Total Nerd The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games  

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Though the timeline is often disputed, the golden age of arcade games (approx. 1978-1983) brought some of the best and most memorable games to arcades everywhere. From Pac-Man and Space Invaders to Asteroids, these simple yet addicting games have become mainstays in classic arcade games, and have even since be recreated for a broad range of video game systems. 

For a dose of nostalgia, check out the list of popular hits from the golden age of arcade games below.

1
Space Invaders is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Space Invaders 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

2
Asteroids is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Asteroids 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

3
Galaxian is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Galaxian 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

4
Lunar Lander is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Lunar Lander Lunar Lander is an arcade game released by Atari, Inc. in 1979, which uses a vector monitor to display vector graphics. Although not particularly successful, the vector-graphics generator of the ...more

5
Battlezone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Battlezone 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

6
Berzerk is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Berzerk 1980 Berzerk is a multi-directional shooter video arcade game, released in 1980 by Stern Electronics of Chicago.

7
Centipede is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Centipede 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

8
Defender is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Defender 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

9
Missile Command is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Missile Command 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

10
Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Pac-Man 1980 Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. It was licensed for distribution in the United States by Midway and released in October 1980. Immensely ...more

11
Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Phoenix 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

12
Rally-X is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Rally-X 1980 Rally-X is a maze & driving arcade game, that was released by Namco in 1980 and licensed to Midway Games for US manufacture and distribution in 1981. It was the first game to have ...more

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13
Star Castle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Star Castle 1980 Star Castle is a 1980 vector arcade game by Cinematronics. The game involves obliterating a series of defenses orbiting a stationary turret in the center of the screen. The game was designed by ...more

14
Tempest is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Tempest 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

15
Wizard Of Wor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Wizard Of Wor 1980 Wizard of Wor is an arcade game from 1981, developed by Midway. It was ported to the Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, Atari 2600, Atari 5200 and renamed to The Incredible Wizard for the Bally ...more

16
Donkey Kong is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Donkey Kong 1981 Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. It is an early example of the platform game genre, as the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of ...more

17
Galaga is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Galaga 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

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18
Ms. Pac-Man is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Ms. Pac-Man 1982 Ms. Pac-Man is an arcade video game from the Golden Age. It was produced by Illinois-based Midway Manufacturing corporation, the North American publisher of Pac-Man. Ms. Pac-Man was released in ...more

19
Qix is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Qix 1981 Qix is an arcade game released by Taito America Corporation in 1981.

20
BurgerTime is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
BurgerTime 1982 BurgerTime is a 1982 arcade game created by Data East for its DECO Cassette System. The game's original title, Hamburger, was changed to BurgerTime before its introduction to the US. The player ...more

21
Dig Dug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Dig Dug 1982 Dig Dug is an arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan in 1982. It runs on Namco Galaga hardware, and was later published outside of Japan by Atari, Inc.. A popular game based on a ...more

22
Donkey Kong Jr. is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Donkey Kong Jr. 1982 Donkey Kong Jr. is a 1982 arcade-style platform video game by Nintendo. It first appeared in arcades, and, over the course of the 1980s, was later released for a variety of platforms, most ...more

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23
Joust is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Joust 1982 Joust is an arcade game developed by Williams Electronics and released in 1982. It is a platform game that features two-dimensional graphics. The player uses a button and joystick to control a ...more

24
Moon Patrol is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Moon Patrol 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

25
Pole Position is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Pole Position 1982 Pole Position is an arcade racing video game which was released by Namco in 1982 and licensed to Atari, Inc. for US manufacture and distribution, running on the Namco Pole Position arcade system ...more

26
Q*bert is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Q*bert 1982 Q*bert is an arcade video game developed and published by Gottlieb in 1982. It is a 2D action game with puzzle elements that uses "isometric" graphics to create a pseudo-3D effect, and ...more

27
Robotron: 2084 is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Robotron: 2084 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

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28
Time Pilot is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Time Pilot 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

29
Tron is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Tron 1982 Tron is a coin-operated arcade video game manufactured and distributed by Bally Midway in 1982. It is based on the Walt Disney Productions motion picture Tron released in the same year. The game ...more

30
Xevious is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Xevious 1982 Xevious is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game that was released by Namco in December 1982. It runs on Namco Galaga hardware, and was designed by Masanobu Endō. In North America, the game ...more

31
Zaxxon is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Zaxxon 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

32
Dragon's Lair is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Dragon's Lair 1983 Dragon's Lair is a laserdisc video game published by Cinematronics in 1983 as the first game in the Dragon's Lair series. In the game, the protagonist Dirk the Daring is a knight attempting to ...more

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33
Gyruss is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Gyruss 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

34
Mappy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Mappy 1983 Mappy is a 1983 arcade game by Namco. In the United States, it was distributed by Bally/Midway. Mappy is a side-scrolling platform game that features cartoon-like animals, primarily cats and ...more

35
Mario Bros. is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Mario Bros. 1983 Mario Bros. is a platform game published and developed for arcades by Nintendo in 1983. It was created by Shigeru Miyamoto. It has been featured as a minigame in the Super Mario Advance series ...more

36
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Star Wars 1983 Star Wars is an arcade game produced by Atari Inc. and released in 1983. The game is a first person space simulator, simulating the attack on the Death Star from the 1977 film Star Wars. The ...more

37
Spy Hunter is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Spy Hunter 1983 Spy Hunter is a 1983 arcade game developed and released by Bally Midway. It has also been ported to various home computers and video game systems. As a cabinet-style arcade game, Spy Hunter was ...more

38
Tapper is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Tapper 1983 Tapper, also known as Root Beer Tapper, is a 1983 arcade game released by Bally Midway. The goal of the game is to serve beer and collect empty mugs and tips.

39
1942 is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
1942 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

40
Paperboy is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Paperboy 1984 Paperboy is a 1985 arcade game by Atari Games. The players take the role of a paperboy who delivers newspapers along a suburban street on his bicycle. The game was ported to numerous video game ...more

41
Punch-Out!! is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Popular Golden Age Arcade Games
Punch-Out!! 1984 Punch-Out!! is a boxing arcade game by Nintendo, released in Japan in 1983 and worldwide in 1984. It was the first in a series of successful Punch-Out!! games that produced an arcade sequel ...more