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Best Commodore 64 Games that Became Bestsellers

Any discussion about retro gaming is incomplete without mentioning the best Commodore 64 games. The period between 1980 and 1985 marked great advancement in gaming technology. The developers took it as an opportunity to begin innovating genres. It was at this time that we started to see RPGs, fighting, platform, and adventure genres replacing the pong style of gaming.

Sega and Nintendo were two major players in the gaming industry at this time. But, C64 quickly created a space for itself and came up with fascinating titles for its console. It had an 8-bit CPU, 64kb of RAM but the custom chip it used produced visuals way ahead of its time. This is why we get to see an impressive collection of game titles that drew so many gamers.

Best Commodore 64 Games that Became Bestsellers

Compiling a list of top C64 games of that time is not an easy thing to do. The console was a major hit around that time and it released about 2000 titles for the console. A variety of new genres were being developed in this period. Here is a list of the best Commodore 64 games in different genres.

Maniac Mansion

The plot of the game is as bizarre as the name but it is one of the best C64 classics of the time. The game features a mad scientist whose brain has been enslaved by a sentient meteor. The narrative is quite interesting and the main mission is to save your girlfriend who is trapped in the mansion.

Dave Miller is the main character here, and the girlfriend’s name is Sandy Pantz. Yeah, they really named her that!

So, this is a non-linear game with multiple choices and different outcomes. Along with the main character, you can choose two more from six of your friends. Three of you will enter the mansion to rescue your girlfriend, but it won’t be so easy. You will encounter multiple traps and puzzles to hinder your progress.

Maniac Mansion - Best Commodore 64 Games that Became Bestsellers

Shadow of the Beast

Well, we can’t deny the fact that C64 developers have a way with names. They come up with such fascinating titles as well as exciting themes. So, what is this game title about?

The game is centered on a kidnapped boy placed under an evil curse by a dark beast. Warped by dark magic, the boy starts to act like a monster servant for the beast lord. However, he eventually starts regaining memories and starts battling everyone to break free from the curse. It’s a perfect example of side-scrolling gameplay with spectacular graphics.

A great theme and storyline require  befitting gameplay for it to really fascinate the players. Shadow of the Beast is a successful example of that.

Impossible Mission

Don’t take the name too literally, it’s a challenging game, nonetheless, it’s completely solvable. If you have watched the movie ‘Mission Impossible’ you will find that the theme of this aim matches well with the movie plot.

It turned out to be one of the best C64 platform games considering that platform games were still relatively new around that period. The game features a spy whose mission is to defeat an evil professor to save the day. To do this, your character must solve a series of puzzles to break-into high-security areas. You must avoid the evil robots too as you find passwords!

Impossible Mission - Best Commodore 64 Games that Became Bestsellers

International Karate+

You must have seen or played many street fighting games by now, but this is one of the early fighting games that grew immensely popular.

In the US it was released by another name ‘Chop N Drop’ but globally it was known by the name ‘International Karate+’. If you are not a big fan of superpowers and prefer to use only kick-ass combat moves, this game is meant for you.

The impressive colorful graphics would make you forget that the game runs just on an 8-bit machine. Among the C64 classics, this one, though, being simple was still quite addictive. You must acquire 6 points to win, and the victorious player gets to play a ball-game at the end.

Some of the fun elements include humiliating the other player, changing the background and invoking Pac-Man just for fun. Read more about the Best Atari 5200 Games.

Spy vs. Spy

One thing we can say for sure is that the game titles for Commodore 64 ROMs never get dull. Likewise, the concept of these games intrigued the gamers and never bored them.

You can imagine how dirty it may get between two competing spies. The rules are simple, collect more items than your rival, plant traps to slow down your enemy, and you may even get into fistfights when it serves your interests.

The game is based on a comic strip. You get access to weapons that you may employ in your attempt to kill the other spy. Every time you or the other person dies, the timer goes down by 30 seconds. Whoever collects more items when the clock stops ticking would win!

Spy vs. Spy - Best Commodore 64 Games that Became Bestsellers


Ghostbusters isn’t just a game, it’s a job. The job is to ‘get rid of the ghosts’ and by doing so you make a profit in the game. In order to progress in the game, you must rid the town of enough ghosts to have at least $10k in your bank account. Of course, if you excel at the job and can make the town ghost-free, then you are paid an additional amount.

What do you do with the money? You buy faster cars and better weapons. All this so you can be that one Good Samaritan who saves the town. But to do so, at the final level you must battle the Marshmallow man and Zuul, yes the ones from the movie.


The Commodore 64 console came at a time when Nintendo and Sega were already competing with each other for supremacy in home-gaming consoles. These best Commodore 64 games landed the console among the top machines at the time.

Some of these rare Commodore 64 games even became top hits among the gamers. Now retro lovers look back at how some of the earliest adventure, platform, and combative games lead to the evolution of these genres. Modern games won’t be what they are without the developer’s creative contribution in this period.