Arcade)

1981 - Donkey Kong (Arcade)

Publisher: HAMSTER / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 14th Jun 2018 (USA) / 15th Jun 2018 (UK/EU)
1982 - Xevious (Arcade)

1982 - Xevious (Arcade)

Publisher: HAMSTER

Release Date: 23rd Sep 2021 (USA) / 24th Sep 2021 (UK/EU)

Sneaking out in Japanese arcades in December 1982, Namco’s Xevious delivered visuals that were uncommon in arcades at the time and stands alongside the mighty Space Invaders as one of the most influential entries in the shooter genre. We’re quite partial to the autostereoscopic 3D Classics version on 3DS, but the Switch version delivers TATE mode in all its glory.

Fun fact: Xevious is an unlockable in Star Fox: Assault on GameCube. Nope, that’s not on Switch. Sorry we brought it up.

Honourable Mentions: Donkey Kong Jr., Burger Time, Millipede, Dig Dug

Non-Switch Nom: Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Pitfall

1983 - Mario Bros. (Arcade)

1983 - Mario Bros. (Arcade)

Publisher: HAMSTER / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 27th Sep 2017 (USA) / 27th Sep 2017 (UK/EU)





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