Atari, Inc. released versions for the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 7800, and Atari 8-bit family. There were also versions for the VIC-20, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, IBM PC, Apple II, and TI-99/4A released under the Atarisoft label. Unlike Pac-Man, most home versions of Ms. Pac-Man include all three intermission screens from the arcade game. The Atari 2600 rendition of Pac-Man was infamous for its flashing ghosts, while the 2600 port of Ms. Pac-Man had minimal flicker.
A tabletop version of Ms. Pac-Man was released in 1983 by Coleco. The unit was shaped like a miniature arcade cabinet, was controlled with a small built-in joystick, and used a multicolor vacuum fluorescent display. It was a runner-up for Stand-Alone Game of the Year at the 1983 Arcade Awards held in January 1984. In 1991, Atari Corporation released a version for the Lynx, introducing new mazes, a fourth intermission, and a power-up that gives the player a temporary speed boost.
Tengen released an unlicensed port of the game in 1988 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. In 1993, Namco released their original port of Ms. Pac-Man in North America themselves, eight years after its original release in Japan. The Genesis, Master System, and NES versions, by Tengen, and the Super NES version, by Williams Electronics, took a few liberties. They featured four different sets of mazes: the original arcade mazes, bigger mazes, smaller mazes, and "strange" mazes. There was also a Pac-Booster option that let players make Ms. Pac-Man move much faster which was only available in the original arcade game from a maintenance menu. These versions also allowed two people to play simultaneously, with player 2 as Pac-Man. The game ends at level 32, with an intermission where Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man say good-bye. It was released for the Game Boy Color with two new mazes and a bonus game (Super Pac-Man).
In 2001, Namco released an arcade board with both Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga in honor of the 20th anniversary of both games with the subtitle "20 Year Reunion / Class of 1981". It also features Pac-Man as a hidden bonus game. The later 25th Anniversary Edition allows all three games to be selected at the main menu. Ms. Pac-Man is included in the CD-i Arcade Classics collection (released in Europe, but not in North America). It has all of the extra features of Tengen's ports, even though neither Tengen nor Williams Electronics made this version. It is included in Namco's, Microsoft's and Atari's late 1990s series of classic game anthologies, and is an unlockable minigame in the SNES version of Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures and in Pac-Man World 2. A standalone, battery-powered version of the game released by Jakks Pacific can be plugged directly into a television. Ms. Pac-Man and four other games (Galaga, Mappy, Xevious and Pole Position) are included in a self-contained joystick hand controller. Ms. Pac-Man was also a free game bundled with every Xbox Live Arcade disc for the original Xbox. The Xbox 360 XBLA version was released on January 9, 2007, featuring an online leaderboard and twelve achievements. Ms. Pac-Man was later released on Namco Museum Volume 3; however, there is no mention of it in Namco's official archives (including the archives on all Namco Museum releases).
On July 11, 2008, Ms. Pac-Man was released for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad through the App Store. The ports were delisted from the App Store in July 2022. The game was also released in July for Windows Mobile. As part of Pac-Man's 30th anniversary, Ms. Pac-Man is one of the games included on the home version of Pac-Man's Arcade Party arcade machine. Pac-Man's Arcade Party was succeeded eight years later by Pac-Man's Pixel Bash, which added 19 games to the existing roster, but Ms. Pac-Man was only available if the machine was set to Free Play. It was included as downloadable content in Pac-Man Museum for PlayStation 3, Windows and Xbox 360. In June 2020, Tastemakers' Arcade1Up decided to announce that Ms. Pac-Man would finally be added to their lineup of 3/4 scale arcade cabinets. The unit will also contain a few other Bandai Namco arcade games, including Galaxian, Pac-Mania, and Pac-Man Plus.
In 1996 Electronic Gaming Monthly reported that the Genesis version of Ms. Pac-Man, which was released in 1991, was still among the top 20 best-selling Genesis games. The same year, Next Generation ranked the arcade version as number 12 on their "Top 100 Games of All Time", saying that it has aged far better than the original Pac-Man due to its smarter monster AI, varied mazes, moving fruits, and intermissions. They added, "It has the broadest appeal of any game Next Generation has seen, with the possible exception of Tetris. Women love it. Men Love it. Children love it." In 1997 Electronic Gaming Monthly listed the Genesis and Super NES versions as number 89 on their "100 Best Games of All Time", stating that the "Two-player simultaneous play and new mazes completely revive this classic." In 1999, Next Generation listed Ms. Pac-Man as number 41 on their "Top 50 Games of All Time", commenting that, "It sounds easier than it is, and it makes the game one we consistently go back to, week after week."
