25 Best Arcade Games ever made

arcade games
Contra Arcade Game

25 Arcade Games That Were Legendary During Its Time

I love the current state of video games! They continue to rise in global prominence as an art form, with AAA production values rivaling Hollywood blockbusters and the independent sector bringing us numerous creative gems. There was a time though when video games were a true niche market—only a select few in my generation could even understand them. In those days, developers had to rely on the simple and the basic, refining their work to perfection. So in honor of those trailblazing creators, here are 25 of the best arcade games ever made.

25. Ghosts n' Goblins

Ghosts N' Goblins - Angry Video Game Nerd

The knight Arthur's fair maiden has been kidnapped, he must rescue her. Pretty simple. Unfortunately, the game didn't have a save function when it was ported to the NES. You had to beat the entire thing in one go with no continues. For those of you who are “harder than hard” masochists, try this blast from the past.

 For each image in this article, download the high res version from google images and upload them during publishing. Do not use the ones in this word doc as they are too small.

If the graveyards don’t give you nightmares, losing over and over will.

24. Contra

Contra gamplay

Contra was among the founder of games called "run n' gun" but could also be seen as the ancestor of the military shooter genre. The heroes are Arnie and Sylvester Stallone knockoffs, two stock military badass personas deployed to a fictional country by the CIA. They blast their way through hordes of bad guys with ridiculously oversized weapons. Test your skills alone or with a friend.

Nothing like a stroll along the seaside… 

23. Final Fight

Final Fight: Sweet Punches

Firepower fun is all well and good, but sometimes you long for the visceral, bone crunching thrill of hand to hand combat. Luckily, the run and gun's crazy cousin—the beat 'em up—has you covered. One of the best selections from this knuckle-busting genre is Final Fight. Pick your play-style as one of three protagonists, the skilled ninja Guy, the all around street tough Cody, and the powerhouse wrestler Haggar as they fight to take back Metro City from the Mad Gear gang that has taken over.

Yes, this window has a lovely view.

22. Street Fighter 2 Turbo - Hyper Fighting

Hyper Fight!

Be careful around these games, there are many versions of Street Fighter's sequel with slight variants. Specifically, Hyper Fighting had sped up fighting speeds and new techniques for select characters. Make sure to remember which version you’re playing, or you might end up on the wrong side of a tooth-shattering uppercut! All that said though, Street Fighter 2 is long considered to be among the best fighting games of all time for good reason. It had a global scale, eclectic cast, and fun combo moves that were satisfying to pull off. Many fighting game pros of today got their start here and anyone can join in on the fun.

Elephants never forget, but who can keep track of all these different versions of Street Fighter?

21. Donkey Kong

Just a great game

Even N64 and Gamecube millennials like myself must pay homage to this game. The eponymous gorilla has remained a beloved video game character to this day, while "Jumpman" went on to become a figure so iconic that people outside the sphere of video games know who he is: Super Mario. Despite the impact on pop culture, the game itself is no life changing experience, but it is still a fun challenge with simple mechanics of timed jumping and the occasional power up hammer.

I sincerely hope the architect who built this place never finds work again.

20. Raiden

RAining Lasers

The screen scrolling shoot 'em up that would give birth to the sub-genre known in Japanese as "danmaku" (often translated as: bullet hell shooters). Raiden has you playing as a continuously advancing jet fighter/spacecraft combo taking on an entire alien fleet by yourself. While not capable of the aerial acrobatics of later air combat games, Raiden will test your evasive maneuvering skills as entire walls of enemy fire rain down upon you.

This is the Captain speaking, we may experience some turbulence.

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Tanya Davidson is a Breton sorcerer from Tamriel. She has a strong interest for RPG and horror games and has written over a hundred thousand words on the topic. Tanya loves spending time in Tamriel.
Gamer Since: 1997
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Elder Scrolls Online
Top 3 Favorite Games:Alien: Isolation, Alan Wake, Her Story