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The Best Arcade Games Of All Time


As with most things in life, you cannot beat the classics when it comes to arcade games. There is just nothing like sinking $10 worth of quarters into an arcade machine and vigorously slamming on a button while trying to beat that one level of your favorite game you can’t seem to ever get past. While the days of hanging out at the local arcade may be a thing of the past, as arcades seem pretty well reserved for boardwalks these days, you can now have them in your own home. If you were to get an arcade machine in your home, how would you choose the best game? Here are a few suggestions to get you started, the ultimate best arcade games of all time—in no particular order!

Pac-Man / Ms. Pac Man

Never could you have imagined using a joystick to control a floating head around a maze eating dots and fruit while running from colorful ghosts could be as addicting as this, but Pac Man was easily the first addicting game (sorry Angry Birds!).  Ms. Pac Man; released in 1980, and 1981 respectively by Bally Midway, amped up the offerings by adding strategy to the game rather than aimlessly running around. There was a method to the madness if you were clever enough to figure it out.

Donkey Kong

It is said to be the game that sent Nintendo on a path to industry domination—and you all thought it was the plumber and his brother but this is the game that introduces Mario as well, shows how much you know—Donkey Kong originated in arcade machines in 1981, according to Ask Men. Mario was not Mario in the game, but was called Jumpman, probably because he spent the entire game scaling stages while dodging barrels being hurled at him by Donkey Kong as he attempted to save the princess. Oh, and he wasn’t a plumber either—Mario was originally a carpenter, go figure!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Released in 1989, this street fighting game was the absolute ultimate in its time because the TMNT could not be more popular among kids. “Turtle Power” was the name of the game and publisher Konami certainly was able to cash in on it with this game where you got to run around kicking as much tail as possible—so much button mashing! And let’s not forget the frustration of the skateboard levels and the massive amount of quarters sunk on those levels!


Like Pac Man, this 1981 classic is highly addictive. The premise is simple, you drop a quarter in one of the Frogger arcade machines and your little frog just wants to cross the street, easy enough. And then, mayhem erupts. Suddenly, the streets become like the seven circles of Dante’s hell for this poor little frog and you have to help him dodge cars, snakes, alligators (what are alligators doing in the street anyways?), and more before he can get to safety on the other side.

Which arcade classic is your favorite?

Tony is an avid gamer and likes to review games and share his opinions with readers.