It may seem that owing to the fast evolution of online playoffs and the appearance of novel trends, old arcade games are no longer up-to-date. Yet, these games created back in previous decades are still in high demand. If you are bored at work, take a short break for 15 minutes. Or between home classes, you want to spend time on something important, but you do not want to spend it aimlessly either? Or maybe you want to entertain your child?
Arcade games can be a good psychological outlet that helps people step aside from routine and immerse themselves in imaginary spaces full of miracles and mind-blowing risks. Besides, the immense enjoyment allows players, refresh their minds and cheer up.
In this article, we tried hard to make an unbiased and fair ranking of the best arcade games of all time based on download rates with average reviews of experts, gamers, and ordinary users rating.
In all such cases, the top arcade games explored in this article will help to pick an arcade game for you. The list comprises classic arcade games with relatively fresh projects. We also added games with a very different style and difficulty level: from the typical “time killers” to dedicated platformers and complicated puzzles. We hope our comprehensive list will be helpful both for newbies and seasoned players while selecting the most engaging and best arcade games for your free time.
TOP 10 Arcade Games Worth Playing
10. Bomberman Series
This one is an interesting maze-based arcade-style game generated by Hudson Soft. The first personal computer-based entertaining game Bomber Man series, was first demonstrated in Japan in 1985.
First-rate fun arcade games of this series are compatible with home computers. The destructible mazes on the monitor contain all types of bonuses, mysteries, surprises, tricks, and, of course, the opponents. The foes that appear once in a while can be eradicated with bombs. The key Bomberman character can create these bombs promptly with his bare hands.
The early Bomberman series version was produced for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was an eight-bit video game console generated by Nintendo back in 1983 – 2003. In that period, it was the marketplace leader console that included over 700 licensed games along with a broad range of non-licensed ones. As we can see now, Bomberman is still one of the most challenging games of all time.
Available on: PC, PlayStation4, and Xbox One.
9. Metal Slug Series
A challenging two-dimensional arcade shooter series, which united Contra forms the Shoot em up subgenre’s Golden Fund. Like most arcade games, this one came to the computers with slot machines. However, it occurred in a relatively late period by this genre standards – in 1996.
Nonetheless, the technical know-how allows this game to reconstruct amazingly detailed graphics and add design-rich settings to the game, some special effects, and animation, the opponents’ reaction to hits. Therefore, they all leave a wonderful impression.
Likewise, during the combats, the gamer can use the offered equipment on the levels, use more effective weapons, or obtain them as a present. In Japan, Game Machine recorded this game on its 1996 ranking as the year’s seventh most-successful game.
When this arcade game was presented in 2008 on the Virtual Console, the expert Lucas M. Thomas from IGN gave it 8.5/10, presenting it an “Editor’s Choice” badge. Metal Slug is possibly the most distinguished Neo Geo arcade game ever made.
Available on: PC and Mobile.
8. Space Invaders
Have you felt nostalgic remembering the worthy old games which made you feel alive and adventurous? One more popular classic game in our list, which developed toward the modern PCs straight from the 70-80’s slot machines, is Space Invaders.
The original action game was created back in 1978 – by a Japanese game developer Tomohiro Nishikado. The game has had a lot of re-releases, and over a dozen clones have been made. Currently, there are several versions of this stimulating game for PCs and modern mobile devices, which vary in both the design and some gameplay nuances.
To honor the best video games, The Arcade Awards ceremony was created that year, with Space Invaders receiving the first Game of the Year (GoTY) award. The Space Invaders’ impact on the video game industry has been likened to that of The Beatles in the music sphere.
Available on: Mobile, PC and Xbox One.
A widespread game that belongs to the “three in a row” category, where gamers patiently destroy chains of various colored balls. The trick is that these bright balls are always in motion, and the user has to break these chains earlier than the balls reach the magical skull. This game is very easy and interesting to play; it has various modes, amusing design – all these factors have put Zuma among the best arcade games known today, with many options for different platforms.
An upgraded version, named Zuma Deluxe, was manufactured for Mac OS X as well as Microsoft Windows and a PlayStation Network download, with the version for the Xbox 360.
The publishing managers of Computer Gaming World designated the game “Zuma Deluxe” as the top game of 2004 “Arcade Classic of the Year.”
Available on: Mobile, PC, Xbox360, Mac OS X.
6. Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies is an action game with tower defense and strategy created and first published by PopCap Games for OS X and Windows in May 2009.
What should the player do if the streets of my city are occupied with zombies? First, build up the defense of his home by planting various types of warlike vegetation around it. They can give a decent rebuff to a sudden enemy attack! So, see the prominent zombie Apocalypse PopCap Games, who created the Plants vs. Zombies game.
Plants vs. Zombies has been designated for the “Casual Game of the Year” plus “Outstanding Achievement in “Interactive Achievement Awards from the Interactive Arts & Sciences Academy. Plants vs Zombies was picked by Gamezebo among the ‘Best games of 2009’. The arcade game received nominations in “Best Game Design,” “Innovation,” and “Best Download Game” by Game Developers Choice Awards.
