Back to the Future The Video Games

Cavalcade Arcade

So, we come to the end of my celebration of Back to the Future Part III’s 20th anniversary this week. On Wednesday I looked back at the Back to the Future Fan Club which debuted late in 1989 and lasted throughout 1990. Now, let’s take a look at the video games that were spawned by these movies.

The first game we are looking at was released in 1990, the same year as Part III. It was The Back to the Future Pinball Game by Data East.  Here is a 1990 trade magazine ad for the Back to the Future Pinball Game.

BTTF Pinball

The graphics and images on this machine are awesome, but completely counterbalancing that awesome is the absolutely ridiculous looking models they used for Doc and Marty. W. T. F?!  They look like Abbot and Costello (or Costello and Costello…because they are both “fat”).  Is Doc wearing black, white and blue leggings?!  I don’t remember Marty ever wearing a ball cap…oh, except in 2010 when he was disguised as his son, but that hat was rainbow colored.  My eyes are watering just staring at this thing.  Horribly awesome.  That’s what this is.

Here are some pics of the actual, live machine without the ridiculous looking models.

BTTF pinball top BTTF pinball side
(pics via Pinball Rebel)

There are more pictures over at Pinball Rebel. Go check them out.

The Nintendo Entertainment System had two games.  The first was released in 1989 and was an arcade adventure game based on the original Back to the Future movie.  In it, you had to get George McFly to spend as much time as possible with Lorraine Baines which would allow them to fall in love.  Then in 1990 LJN developed a sequel game which incorporated elements from Back to the Future Part II and Part III.  Due to merging elements from the two movies, this made the second game notoriously long.  And without a save feature, you had to play your entire way through the game which made it infamously difficult.

BTTF NES game BTTF 2 and 3 game

Super Back to the Future Part II was released in Japan for their Super Famicom (Super Nintendo).

Super BTTF 2

Sega released two games of its own. The first was Back to the Future Part II on their original Sega Master System console.  The second game was Back to the Future Part III which was released on the Sega Genesis system.

BTTF 2 Sega BTTF 3 Sega

The LJN Back to the Future game was ported to the computer for the Commodore 64.

BTTF computer game
(via World of Spectrum)

Back to the Future The Ride was incorporated into a video game about Universal Studios called Universal Studios Theme Park Adventure which was released on Nintendo Gamecube.  No footage from the ride was used, it was just included as a place in the game.

BTTF the ride

And finally, it’s not a video game per se, but I’ve talked about it before, the Back to the Future Video Slot Machine by IGT. I’ve been to Vegas since these were released in 2006 and never was able to find one.  I’m not even for sure they are still out there.  Here’s a pic of screenwriter/producer Bob Gale and the prototype Back to the Future slot machine from 2006.

BTTF slots

That brings us to the end of this week’s celebration of Back to the Future Part III’s 20th anniversary. Have no fear, though. In two months, there will be another Back to the Future anniversary we will celebrate. So, stay tuned!

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5 Responses to “Back to the Future The Video Games”

  1. Nice round-up, though I wish more time had been spent on the other games. Ah well, I was planning a BTTF game article myself, so at least there won’t be overlap. 🙂

    Personally, I’d love to see a new attempt at a Back to the Future game. Rather than a straight adaptation, maybe base it on some of the general plot elements of the movies, and have it be a sort of open-world adventure, with lots of neat little touches where doing something in the past will change the future (Twin Pines Mall, anyone?).

    • Yeah, the only games I have personal experience with were the pinball game and the NES games. The Sega games and the Japanese game I have never played so I didn’t have much else to say about them. I forgot to even mention the mod you can get for Grand Theft Auto that turns it into a roving Back to the Future game. The environment becomes Hill Valley and your car is the Delorean.

      • On that note, there is also the DLC for Burnout Paradise which features a car based on the DeLorean time machine, complete with flight mods (though I think those may only let you hover).

  2. Posts dedicated to Back to the Future games! How did I not hear about this site before? I found you via Strange Kids Club and I will make sure to add you to my sidebar and check you out more often. You have a new reader in me.

    I heard about the BTTF mod for GTA but never had a chance to do play it. Sounds great. I did play a rom of the Japanese version of BTTF2 but it gets very old very quickly. Graphics make Marty look like a ten year-old.

  3. I have come across te top of the slot machine, Doc Brown. Just the top what is it worth and where can i sell it?

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