The best arcade games of all time

Generations born in the 90s will surely remember the days of arcade games. The amusement arcades with arcade machines were extremely popular back then. Each game was unique and provided thrills. Many still indulge in nostalgia today when they think back to the past. Nowadays, most games are already digitized and can be found on different platforms such as the Pacman 30th anniversary playable doodle.

So that classics are not forgotten, we have listed the best arcade games of all time here.

Short review

Retro games are gaining popularity and bringing back memories of times gone by. Many have been modernized, that is, new versions are adapted to current possibilities with new graphics. However, the principle and goal of the games almost always remain the same. One wonders how it all started. Here is a brief overview:

The history of video games began in the 1970s with the first versions of Breakout and Pong, two titles that are still considered spiritual precursors to the 1978 shoot ’em up computer game Space Invaders.

A few years later, the big breakthrough of video games  followed with various classics of the 80s , which were finally able to make the industry suitable for the masses: From the Jump ‘n’ Run Donkey Kong from 1981, in which the probably most famous plumber of all time Mario made his first appearance as Jumpman, to the well-known puzzle game Tetris (1984), developed by a young computer engineer named Alexey Pajitnov, to the action-adventure The Legend of Zelda (1986), in which Link first saw Hyrule and Princess Zelda had to save, the 80s had a lot to offer in terms of gameplay.

Now some more of the best arcade classics of this time:


The game Pac-Man originally comes from Japan and was released in 1980. At that time the game was only available on “arcade machines”, which were later replaced by computers. The name of the puzzle game is derived from puko puko, which means open and close. You control a yellow circle that opens its mouth and has to consume bullets.

In order to find these balls, you have to guide Pac-Man through the maze with ghosts without getting caught by them. The yellow hero can only eliminate the ghosts by eating the rare, large pills.

The level ends when all balls have been eaten. Pacman is a straightforward and simple game that can be played by just about anyone.

The game is so famous and liked that Google released a doodle on Pacman 30th anniversary.


Galaga was released in 1981 and is the expansion of the classic Galaxian. Like its predecessors, the shoot ’em up game was extremely popular in arcades and was one of the most successful games in this genre. The player has his own spaceship, which can be moved.

Swarms of insects appear in the upper area of ​​the screen, moving back and forth and trying to attack the spaceship. The aim is to shoot down enemies until there are none left. A newer version of Galaga can now be downloaded from Google Play and the App Store.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Everyone knows the Turtle Ninjas from TV. The game was released in 1989 and was based on the animated series that started in 1987. The story is about the Ninja Turtles’ girlfriend who was kidnapped by the enemies. The four turtles therefore have to fight their way through the streets of New York to free them.

You will go through several obstacles and meet different archenemies. In the game you can choose one of the turtle characters. Each of them has a special ability. The best thing about the game is that you can play it with four players. The beat ’em up game is even more fun with multiple players.


The jump ‘n’ run game Frogger from 1981 is one of the most uncomplicated games ever. You have to be careful and skillful, because wrong timing and mistakes lead to consequences. In the game you control a little frog that has to cross some obstacles to find its way home.

Although you can move freely, you still have to watch out for oncoming traffic and avoid logs and alligators. That requires a lot of attention. When the level is finished, you feel pure relief.

The games mentioned are some of the best arcade games of the past. The selection of retro classics is huge, which is why old-school titles are still very popular in 2022 and can even be found on online platforms. It remains exciting to see which other new adaptations of arcade games will come onto the market in the future.

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