Photo: Pac-Man / Namco

The Best '80s Arcade Games

Over 6.0K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best '80s Arcade Games
Voting Rules
Vote 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.

Photo: Pac-Man / Namco

  • Donkey Kong
    Photo: Donkey Kong/Nintendo
    1,615 VOTES

    Donkey Kong was one of the most popular video games of the 80s, and for a good reason. It was a simple game with a straightforward objective: rescue the princess from the clutches of the big bad gorilla. But it was also incredibly addictive, with challenging levels that required precision and skill to navigate. 

  • Galaga
    Photo: Galaga/Namco
    2,047 VOTES

    Galaga was another 80s classic that is still remembered fondly by many gamers. It was a space-themed game that required players to shoot down waves of alien invaders while avoiding their fire. What made Galaga so special was the variety of enemies and the patterns they followed, which made each level a unique challenge.

    2,047 votes
  • Pac-Man
    Photo: Pac-Man/Namco
    1,791 VOTES

    Pac-Man is arguably one of the most iconic video games of all time, and it all started in the 80s. The game's simple yet addictive gameplay, cute graphics, and catchy music made it an instant hit with gamers around the world. 

    1,791 votes
  • Space Invaders
    Photo: Space Invaders/Taito Corporation
    1,286 VOTES

    Space Invaders was one of the earliest and most popular arcade games of the 80s. It was a simple game that required players to shoot down waves of invading aliens while avoiding their fire. The game's graphics were basic but effective, and its challenging gameplay kept gamers coming back for more.

    1,286 votes
  • Frogger
    Photo: Frogger/Konami
    1,234 VOTES

    Frogger was a unique game that required players to guide a frog across a busy road and river. The game was highly strategic as players had to time their moves and avoid obstacles like cars along the way.

    1,234 votes
  • Asteroids
    Photo: Asteroids/Atari
    759 VOTES

    Asteroids was a classic arcade game with players shooting down asteroids while avoiding enemy ships. The game's popularity was such that it was eventually ported to home consoles, where it continued to be a favorite.

    759 votes