Total Nerd The Best Classic Arcade Games  

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

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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
1,789 609
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
1,590 488
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
1,355 508
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
1,666 352
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
1,048 464
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
1,135 477
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
927 426
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
979 428
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
923 413
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
820 366
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
686 447
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
682 403
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
637 342
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
734 309
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
682 285
1942 is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
534 353
Missile Command is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
570 340
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
569 440
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
651 329
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
719 325
Street Fighter is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
624 320
Punch-Out!! is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
501 308
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
679 252
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
507 305
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
517 347
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