Total Nerd The Best Classic Arcade Games  

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List Rules Games that were released in arcade first from 1970 to 1995.

The best classic arcade games include not only the big, big, BEEG cabinet coin-op arcade games from the crazy 80s, but also many of the best video games of all time. Now played on tiny portable handheld consoles or popular home consoles with wireless controllers and Internet compatibility, modern video games evolved from these classic favorites. The best arcade games are still around today - albeit in updated forms - in game centers and arcades. 

These are the games that many of us remember pumping quarters into as a child as we vowed to beat that high score in the likes of 80s arcade games like Frogger or Ms. Pac-Man or sought to reach the final castle in arcade games of the 90s like Super Mario Bros.

Many of the classic games here left such a lasting impression from their time in the giant arcade versions that they were later released on smaller platforms like the original Nintendo Entertainment System or remade decades later for platforms like the Nintendo Wii.

Similarly, many top arcade game titles like Paperboy and Donkey Kong spawned sequels or full series of games. Though 1980s arcade games were a far cry from today's games with 3D graphics and graphic violence, these classic games remind us of a simpler time when titles like Pong or Asteroids were enough to entertain us for a few hours. Ah, the good old days!

Vote for the famous arcade games that 

list ordered by

1
1,608 529
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1980 Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. It was licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway and released in October 1980. Immensely ...more

2
1,436 425
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1981 Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of ...more

3
1,219 443
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1978 Space Invaders is an arcade video game developed by Tomohiro Nishikado and released in 1978. It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in ...more

4
1,471 306
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1981 Galaga is a fixed shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan and published by Midway in North America in 1981. It is the sequel to Galaxian, released in 1979. The gameplay of ...more

5
936 408
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1979 Asteroids is an arcade space shooter released in November 1979 by Atari, Inc. and designed by Lyle Rains and Ed Logg. The player controls a spaceship in an asteroid field which is periodically ...more

6
1,009 416
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Ms. Pac-Man is an arcade video game from the Golden Age. It was produced by Illinois-based Midway Manufacturing corporation, the North American publisher of Pac-Man. Ms. Pac-Man was released in ...more

7
826 373
Centipede is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1980 Centipede is a vertically oriented shoot 'em up arcade game produced by Atari, Inc. in 1981. The game was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey. The player defends against centipedes, spiders, ...more

8
869 382
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Dig Dug is an arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan in 1982. It runs on Namco Galaga hardware, and was later published outside of Japan by Atari, Inc.. A popular game based on a ...more

9
832 362
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1983 Mario Bros. is a platform game published and developed for arcades by Nintendo in 1983. It was created by Shigeru Miyamoto. It has been featured as a minigame in the Super Mario Advance series ...more

10
734 322
Defender is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1980 Defender is an arcade video game developed and released by Williams Electronics in February 1981. A shooting game featuring two-dimensional graphics, the game is set on a fictional planet where ...more

11
610 392
Q*bert is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Q*bert is an arcade video game developed and published by Gottlieb in 1982. It is a 2D action game with puzzle elements that uses "isometric" graphics to create a pseudo-3D effect, and ...more

12
601 364
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Pole Position is an arcade racing video game which was released by Namco in 1982 and licensed to Atari, Inc. for US manufacture and distribution, running on the Namco Pole Position arcade system ...more

13
571 301
Galaxian is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1979 Galaxian is an arcade game that was developed by Namco and released in October 1979. It was published by Namco in Japan and imported to North America by Midway that December. A fixed shooter ...more

14
656 274
Gauntlet is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1985 Gauntlet is a fantasy-themed hack and slash 1985 arcade game by Atari Games. Released in October 1985, Atari ultimately sold a total of 7,848 Gauntlet video game arcade cabinets. It is noted as ...more

15
482 310
Missile Command is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1980 Missile Command is a 1980 arcade game by Atari, Inc. that was also licensed to Sega for European release. It is considered one of the most notable games from the Golden Age of Video Arcade

16
590 258
1942 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1984 1942 is a vertically scrolling shoot 'em up made by Capcom that was released for the arcade in 1984. It was the first game in the 19XX series. It was followed by 1943: The Battle of Midway. 1942 ...more

17
507 304
Donkey Kong Jr. is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Donkey Kong Jr. is a 1982 arcade-style platform video game by Nintendo. It first appeared in arcades, and, over the course of the 1980s, was later released for a variety of platforms, most ...more

18
510 400
Pong is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1972 Pong is one of the earliest arcade video games; it is a tennis sports game featuring simple two-dimensional graphics. While other arcade video games such as Computer Space came before it, Pong ...more

19
580 300
Joust is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Joust is an arcade game developed by Williams Electronics and released in 1982. It is a platform game that features two-dimensional graphics. The player uses a button and joystick to control a ...more

20
555 291
Punch-Out!! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1984 Punch-Out!! is a boxing arcade game by Nintendo, released in Japan in 1983 and worldwide in 1984. It was the first in a series of successful Punch-Out!! games that produced an arcade sequel ...more

21
612 296
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1987 Street Fighter is a 1987 arcade game developed by Capcom. It is the first competitive fighting game produced by the company and the inaugural game in the Street Fighter series. While it did not ...more

22
453 269
BurgerTime is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 BurgerTime is a 1982 arcade game created by Data East for its DECO Cassette System. The game's original title, Hamburger, was changed to BurgerTime before its introduction to the US. The player ...more

23
607 235
Double Dragon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1987 Double Dragon is a 1987 beat 'em up video game developed by Technōs Japan and distributed in North America and Europe by Taito. The game is a spiritual and technological successor to Technos' ...more

