Donkey Kong
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Nintendo
1981
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The first game designed by now-legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto, Donkey Kong was anything but a planned success – it was intended as a replacement game for unsold Radar Scope cabinets, and its concept was conceived after Nintendo failed to secure the rights to create a Popeye game. The rest is, of course, history, as Donkey Kong and the franchises it spawned came to define Nintendo for decades. Donkey Kong became a cultural touchstone in the 80s, was the birthplace of Nintendo mascot Mario and inspired a documentary, The King of Kong, about various attempts to seize the world record high score.

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