Pac-Man debuted in the arcade game, Pac-Man, in 1980. He initially began with few personality traits, reflecting his simplistic appearance in the games, but later installments in the franchise, such as Pac-Land and the Pac-Man World series, expand on the character and his backstory. In these games, he is a father with a large family that he deeply cares about, and he is characterized as a relatively laid-back hero who is willing to help wherever he is needed. His relationship with the ghosts—Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde—has also changed over the years: they have been depicted as archenemies, allies of circumstance, or even friendly rivals.
Due to his simplistic character, Pac-Man's personality can also vary between depictions. For example, Pac-Man World 3 shows him as somewhat flippant and sarcastic.
Mario Kart Arcade GP
Pac-Man makes his first crossover appearance in a Mario game as a playable character in the Namco-developed game, Mario Kart Arcade GP in 2006. In this title, Pac-Man is an all-around type character who shares a rivalry with Mario. His special items are Pooka, Rally X, and Boss Galaga, which are all based from other previous Namco classic titles. Other Pac-Man characters such as Blinky and Ms. Pac-Man also appear as playable. Race courses inspired by the Pac-Man series featured in the game include Pac-Labyrinth and Pac-Mountain.
Mario Kart Arcade GP 2
A year later in 2007, Namco developed Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 where Pac-Man returns as a playable character. The characters of Ms. Pac-Man and Blinky return, as well as the race tracks Pac-Labyrinth and Pac-Mountain.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U
Pac-Man returns as a newcomer in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. This is going to be Pac-Man's first time playable in a Nintendo/Mario game outside the Mario Kart series.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Pac-Man reappeared in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate this time as an unlockable character.
- In the GameCube title designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Pac-Man Vs., Charles Martinet (voice of various characters such as Mario and Luigi) provides the voice for the narrator.
- In small leaflets celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Mario series, there are pictures of Box Art from several recent Mario games decorating the edge. Oddly, artwork of the NES Classics version of Pac-Man was also on there (this was the only Non-Mario game featured).
- Shigeru Miyamoto has often stated that Pac-Man is his favorite game character of all time.