Pac-man Fever Lives Forever
Pacman is one of the biggest names in the gaming industry, that fact is irrefutable. Arcade gamers know him as the game that got them into the scene, plenty of old school console gamers know his interesting titles where he takes trips through time or his own little world. Even the modern world is getting to know the yellow dude himself through games that explore his ‘ghostly adventures’ or more retro ones like 256.
It’s pretty amazing just how lasting Pacman has become. Back when Toru Iwatani made Pacman after getting inspired by eating a slice of pizza and the shape that was left from that pizza, he created a character that would live on in the hearts of gamers everywhere. From a simple pizza came the idea for one of the biggest icons in gaming ever. Pacman has had a plethora of games in his history so far. Even some pretty crazy cameos and features, like being a playable character in the latest Super Smash Bros release, or even his inclusion in the god awful film ‘Pixels’.
Bad movie appearances aside, Pacman has had plenty of fantastic games. Different genres and all of them quite fun! Platformers, Tetris likes, even point and click! Pacman has been through plenty of different genres, as have his extended family such as Ms Pacman. So we decided to break down the best of the best of Pacmans adventures, old and new. We spent the week playing a few of these again to get a refresh on just how good they were, and there is something about taking Pacman on the GPD XD that is just so darn fun!
But no more padding, let us jump right into the Top 10 Pac-Man Games!
10 – Pac Attack
Pac Attack is just Tetris. No way around it. Tetris with some added bells and whistles to make the gameplay slightly different, but still just Tetris. But there is something fun about this little Tetris clone with Pacman in the centre of it all. It’s got an excellent soundtrack and some neat Pacman filled visuals, and while it may not seem like a console game and more of a handheld fit, Pac Attack proves to be a good way to combat boredom! Sometimes the age can show, but it’s still quite playable today!
Pac Attack is a fantastic Tetris like game that makes for a good quick escape if you want to just throw away some time.
9 – Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is simple and inoffensive. One of the newer titles on the list, it is a solid family friendly platformer that gets everything right. It’s a bit like the show. The show is a rather good watch that has humour that adults and kids can enjoy. The game gets the same treatment by having a level of polish that wouldn’t be found in a game based off of a kids show, the platforming works, the graphics are nice, everything is just enjoyable as a whole.
Shame the same couldn’t be said for Sonic Boom’s game…
8 – Pac-Man World 2
Ghostly Adventures is your cookie cutter modern 3D Pacman adventure, whereas Pacman World 2 is a few steps ahead of it. You get a feel for a lot more character in this game, not just a quirky game made to piggy back off of a decent TV show. No, it’s a game where a team just said “Let’s make a fun Pacman game” and they did! A bunch of fun levels, great soundtrack, and even packed with unlockable versions of previous Pacman games, like Pac Attack or Ms Pac-man.
This is a 3D adventure for the true Pac fan!
7 – Pac-In Time
Who doesn’t enjoy a good platforming romp through time? Pac-In Time is exactly what the title sounds like, a witch sends Pacman through time and he has to find a way back home. Because Witches are Doc Brown now for some reason! Plot aside, you get an excellent platforming game with a good setting. Just make sure to play the SNES version, as other versions are just a reskinned version of another game and it’s quite clear the SNES version is the superior version.
Be aware; it does get quite hard towards the end though. Dark Souls X Pac Man hard!
6 – Pac-Man World
The SNES games brought us the adventurous side of Pacman. World fantastically brought that idea full circle, easily the best incarnation of Pacman as a 3D Platformer. The game controls so well, has some really beautiful worlds to explore, and Maze mode is a challenging little 3D version of the classic Pacman experience. If you’ve ever doubted Pacman working in a 3D landscape, then try out World for sure.
A perfect fit at the time for his 20th anniversary, Pac-Man world still holds up today.
5 – Pac-Man 256
Endless runners have been done by quite a few companies now. 256 showcases just how fitting the genre is for Pacman. Inspired by the 256 level glitch you’ll find if you aim for the high score in the original Pacman like well-known gamer Billy Mitchell. The rules are simple, play Pacman as you know it, but the level is endless. You can even play this game with friends who can help you fight off ghosts in aim for a bigger high score.
