Indeed, wisdom would suggest that video games would have greater success with animation, but the legacy - as suggested by these 10 American cartoon series - proves otherwise...
Beyond that, its mythology and continuity is defiantly its own thing, with Pac-Man's wife being called Pepper Pac-Man, with whom he has a son - Pac-Baby. They also have a dog, Chomp-Chomp, and a cat with the unfortunate name "Sour Puss".
Most episodes revolve around their ongoing rivalry with Pac-Land's resident ghosts; Blinky, Inky, Pinky, Clyde, and - in a bold strike for equality, Sue - an original character not found in the games.
Adding another layer of narrative complexity, the ghosts are employed by a cackling, Darth Vader-like villain, Mezmaron, whose sole aim in life is to gain control to the source of the Pac Pellets coveted by Pac-Man and his family.
Contrary to its actual quality, the show was an enormous hit, and led to other video game-inspired cartoons.
Oddly, Marty Ingels, who voiced the lead character, was best remembered for his many court cases - for, among other things, unpaid commission and ageism. In his obituary, following his 2015 death from a stroke, the New York Times wrote: "He always seemed to be suing someone, and someone always seemed to be suing him."
Silly old man.
Though broadly inspired by the video games, it also introduced new characters, including the memorably-named Stinky The Badger, and Professor Caninestein - who almost sounds like a treatment for vaginal yeast infections.
In its US broadcasts, each episode would end with a to-camera life lesson from Sonic, under the title "Sonic Sez" - on topics such as alcohol abuse, sexual harassment, gun safety, and the dangers of shallow water...
Not a joke.
Guile was the main character (voiced by Michael Donovan, who also plays Obi-Wan Kenobi in assorted Lego Star Wars games), leading a force of international peacekeepers, whose main tactic for dealing with the threat of international terrorism was to punch bad guys via the use of martial arts. These days, they'd be better off cracking an egg on their heads, albeit at the risk of invoking the wrath of Dean "A Superman" Cain and Brian "A Westlife" McFadden.
M.Bison, Zangief, Vega and Sagat were the main antagonists, attempting to dominate the world through biological weapons, invisible planes, and by diverting big eggs (comets) to smash into the earth.
The series deviated sufficiently from the source material - the brothers could transform into weird, bat-mask-wearing superheroes with swords - that it led directly to a game based upon it, Double Dragon V: The Shadow Falls, in an effort to bring some of the cartoon's continuity into the game series.
Amusingly, two of the main recurring villains were called Anobo and "Willy".
In a rare incident of crossover, series antagonist Psy-Crow was played by Jim Cummings, who also portrayed Doctor Robotnik in The Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog, thus making him the go-to guy for video game villains in animated shows.
Adhering to the nonsensical nature of the games which inspired it, every episode of Earthworm Jim concluded with one of the characters being crushed by a falling cow.
Who would often spout his catchphrase "Excuuuuuuuse me, Princess!", make remarks about her cleavage, ogle her while she's getting changed, or burst into her bedroom uninvited.
In fact, Link is so perma-horny that he doesn't care who he sexually harasses. In one episode, he meets a female character who doesn't speak English, and suggests: "Oh, I'm sure there's still a language we could all understand!"
That language? Sexxus.
In an apparent bid to balance the scales, Link's fairy companion Sprite seems to be attracted to him, even watching him in the bath at one point, and commenting how she likes seeing him in flagrante.
Mario was played by former wrestler Lou Albano - who collaborated with pop singer Cyndi Lauper on various wrestling projects - while Luigi was portrayed by one Danny Wells, who later provided voices for the video games Descent 3, Evolution Worlds, and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. He also once starred in a 1975 film called "Whiffs".
Various real-life celebrities made appearances in the live sections, including Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White, large-breasted vampire-style woman Elvira, Ghostbusters star Ernie Hudson, and basketball legend Magic Johnson (how did he get that name?!?).
In a nod to Star Trek, eps would open with Mario recording an entry into his "Plumber's Log", representing a repeated missed opportunity for a joke about the number of logs plumbers encounter in their line of work.
To get around the whole ripping-human-spines-out stuff, Defenders of the Realm had the characters facing off against robots, aliens and zombies, and trying to paper over it with cheesy one-liners and horrible "life lessons".
Continuity-wise, the cartoon had more in common with the dreadful movie franchise than the games, but - again - without any of the movies' violence.
Oddly, it also featured a four-part crossover with several other animated series, including the aforementioned Street Fighter and the justifiably forgotten Wing Commander Academy.
Every episode revolved around the hunt for the wish-granting Crystal Coconut, featured at least one song - which would span the entire spectrum from unwatchable, to sort of so-bad-it's-good - and had Diddy Kong in full excruciating Scrappy Doo mode.
The best thing that can be said about it is that the first episode offered the suggestive title "I Spy With My Hairy Eye"...
Frogger took the greatest liberties with the source material, turning the character - who had previously no motive beyond crossing the road without being smashed beneath the wheels of a truck - into an investigative reporter.
Important trivia: Saturday Supercade's version of Mario was voiced by the legendary Peter Cullen, who Transformers fans may know better as Optimus Prime, the robot.