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The Best '80s Arcade Games

Updated October 7, 2020 50.3k votes 3.6k voters 137.3k views78 items

List RulesVote up the best 80s video games that you spent all your coins and tokens on.

Nothing beats a little nostalgia, and ranking the best '80s arcade games is a great way to bring back such fond memories. It may also remind us how many quarters and tokens we've lost trying to beat a game. Nonetheless, some of the greatest arcade games to date came out in the 1980s and, whether you were around at the time or not, we've all come to know and love these classic games. From the top beat 'em up arcade games to the best shooters, you really can't beat the arcades of the '80s.

When it comes to the best and most popular arcade games of the '80s, we're talking the original Ms. Pac Man, Street Fighter, and Star Wars games here—all of which have been remade and reimagined for a range of proceeding game systems. For many, the side-scrolling days of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were simply the greatest, and the same could be said for so many other awesome games from the '80s. In short, many of these classics hit during the golden age of arcade games (though the timeline is often disputed) and they've become mainstays in gaming history. But which single game should top the list?

Check out the top '80s arcade games below and vote up the ones you think were the most fun to play. You can also vote games down the list, and add any classics that are missing.

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  • Galaga1
    1,369
    433

    Galaga

    1981

    Genres (Video game)Shoot 'em up, Action game, Space combat, Science Fiction

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  • Pac-Man2
    1,188
    368

    Genres (Video game)Maze

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  • Space Invaders3
    916
    293

    Genres (Video game)Shooter game, Shoot 'em up, Action game, Space combat

    Amazon buy button
  • Ms. Pac-Man4
    991
    324

    Genres (Video game)Action game, Maze

    Amazon buy button
  • Donkey Kong5
    1,077
    412

    Genres (Video game)Platform game

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  • Frogger6
    921
    347

    Genres (Video game)Action game

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  • 19427
    768
    290

    1942

    1984

    Genres (Video game)Shoot 'em up, Action game, Scrolling shooter

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  • out run8
    461
    154

    Genres (Video game)Driving

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  • Asteroids9
    235
    50

    Genres (Video game)Shoot 'em up, Action game, Space combat

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  • Tetris10
    799
    344

    Tetris

    1985

    Genres (Video game)Puzzle game, Strategy video game

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  • Dragon's Lair11
    709
    308

    Genres (Video game)Puzzle game, Interactive movie, Action game

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  • Street Fighter12
    733
    340

    Genres (Video game)Action game, Fighting game

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  • Battlezone13
    523
    232

    Genres (Video game)Simulation video game, Turn-based tactics, Vehicular combat game

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  • After Burner14
    318
    121

    Genres (Video game)Combat flight simulator, Shoot 'em up, Action game, Flight simulator

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  • Pole Position15
    695
    349

    Genres (Video game)Simulation video game, Sports game, Racing video game

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  • Dig Dug16
    753
    394

    Genres (Video game)Action game

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  • Berzerk17
    348
    156

    Genres (Video game)Shooter game, Shoot 'em up, Action game, Run and gun

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  • Defender18
    715
    392

    Genres (Video game)Shoot 'em up

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  • Gauntlet19
    677
    377

    Genres (Video game)Action game, Run and gun, Maze, Hack and slash

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  • Super Mario Bros.20

    Genres (Video game)Platform game, Action game, Adventure

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  • Centipede21
    675
    405

    Genres (Video game)Shoot 'em up

    Amazon buy button
  • Zaxxon22
    447
    254

    Zaxxon

    1982

    Genres (Video game)Isometric projection, Shooter game, Shoot 'em up, Action game

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  • Bubble Bobble23
    481
    279

    Genres (Video game)Puzzle game, Platform game, Action game

    Amazon buy button
  • Tron24
    645
    397

    Tron

    1982

    Genres (Video game)Action game

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  • Punch-Out!!25
    566
    348

    Genres (Video game)Sports game

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