Video games have been around for many decades and they have evolved over the years as the technology had developed. Whilst the younger generation may only know of the latest games that have been released, many gamers also remember the variety of classic arcade titles that prove to be just as popular today.
The classic games built a solid foundation for all types of video games and many of them can be just as fun and entertaining for today’s audience as they were for the older gamers that grew up playing these games.
Here is our top 10 list of the popular arcade games that even the younger demographic would love:
Pac-Man is one of the most iconic, memorable, and influential games in the world. Having founded the maze genre of games, it opened up gaming to the female audience as it was non-violent and very easy to pick up and play. Since then, it has become an icon for 80s pop culture and has even been in movies and other several other types of commercial media other than games.
Pac-Man Arcade Machine Stats:
- Arcade Machines Sold by 1982 : 400,000 units
- Revenue by 1982: Over $2.5 billion
Street Fighter 2 (1991)
Street Fighter 2 is an iconic head-to-head fighting game that was produced by Capcom and released as an arcade game in 1991. This was a sequel to Street Fighter which was released in 1987 and it had improved many on many concepts since the first game. Street Fighter 2 became the best-selling title having been played by over 25 million players in the US, both at home and in arcades. The launch of this game inspired many other games to take on this genre.
Street Fighter II Arcade Machine Stats:
- Arcade Machines Sold: More than 200,000 units
- Revenue by 1993: $1.5 billion
Donkey Kong (1981)
Donkey Kong is the famous classic that introduced Mario to the world. This was a pioneer in the platform genre and it was also the game that helped Nintendo to break into the North American market. Although this game was quite simple, it was known to be one of the most complex games for its time, due to the jumping mechanism which enables players to jump over obstacles and enemies.
Donkey Kong Arcade Machine Stats:
Arcade Machines Sold by 1982: 60,000 units
Revenue by 1982: $180 million
Defender was an intuitive game for its time as it provided the perfect blend between two highly acclaimed games, Asteroids and Space Invaders. This was a two-dimensional shooting game that was praised for its audio-visuals and gameplay. Although this game was slow to gain popularity, the game was very well-received at arcade machines and eventually went on to become a best-selling arcade game.
Defender Arcade Machine Stats:
Arcade Machines Sold: 60,000 units
Revenue by 1993: $1 billion
Out Run (1986)
As an iconic SEGA classic, Out Run featured innovative hardware and graphics which made it a very unique game compared to what’s out on the market at the time. It had selectable soundtracks and non-linear gameplay which made it very enticing for players to pick up and play.
Out Run Arcade Machine Stats:
- Arcade Machines Sold: 30,000 units
- Revenue by 1993: $393.06m
Mortal Kombat (1992)
The famous arcade fighting game, Mortal Kombat became one of the best-selling games and still remains to be one of the most popular types of fighting games today. Whilst many arcade games were fighting-based and violent to some extent, Mortal Kombat took this to the next level and caused much controversy based on its depiction of extreme violence and gore. In addition to this, the game utilised realistic digitised graphics which made the violence seem more realistic. As a result, this game also brought about the introduction of age-specific ratings for video games.
Mortal Kombat Arcade Machine Stats:
- Arcade Machines Sold: 24,000 units
- Revenue by 1992: $570 million
NBA Jam was one of the first of its genre to generate extreme popularity in such as short amount of time. Within the first year of release, NBA Jam had generated over $1 billion in revenue and had become the highest-earning arcade game of all time. This arcade game was provided fast-paced and action-packed gameplay which was very well-received with gamers at the time.
NBA Jam Arcade Machine Stats:
- Arcade Machines Sold: 20,000 units
- Revenue by 1994: $1.1 billion
Golden Axe (1989)
Golden Axe was a masterpiece produced by SEGA. In this co-operative fighting game, you can play as three memorable heroes, each with their own unique abilities. Golden Axe quickly took the number 2 spot in the UK chart sales and was also voted as number 66 in the Your Sinclair Readers’ Top 100 Games of All Time.
Tekken is the highly popular fighting game that was released in 1994. Although it was released during a period where there were several other similar types of fighting games, Tekken allowed the player to control each of the fighter’s four limbs which gives greater freedom of movement for players. Tekken has a long history of being exclusive to PlayStation and even the arcade machines were ran on PlayStation hardware.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989)
Licensed games were very popular during the 80s and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of the very successful games. This game was based on the high-popular animated series that aired in 1987 it enabled players to play as their favourite characters. Due to the success of the arcade game, it was later released for the home consoles which further increased its popularity.
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