Top 10 Arcade Games Of ALL Time

Script written by Nathan Sharp and David Thibault Get ready to unload your quarters, all of them. Join WatchMojo.com as we conclude our Top 10 Arcade Games per decade with the Top 10 Arcade Games of All Time. Starting as far back as the 1970’s to today, we’ve compiled the best of the best games you could play in the arcade. If you didn’t see a game you thought should be on here, check back on our previous lists in this series to see if it made it there. Special Thanks to our users " DonovanTPS" "mac121mr0" "Jordan Brown" & "Mimi LuvnMe Cunningham" for suggesting this topic on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Nathan Sharp and David Thibault

Top 10 Arcade Games of All Time


Get ready to unload your quarters, all of them. Join WatchMojo.com as we conclude our Top 10 Arcade Games per decade with the Top 10 Arcade Games of All Time.

Starting as far back as the 1970’s to today, we’ve compiled the best of the best games you could play in the arcade. If you didn’t see a game you thought should be on here, check back on our previous lists in this series to see if it made it there.

#10: "Galaga" (1981)

A sequel to the successful 1979 game "Galaxian," "Galaga" introduced a few new features to the well-established formula, creating a bigger and even better game. New to the sequel was the ability for players to become captured by the boss Galaga via his tractor beam. Hot off the heel’s of Space Invaders, Galaga’s success lead to many copycats looking to get in on the Shoot ‘em up craze, and with it’s legacy still being felt today, Galaga earns its spot in gaming history.

#9: "Star Wars Trilogy Arcade" (1999)

Star Wars is no stranger to the arcade scene, even with the first arcade game going as far as being a pioneer in 3D gaming. Trilogy Arcade though is the game that capped off the 90s in style, and is considered one of the decade's best. It’s a rail shooter in which the player reenacts major scenes and battles from the film trilogy, including the popular Battle of Hoth and the Endor speeder bike chase. No matter what world we’re battling on, or what ship we’re flying, Star Wars is as important to gaming more that we realise.

#8: "Frogger" (1981)

George Costanza, may not be able to accomplish a real life version of the game on the New York streets, but we’ll never beat his high score. Considered a classic from the golden age of arcade games, "Frogger" has been played by pretty much everyone. The player controls a frog as it makes its way across a road and river, avoiding fatal obstacles. "Frogger" was a sensation, becoming one of the most popular arcade games of the 80s, and when it made a transition to home consoles it sold twenty million copies. Still enjoyed today in its various ports and remakes, "Frogger" will always be a video gaming icon.

#7: "Asteroids" (1979)

One of video games' most popular titles, "Asteroids" was a true pop culture phenomenon. Using hardware previously seen in "Lunar Lander," the object of the game was to control your spaceship and shoot oncoming asteroids while trying to avoid the resulting debris. The game was immensely popular upon release, earning arcade operators roughly $500 million, and some even had to install larger coin boxes in order to accommodate the game's demand. Even with it’s simplistic graphics "Asteroids" is a timeless classic.

#6: "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time" (1991)

This badass beat ‘em up game based on the popular 80’s cartoon series came to us when Konami was still cool, (Yes I’m still harping on that joke). The game allowed up to four players to control the popular Turtles as they beat up enemies in the sewers and other various memorable settings set throughout time. Praised for staying true to the characters, the game was also a blast due to its exciting co-operative gameplay and its memorable soundtrack.

#5: "Dance Dance Revolution" series (1999-)

In more recent years you’d be hard pressed not to find an arcade that doesn’t still have a DDR machine. Players stomped their feet in tune to music by following the on screen arrows, though as we all know, this is harder than it looks. This method of gameplay quickly earned praise and led to numerous knockoffs and influenced other popular games. It may not have been the first rhythm game but it was the biggest breakout hit for the genre, and while we may never be as good as this guy, its fun enough for virtually anyone to enjoy.

#4: "Space Invaders" (1978)

"Space Invaders" almost singlehandedly launched the video game industry from a niche entertainment products to a worldwide phenomenon. The player controls a spaceship as it shoots attacking alien ships from above, and this simple concept changed the industry forever. The aliens have since become synonymous with video gaming in general, and it soon became the highest-grossing entertainment product of its time. Suffice it to say that "Space Invaders" helped secure video gaming as a global industry and changed the world forever.

#3: "Donkey Kong" (1981)

Created by famous video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, "Donkey Kong" was Nintendo’s first breakout hit, and is one of the most influential video games of all time. "Donkey Kong" introduced both the titular villain and the gaming juggernaut Mario to the world. Thanks to its challenging and exciting platforming gameplay, its now known as an early example of the now-famous genre. Spawning numerous sequels, spin offs, and even inspiring a whole documentary movie, "Donkey Kong" was a major influence in video gaming and a pop culture marvel.

#2: "Street Fighter II" (1991-94)

If there’s a gamer out there who doesn’t know what a Hadoken or a Sonic Boom is, they probably shouldn’t be called a gamer until they’ve play this. A true masterpiece in every sense of the word, Street Fighter 2 was a major game changer, with iconic characters, competitive gameplay and complex combos for pros. It’s also more notable for having more re-releases than any other arcade game, bringing in new characters and refining the character balance with every new iteration. All in all, Street Fighter revolutionised the fighting game genre, and redefined the arcade scene as we know it.

Before we pick out the best game to ever grace the arcades, here are a few honorable Mentions

“The Simpsons Arcade” (1991)

“Gauntlet” (1985)

“Daytona USA” (1994)

“Time Crisis 2” (1997)

“Mortal Kombat II” (1993)

#1: "Ms. Pac-Man" (1981)

Pac Man may be one of the most popular video game characters of all time, but it’s his wife that not only has the better game, but the best Arcade game ever. The goal of these games, as we're sure you know, is to get the Pac’s to eats dots while traversing a maze and avoiding the famed ghosts. However what sets the Misses ahead, is that her game has multiple mazes, forcing the player to quickly change and adapt new strategies as they progress. Because of these new mazes, the game is still incredibly fun to play today as is was more than 30 years ago, making it our pick for the best Arcade game of all time.

Do you by any chance agree with our list? Which of these games drained your wallet dry? Be sure to check out our previous lists on the Top 10 Arcade Games per decade if your favorite didn’t make it on here, and for more Top 10’s that are not coin operated, be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com
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