Video Games Then And Now: Stunning Ways Franchises Have Changed Over The Years

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Video games have come a long way since Pong first hit the scene in 1972. The evolution of the industry was slow and mostly relegated to arcades, until Nintendo released the Famicon in 1983. Two years later it was released in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System, and a monster was born – his name was Mario.

Looking at video games then and now, Mario is still going strong, although he looks just a little different. Other franchises have proved to be just as lasting. Mortal Kombat is still the premiere fighting game. Madden moved from one of several NFL simulators to the only licensed one. And of course, all of these games today look unrecognizable from where they started.

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The longest-lasting video game franchises have successfully survived graphical upgrades, lengthened game times (a few hours to sometimes more than 100 hours), and many other obstacles that left other franchises buried. These are the biggest and longest-lasting video games then and now, with a stunning look at where they started to where they’ve come! Did we miss any?

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Okay, okay, you caught me. Mario technically debuted in 1983 in arcades with Mario Bros. But it was Super Mario Bros. on NES that changed the industry forever. The 2D side scroller was comprised of eight worlds with four levels each and infinite replay value.

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SUPER MARIO BROS.

Raise your hand if you knew the first Madden NFL videogame came out on the Apple II in 1988? That original football simulator took years to develop as John Madden made it clear he would not put his name on anything that didn’t offer traditional 11-on-11 style arcade action.

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MADDEN NFL

One of the oldest characters on this list, Donkey Kong had to be included on this video games then and now list. His origins were as an enemy for Mario, tossing barrels for him to dodge in arcade games. That arcade classic, oddly enough, was named Donkey Kong, even though he was the antagonist who was holding Pauline hostage from Mario.

DONKEY KONG

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WOLFENSTEIN

Castle Wolfenstein was published in 1981 by Silas Warner and keeps chugging along with Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot coming out in 2019. You can imagine that between then and now the graphics and overall breadth of the game have only changed for the better, but that’s not the total truth.

Water Pokemon have always hated the Electric-type. That is until little Mudkip came along. While Mudkip is weak to electricity, his next two evolutions are Water and Ground-type. While that makes him super weak to Grass moves, that becomes his only weakness.

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METROID

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