25 Best Arcade Games ever made: Page 3 of 6

arcade games
Contra Arcade Game

15. Double Dragon

As if one dragon wasn't enough...

As much fun as it is iconic, the brawler built for two has an interesting little twist that might not be apparent until you are quite a ways into the game. Even though it starts with a cliched girlfriend kidnapping/damsel in distress plot (like many others) with the game beginning in a typical urban setting, the concrete and forests eventually give way to a temple fortress of sorts. Aside from the stakes that can be inferred though, the game is also one of the better remembered arcade brawlers for a reason: playing as a matched pair of fighters and battling your way through hoards of gang members is a riot.

Another punch buggy? This time I’ll kick instead.

14. Galaga

Approved by Tony Stark

"That man" in Avengers was playing Galaga for a reason. It's fun. It's also very refined, with tight controls and rules that one can figure out and master over a period of playthroughs. It also boasted an interesting mechanic where your ship could be captured in a tractor beam, costing you a life. At the same time though, you could get that ship back by freeing it from the enemy and then have two ships and thus doubling your firepower.

I love the smell of tractor beams in the morning!

13. Time Crisis 2

I'm more of a life crisis person to be honest.

Going to get personal here. This game isn't among my favorites but it does hold a special place in my heart. It was the first truly cooperative video game that my brother and I played together. We never got very far, but working together like two commando secret agents with peripherals that had actual recoil with a pedal for ducking into cover was a bonding experience for us. You ever watch a sound and fury action movie that mostly consists of stunts, chases, and gunfights? Time Crisis 2 is a playable version of one of those; with precise targeting, different weapon types, and lots of explosions. Play with a light gun if you can to really get the full experience.

Be sure to follow standard safety procedures when working in a warehouse. Also, try not to get shot.

12. King of Fighters '96

Round One!

One of the undisputed kings of the fighting game genre, no pun intended, King of Fighters '96 is a great entry in the franchise. While other games can boast distinct characters with unique move sets, what sets this game apart is its style. The character animations before and after a fight convey loads of personality and the fight animations are almost anime levels of fluid power. The stages range from dojos to urban war zones. It’s a fighting game that really feels brutal and hard hitting.

Perhaps a more apt title would be King (or Queen) of Fighters

11. Golden Axe

Golden axe gameplay

Need to get your Conan the Barbarian on? Don't go to Skyrim, go to the land of Yuria. In addition to the novelty of fighting monsters and armored warriors instead of the usual thugs, the game offers other unique features such as mounting a bizarre war beast. Golden Axe features three playable characters—while all of them fight primarily with a single weapon, they can also pull off devastating magical attacks to clear the screen of enemies.

Looks like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum are all grown up.

10. Captain Commando


An obscure little title, Captain Commando is another multi-character beat 'em up that leans a little more to the silly end, even by the standards of the genre. Playing as a crack team consisting of the eponymous military commander, the ninja Sho, Jennety the alien mummy, and Hoover the baby in a mech. Yeah, this is a weird one, but that doesn't make it any less challenging, especially as the screen swarms with mobs of enemies. Luckily, there are power ups scattered throughout the stages in the form of mechs that you can pilot.

I love what you’ve done with your hair.

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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