Mad Dog McCree (1990)

by Nish
5 minutes read


Mad Dog McCree: The Granddaddy of Lightgun Shooters

Released in 1990, Mad Dog McCree is widely recognized as the first interactive shooting game to use live-action footage. This groundbreaking title laid the foundation for the lightgun shooter genre, which would go on to become a staple of arcades and home consoles alike.


Mad Dog McCree puts players in the role of a lone cowboy tasked with saving the town of Mad Dog McCree from the titular outlaw and his gang. The game is played using a lightgun, which players use to shoot enemies on the screen.

The game is divided into several stages, each with its own unique setting and challenges. Players must shoot their way through a saloon full of outlaws, a bank robbery in progress, and a final showdown with Mad Dog himself.

Graphics and Sound

For its time, Mad Dog McCree’s graphics were cutting-edge. The game used digitized video footage of real actors, which gave it a level of realism that was unprecedented in video games at the time. The game’s sound effects and music are also top-notch, and help to create a truly immersive experience.


Mad Dog McCree was a critical and commercial success, and helped to popularize the lightgun shooter genre. The game has been ported to numerous home consoles over the years, and remains a popular choice for retro gamers.

The game’s success spawned several sequels, including Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold and Mad Dog McCree: Gunslinger. The series has also been adapted into a comic book and a novel.

Cultural Impact

Mad Dog McCree has had a significant impact on popular culture. The game’s catchy theme song has been featured in numerous films and television shows, and the game itself has been referenced in popular culture countless times.

The game is also credited with helping to popularize the Western genre in video games. Mad Dog McCree’s success paved the way for other Western-themed lightgun shooters, such as Sunset Riders and Desperados.


Mad Dog McCree is a groundbreaking game that helped to define the lightgun shooter genre. Its innovative use of live-action footage and its exciting gameplay made it a huge hit with arcade-goers and home console gamers alike. The game’s legacy continues to this day, and it remains a popular choice for retro gamers and fans of the Western genre.

Additional Information

  • Mad Dog McCree was developed by American Laser Games and released in arcades in 1990.
  • The game was ported to the Sega CD, 3DO, and PC in 1993.
  • A high-definition remake of the game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2010.
  • The game’s theme song, “The Ballad of Mad Dog McCree,” was written and performed by country music singer Marty Robbins.

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