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The Best Shoot 'em Up Games Ever Made, Ranked

Updated November 23, 2020 59.0k views1.4k items

This list features the all-time best shoot 'em up games, ranked by readers everywhere. Spanning the entire history of the genre, these shoot 'em up games have been enjoyed by millions. This list includes all shoot 'em up games that have ever hit the shelves, so it doesn't necessarily have all the more obscure, future or new shoot 'em up games. Various bits of information are available for these top shoot 'em up games, such as when the game was released and who developed the game. These aren't necessarily the best shoot 'em up games, but there are a lot of popular shoot 'em up games listed here.

The list you're viewing has a variety of games, though some may be more popular than others.

From classic arcade games to PS4 (and PS5) releases and more, this list answers the questions, "What are the best shoot 'em up games?" and "What are the most popular shoot 'em up games?" Vote up all your favorite releases.


  • Superman1

    DeveloperSunsoft, Atari, Taito Corporation

    PlatformNintendo Entertainment System, Atari 2600, Sega Mega Drive, Arcade game, Atari

    Superman is an Atari 2600 game designed by John Dunn and published by Atari, Inc in 1978.Amazon buy button

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  • RoboCop2

    DeveloperData East, Ocean Software, Digital Image Design, Titus Interactive SA, Nihon Bussan

    PlatformPlayStation 2, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Amiga, MS-DOS, GameCube

    Amazon buy button
  • Galaga3




    PlatformNintendo Entertainment System, Family Computer Disk System, SG-1000, Atari 7800, PlayStation

    Galaga is a fixed shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan and published... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Contra4




    PlatformZX Spectrum, DOS, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Nintendo Entertainment System

    Contra, distributed as Gryzor in Europe and Oceania, is a 1987 run and gun action game... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Defender5

    DeveloperWMS Industries Inc.

    PlatformArcade game, Commodore 64, Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari Jaguar

    Defender is an arcade video game developed and released by Williams Electronics in February... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Star Fox6

    DeveloperArgonaut Games, Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii

    Star Fox, released as Starwing in Europe, apparently to avoid confusion with an association... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Namco Museum7

    DeveloperNamco Bandai Games, Namco Bandai Holdings, Mass Media Inc., Now Production, Namco

    PlatformGameCube, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, Dreamcast

    Namco Museum refers to the series of video game compilations released by Namco for various... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Star Fox: Assault8

    DeveloperNamco, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development, Bandai

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, GameCube

    Star Fox: Assault is a 3D scrolling shooter and third-person shooter video game for the... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The House of the Dead III9

    DeveloperSega Wow

    PlatformPersonal computer, Wii, Arcade game, Xbox, Microsoft Windows

    The House of the Dead III is a 2002 light gun arcade game with a horror zombie-survival theme,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Ikaruga10

    DeveloperG.rev, Treasure Co. Ltd

    PlatformXbox 360, Arcade game, Dreamcast, GameCube

    Ikaruga is a 2001 shoot 'em up video game developed and published by Treasure. The game was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back11

    DeveloperLucasArts, Sculptured Software

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii

    Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, also known as Super Empire Strikes Back, is a 1993... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors12


    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, Sega Mega Drive

    Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a run and gun video game developed by LucasArts and originally... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Super Star Wars13

    DeveloperLucasArts, Sculptured Software

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii

    Super Star Wars is a 1992 video game for the Super NES based on the 1977 film Star Wars and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles14

    DeveloperCavia, Capcom


    Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, known as Biohazard: The Umbrella Chronicles in Japan,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Earthworm Jim15

    DeveloperShiny Entertainment

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System, Master System, iOS, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance

    Earthworm Jim is a 1994 run and gun platforming video game developed by Shiny Entertainment... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Star Wars16

    DeveloperAtari, Inc., Atari

    PlatformZX Spectrum, Arcade game, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, Atari 5200

    Star Wars is an arcade game produced by Atari Inc. and released in 1983. The game is a first... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Xevious17


    PlatformPC-8801, Xbox 360, Atari ST, TurboGrafx-16, Apple II

    Xevious is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in December... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Metal Slug Anthology18

    DeveloperMega Enterprise, Nazca Corporation, Terminal Reality, Noise Factory, SNK Playmore

    PlatformPlayStation 2, Wii, PlayStation Portable

    Metal Slug Anthology is a video game compilation for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button

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  • Asteroids19


    PlatformGame Boy, Atari 5200, Game Boy Color, Atari 2600, PlayStation

    Asteroids is an arcade space shooter released in November 1979 by Atari, Inc. and designed by... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return20



    The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return is a compilation and re-release of The House of the Dead 2... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Michael Jackson's Moonwalker21

    DeveloperSega, Emerald Software

    PlatformMS-DOS, Sega Game Gear, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, Master System

    Michael Jackson's Moonwalker is the name of several video games based on the 1988 Michael... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Super Scope 622

    DeveloperNintendo Research & Development 1

    PlatformSuper Nintendo Entertainment System

    Super Scope 6, known as Nintendo Scope 6 in Europe and Australia, was the title Nintendo... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • Blaster Master23


    PlatformNintendo Entertainment System

    Blaster Master is a platform and run and gun video game released by Sunsoft for the Nintendo... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The House of the Dead 424

    DeveloperSega Wow, Sega

    PlatformArcade game

    The House of the Dead 4 is a light gun arcade game with a horror theme and the fourth... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • The Addams Family25

    DeveloperOcean Software, Sunsoft

    PlatformNintendo Entertainment System, Sega Game Gear, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sega Mega Drive

    There have been five video games based on The Addams Family television series and films,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button