Total Nerd The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked  

Video Games Lists
486 votes 68 voters 2.7k views 53 items

List Rules Vote up the best arcade shooting games you spent all your coins and tokens on.

When it comes to the best arcade shooting games of all time, what tops your list? From light gun shooters to your classic run and gun action games, there's a ton of awesome shooting games out there. In fact, some of the best classic arcade games are shooters. In short, it's these types of games that so often took our quarters and tokens upon hours of hanging at the arcade. Whether you miss the good old days of 80s arcade games or you're heading to the arcade today, take a trip down memory lane with this list of the greatest arcade shooting games. 

Again, there's a long list of killer shooters, but perhaps the best of these thrilling games include hits like Time Crisis, House of the Dead 2, and T2: Judgment Day. Of course, you can't forget the ultimate classics, such as Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Galaxian—which were some of the earlier shooter games to hit arcades. Don't forget your 90s arcade games either, featuring popular favorites like Virtua Cop and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Simply put, everyone has that one shooting game they head straight to when arriving at the arcade—what's yours?

Check out the list of arcade shooters below and vote up the games you think are the best of all time. If you see one of your favorites is missing from the list, go ahead and add it!

list ordered by

1
9 1
Doom is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1993 Doom is a 1993 science fiction horror-themed first-person shooter video game by id Software. It is considered one of the most significant and influential titles in the video game industry, for ...more

2
11 3
Metal Slug is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1996 Metal Slug is a run and gun video game developed by Nazca Corporation and published by SNK. It was originally released in 1996 for the Neo Geo MVS arcade platform. The game is widely known for ...more

3
13 5
T2: Terminator 2: Judgement Da... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
Terminator 2: Judgment Day or T2 is a gun shooting video game based on the film of the same name, produced by Midway Manufacturing Company for the arcades in 1991.

4
10 4
The House of the Dead 2 is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
2000 The House of the Dead 2 is a light gun arcade game with a horror theme and the second game in the The House of the Dead series of video games, developed by Sega for video arcades in 1998 and ...more

5
12 6
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

6
6 1
Operation Wolf is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1987 Operation Wolf is a one-player shooter video game made by Taito in 1987. It spawned three sequels: Operation Thunderbolt, Operation Wolf 3 and Operation Tiger.

7
8 3
Virtua Cop is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1994 Virtua Cop is a first-person lightgun shooter arcade game created by Sega AM2 and headed by Yu Suzuki. Its original incarnation was an arcade game in 1994 and it was later ported to the Sega ...more

8
9 4
Lethal Enforcers is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1992 Lethal Enforcers is a 1992 shooting game released for the arcades by Konami. The in-game graphics consist entirely of digitized photographs. This caused controversy as it allowed players to ...more

9
9 5
Contra is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1987 Contra, distributed as Gryzor in Europe and Oceania, is a 1987 run and gun action game developed and published by Konami originally released as a coin-operated arcade game on February 20, 1987. ...more

10
7 3
Xenophobe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1987 Xenophobe is a 1987 arcade game published by Bally Midway. Starbases, moons, ships, and space cities are infested with aliens, and the players have to kill the aliens before each is completely ...more

11
6 2
Tempest is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

12
10 7
Area 51 is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1995 Area 51 is a light gun arcade game released by Atari Games in 1995. It takes its name from the Area 51 military facility. The plot of the game involves the player taking part in a STAAR military ...more

13
8 5
Time Crisis is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1995 Time Crisis is a light gun shooter arcade game released by Namco in 1996. It was later ported for the PlayStation in 1997, bundled with the Guncon light gun controller.

14
8 5
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park is an action-adventure video game developed by DreamWorks Interactive and Appaloosa Interactive, and published by Electronic Arts and Sega for the Sony PlayStation ...more

15
5 2
Battlezone is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

16
6 4
Silent Scope is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1999 Silent Scope is an arcade game that puts the player in the shoes of a sniper during a series of terrorist incidents. The game uses a rifle that is mounted on the console, requiring players to ...more

17
6 4
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

18
8 7
CarnEvil is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1998 CarnEvil is a rail shooter arcade game using a light gun. It was released by Midway Games on October 31, 1998. CarnEvil is noted for its graphic content and strong lifelike violence, peppered ...more

19
4 3
Berzerk is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1980 Berzerk is a multi-directional shooter video arcade game, released in 1980 by Stern Electronics of Chicago.

