Arcade game or sometimes called coin-op is a machine which operates by using coins to play games. These coins offer a particular number of lives, depending on the game, usually with one coin you could play 3 times. Arcade games are the oldest form of games, and they date back to 70s and even 60s, and these games are pure classics. However, these machines weren’t, at the beginning, available commercially, but were rather installed in public places such as restaurants, bars, or amusement arcades. On these machines, players could play almost any type of game, from pinball, racing, shooting, puzzles to survival and RPG games.
List of the Best Arcade Games of All Time
Arcade games represent a revolutionary step in video game development, and many of them are ported to consoles and PC. Video games have their advantages and disadvantages, arcade definitely lies more to the positive side because of how enjoyable they are. That’s why, even today, with all the latest games, there are still millions of gamers who enjoy arcade games. That being said, let’s check 12 best arcade games ever.
1. Mortal Kombat
Back in 1992, when the Mortal Kombat emerged, it was very well praised and was ahead of its time. Mortal Kombat introduced a new gameplay mechanics, great graphics, and sound effects for that time. Its combat was streamlined, and every single character has his own fighting style and moves. This game was ported to the PC, and we recommend you try it. It still packs a punch, literally!
Don’t think we include just fighting games here, as there will be others, but Tekken deserved its place on this list very well. Tekken was released two years after Mortal Kombat, and it focuses more on hand-to-hand combat, instead of a combination of hand-to-hand combat and powers, like in Mortal Kombat. It’s another great game, that follows almost the same game mechanics like the first game on this list.
1942 was one of the first WWII based shooters, released back in 1984. 1942 earned its place on this list because of reinventing the shooter and action genre, by bringing the fighter planes in the game. The player is in control of the fighter plane, and his mission is to fight the Nazis in WWII. Controls are simple – the plane can move left and right, up and down and fire missiles at the targets. This is a fine example of a great arcade game!
4. Metal Slug
Metal Slug was released back in 1996 and still stands as one of the best side-scroller shooters. The game is rendered in 2D and graphics, and the animation was great at that time, along with responsive and simple controls. The player is in control of a soldier who can wield many different weapons and fight against various enemies, from soldiers to helicopters and even tanks. If you are a fan of 2D shooters, you simply can’t miss this game.
5. Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter series are one of the greatest fighting game series of all time. There are many entries in the series, but Street Fighter 2 was, and still remains classic. It resembles a similar gameplay mechanics like Tekken, where the focus is more on hand-to-hand combat, but characters are a little different, and there is usually some kind of story. Overall, any fighting game on this list is great, so you can’t make a mistake if you decide for any of them.
Galaxian may not be as widely known as its sequel, but it is still a great game in its own right. Namco’s shooter featured better graphics than Space Invaders, special sound effects, and enough challenge to keep players engaged for several hours continuously. Is Galaga better? Probably, but you have to start somewhere. Galaxian features a top-down perspective. The player controls a ship that can move left or right and shoot at enemies. The enemies will also try to shoot back, so, don’t just wander around aimlessly.
7. Computer Space
Computer Space is the first arcade game released in 1971 and also the first commercially available game. In this game, the player is in control of a rocket which mission is to defend itself by launching countermeasures. Of course, there is a cooldown between every shot, which can make the game extremely difficult. Although this is the first arcade game, it’s very hard to beat, and the gameplay is great. However, don’t expect some fancy graphics, as this game plays in monochromatic mode and its focus really isn’t on graphics.
8. Marvel vs Capcom 2
Marvel vs Capcom 2 is one of the newer titles on this list, released in 2000. Of all the games on the list, this one has the best graphics and great gameplay mechanics. It offers many fighting heroes from Marvel’s comic universe along with the Capcom’s characters from their great games. Its gameplay is easy, and usually less complicated than the Mortal Kombat for example. Controls are simple and almost every move, even if it’s a combo, can be learned and mastered quickly. There is also a possibility for tag-team fights, where the player can choose two fighters and engage in battle with the other two.
9. Aqua Jet
Aqua Jet is a great racing game developed by Namco in 1996. The main focus in this game is racing on water, instead of street racing like in Need for Speed series. This idea was great, indeed! Aqua Jet had a great graphics for that time, and the core gameplay was simple – race to the finish. In this game, the player can control various jets, and there is a realistic system of water behavior, with encountering waves and many other situations that could happen when racing on the sea. If you like fast-paced racing, full of memorable moments, feel free to check this one.
10. Sega Rally
Rally games are one of the most underrated racing games out there, mainly because they are realistic, instead of following a more arcade style. This, however, cannot be bad at all, right? Sega Rally is a fine example of a rally game done right. It featured some great graphics for that time, streamlined gameplay and a big number of cars to choose. There are also many different tracks across the globe, that the player could race on at every moment. This one is highly recommended for the fans of old-school racing.
11. Double Dragon
Double Dragon is a classic 2D brawler, where a player is in control of two brothers, Billy and Jimmy Lee, martial arts masters. On top of the classic brawling mechanics, in this game, players could use various melee weapons against their opponents. This was something new for this type of game, and this feature was later introduced in many new games of this type. Double Dragon supports co-op mode, so feel free to jump in with your friend.
OutRun is one of the most popular racing games ever made. It was one of the first arcade games to feature “free-roaming” gameplay, meaning that instead of being confined to a single track, players could choose their own route through the game’s map. This gave players a sense of freedom and choice that was unprecedented in video games at the time. In addition to the stunning gameplay, OutRun also featured a fantastic soundtrack by composer Hiroshi Watanabe. If you’re a fan of racing games and arcade, this is one you need to check out asap.