50 Best Arcade Games - UPDATED
by Michele Christopher

missle command.jpgWelcome to the last day of nominating. Well, the nominations are really over.


The first four nomination lists are here and here and here and here.

The official "list" from the reader nominations are:

(in no particular order)

1. Rampage
2. Tecmo Super Dodge Ball
3. Berzerk
4. Spy Hunter
5. Tron
6. Sinistar
7. Bubble Bobble
8 Robotron 2084
9. Pole Position
10. Donkey Kong
11. Mortal Kombat 2Mini-Pic - Defender.JPG
12. The Simpsons
13. Joust
14. Smash TV
15. Total Carnage
16. Asteroids
17. Golden Tee
18. Punch Out
19. Battle Zone
20. Star Wars
21. Street Fighter 2
22. Frogger
23. Ms. Pac Man
24. Afterburner
25. Defender
26. Food Fight
27. Tempest
28. A.P.B.
29. NARC
30. Galaga

Pretty cool list we have started here, eh?

Want to see the last of them?

Then here we go.

gauntlet123.jpg31. Gauntlet
Well this one had to be in here for personal reasons. If I can remember right, this was the first game that was really intimidating. What the hell was going on with this big game? With four players? I didn't understand it and really, I was too afraid to touch it. Too much was going on for my small brain. I did play it in the end though. I always loved the "Elf needs food...badly" thing. Like I didn't know that. I don't think anyone ever got too far without blowing at least a weeks allowance.

32. Major Havoc
Balls out weird game. Really weird controller. Like a spiny type thing. Running around in anti gravity..I think. I remember it as one of those games that was supposed to be high tech but usually left in the background of arcades. I don't know why. It was a good game.

33. Zaxxon
Damn angles. A space shuttle off to do some damage. I really did hate the angle you went in at. One of the first games to learn that if you use normal paint on metal controllers...that paint will come off in the players hand. By the time this game was passed around, the controller looked like something out of a Russ Meyers movie. All beat up and worn out.

34. Out Run
Out run your opponents and get the girl. Just a driving game. I loved it. Rev the engine and let it go.

Or maybe I am mixing it up with Pole Position. Hey, did anyone say Roadblasters yet?

35. RoadBlastersNESElevator Action.jpg
Hah. No one did. So I am going to say it. Sit in the seat and blast away. Someone put on a "nice guy" bonus on this game. The "nice guy" bonus is when the damn game counts the accuracy on your shots. That's pussy. If you ask me, that is. I think that you should be able to shoot more. The more shots that come out of your gun, the higher the bonus. Why should you be rewarded for playing like a pussy? Kill everyone! Even bystanders! And innocent people! Hey that reminds me. Did anyone say Deathrace 2000 yet?

Cause that was fun.

36. Super Hang On

Running out of time. This game was perfect for the NES. But it was in the arcade. Hm. Fun game of just jumping like a redneck with a new jug of moonshine. That reminds me. Did anyone say Bump and Jump yet?

37. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
I was surprised when I found out this was an arcade game. But, I'll review it cause I am sure it was the same one played at home. Grab a turtle with the weapon you like and bang away. I like the one with the stick. Too bad there wasn't one with a gun. Damn ninjas and their weapons. They needed a gun.

38. Elevator Action
There really wasn't a whole lot to this. Get down the building. Really a simple yet totally addicting game. One of my favorites. Always in the back of arcades cause the owner accidentally bought it instead of renting it. But, you went down levels until you got to your cool car. And then you did it again. I always wondered who left the cool car. Prolly was a cool chick.

They do that.

39. Paperboy
Grrr. Another angle game. Have I told you my dislike for angle games? Throw the papers and try not to bail. Funny thing I just found out about this game: If you make it through the week, the game ends. No shit. When you hit Sunday, the game is over.

I guess it didn't really matter since no one made it past Tuesday.

cent.JPG40. Centipede
I hated how they counted up the mushrooms after you died. Pity points. But what I really loved is when you got that centipede coming down the tubes just a blastin' away at his body. The salamander was cool, too. I think he was waving at you when he was cruising by. Yet another excuse to hate bugs.




Since we misfigured the dates (holiday ya know) these are the last ten.

The voting will start tomorrow

Want to see the last ten?

Then here we go.

41. Arknoid
It was Breakout on speed. One of the games on the list that left more memories of sleepless nights and nightmares than anything else. So simple. Just knock the blocks. But so hard. Grab the gun. Risk it all and grab the gun. Then get greedy and lose the ball. Or whatever the hell it was. I guess there was a storyline behind it. Something about aliens.

I think.

I did a lot of drugs back then, ok?

tetris.jpg42. Tetris
Russians. Who would have thunk Russians could bring us anything better than mail order brides and Yakoff Smirnoff? Not me. Yakoff was funny. But on to the game. Put the pieces of the puzzle together. Funny how something so simple could drive us all crazy.

43. Crazy Taxi
Speaking of crazy. Pick up the people and rock out to some of the most annoying music of all time. How many people cringe when they here that "YA YA YA YA YA" intro to that god damn Offspring song that started out the game. Damn, I hated that. And it wasn't that bad of a song. It was more of overkill. Again and again. But it sure was fun smashing shit up.

44. Super Techmo Bowl
One of the early games that inspired us to greater highs like Madden. I think this was a football game but back then, meh, who could really tell. It was a game that was cool. I wonder if Tecmo is still around. They did make Super Dodge Ball....hm..

They were on a run back then.

45. Space Invaders
I swear I thought this was on the list already. Anyways. I found a cool online version of this game but after I played it in the arcade a few days ago, I realized the online version sucked. Yes, the arcade I went into had it. They also had some 18 wheel truckin' race game which took all of my time. So really, the only reason I played Space Invaders was cause I only had one token left. It was fun buuuut the truckin' game kicked ass. If SOMEONE would ever remember her camera, you guys could have all seen some action photos of me truckin' down to Florida, but NOOOOOOOO.

She forgot it.

I'll forgive her though. She is cute.

46 Missle Command
The trackball always pinched my hand. It hurt.

47. X-Men vs Street Fighter / Marvel Vs. Capcom 2
These two made it against my wishes. Two many lights and moves and learning curves. Plus, it sent me into a seizure one time. But other people like it. So what the hell.

It made it in.

alpineski.jpg48. Alpine Ski
I am assuming it has something to do with skiing.

49. Galaxian
This one made it because all of the Galaga fans kept emailing me saying I better not put in Galaxian or they would kill me.

So fuck you.

It made it.

Intimidating FTTW staff or editors is a no no 'round these parts.

50. DigDug
Oh yes...pump me up. Kinda sexual in a way. I guess. Hell, I don't know. Someone else made that comment. Not me. This time, that is.

So those the last ten that made the list..

We are done!

Nominations are closed,

The final poll will be out soon and run all weekend.

Vote early and often when it comes out.

Thank you to everyone who nominated the games. As you can see, almost all of them made it. Some where way too obscure for any of us, so we kicked those. But I think everyone is happy, right?

Now I have to think of my favorites.....




Not sure if this counts, but what about the most under-appreciated multi-player game out there: dome hockey?

I spent many a quarter going USA vs. USSR, listening to that tinny Star-Spangled Banner play before the machine shot up the puck for five minutes of frenzied knob-turning and pushing.

If foosball were any fun, it would be dome hockey.


that would be a cool arcade


This is going to be hard.

I have my money on Golden Tee cause I know the drunks will come out to vote for that


Geez. It's not like we can't go back to the arcade and take pics.

In fact, I challenge you to a Space Invaders duel tonight.

And I'll even watch you play that stupid trucking game.


my god. this game is great



Helecopters must be represented.

Or...alternately...the 2D Helicopter game where you saved POWs. My memory is toast this morning.


.the 2D Helicopter game where you saved POW


I don't remember that being an arcade game.

maybe it was


Great - Now I can't get "HAMMER TIME!!!" out of my head.

Grumble. STOP! Hammer time!




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