The 80s were the golden age of arcades, and there was nothing more loved than getting quarters ready and going to the arcade.
The 1980s was the time of an arcade revolution. Arcade games really their stride during this time, and if you grew up during the 80s you know that the local arcade was one of the most popular place to hang out in your town.
The Best 80s Arcade Games
So what were the best arcade games of the 1980s? There were so many to choose from, but we believe we carved out the best of the best in this list.
Here are our picks for the best arcade games of the 1980s:
Pac-Man was one of the most popular arcade games of the 1980s. Players controlled Pac-man through mazes, eating Pac dots and avoiding ghosts. It was simple to learn, but super addicting as well.
Pac Man was one of those video games you either grew up playing at home on your Nintendo system or played during lunch breaks when going out for pizza with friends from school (before smartphones).
There wasn’t much better than chomping down some power pellets chasing after every ghostly enemy in sight. And this is one of those retro games that is still wildly popular today.
Asteroids was one of the known staples of 1980s arcade games. An iconic space shooter game popular of the era, it can still be played on many different platforms ranging from the Atari 2600 or Sega Dreamcast today.
It is one of those classic video games you simply have to try if you have never played it before. The iconic game has stood the test time, and continues to delight gamers with its simple, yet addictive gameplay.
3. The Missile Command
The Missile Command was also a popular arcade game in the 1980s. It is set in a fictional world where players are required to protect six cities from incoming enemy missiles by using laser cannons mounted on rotating bases that can move up and down and left or right.
Players must destroy all ballistic missile attacks before they reach any one of their cities, while at the same time avoiding direct hits themselves. If either happens, it would result in losing lives.
The Missile Command was one of the crudest games in terms of graphics, but somehow kids were still addicted to it.
4. Donkey Kong
The King of Kong himself made his first appearance in 1981, produced by Nintendo. Players control Mario through three different phases to save Princess Daisy. Its success made it one of the most recognizable arcade games in history.
A lesser-known arcade title from Namco stars Mappy collecting stolen goods from cats turned thieves. The player controls Mappy through different levels in a maze-like environment while avoiding his enemies and their traps.
6. Dig Dug
An arcade classic from Namco ported to various consoles features players controlling the rotund hero digging under rocks and pumping air into enemies to defeat them.
Players scored points by passing certain checkpoints; and more is awarded at each level’s end before moving on to the next one. Another sequel, Dig Dug II, followed years later but didn’t succeed as well as its predecessor.
7. Bubble Bobble
Bubble Bobble was a popular co-op game where two players control dinosaurs chasing down enemies by trapping them inside bubbles they create and then popping those bubbles to defeat them.
The title was ported to many consoles after its initial arcade release, including the NES, which is why most people even if they weren’t old enough to have played it in arcades have heard of the game.
The 1980s were a decade of innovation for arcade games, with many new titles being released and old favorites still going strong. These 1980s arcade games were the most popular in their day, as they continue to be a favorite for those who love retro gaming.
So those are our picks for the best 80s arcade games. Did your favorite make the list?