Top 8 Most Influential Arcade Games


This is a hard list to come up with given there are so many to choose from, but here is our Top 8 Most Influential Arcade Games of all time:

# 8


NBA Jam is a basketball arcade game published and developed by Midway in 1993. The game was soon a huge hit amassing over $1 billion dollars in quarters. This arcade game introduced a new genre of sports games based around fast action-packed game play and exaggerated realism. In sports culture, the phrases “He’s heating up”, “He’s on fire’ and even “Boomshakalaka!” can be attributed to NBA Jam.



Street Fighter II was released in 1991 as the direct sequel to the original Street Fighter, which was released in 1987 by Capcom. Street Fighter II is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time, especially the fighting game genre. It featured one of the most accurate joystick and button scanning routine in the genre thus far, and allowed players to execute special moves and combos. It is considered by many to be the first arcade machine responsible to introduce the combo mechanic in fighting games. By 1994, the game had been played by 25 million americans both in homes and arcades. The gross revenues of Street Fighter II and Street Fighter II: Champion edition arcade machines exceeded $2.312 billion dollars. It also introduced us to that amazing fireball move…HADOUKEN!



Donkey Kong was an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981 and is one of the earliest examples of a platform game. You jumped across platforms to save a damsel in distress named Pauline from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. This was also the first game to introduce us to “Mario”. Needless to say if Donkey Kong arcade was never created, the most famous Nintendo characters would be very different to say the least.



Mortal Kombat is an arcade fighting game developed and published by Midway games in 1992. It had a major impact on the fighting game genre. Mortal Kombat became a best-selling game and remains one of the most popular fighting games in history, spawning numerous sequels. It was also shrouded in controversy over its violence, which prompted the introduction of age-specific content descriptor ratings for video games.

Just in case you haven’t seen all the gruesome Mortal Kombat fatalities here is a quick video of some of them:



Asteroids is an arcade space shooter released by Atari in 1979. The object of the game is to shoot down asteroids and alien saucers while not being hit by them. Asteroids was one of the first major hits of the golden age of arcade games.



Space Invaders is one of the video gaming all-time classic arcade games. Numerous references have appeared not only in video game culture, but popular culture in general. The arcade machine was first launched in Japan in 1978. Space invaders is accredited to rejuvenating arcades around the world. Despite its simplicity, the music to Space Invaders was revolutionary to the gaming industry. The alien-inspired hit featured continuous music consisting of a four-note loop, uninterrupted by sound affects. The game became so popular in japan some specialty arcade stores opened with nothing, but Space Invader cabinets.

In the rare chance you have never played it, click the image below to play the flash game:



Can you imagine an arcade or world even without Pac-Man? It is definitely one of the top video games ever, no doubt, but the affect it had on video game culture and arcades was huge. The game was created by Namco and first released in Japan on May 22, 1980. It paved the way for future arcade games and become an icon of 1980s pop culture.It is often credited with being a landmark in video game history and is also one of the highest grossing video games of all time, having generated more than $2.5 billion dollars in quarters by the 1990s.

In the rare chance you have never played it, click the image below to play the flash game:




Without Pong it is suffice to say Arcade gaming could have never been as popular as it became. Pong is attributed to being one of the earliest arcade video games. It paved the way for future arcade machines of its kind to come.

Special thanks to:

–  Doraemon Games for the Pac-Man flash game link
–  Galaga Game for the Space Invaders flash game link
–  Kombat Kronicles for the Mortal Kombat fatalities video
–  RahStradamus Productions for the NBA jam gameplay footage