Available on: PS4, PC, Xbox One.
5. Pinball Arcade
Among the best arcade games, you can find The Pinball Arcade – an addictive pinball video game made by FarSight Studios. Pinball Arcade is the most lifelike and wide-ranging pinball reproduction ever produced! Known as Office employees’ favorite, this is a challenging game where players strive to earn points by controlling the ball and moving on a playing field. If you remember the “West in the 30-40s” widespread pinball machines, then you will understand the Pinball Arcade game is a virtual adaptation of them.
Emulated forms of standard pinball tables in the game are indeed a wonderful great replacement for pinball admirers who cannot afford or dare to purchase their personal slot machines, in line with those who are not that fortunate to live somewhere they would easily access actual games. All tables officially certified in the Pinball Arcade have unique rules and original sound effects. What’s more, they are available on a wide variety of platforms, from smartphones to PCs and consoles. Except for Pinball Arcade, this stimulating and worthy game has many other virtual simulators, computers, and smart devices.
The Pinball Arcade won the best mobile game of 2012 in X-Play’s Best of 2012 Awards and was then selected for best remake/retro release in 2012. This outstanding game is still a great option for the young generation to spend their time.
Available on: Mobile, PC.
Tetris is an attention-grabbing, logical video game, where the player matches the tiles. A Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov created it in 1984. This fact was and is still disputed by various gaming corporations. The most prominent dispute was over rights appropriation of the Tetris game at the end of the 1980s. This game is considered one of the top gaming industry representatives. It seems its fans around the world will never forget Tetris. Simple and brilliant, the game has visited almost all prevailing gaming platforms, while having a variety of visual and practical transformations.
Since its launch, the game has traded approximately 70 million physical units, which make 202 million copies, as well as 132 million charged smartphone game downloads. It proudly carries the title of one of the record-breaking franchises of the arcade game of all time. The Tetris Game Boy version is one of the hit games, with over 35 million copies sold. The game is offered on over 65 platforms, setting a Guinness world record for the most transferable video game title.
Available on: PC, Mobile.
3. Sonic Series
Sonic the Hedgehog is an adventure game series as well as a media franchise developed and by Sega. The main character here is a blue hedgehog who combats the wicked Doctor Eggman, a crazy scientist.
The best arcade games on the PC are unimaginable without the games about the supersonic hedgehog. It is an equivalent of Super Mario Bros., another classic entertainment among arcade games. Sonic is mainly related to the Sega Mega Drive console. However, virtually all games in the series are currently available in digital format on PC.
The Sonic series received the Golden Joystick Awards’ nomination: very 1st Outstanding Contribution Award. Sonic the Hedgehog was ranked by IGN as the 19th greatest game series of all time. The Gamer’s Edition of Guinness World Records has awarded many records to the Sonic series: Longest Running Comic Based on a Video Game, Best Selling Game on Sega Systems, etc.
Available on PlayStation 2, PC, and Xbox.
2. Angry Birds
Angry Birds (remarketed later as Angry Birds Classic) is a puzzle video adventure game from 2009 designed by Rovio Entertainment. Primarily inspired by a sketch of trendy wingless birds, the initial game was released for Maemo and iOS devices. A widespread mobile game looked at the PC in the face of Angry Birds Space in 2013. Gamers can find over 300 game levels on 10 planets, fun gameplay, bright animation, and a funny setting in which infuriated birds fight against pigs, firing them from a gigantic slingshot by their siblings.
At the 14th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards (later known as the DICE Awards), Angry Birds HD won “Casual Game of the Year” and also was nominated for “Outstanding Innovation in Gaming” and “Game of the Year.” It is the first mobile app game in the ceremony’s history to be nominated for “Game of the Year.”
Available on: Mobile.
PAC-MAN is a maze game designed and released in 1980 by Namco. It appears in one of the nostalgic collections of the best arcade games of all time – PAC-MAN. PAC-MAN MUSEUM covers classic arcade games as well as new ones, which allows the players to see its development from its launch to the modern hits, such as PAC-MAN Championship Edition и PAC-MAN Battle Royale.
The iconic game was a hit of slot machines in the ’80s but has not lost its appeal in our time. The main character – PAC-Man PAC-Man, reported eating (Pac-Dots) all the points in the maze to enter the next level. Also, he needs to avoid meeting with ghosts (Clyde, Pinky, Inky); touching them takes one life.
Namco has sold over 100,000 game units, and its fans spent over $1 billion in quarters to trigger the pop-culture in 15 months of its US release. Pac-Man was granted the Guinness World Records award for the title “Most Successful Coin-Operated Game” in 2005.
Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox One.
Perspective and Updates
2020 is ready to present a lot of interesting games. Time will tell whether quantity can turn into quality. Whether this year will bring cult arcade games like Wasteland or visual universes in the style of Hideo Kojima – it will be possible to understand only by the decade’s middle. Developers are left to work, and gamers enjoy the magical worlds of the new gaming generation.
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