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1985 GAF Game of the Year

What is your game of the year 1985?

  • Total voters


Gold Member
I figured it would be interesting to pick the game of the year for 1985. Who cares about 2021, lets use hindsight and decide the best games from the most fun decade. You can vote 3 times to give you multiple options for the game of the year.

Here is your curated list of releases from 1985.


Players control Mario, or his brother Luigi in the multiplayer mode, as they travel the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from Bowser (King Koopa). They traverse side-scrolling stages while avoiding hazards such as enemies and pits with the aid of power-ups such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman.

The arcade version of Gauntlet was released in November 1985 and was initially available only as a dedicated four-player cabinet. Atari distributed a total of 7,848 arcade units.[11] In Japan, the game was released by Namco in February 1986.[5] Atari later released a two-player cabinet variant in June 1986, aimed at operators who could not afford or did not have sufficient space for the four-player version.

Arthur who must battle through hordes of the undead in order to rescue the kidnapped princess Prin-Prin (also known as Guinevere, or not named altogether depending on the game/translation) from the demon king Astaroth.

There are four distinct sections of gameplay, taking in a Missile Base, a Harbour, a Bridge, and an enemy Prison Camp. Extra weapons with limited ammunition can be collected along the way, which will make the task a lot easier. The level is divided into 3 horizontal levels, which can be moved between either by jumping or using ladders, and this gives a chance to avoid the more threatening mobs of enemy fighters.

The fourth game in the Ultima series features an improved game engine, with color graphics and enhanced character interaction: the player can have conversations with non-playable characters by typing names of various topics. However, the main difference between Ultima IV and its predecessors in the series (as well as other role-playing games) lies in the game's objectives and the ways to fulfill them.

King's Quest II: Romancing the Stones is a remake of King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne and a follow-up to AGD Interactive's (formerly Tierra Entertainment) earlier remake of the first game. Similar to its predecessor, it has VGA graphics reminiscent of Sierra's adventure games of the early 1990's and a new musical score. The remake retains the general outlines of the original story and the gameplay system, however contains additional locations, expanded dialogue, and new characters. Some of these characters are original, while others are taken from various installments of the series to present a more cohesive view of its overarching story.

Hang-On is an arcade racing game, also bundled with the Master System and reminiscent of Pole Position, but with bikes. The player races against time, battling an unlimited amount of opponents on a highway. While the clock ticks down, he should try to maneuver past his opponents and to steer clear of obstacles on the side of the road. Beating the clock extends the time and draws a new backdrop to race in.

Gradius is a side-scrolling shooter. Shooting certain enemies will leave a power up pod behind which can be collected to add more power to your ship. Each level features a wide variety of enemies trying to stop you, with a large boss at the end. Gameplay is for one player or two players alternating.

As a covered wagon party of pioneers, you head out west from Independence, Missouri to the Willamette River and valley in Oregon. You first must stock up on provisions, and then, while traveling, make decisions such as when to rest, how much food to eat, etc. The Oregon Trail incorporates simulation elements and planning ahead, along with discovery and adventure, as well as mini-game-like activities (hunting and floating down the Dalles River).

In Ice Climber one or two players need to climb their way to the top of 32 different mountains. Each mountain is broken up into eight levels of platforms along with a bonus stage at the top. Attempting to stop the player from making upward progress are different creatures ranging from polar bears to condors, as well as treacherous landscapes with falling icicles, moving platforms, and icy floors. To help out, the players have a weapon, a mallet, which can be used to knock out enemies as well as bust away bricks in the platforms to provide some room to jump up to the next level. When the player finally reaches the top, it's time to move on to the next, more difficult level.


Rush n Attack and Gradius were my very first games my parents bougth me with my beloved nes. I just love them but Mario Bros is the winner here.


Gold Member
The PC/DOS version of Oregon Trail didn't release until 1990. The Apple II version released in 1985. I'm so triggered rn at the use of the PC/DOS version box art.
This year is too easy... SMB was a once-in-a-lifetime gaming event, to the point where its theme music is one of the most recognized melodies from any medium around the globe. The other games are great, but don't stand a chance on this one.


Gold Member
Was going to say Geoff Crammond's The Sentinel is better than all of these, but it came out in '86 :)


Gold Member
I was born that year, how the hell should I know?

But it's SMB. It's arguably the most important game ever released. Also still immensely playable to this day, unlike huge swaths of the NES library.
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Gold Member
Sorry but best game of 1985 list without Personal Home computers (none of that IBM compatible crap) isn't a list worth voting on.

Just off the top of my head (not even remotely comprehensive, 1985 was a busy year for 8bits especially):

Archon came out earlier I think, but for Bards Tale I never played it but my older brother did. I remember there was something weird with Bards with a giant fight against trolls or something. Maybe it was against 100 weak trolls because my bro would do some automated fight commands and leave the battle on for an hour and come back. This was on Apple II. Googling it I think was against monsters that would cast Summon Herb so it bogged down the battles.
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fart town usa

Gold Member
I said Mario but if I was a PC gamer I probably would have said Ultima IV.

I was born in 85 so clearly I wasn't around to experience these when they were fresh. We got an NES in 89 or 90. I do remember the Christmas when my brothers and I got it though. 2 older brothers were freaking out like N64 kid, I joined in too but I honestly had no idea what a NES was, lol.


None of those.

Racing Destruction Set on C64 was the best game of the year, and AFAIK the first of its kind to offer a track creator. I spent countless of hours making my own tracks, and racing through them with friends.
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