Total Nerd The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked  

Video Games Lists
888 votes 123 voters 6.6k views 54 items

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

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, Ranker may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

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
25 10
T2: Terminator 2: Judgement Da... is listed (or ranked) 1 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.

2
21 7
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
19 7
Time Crisis is listed (or ranked) 3 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.

4
20 8
Contra is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
16 6
Virtua Cop is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
18 8
The House of the Dead 2 is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
20 10
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
21 11
Area 51 is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
14 5
Doom is listed (or ranked) 9 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

10
11 4
Tempest is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
11 5
Operation Wolf is listed (or ranked) 11 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.

12
12 6
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
13 7
Lethal Enforcers is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
10 6
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
8 4
Centipede is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
8 4
1943: The Battle of Midway is listed (or ranked) 16 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.

17
14 11
CarnEvil is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
11 8
Silent Scope is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
11 9
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
10 8
Police Trainer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Arcade Shooter Games Ever, Ranked
Chris Abraham added Police Trainer

21
8 6
Space Harrier is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
10 9
Defender is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
10 9
1942 is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
9 8
Xenophobe is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
8 7
Cabal is listed (or ranked) 25 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