20
4 3
Toki is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1989 Toki, known in Japan as JuJu Densetsu is a 1989 shoot 'em up platformer arcade game, or a "run and gun" developed and published in Japan by TAD Corporation and published in North ...more

21
3 2
Centipede is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

22
6 6
Police 911 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
2001 Police 911 is a 2000 light gun shooter arcade game. It casts the player as either a "one man SWAT team" working for the Tokyo police, or an American police officer of the LAPD, working ...more

23
6 6
Defender is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

24
5 5
Gunblade NY is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
Gunblade NY Gunblade NY is a light gun game released in 1995 by Sega in which the player fights terrorists from the machine guns mounted on an attack helicopter.

25
5 5
Police Trainer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
Chris Abraham added Police Trainer

26
5 5
Lucky & Wild is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1992 Lucky & Wild is a 1st-person racing/shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in 1992; it ran on Namco System 2 hardware, and was the sixth game from them that featured the Federal ...more

27
4 4
Space Harrier is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1985 Space Harrier is a third-person rail shooter video game released by Sega in 1985. It spawned several sequels like Space Harrier 3-D, Space Harrier II, or the spin-off Planet Harriers. Space ...more

28
4 4
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

29
4 4
Robotron: 2084 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

30
3 3
Zaxxon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1982 Zaxxon is a 1982 isometric shooter arcade game developed and released by Sega. Some sources claim that Japanese electronics company Ikegami Tsushinki also worked on the development of Zaxxon. ...more

31
2 2
Galaxian is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

32
2 2
Ikari Warriors is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1986 Ikari Warriors is a vertically scrolling, shoot 'em up arcade game developed by SNK, and published in the North America and Europe by Tradewest in 1986. Originally titled Ikari in Japan, Ikari ...more

33
6 7
1942 is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

34
5 6
Star Trek: Voyager – The Arcad... is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
Star Trek: Voyager – The Arcade Game Star Trek: Voyager — The Arcade Game is a first-person style shooter arcade game, manufactured by Monarch Entertainment and Team Play Inc. and released in 2002.

35
4 5
Missile Command is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

36
3 4
Gyruss is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1983 Gyruss is a shoot 'em up video arcade game developed by Konami, and released in 1983. It was designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, who had earlier created Time Pilot for Konami. Gyruss was licensed to ...more

37
3 4
Moon Patrol is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

38
3 4
Star Wars Trilogy Arcade is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1998 Star Wars Trilogy Arcade is an arcade game first released in 1998. The game is a 3-D rail shooter based on the original trilogy of Star Wars films and was released along with the special ...more

39
3 4
Cabal is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1988 Cabal is a 1988 arcade video game originally developed by TAD Corporation and published in Japan by Taito Corporation and in North America and Europe by Fabtek. In this game, the player controls ...more

40
2 3
Gorf is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1981 Gorf is an arcade game released in 1981 by Midway Mfg., whose name was advertised as an acronym for "Galactic Orbiting Robot Force". It is a multiple-mission fixed shooter with five ...more

41
2 3
Time Pilot is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1982 Time Pilot is a multi-directional scrolling shooter and free-roaming aerial combat arcade game designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, released by Konami in 1982, and distributed in the United States by ...more

42
7 9
Revolution X is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1994 Revolution X is an arcade rail shooter game and the spiritual sequel to T2: The Arcade Game developed and published by Midway in 1994, featuring the rock band Aerosmith. It features gameplay ...more

43
5 7
Rush'n Attack is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1985 Rush'n Attack, originally released in Japan and Europe as Green Beret, is an action/platform arcade game released by Konami in 1985. Rush'n Attack is remembered for its Cold War setting and its ...more

44
2 4
Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1980 Phoenix is an outer space-themed, fixed shooter video game similar to Taito's Space Invaders. It was developed by Amstar Electronics in 1980, and released by Centuri in the United States and by ...more

45
1 3
1943: The Battle of Midway is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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.

46
1 4
Sea Wolf is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1976 Sea Wolf is an arcade game by Midway, originally released in 1976. It was a video game update of an earlier coin-operated electro-mechanical Midway game, Sea Devil, itself based on Sega's 1966 ...more

47
1 4
Beamrider is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1983 Beamrider is a scrolling shooter designed for the Intellivision by Activision programmer David Rolfe. The game was then ported to the Atari 2600, Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit, ColecoVision, Commodore ...more

48
1 4
Front Line is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1982 Front Line is a military combat-themed arcade game released in 1982 by Taito Corporation. It was one of the first video games to feature a ground combat theme and grenades. Military-oriented ...more

49
1 5
Commando is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
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

50
1 5
Gun Fight is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
1975 Gun Fight, known as Western Gun in Japan and Europe, is a 1975 arcade shooter game designed by Tomohiro Nishikado, and released by Taito in Japan and Europe and by Midway Games in North America. ...more