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Top 70s Arcade Games: 18 Video Trailblazers

The best 70s arcade games may not be household names these days, but even today’s most popular and sophisticated video games can trace their roots to the simple entries of the Disco Decade.

In that vain, here are ten of the most popular and influential arcade games from the 1970s …

Computer Space (1971)

Computer space is generally considered the first commercially sold coin-operated video arcade machine for playing computer games.

Pong (1972)

Pong, a two player game where players hit the ball back and forth with paddles to control its movement on an electronic screen

Space Race (1973)

Space Race is a classic arcade game from the early 70s where you try to guide your ship past obstacles and shoot down enemy ships.

Gran Trak 10 (1974)

Gran Trak is a popular racing game from the 70s where you control your car through challenging obstacles and obstacle courses.

Speed Race (1974)

Speed Race is a game where you try to get your car around the track as fast as possible, avoiding obstacles and driving over coins that give you more time for extra laps.

Tank (1974)

Tank was an arcade game made by Atari, Inc. It was the first video arcade game to use a trackball allowing 360 degree control of movement.

Anti-Aircraft (1975)

Anti-Aircraft is a simple game where you shoot at incoming aircraft before they can destroy your city.

Gun fight (1975)

Gun Fight was released in 1975 as an arcade machine by Midway Games and has been called one of the earliest shooting/fighting action games. The object is to shoot your opponent before they can shoot you or time runs out.

Breakout (1976)

Breakout is one of the earliest examples of “Escape The Room” puzzle games and has seen several remakes over time; it’s considered one of the most influential games in history because, according to Walter Day, founder and president emeritus for Twin Galaxies International Score keeping organization (TGISRO), “[it] had more effect on how subsequent games were designed than any other videogame before or since.”

Death Race (1976)

Released as Death Race 2000 in the US; a single-player video game where players control car to run over “gremlins.”

The Magnavox Odyssey (1976)

The Magnavox Odyssey is credited as being the world’s first home console. It has been called “the godfather of all gaming consoles.”

Sea Wolf (1976)

The original Sea Wolf is a submarine-themed game that allows players to control the direction of the ship, as well as depth.

Stunt Cycle (1976)

A two-player competitive game where players race around a track to win the Stunt Cycle Championship.

Super Bug (1977)

Super Bug is one of the first games to feature a car driving, or racing-type game.

Space Invaders (1978)

Inspired other shoot ’em ups like Galaxian (1979), Asteroids (1979), Defender (1980).

Asteroids (1979)

One of the most popular games in history, Asteroids is a single-player arcade game where players are tasked with destroying asteroids.

Galaxian (1979)

The first shoot ’em up game to feature a ship moving in space, and the second-most popular arcade game after Space Invaders.

Lunar Landing (1979)

Lunar Landing was a vector graphics arcade game that simulates the landing of an Apollo spacecraft on the moon.

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