When Pac-Man was released, most arcade video games in North America were primarily space shooters such as Space Invaders, Defender, or Asteroids. The most visible minority were sports games that were mostly derivative of Pong. Pac-Man succeeded by creating a new genre and appealing to both genders. Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and is among the most famous arcade games of all time. The character also appears in more than 30 officially licensed game spin-offs, as well as in numerous unauthorized clones and bootlegs. According to the Davie-Brown Index, Pac-Man has the highest brand awareness of any video game character among American consumers, recognized by 94 percent of them.
Pac-Man is one of the few games to have been consistently published for over two decades. In the 1980s, it was released for the Apple II series, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, the Atari 8-bit computers, IBM Personal Computer, Intellivision, Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System (1987 and 1990 by Tengen, and 1993 by Namco) and TI 99/4a. For handheld game consoles systems, it was released on the Game Boy (1991), Sega Game Gear (1991), and the Neo Geo Pocket Color (1999). Special editions and compilations include Pac-Man: Special Color Edition for the Game Boy Color (1999), and Pac-Man Collection for the Game Boy Advance (2001). Pac-Man was also included as an unlockable game in Pac 'n Roll for the Nintendo DS.
Pac-Man has been most widely distributed in Namco's long-running Namco Museum series, first released for the PlayStation in 1996. Namco Museum is also available for the Game Boy Advance, PSP, and Nintendo DS. An Xbox 360 port of Pac-man was released via Xbox Live Arcade on August 9, 2006. Pac-Man is also available in its original form as part of the GameTap service.
Namco has repeatedly rereleased this game to arcades. In 2001, Namco released a 20-Year Reunion cabinet featuring Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga that permits the unlocking of Pac-Man for play. In 2005, Namco released a board openly featuring all three of the games on the 20-Year Reunion board in honor of Pac-Man's 25th Anniversary. The NES version later became a Classic NES Series title for the Game Boy Advance, and was also released for download via the Wii's Virtual Console service in May 2007.
Namco's wireless division, Namco Networks America Inc., released a line of Pac-Man games for cell phones in 2002, starting with the original arcade version and following up with Pac-Man game extensions like Pac-Man Bowling and Pac-Man Pinball. This division also launched a networked game, Ms. Pac-Man For Prizes, in 2004. Pac-Man mobile games are available on both BREW and Java platforms across major cellular carriers, as well as on Palm PDAs and Windows Mobile-based cell phones and PDAs. There is a port of Pac-Man for Android which can be controlled not only through an Android phone's trackball but through touch gestures or its on-board accelerometer.
Following Ms. Pac-Man, Bally Midway released several unauthorized spin-offs, such as Pac-Man Plus, Jr. Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man and Professor Pac-Man, resulting in Namco severing business relations with Midway. Some of these other titles were generally considered inferior and unimportant, serving to oversaturate the market with Pac-Man games.
Pac-Man Vs. is a version of the game which allows competitive play amongst multiple participants, and it cannot be played single-player. One player takes the role of Pac-Man and is pursued by the other players' ghosts. When one of the ghosts catches Pac-Man, the level starts anew and the two players exchange roles - the player who was playing Pac-Man becomes a ghost and the player who caught him now becomes Pac-Man. In order to make the game fair, the players acting as ghosts are presented with only a limited view of the maze (rendered in a 3D view, quite unlike the original) and the Pac-Man's player sees the full classical top-down view. The game continues with players swapping roles until one of them wins the match by reaching a predetermined number of points. The basic gameplay is basically similar to the original - the ghosts can't eat the dots and the tables are turned on them when Pac-Man eats a power-pill. Pac-Man Vs. has been released for the Nintendo GameCube (this required a Game Boy Advance and special cable), Nintendo DS (wirelessly between 2 - 4 DS consoles) and has seen Japanese release on mobile phones (using bluetooth connectivity). 2b1af7f3a8