A screen shot of Ms. Pac-Man

Readers of this blog know by now that I have not progressed much past eight-bit video gaming. My Nintendo Entertainment System is the most advanced one I've ever owned - except for a month with a Super Nintendo and one with a PlayStation.

Both soon broke, reigniting my passion for a machine that has survived gracefully into old age. If I know anything about video games, I know about those of old.

The online version of Entertainment Weekly, which I find as enjoyable but not as compelling as the print version, came out with a list of 20 favorite old-school arcade games. (via Sensory Overload) The list included favorites like Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II and Dig Dug.

Unfortunate entries include: Paperboy, which was impossible; Elevator Action, which was boring; and Ms. Pac-Man, clearly not the best of the series.

These lists are created to incite anger, so, you know, my Top 10 (in no order) list after the jump.

A screen shot of Ms. Pac-Man

Readers of this blog know by now that I have not progressed much past eight-bit video gaming. My Nintendo Entertainment System is the most advanced one I've ever owned - except for a month with a Super Nintendo and one with a PlayStation.

Both soon broke, reigniting my passion for a machine that has survived gracefully into old age. If I know anything about video games, I know about those of old.

The online version of Entertainment Weekly, which I find as enjoyable but not as compelling as the print version, came out with a list of 20 favorite old-school arcade games. (via Sensory Overload) The list included favorites like Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II and Dig Dug.

Unfortunate entries include: Paperboy, which was impossible; Elevator Action, which was boring; and Ms. Pac-Man, clearly not the best of the series.

These lists are created to incite anger, so, you know, my Top 10 (in no order) list after the jump.

EW.com's definitions for "old-school" are unclear, so I'll give you 10 games released for the arcade before 1995. Most are low resolution, though some are prettier than others.

1942 This was an early artistic triumph from Capcom, a game developer headquartered in Osaka, Japan. However, it's completely odd to have a Japanese-made game about World War II become so popular in the United States. You know, because of the war and all.

Even weirder: The next edition of the game series was called 1943: The Battle of Midway. In reality, Midway was a bloody naval battle in the Pacific Ocean between Japan and the U.S. It was considered a crucial victory for the Allied powers and actually took place in 1942.

Street Fighter II: Champion Edition Numerous versions of the second edition were released (Hyper and Rainbow, for example), but my arcades always had the Champion Edition. That was fine. This is an amazing game, which offered a diverse cast of characters (including the bosses). The first two opponents were easy, giving you some time for your quarters.

Mortal Kombat II One of the more gruesome games I played extensively, this battle royal welcomed me to the world of combat, mortality and the ability to remove an opponent's spine with my fist. I'll never forget that. Like Street Fighter II, this game was identical to the version I played at friends' houses, giving me the edge when I returned to the arcade.

Pac-Man The most iconic video game ever remained popular for good reason: It's super fun and never ends. Is that frustrating? As Americans, do we need closure and definite markers of achievement? Sure - just not when controlling a yellow circle through endless mazes of dots.

NBA Jam As far as sports games went, this was the beginning of the end for me. I mastered simpler games like TecmoBowl and John Elway's Quarterback, but I never had the time or energy to learn the strategy and controls for sports games that advanced exponentially with better systems. This game straddled those worlds: good graphics with simple gameplay.

Centipede My Uncle Barry had this game at his house, which was filled with awesome toys. Therefore, I played this game often, and became quite good. It was an ultimate test of endurance and timing - skills I would rarely use later in life.

Bad Dudes Like those in Contra, the characters in this game embodied how I imagined myself as a cartoon hero: a handsome tough-guy with a heart of gold, martial arts skills and many weapons. There were several versions of this game, but the original is my favorite. It also offered a fantastic, challenging two-player experience.

Galaga I was never sure of the physics involved when I retreived my second ship from a powerful forcefield and became doubly awesome. I never really cared. This vertical-scrolling game made a lot out of a little - endless hours of fun with graphics software about as sophisticated as what's powering the display in your microwave. That said, it made good use of interstellar space and that on the screen.

After Burner You could play this game on the standard upright console - or one that looks to eight-year-old kids to be the inside of a jet fighter. Once you went in, there was no going back. I found most first-person flying games to be very difficult (including Top Gun for NES), never giving them much of a chance. This one however was tough and addictive.

Golden Axe It's difficult to imagine yourself as a dwarf, until you get to swing a giant axe. And hop onto a dragon and ride. And the dragon spits hot fire. Those treats and more elevated this game from an also-ran fantasy title to classic status.