The 10 BEST Pac-Man Games
VOICE OVER: Ty Richardson
WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
Pac-Man has been chomping pellets and ghosts for more than forty years, and these are his absolute best games! For this list, we're showcasing our favorite entries from Pac-Man's long history. Our list includes “Pac-Man World 2” (2002), “Ms. Pac-Man” (1982), “Pac-Man 256” (2016), and more!
Script written by Ty Richardson
Welcome to MojoPlays, and today, we’re taking a look at the 10 Best “Pac-Man” Games! For more than forty years, Pac-Man has been chomping pellets and ghosts across a multitude of games. Not as many games as Mario or Sonic, but still enough to wonder which are the best. Well, we’d say it’s these ones. Which “Pac-Man” game is your favorite? Did it make the list? Let us know down in the comments!
Of course we gotta touch upon the classic first and foremost! You’d be hard pressed to find a single person who hasn’t played the original “Pac-Man” let alone heard of it. This was the game that drew people to arcades or even laundromats before the likes of Donkey Kong or “Street Fighter” came rolling along. Despite never changing its maze, the original “Pac-Man” took the world by storm as folks tried so hard to conquer the game. To this day, people are playing “Pac-Man” in what few arcades are hanging around today and even on newer consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series XS.
“Ms. Pac-Man” (1982)
Many would argue that “Ms. Pac-Man” is superior to her husband’s own game, and it’s hard to deny how great of a game it is! Whereas the original “Pac-Man” demanded constant study of the ghosts while retaining the same layout, “Ms. Pac-Man” changed up the map after every couple of victories on top of increasing the speed of Blinky, Inky, Pinky, and Clyde. It wasn’t enough to react to a ghost’s movements; you had little time to analyze your situation and adapt accordingly. This level of difficulty would launch the Missus into a league of her own, and just like the original “Pac-Man”, you can get this on just about any piece of modern technology.
“Pac-Man World” (1999)
Now, if you grew up in the 90’s as a child or a young adult who purchased their own PlayStation, you probably picked up this game at some point. “Pac-Man World” wasn’t just Namco trying to cash-in on the then-boom of 3D platformers. It wasn’t trying to copy anything. “Pac-Man World” was very much its own thing, taking players across the various regions of Ghost Island as they collect fruit for secret passageways and hidden mazes, and rescue Pac-Man’s family. From the creative environments to the charming music, “Pac-Man World” was loaded with fun levels for players young and old. So, is it much of a surprise to see this title finally get a remake in 2022?
We won’t lie - “Pac-Man” has gone down some strange roads throughout his career. (Don’t get us started on “Pac-in-Time” or “Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures”, whatever that was supposed to be.) But before that, we had “Pac-Mania”, a new take on the classic arcade hit. Though the inclusion of a jump button made it easier to avoid ghosts, the difficulty balanced itself out by removing control of Pac-Man while he’s in the air. On top of that, there were more ghosts to keep track of than before including two named Funky and Spunky who could also jump. In other words, Pac-Man was back with a brand new challenge!
“Pac-Man 99” (2021)
Developed by Arika (the same studio behind “Tetris 99” and “Super Mario Bros. 35”), “Pac-Man 99” is a battle royale game for Switch that pits ninety-nine players against each other to see who is the supreme pellet and ghost muncher. Eat ghosts to send Jammer Pac-Men to enemy boards in order to slow down the competition. Your only defenses are to eat more ghosts or take your chances and eat fruit to clear yourself of threats. It’s classic “Pac-Man” but with more strategy and management involved, and it all makes for an exhilarating multiplayer title.
“Pac-Man World Rally” (2006)
Honestly, “Pac-Man World Rally” was unfairly dismissed by games media outlets as a “Mario Kart” clone when in reality, there’s more to it than wacky tracks and hurling items around. This title gives the kart-racing genre the “Pac-Man” spin. Eat dots to build a gauge and turn into the Pac-Mobile, allowing you to gobble those ahead of you and slow them down drastically. Activate fruit pick-ups to access shortcuts on the track and widen the gap between you and those trailing behind. In addition to Pac-Man and the cast of the “World” games, players could unlock other Namco characters like Pooka and Fygar from “Dig Dug”, The Prince from “Katamari Damacy”, and on PSP, Mappy and Mr. Driller! It was a truly unique racer that would please any arcade kid.
“Pac-Man 256” (2016)
Many of us wouldn’t give the time of day to a mobile game, but there actually are some decent titles to discover in that market. “Pac-Man 256” is a perfect example. Developed by Hipster Whale (the studio behind another excellent mobile game called “Crossy Road”) in collaboration with Bandai Namco, “Pac-Man 256” sees players eating dots and ghosts while running from the infamous Glitch 256 as it devours the bottom of the map. Collect power-ups to eliminate ghosts through other means while using fruit to multiply your score. You only have one life to see how far you can get, and it’s this level of challenge that fits the spirit of “Pac-Man”, making this a truly remarkable mobile game.
“Pac-Man World 2” (2002)
While old codgers such as myself will reminisce about the first “Pac-Man World”, many will fondly remember the sequel more. (Fair enough because the first game’s cave levels can burn in Hell.) “World 2” went bigger with its scope, fleshing out the story just a little more while expanding its levels with more challenges and secrets to uncover. On top of that, collecting tokens would grant you access to not just music and concept art, but classic “Pac-Man” games as well. We’re just glad that not everyone had to succumb to the garish difficulty the original prints of “World 2” had. (Seriously, the volcano stages can also burn.)
“Pac-Man Battle Royale” (2011)
If online multiplayer isn’t your thing, you’ve probably seen cabinets of this title. “Pac-Man Battle Royale” is not what it sounds like. Rather than ninety-nine other players, you and three others fight each other in one maze. As dot sequences are eaten, portions of the maze change and reveal Power Pellets, which will allow a player to gobble not just ghosts, but other players. It creates an exciting experience as everyone scrambles to be the first to the Power Pellet and the last one standing. If your local arcade doesn’t have the World’s Largest Pac-Man, it most likely has this somewhere in a corner. So, get some pals and go give it a try! Or better yet, you can grab it through the “Pac-Man Museum +” collection!
“Pac-Man Championship Edition DX” (2010)
It’s hard to imagine a “Pac-Man” game ever topping this one. The last game to be made by “Pac-Man” creator Toru Iwatani, “Championship Edition” was already a masterpiece of a video game. Classic “Pac-Man” gameplay mixed in with a level that’s constantly changing as pellet sequences are cleared, all while retaining that demand of speed, precision, and adaptability. “Championship Edition DX” goes a few steps further by adding in more mazes, more game modes, and more cosmetics. And as if it couldn’t get any better, the music does a phenomenal job at getting you amped with its collection of tunes ranging from remixes of “Pac-Man” music to entirely original works. You want a new workout soundtrack? Look no further because this will get you AMPED!