20 best arcade games of all time

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Welcome to a nostalgically epic journey through the annals of arcade game history! Buckle up and get ready to relive the glory days of neon-lit gaming rooms, the satisfying clink of quarters dropping into machines, and the endless hours spent trying to beat that one unbeatable game.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the top 20 arcade games of all time: 

  1. Pac-Man: This classic game needs no introduction. With its iconic yellow hero, ghost-munching gameplay, and seemingly endless levels, Pac-Man has been a fan favourite for decades.
  2. Donkey Kong: This barrel-tossing, ladder-climbing game introduced the world to the mustachioed villain we all know and love (or love to hate) as Bowser. It also launched the career of the mighty Mario.
  3. Space Invaders: This groundbreaking game was one of the first to achieve mainstream success and cement the arcade industry as a cultural phenomenon. Its pixelated aliens and simple yet addictive gameplay have made it a classic.
  4. Asteroids: This game took the arcade world by storm with its vector graphics and shoot-em-up gameplay. Its unique control scheme, which used a rotary dial instead of traditional joysticks, also set it apart from other games of the time.
  5. Galaga: This space-themed shooter became an instant hit with its colourful graphics and challenging gameplay. Its “challenging stage” feature, where players could try to rescue their captured spaceship, added an extra layer of excitement.
  6. Street Fighter II: This game revolutionised the fighting game genre and introduced players to a roster of memorable characters, each with their own unique moves and personalities. Its intense gameplay and iconic character designs have made it a classic.
  7. Defender: This fast-paced ‘shoot-em-up’ game tasked players with defending their planet from waves of attacking alien ships. Its intuitive controls and high-scoring potential made it a fan favourite.
  8. Tempest: This trippy game featured vibrant vector graphics and a unique control scheme that used a spinner dial to rotate the player’s ship around the edge of a three-dimensional playfield. Its challenging gameplay and psychedelic visuals make it a must on this list. 
  9. Joust: This two-player game was a hit with its medieval-themed gameplay and quirky control scheme that used a joystick to flap your on-screen character’s wings. Its competitive nature and co-op play option make it all the rage in the office break room. 
  10. Robotron: 2084: This frenetic game challenged players to save the last human family from an army of robots and other dangers. Its fast-paced gameplay and unique control scheme, which used two joysticks at once, made it a hit.
  11. Paperboy: This game tasked players with delivering newspapers to houses (and avoiding obstacles) on their paper route. Its innovative use of a handlebar-style controller and immersive gameplay made it a fan favourite.
  12. Marble Madness: This game challenged players to guide a marble through a series of increasingly difficult mazes using a trackball controller. 
  13. Tetris: This simple yet addictive puzzle game has captivated players for decades with its iconic falling blocks and seemingly endless levels. Its universality and timeless gameplay will never get old. 
  14. Golden Axe: This hack-and-slash game was a hit with its fantasy-themed gameplay and ability to play as one of three different characters.
  15. Rampage: First released in 1986, players control one of three giant monsters – a gorilla, a lizard, or a werewolf – as they rampaged through cities and destroyed buildings. Each level featured a different city, and the goal was to reach the end of the level by destroying as many buildings as possible and defeating various enemies, including military vehicles and other giant monsters.
  16. BurgerTime: This food-themed game challenged players to build burgers by navigating through a series of platforms and avoiding pesky food-themed enemies. Its quirky premise and addictive gameplay make it a fan favourite.
  17. Super Mario Bros.: This platformer game introduced the world to the beloved character of Mario and his quest to save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser. 
  18. Ms. Pac-Man: This spin-off of the classic Pac-Man game introduced players to the equally iconic Ms. Pac-Man, as well as new mazes, gameplay mechanics, and enemy types. 
  19. Lunar Lander: This game challenged players to navigate a spaceship through a series of increasingly difficult levels using limited fuel and various gravity fields.
  20. Pinball Machines: Pinball machines are known for their colourful, immersive playfields, which often feature themes such as space travel, fantasy worlds, or pop culture franchises. They also feature a variety of obstacles and obstacles, such as bumpers, ramps, and interactive elements, which add to the challenge and excitement of the games. 

Arcade games are the bomb dot com. They’re a nostalgicically epic way to relive the glory days. Plus, they’ve got all the makings of a good time: bright colours, catchy tunes, and oh-so-satisfying gameplay. And let’s not forget the social aspect – there’s nothing quite like huddling around a game with your friends, trying to top each other’s high scores and bragging rights. In short, arcade games are the ultimate form of escapism and good, old-fashioned fun. 


Allow this pixelated magic to grace your workplace or household! Speak to us about our arcade machines today. We have new and used machines for you to consider, all of which can be delivered to an Australian postal address.