24
453 277
Tempest is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1980 Tempest is a 1981 arcade game by Atari Inc., originally designed and programmed by Dave Theurer. The game is a tube shooter, a type of shoot 'em up where the environment is fixed and viewed from ...more

25
459 318
Dragon's Lair is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1983 Dragon's Lair is a laserdisc video game published by Cinematronics in 1983 as the first game in the Dragon's Lair series. In the game, the protagonist Dirk the Daring is a knight attempting to ...more

26
545 273
Tron is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Tron is a coin-operated arcade video game manufactured and distributed by Bally Midway in 1982. It is based on the Walt Disney Productions motion picture Tron released in the same year. The game ...more

27
466 264
Bubble Bobble is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1986 Bubble Bobble is an arcade game by Taito, first released in 1986 and later ported to numerous home computers and game consoles. The game, starring the twin Bubble Dragons Bub and Bob, is an ...more

28
482 239
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1984 Paperboy is a 1985 arcade game by Atari Games. The players take the role of a paperboy who delivers newspapers along a suburban street on his bicycle. The game was ported to numerous video game ...more

29
520 241
Rampage is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1986 Rampage is a 1986 arcade game by Bally Midway. Players take control of gigantic monsters trying to survive against onslaughts of military forces. Each round is completed when a particular city ...more

30
651 221
Mortal Kombat is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1992 Mortal Kombat is an arcade fighting game developed and published by Midway Games in 1992 as the first title in the Mortal Kombat series. It was subsequently released by Acclaim Entertainment for ...more

31
487 234
Spy Hunter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1983 Spy Hunter is a 1983 arcade game developed and released by Bally Midway. It has also been ported to various home computers and video game systems. As a cabinet-style arcade game, Spy Hunter was ...more

32
584 143
Street Fighter II is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
RyuKang1995 added 1992 Street Fighter II: The World Warrior is a competitive fighting game originally released for the arcades in 1991. It is the second entry in the Street Fighter series and the arcade sequel to the ...more

33
500 225
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1983 Star Wars is an arcade game produced by Atari Inc. and released in 1983. The game is a first person space simulator, simulating the attack on the Death Star from the 1977 film Star Wars. The ...more

34
263 242
Breakout is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1976 Breakout is an arcade game developed and published by Atari, Inc. It was conceptualized by Nolan Bushnell and Steve Bristow, influenced by the 1972 Atari arcade game Pong, and built by Steve ...more

35
338 276
Moon Patrol is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Moon Patrol is an arcade game by Irem that was first released in 1982. It was licensed to Williams for distribution in North America. Moon Patrol was an early side-scrolling shooter and is ...more

36
492 180
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: ... is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, released as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Super Kame Ninja in Japan and Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in Europe, is a side-scrolling beat-'em-up released by Konami as ...more

37
388 215
Track & Field is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1983 Track & Field, known in Japan as Hyper Olympic, is a 1983 Olympic-themed sports arcade game developed and published by Konami. The Japanese release sported an official license for the 1984 ...more

38
351 229
Commando is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1985 Commando, originally released as Senjō no Ōkami, is a run & gun, vertically scrolling arcade game released in 1985. Its influence can be seen in various later games in the shooter game ...more

39
268 227
Berzerk is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1980 Berzerk is a multi-directional shooter video arcade game, released in 1980 by Stern Electronics of Chicago.

40
266 232
Battlezone is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1980 Battlezone is an arcade game from Atari released in November 1980. It displays a wireframe view on a horizontal black and white vector monitor. Due to its novel gameplay and look, this game was ...more

41
303 249
Elevator Action is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1983 Elevator Action is a 1983 arcade game by Taito. It debuted during the Golden Age of Arcade Games. The player assumes the role of a spy who infiltrates a building filled with elevators. He must ...more

42
269 230
Popeye is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Popeye is a 1982 arcade game developed and released by Nintendo based on the Popeye cartoon characters licensed from King Features Syndicate. Some sources claim that Ikegami Tsushinki also did ...more

43
414 222
The Simpsons Arcade Game is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1991 The Simpsons Arcade Game or just The Simpsons is an arcade beat 'em up developed by Konami released in 1991, and the second video game based on The Simpsons franchise, following Bart vs. the ...more

44
223 257
Super Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Super Pac-Man, released in Japan October 1982 and North America in December 1982 is the third installment of the Pac-Man series of arcade games and the second starring Pac-Man himself. It is ...more

45
278 220
Arkanoid is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1986 Arkanoid is an arcade game developed by Taito in 1986. It expanded upon Atari's Breakout games of the 1970s by adding power-ups, different types of bricks, and a variety of level layouts. The ...more

46
363 184
1943: The Battle of Midway is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1987 1943: The Battle of Midway, originally released as 1943: Midway Kaisen, is a 1987 shoot 'em up arcade game developed and published by Capcom. It was the first followup to Capcom's earlier 1942.

47
259 29
Frogger is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
zenace33 added Frogger

48
212 237
Millipede is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Millipede is a 1982 arcade game by Atari, Inc. and is the sequel to the arcade hit, Centipede. The objective of the game is to score as many points as possible by destroying all segments of the ...more

49
284 216
Robotron: 2084 is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1982 Robotron: 2084 is an arcade video game developed by Vid Kidz and released by Williams Electronics in 1982. It is a shoot 'em up with two-dimensional graphics. The game is set in the year 2084 in ...more

50
234 234
Marble Madness is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Arcade Games
1984 Marble Madness is an arcade video game designed by Mark Cerny and published by Atari Games in 1984. The player uses a trackball to guide an onscreen marble through six obstacle-filled courses ...more