256 is a bundle of fun that melds old school and the new generation for a really enjoyable play time.
4 – Pac-Mania
Pac-Mania is the game where a lot of us Retro gamers warmed up to the idea of Pacman in 3D. We got a shiny new version of the yellow fellow, he could jump, he had new ghosts to face, even returning ghosts. The usual suspects of Blinky, Pinky, Inky, Clyde, and even Sue from Ms Pacman were there. The newbies this time are Funky and Spunky. It was a treat to play back in the day and still is. It feels like a version of 256 with more personality, despite being less flashy. It works to its credit in that regard, you get to appreciate every little detail.
In the end, consider heading back to experience a bit of Pac-Mania!
3 – Ms. Pac-Man
This is it! The game everyone quotes just after the original Pacman! Ms Pacman is great; it’s simplistic in the idea, and yet works so well. Tighter controls and a new ghost in the form of Sue. But the more important aspect of Ms Paman was what the game did for the greater landscape of gaming as a whole; this was the game that broadened the already popular Arcade scene. Casual goers found it even easier to get into the Arcades. Girlfriends, Mums, everyone would find their place with Ms Pacman and go on to play other titles they may not have gone to right away. It was a renaissance back in the day, and Ms Pacman helped make that possible.
So if you have the time, revisit the greatness that is Ms. Pac-Man!
2 – Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
Pacman Championship Edition DX is easily the best answer to how do you capture lightning in a bottle twice. Despite the solid games released through the years in the Pacman series, everyone would continue to go on and on about how there would never be a game that encompasses that addicting feeling that the original Pacman game brought. Extreme beyond measure and addicting as all heck.
Jumping into a game of Championship Edition means losing a few hours as you’ll no doubt want to keep playing over and over in an attempt to best your previous try. Packed with loads of references to classic Pacman and even great Namco games like DigDug. It’s a true treat to anyone with Pacman Fever!
Don’t wait! Go and play some Pac-Man Championship Edition DX today!
Honourable Mention – Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures
This is our controversial pick here. But trust us here. Pacman 2 is oozing with fun if you give it a chance. It’s easy to understand why someone might be a bit surprised by it. You played the first Pacman and then see a Pacman 2. Oh great, the same but better? Then you get this pseudo point and click adventure game. It’s a jarring change for sure, but the game is really fun if you give it a chance.
Fans of Monkey Island and further point and click classics will feel right at home here. It’s just… amusingly fun. Pacman is like Pacbrat here, he is absolutely hilarious with the mischief he gets up to in Pac-Man 2. We could never explain why it is so good in a few sentences, however, go check out Roo form ClanofTheGrayWolf and his video on the game by clicking here.
Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures is a bit of a shift from the usual Pacman formula, but it is very fun. Check it out!
1 – Pac-Man
This is it, people. You had to know it would be the original. Nothing trumps Pacman. EVERYONE loves it. One of the highest-grossing video games of all time featured in movies, songs, everything under the sun that brought about Pacman fever. Back in the day, you wouldn’t be able to go to an Arcade without seeing people crowding the Pacman cabinet, heck some still do!
Each version was quite popular; you had the kids who only played it in the Arcade, to the one who had it on his 2600. No matter what game is released in the Pacman series, nothing will ever trump the first game. It’s simply the best of the bunch.
That was our list of the Top 10 Pac-Man Games! It was fun to look back at the games that have come out since the first Arcade game, and while he has had a few missteps with some bad games. The majority of his games are quite good. He’s managed to fair leagues better than some popular gaming Mascots. His games have influenced a generation of people and still do to this very day. While he may not be as popular as Sonic or Mario today, his effect on the gaming landscape is undoubted.
Toru Iwatani has given us an icon. Parents, Grandparents, Kids, everyone can enjoy Pacman after one playthrough. The best part is that they’ll continue to enjoy his games thanks to the titles like Championship Edition that put new spins on the old format, and all of us Retro Gamers can always go back and enjoy the first game whenever we want. To Pacman, thank you for everything. Your games are what games should be at their core. Fun. No added bells and whistles of voice acting, complex graphics, lengthy tutorials, overpriced DLC.
Pac-Man is gaming to its truest form.