Related Videos

Top 10 Arcade Games Of The 1990s

VO: Chris Masson
Script written by Nathan Sharp With the dawn of the 90’s, Arcade games started to become more competitive, innovative, and yet still awesome. Join WatchMojo.com as we continue our series on the Top Arcade Games per decade with the Top 10 Arcade Games Of The 1990s. For this list, we're looking at the best arcade games that the 90s had to offer in terms of commercial appeal, critical acclaim, and lasting legacy. While most of these games eventually saw ports to home consoles, we’re focusing mostly on games that gained popularity in the arcades. Special Thanks to our users "EpicJason2000" "Jason Lundgren" "Mar Brody" for suggesting this topic on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Arcade Games of the 1990s


With the dawn of the 90’s, Arcade games started to become more competitive, innovative, and yet still awesome. Join WatchMojo.com as we continue our series on the Top Arcade Games per decade with the Top 10 Arcade Games Of The 1990s.

For this list, we're looking at the best arcade games that the 90s had to offer in terms of commercial appeal, critical acclaim, and lasting legacy. While most of these games eventually saw ports to home consoles, we’re focusing mostly on games that gained popularity in the arcades.

#10: "X-Men" (1992)

Before Hollywood got its claws into superheroes, video games were a popular medium for these timeless characters, and no game represents them better than Konami's "X-Men,” Back when Konami use to be cool. The game allowed up to six players at once, each controlling one of the mutants in a side-scrolling beat ‘em up with the unique twist of the X-Men's fantastical powers. The game was simple yet incredibly fun, and playing with friends provided some of the best times you could have at an arcade. The infamous writing, such as "Welcome to die!," is only icing on the cake.

#9: "NBA Jam" (1993)

Sports games will always be popular. "Madden" releases practically the same game every year and still sells millions! "NBA Jam" was a unique sporting game in that it was highly exaggerated, meaning players could jump freakishly high, and there were little to no rules, so anything was fair game. This crazed and fast-paced form of sports game gave rise to other popular ones of the time like "NFL Blitz," and it soon amassed a revenue of $1 billion in quarters, becoming one of the highest-earning arcade games ever. Sports really do bring the money!

#8: "Metal Slug" (1996)

The gameplay for "Metal Slug" is quite simple; all you have to do is shoot continuously, and we mean continuously, at a constant stream of enemies to reach the end of the level. However, it's not the fast-paced run and gun style of the game that makes it so fun (although that is a major contributor), but its wicked sense of humour. The game was uproarious, and its hand-drawn animations and the Schwarzenegger like announcer whenever you pick up a Rocket Launcher. It was so successful that it spawned numerous sequels and began one of the best Run and Gun franchises in arcade history.

#7: "Mortal Kombat II" (1993)

The sequel to the game that had parents and politicians flipping out, and kids pouring money into machines, "Mortal Kombat II" is a game for the history books. Featuring various legendary characters who battle to the death, the game was notable for introducing series favourites such as Shao Khan and Kitana, and for improving on the brutal fatalities with more gory effects. Also in response to the controversy the first game got, the developers had a little fun including the satirical Friendship’s and Babalities for those who want their games to be “happy and fwendly”.

#6: "Time Crisis II" (1997)

Expanding on the concept of sequels perfecting their originals, "Time Crisis II" blew its predecessor out of the water and created arguably the best rail shooter ever. The game features the popular light gun function, and includes a pedal as the base of the cabinet for players to pop in and out of cover. This helped immerse players, and the co-operative gameplay made killing with friends even more fun. Its still possible to find this game in arcades today, proving the lasting legacy that this game had both on the franchise and on light shooters in general.

#5: "Daytona USA" (1994)

"Daytona USA" set the bar high for arcade style racers that few have been able to match. The gameplay is basic; your in a race trying to keep the timer at the top of the screen from reaching zero by getting through the checkpoints as fast as possible. While the racing was fun, It maintained a constant buttery-smooth 60 fps, and the graphics were considered the best of its time when it was released, remember this came out in 94. This led to it becoming one of the highest-grossing arcade games ever, that stayed in arcades more than 2 decades later.

#4: "The Simpsons Arcade Game" (1991)

Released during "The Simpsons" second season, this arcade game didn’t just ride the shows popularity, it was engaging in its own right, and became a mainstay in arcades throughout the decade. The game lets up to four players control the legendary family as they beat up enemies while attempting to save Maggie. Each of the family members aside from Homer has a unique weapon that makes each of them unique, and thanks to its addictive gameplay and co-op fun that came from playing as the hottest family on TV, There really was no stopping "The Simpsons" in the early 90s.

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

Squeaking in at the end of the decade, this game capped off the 90s in style and is considered one of the decade's best. It is 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. Star Wars certainly was no stranger to the Arcades as Sega’s Star Wars also proved to be enjoyable, but as far making you feel like your part of the films, Trilogy Arcade takes 3rd place.

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

Another licensed video game on this list, released by the formally cool kids Konami, This time featuring everyone’s favourite heroes and a half shell. The game allowed up to four players to control the popular Turtles as they beat up enemies across New York 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. It soon became Konami's most profitable arcade game, and for very good reason.

Before we look at our best arcade game of the 90s, here are a few honorable mentions.

"Killer Instinct" (1994)

"The House of the Dead 2" (1998)

"SmashTV" (1990)

"Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991)

"Crazy Taxi" (1999)

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

One of the best arcade games, nay, video games ever made, "Street Fighter II" is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word. A sequel to a game that barely anyone remembers, 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, making it our pick for the best of the 90’s.

Do you agree with our list? What arcade game from the 90s is your favourite? For more amazing top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to Watchmojo.com.

Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs