An arcade game, for the purposes of this site, is a pay-to-play stand-alone video game. The earliest arcade games were just games in an arcade setting and included ring tosses, target shooting with pellets guns, and the like. In the 1960s, coin-operated arcade electro-mechanical games became popular including pinball machines, pool tables, slot machines, and the like. It wasn't until the 1970s that true fully electronic video games arose. Arcade video games are the pioneer of many genres in the video game industry. Arcades saw their golden years in the late 1970s and early 1980s but declined in the late 1980s when home video game consoles became popular. There was a slight resurgence in the early 1990s when arcade hardware surpassed the 8-bit era, but, by the time 16-bit and 32-bit home consoles became popular, arcades returned to obscurity. Most modern arcades survive because of ticket redemption games rather than their video games. While modern video game consoles are powerful enough to duplicate the visual effects of any arcade game, those games with haptic feedback are still difficult to simulate at home.
My earliest memories of arcade games are of an arcade at the Summit Place Mall in the mid to late 1980s, and the small arcade room at the Lakeland Arena in the late 1980s, although I have memories of arcade games at various movie theaters, bowling alleys, hotels, bars, and laundromats. During my childhood, these games were so much more advanced than the home video games I was playing (Atari 2600 and NES) that I was very enamored by them. My parents rarely gave me money to play arcade games, but I was usually just content to watch the attract demos and look over the shoulder of other people who played. When I got older, I found that arcade games are usually pretty awful because their primary goal is not to create an enjoyable game, but to entice players to drop in as many quarters as possible.
- See all Arcade Games.
These are the arcade games that are important to me.
- Altered Beast
- Bad Dudes
- Dance Dance Revolution: Extreme
- Double Dragon
- Golden Axe
- The Goonies
- Spy Hunter
- Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Time Soldiers