Mario and Sonic may be two of gaming's most recognisable faces but even they are young pups when compared to the true elder statesman of interactive entertainment: Pac-Man.
35 years ago, Namco released Toru Iwatani's seminal title in Japanese arcades and began a gaming legend which endures even to this day. Amazingly, Pac-Man - or "Puck-Man" as it was then known in its homeland - wasn't a success right away. It would be the North American launch a few months later which would really catapult the character into global super-stardom. Distributor Midway decided to change the title to Pac-Man following fears that vandals would substitute the "P" in Puck-Man to another letter (we'll let you work that one out) and this new moniker stuck.
Pac-Man was such a triumph in the US that it had generated over $2.5 billion by the 1990s, making it one of the most commercially successful video games of all time. Ports have appeared on practically every console since, as have a whole host of sequels and spin-offs. More recently, Pac-Man has starred in new titles based on his hit cartoon show Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures and was even part of the roster in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. He's also set to star in the forthcoming Adam Sandler movie, Pixels.
If you want to pay tribute to this iconic yellow blob then we can think of no better way than downloading the NES version to your 3DS, popping Pac-Man Fever on the stereo and reminding yourself that gameplay is king.
Here's to another 35 years, Pac-Man!