10 Oldest Video Games That Started the Gaming Industry

By  //  July 4, 2021

The video game industry has massively grown over time, and video game play is currently among the most fashionable ways to pass the time. Interestingly enough, video gaming actually started in the 1950s. Since then, the popularity and development continued to grow with various modifications being done year after year. 

As old gaming systems have been discontinued, it may be impossible to find their consoles today, but the games can still be enjoyed using different platforms. Romspedia, for example, is a website that provides an exhaustive list of old games and enables their download for almost all retro consoles. In addition, Romspedia provides emulators that will allow you to run the games.

You will find out the very oldest video games that formed a foundation for the industry in our list.

Gun Fight

Gun Fight the first game to depict human combat was released in 1975. Its creator was Tomohiro Nishikado, who also developed several games while still in Taito.

The game had two-player modes. Europe and Japan, called it Western Gun. Western Gun was licensed to Midway for its North America release, and it was switched to Gun Fight. The game’s Midway version was the first one to employ the use of a microprocessor.


Tank was released in November 1974 by Kee Games, an Atari’s subsidiary, and it was their only original title. Tank was a maze multi-player mode game. Steve Bristow designed the Tank, and Lyle Rains developed it.

A month after its release, Atari merged with Kee. At the time, Atari was having financial challenges. However, the game’s success helped Atari and led to the creation of four other sequels of the series.

Gran Trak 10

The game was released in May 1974 and was created by Atari after Space Race became unsuccessful. It is considered the first car racing game, and it featured multi-player modes. It featured an actual steering wheel, brake pedals, an accelerator, and a gear stick.

Its set up would be used subsequently in almost all arcade racing games. 

Space Race 

It was created by Atari and released in 1973 and was the second to be released after Pong’s success. Space Race was a multi-player racing game.

It was initially called Asteroid, and its development began in 1972. The game commercially failed, and its creation was to fulfill a contract between Atari and Bally Midway earlier on. In spite of its failure, it inspired the making of Astro Race, a clone game by Taito. It is noted as the first racing game.


Pong was released in November 1972, and as a sports game, it featured single and multi-player modes. Its creator was Allan Alcorn, who created it as an assignment by Nolan Bushnell, who founded Atari. Its overall success greatly impacted the industry and made it a feasible venture.

The game proved that the industry could earn revenue as it was the first to be commercially successful. Owing to its accomplishment, games similar to Pong were created.

Magnavox Odyssey Games

As the first home video console released in September 1972, Magnavox Odyssey had games featuring single and multi-player modes. The creators were a team at Sanders Associates for Magnavox led by Ralph H. Baer. In 1972, the Odyssey debuted with the U.S. version having 12 games.

Later in the year and 1973, other games were separately sold. The games included Table Tennis, Analogic, Cat and Mouse, Hockey, Ski, Roulette, Submarine, Simon Says, and States. Magnavox also sold the first peripheral controller, the video game light gun.

Galaxy Game

The Space combat simulation Galaxy Game was released in November 1971 and its creators were Bill Pitts and Hugh Tuck. Galaxy Game had multi-player modes.

It was developed around the same time when Computer Space was released and was popular among university students. The creators chose to focus on its engineering and not business or commercial success. Galaxy Game was one of the first video games to be operated using coins.

Computer Space

The space combat simulation Computer Space was released in 1971, and its creators were Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. It supported single and multi-player modes and was the first video game to be commercially available. Its development was directly based on Spacewar!. It struck the start of the video game industry.


Spacewar! was released in 1962, having been created by Steve Russel. He was assisted by Martin Graetz and Wayne Wiitanen. The multi-player space combat game was highly influential and very popular among the 1960s programming community. Spacewar! gave inspiration to the first commercial arcade games and was the game canon first entry.

Tennis for Two

The multi-player sports game was released in October 1958 by William Higinbotham. Some consider Tennis for Two to be the oldest of video games. It was also known as Computer Tennis, and it simulated the tennis game. The game was the very first computer game to be developed not for academic research but for entertainment. The display of the game was done using an oscilloscope.

Video games have been around for a long time, with some dating the earliest arcade days. The industry has undergone various series of developments owing to technological advancements. However, we cannot ignore the fact that the oldest arcade games formed a significant base for the industry’s action, from the arcade systems, the home consoles, the handheld consoles to today’s mobile devices.