The 10 best classic arcade games, ranked

Over the past decade, arcades have been on the decline. That’s not to say they’re gone, but the pure arcade has been put aside for bigger chains and “barcades”. Gamers are more likely to find a novelty store with pinball machines than an arcade. Yet the arcade still lingers in the public consciousness.

Related: 10 Best Retro Games That Have Made A Modern Comeback

Although its heyday is too far in the past for young players to remember, the classics are still known. Some titles are so iconic that their legacy continues today. Players playing the greatest new version can still recognize Pac-Man. But that raises a question: which classic arcade game is the best?

ten Centipede


Screenshot of the classic Atari game Centipede.

Released in 1981 by Atari, Centipede is one of many iconic shooting games from the 1980s. A trackball was used to control a bug at the bottom of the screen. The goal was to shoot darts and destroy a large centipede that would move towards the player. The game had a lot in common with Space invaders, and was partially inspired by the Pretenders song about it. (through Vice).

Centipedearguably s greatest legacy was her player base (for High level esports). It is cited as one of the first games with a large female audience, and the developer team of Dona Bailey and Ed Logg described it as “impartial by gender.“Some owed it to the principle of the game or to its pastel palette. Anyway, Centipede was a hit for Atari and was followed by a sequel and tons of unlicensed clones.

9 Mortal Kombat II


Liu Kang vs. Sub-Zero in Mortal Kombat II

A little like street fighter, the biggest success of this fighting franchise was its second entry. contrary to Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II was a refinement of the previous entry. He added more bloody deaths and new features like friendship. It also added to the mythology of the series, adding new characters and lore, which other serial game franchises would emulate.

Related: 10 Best Deaths In Mortal Kombat 11

But without a doubt Mortal combat‘s legacy was that of its violence. Despite a good review, concerns about the game’s console ports led to a US Congressional investigation into video game violence. This resulted in the creation of the ESRB and the regulation of the purchase of video games. As regulation was finally supposed to arrive for the game, it’s weird to go back to the beginning Mortal combat games because they are often not as violent as their modern counterparts.


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8 Asteroids


Screenshot of classic arcade video game Asteroids

One of the first hits of the golden age of arcade games, Asteroids was another space shooter of the time. Released in 1979, it was created using vector graphics which gave it a unique look. It also featured a global map and two different types of threats; asteroids and flying saucers.

It was inspired by one of the first video games, Space war. Developers describe its success due to the mixture of concepts thereof and Space invaders. Really, Asteroids continued to sell Invaders west and became Atari’s No.1 hit. It was followed by two suites: Deluxe asteroids two years later, and Blasteroids in 1987, which used raster graphics instead.


7 Donkey kong


Donkey kong is the first appearance of Nintendo’s iconic Mario. Even if he didn’t pay as much tribute as Super Mario Bros. When it comes to modern Nintendo titles, this is arguably their most important game. The construction site-themed success inspired the platform genre, perhaps the most iconic video game genre. It doesn’t even mention Mario’s debut.

The game was originally presented as a Popeye licensed game (by All 80s Podcast), but the license could not be secured. The Popeye inspiration influenced Mario’s direction as a franchise. The character is often reshuffled in different roles. After all, Mario has plenty of great non-platform games. Corn Donkey kong was the foundation upon which an industry juggernaut was built.


6 Virtua Fighter


Akira fights a drunken Shun Di on a raft in Virtua Fighter 2

Another fighting game from the mid-90s, Virtua Fighter is perhaps Sega’s biggest arcade hit. That’s impressive, considering Sega’s impressive lineup of games and franchises. Created by Yu Suzuki, considered the Miyamoto of Sega, Virtua Fighter was the first 3D fighter. While the models seem primitive today, the type of wireframes used to create the fighters was impressive.

