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 initial release date of whichever platform a game debuted on. However, since the dates in different regions sometimes span several years (hi, Super Mario World), below are the events where we’ve taken small liberties to accommodate a particular worthy preference. Complaints to the usual address.

In some cases, we’ve included honorable mentions and notable non-Switch recommendations. You’ll also notice that the excellent Atari 50 collection and Hamster’s Arcade Archives series are great hits from the early years (and we had to get creative in 1972-75 – please let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions for those early years). Overall, we think you’ll agree that the wealth of historical titles available to play on Nintendo’s tiny console is pretty impressive.

So, enough. Let’s get started… Well, no Very much The beginning, but certainly much closer to it than we are now. Come back to Minnesota in 1971 and travel through time and space with us now…

1971 - Oregon Trail (HP 2100)

Publishers: Gameloft / Developer: Gameloft

Release Date: 14 November 2022 (America) / 14 November 2022 (UK/EU)

Created as an educational tool for students at a Minneapolis high school, The Oregon Trail is an ‘edutainment’ text-based adventure famous for teaching American children about the dangers of diarrhea to pioneers in the mid-1800s. Like many of the games above this list, the original game is available to play online for free (via Oregon Tourism Board websiteno less), but it’s available on Switch in an updated, improved form courtesy of Gameloft.

Unfortunately, we haven’t played it, but let us know in the comments if you’ve experienced diarrhea-related death on Switch.

1972-5 - Pong (Arcade)

1972-5 - Pong (Arcade)

Publishers: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11 November 2022 (America) / 11 November 2022 (UK/EU)
1976 - Breakout (Arcade)

1976 - Breakout (Arcade)

Publishers: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11 November 2022 (America) / 11 November 2022 (UK/EU)
1977 - War (Atari 2600)

1977 - War (Atari 2600)

Publishers: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11 November 2022 (America) / 11 November 2022 (UK/EU)
1978 - Space Invaders (Arcade)

1978 - Space Invaders (Arcade)

Publishers: Skill / Developer: Skill

Release Date: 17 August 2021 (America) / 17 August 2021 (UK/EU)
1979 - Asteroids (Arcade)

1979 - Asteroids (Arcade)

Publishers: Atari / Developer: Digital Eclipse

Release Date: 11 November 2022 (America) / 11 November 2022 (UK/EU)
1980 - PAC-MAN (Arcade)

1980 - PAC-MAN (Arcade)

Publishers: Bandai Namco / Developer: Bandai Namco

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

1981 - Donkey Kong (Arcade)

Publishers: Hamster / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 14 June 2018 (America) / 15 June 2018 (UK/EU)
1982 - Xevious (Arcade)

1982 - Xevious (Arcade)

Publishers: Hamster

Release Date: 23 September 2021 (America) / 24 September 2021 (UK/EU)

Sneaking into Japanese arcades in December 1982, Namco’s Xevious offered an unconventional take on arcades at the time and stands alongside the mighty Space Invaders as one of the most influential entries in the shooter genre. We’re more partial to the autostereoscopic 3D Classics version on 3DS, but the Switch version offers TATE mode in all its glory.

Fun fact: Xevious is unlockable in Star Fox: Assault on GameCube. No, it’s not on the Switch. Sorry, we brought it up.

Honorable Mentions: Donkey Kong Jr., Burger Time, Millipede, Tik Tok

Constant Number: JostMrs. pac-man, pit

1983 - Mario Bros. (Arcade)

1983 - Mario Bros. (Arcade)

Publishers: Hamster / Developer: Nintendo

Release Date: 27 September 2017 (America) / 27 September 2017 (UK/EU)

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