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Top Must-Played Arcade Games in 2023

1. Missile Command

2. Galaga

Best Arcade Games - Galaga

Galaga maintains the atmosphere of a space-age space-invader with some fresh and intriguing enhancements that make play even more enjoyable.

Many consider this to be Space Invaders 2.0. The opponents are significantly more active, drawing the player’s spacecraft into a tractor beam to bring it closer to hostile fire.

It turns out that aliens are also unclean!

Galaga is one of those games that has been on almost every system at some point. It’s a great classic, and it’s much better when played on a home console with a joystick.

Is it possible to destroy the Galaxian Flagship without dying? Best wishes; you’ll need them!

3. Centipede

Centipede is another game that you’ve definitely seen but never played on some of the top micro consoles. Or perhaps it’s your all-time favorite arcade game, and I’ve just insulted you?

 

In any case, it’s another of the finest arcade games that influenced how we play today.

Centipede, an Atari classic, is Snake on steroids. Players use the Bug Blaster to try to destroy a centipede that moves across the screen.

Any portions that gamers strike instantaneously turn into mushrooms, forming an impassable barrier to fire power. Add spiders and other horrible creepy crawlies to the mix, and a simple game becomes as difficult as nails!

If you have a weak heart or are easily stressed, this should probably not be on your list. It’s one of those games that you either love or loathe, which is probably why so many people spent so much money on it back in the day!

4. Robotron 2084

Best Arcade Games - Robotron 2048

The year is 2084, and robots have declared war on humanity. In a word, that’s Robotron 2084, and this Hyrule Warriors-style enemy-smash-fest was one of the most commercially successful arcade cabinets of all time!

Your goal is to eliminate as many robots as possible while remaining alive. It’s a cybernetic massacre, and players must save human prisoners along the way.

 

As you can see from the image above, this game is rather hectic. It’s nonstop action from start to end, with no stops or downtime. Score points and rescue the day; mission accomplished.

It’s also one of the titles credited with popularizing two-stick games as an arcade staple, and it never fails to frighten gamers.

You needed two sticks in case one of your hands became too sweaty!

5. Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II, my all-time favorite fighting game, comes next on this list of the top arcade games of all time.

That’s great praise considering games like Smash Bros. and SoulCalibur are available, but I’m sticking to it.

The levels and characters are ageless, and the surroundings, while not the most detailed in the world, are so iconic that I’ll never get tired of kicking ass in them!

This game’s arcade version is one of those titles that everyone should play at least once throughout their lives. The coolest part is pulling off Yoga Flame with Dhalsim or hearing ‘Hadouken’ blasting out of a cabinet speaker.

While not everyone has room in their home or workplace for a vintage cabinet, it’s a good thing the home console version is exactly as compact. Battle against all your favorite characters in a best-of-three combat from the comfort of your living room, button mashing combinations and hoping you don’t lose to your friends again!

6. Spy Hunter

Best Arcade Games - Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter made the transition from arcade to one of the greatest Colecovision games of all time. It introduced thrilling automobile chases in vehicles that wouldn’t look out of place in Altered Carbon to arcades and living rooms.

Not only that, but it also included ultra-modern espionage weaponry and massive explosions!

This game is comparable to the famous ‘Bump ‘n’ Jump’. Top-down racing action at its finest, with players pursuing criminals in futuristic automobiles as a chopper drops bombs on everyone.

Talk about a nerve-racking drive. I’ve never heard a GPS say, ‘bomb approaching, do a U-turn!’

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