Donkey Kong was Nintendo's first big hit in America. It also marked the first appearances of Mario (known as Jumpman, a carpenter) and of Donkey Kong. It was released in 1981 & (1983 re-release ).

The game sold well in the United States. It is one of four games to be inducted into the Nintendo Hall of Fame. The original arcade version has four screen levels, but the NES version only has three (50m was cut from this version).