*Written in 2015.
Being around on this Earth as long as Pac-Man (give or take a few years), I have played several Pac-Man titles in my day.
Apart from the original arcade game, I really liked Pac-Mania for its 3D graphics and its unorthodox almost endless feeling mazes. Pac-Man 256 is sort of a combination of both the original game and Pac-Mania.
Named after the infamous glitch from the original game that saw the graphics go nuts on Stage 256, this game also gives meaning to the number. For one, the glitch chases you and forces you to progress through the maze vertically. Secondly, one goal in the game is to eat 256 pellets without stopping: avoiding paths without pellets all while dodging ghosts in an effort not to backtrack over paths where you already ate.
The map is infinite and you can continue to vertically climb through the maze, as long as you stay alive. Additionally, the maze is always different, so you can’t keep playing through it in an effort to master a clear path. It is a challenging endeavor and a pretty brilliant twist on what many would consider an outdated gaming formula.
Pac-Man 256 is the best Pac-Man game I have ever played. I like it better than the original even, as that game features the same map over and over. Pac-Man 256 is a much harder challenge and a more rewarding experience.
Pairs well with: Other Pac-Man games but this one really takes the cake.