Best Arcade Games Of All Time: From The ’70s Through The ’90s

The arcade may be nearly a complete relic of the past in 2022–especially post-COVID–but if you play video games, you owe it a debt of gratitude. Not only were some of the biggest video game franchises of all time birthed in the arcade, but these enormous wooden cabinets kept the medium afloat after systems like the Atari 2600, Intellivision, and ColecoVision went belly-up in the early ’80s.

Arcade games offered a sense of community, competition, and intense excitement. They’re inseparable from the story of video games as a whole, and we’ve rounded up the very best from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Many of these can be played on alternative platforms today, ranging from home arcade cabinets from Arcade1Up and iiRcade to console ports on Switch, PC, and more. And because they’re such classics, you’ll definitely want to.

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Space Invaders

Space Invaders
Space Invaders

One of the most iconic video games of all time, Space Invaders wasn’t the best of the classic arcade fixed-shooter games, but it set a standard that all others had to match. With iconic enemy designs and ships despite the downright archaic technology, it’s no wonder it’s still a common reference point for classic arcade games today. While Arcade1Up’s Space Invaders cabinet is no longer available at retail stores, you can get this tiny Space Invaders cabinet with a backlit marquee.

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Author: Gabe Gurwin