Another thing that did Virtua Fighter great was his inspiration from the martial arts of the real world. contrary to street fighter, which claims that the characters fight with real-world styles, the Virtua Fighter cast used motion capture. It was Suzuki’s vision for a real battle simulation, and explained how 3D fighters would play today. Unfortunately, despite the recent Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown, Virtua Fighter seems destined to stay in TekkenThe shadow.


5 Defender


DefenderIt’s not everyone’s first thought when it comes to arcade classics, but he’s one of the unsung heroes of video games. Released in 1981 by Williams Electronics and developed by pinball engineer Eugene Jarvis. Despite being his first game, he took inspiration from other space shooter successes, according to Game developer. Although it wasn’t the first side-scrolling game, it standardized this technology.

Despite the prevalence of games like Galaga, if gamers think of a classic shooter, they’ll think of the side sliders. It is Defenderthe influence of. It is considered difficult and was the subject of the first Twin Galaxies competition. Twin Galaxies is known to be the birthplace of video game records, preceding today’s speedruns. Defender had a far-reaching effect.


4 NBA Jam


NBA Jam Gameplay

The second Midway game on this list, NBA Jam is perhaps the most iconic sports game. Despite the modern deluge of simulator titles, NBA Jamthe charm of always shines through. Playing NBA Jam reminds us today of a forgotten age of sports game franchises. The original and arcade console ports are both looked at fondly.

Jam‘s slogans like “He’s on fire!” are still iconic today. Console ports have also updated team rosters, which are now standard. Compared to the production of sports games today, people want to go back to games like NBA Jam. It was something exciting for the sport that has fallen through the cracks over time.




3 Street Fighter II


Ryu vs. Ken in the original Street Fighter II

street fighterThe history of has been loaded. Its debut was a clone of Kung Fu, and the recent Street Fighter V didn’t have the biggest launch. Fans have different characters and editions that they think play the best. But none of this could have happened without Street Fighter II create the kind of fight.

Related: 10 Most Powerful Street Fighter Villains, Ranked

Street Fighter II and its editions are hard to overstate the influence of. The ensemble cast and combos inspired games of League of Legends To God of the war. Not to mention that the competitive scene was the predecessor of modern competitive gaming. Call of Duty and Starcraft tournaments owe their structure to Street Fighter II. The game was a juggernaut that would never go away, and gamers will likely see Ryu go through many more games in the future.


2 Mrs. Pac-Man


Screenshot of the classic arcade game Ms. Pac-Man

Mrs. Pac-Man is possibly the best game sequel of all time. Although she falls short of the sales of the original, in terms of critical reception and legacy, she is still better than her husband. M / s. Pac-ManThe changes to the original made it more convincing. Specifically, the behavior of ghosts has been changed and new cards have been added. These settings are built into modern games in the Pac-Man series as standard nowadays.

Interestingly, it was life that started out as an imitation. Developer General Computer Corporation would acquire Pac-Man wardrobes. Then they changed them into a game called Crazy Otto who had the adjustments. Through licensing with Namco, it would eventually become the Mrs. Pac-Man players know today. In a way, it makes Mrs. Pac-Man the very first mod in a game ever to be approved.


1 Space invaders


Gameplay screenshot of the original arcade classic Space Invaders

Players have heard countless times here that “they were inspired by Space invaders. “The reason is that Space invaders embodies the depth of simplicity. This DNA of a player’s avatar hiding behind a blanket and shooting an enemy can be found in almost any game. Taito’s 1978 quarter muncher was one of the first games to enter contests, and ports in it were in demand everywhere.

Invaders has a simple appeal. He invented the difficulty curve, which has been an integral part of the game ever since. Most games before Invaders were static, but the increasing speed of the invaders brought new dynamics. Although initially a technical limitation, this curve indirectly inspires modern games like Dark souls. Space invaders is also easy to grasp and understand, even today. This is what makes it the best arcade classic, transcendent ever.

Next: 10 Most Challenging Platformer Video Games Of All Time, Ranked

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