Revolutionary Arcade Games You Can Still Play Today

Arcades led the way for the video game industry we know and love today. The prolific arcades across the country and the iconic games and characters paved the way for the home consoles, entertainment centers, and online games of today. While many arcade games and characters were unfortunately phased out during the collapse of the video arcade, many went on to become what can only be described as legendary.


Oh, Pac-Man. In 1980, this revolutionary arcade game took the scene by storm. Who knew that a little yellow ball with a mouth, some ghosts, and some fruit could become such an addicting arcade game? The iconic arcade was developed by NAMCO and garnered over $2.4 billion (based on the value of the 2015 dollar).

The rapid success of this arcade game led to many console video games, including:

Pac-Man Fever
Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Pac-Man: Adventures in Time
And More
Mario and Luigi

Mario the Plumber originally appeared in the ever-popular Donkey Kong arcade game. From there, his popularity exploded! From Super Mario Bros. in arcades, to Mario Kart on popular game consoles, there is no denying that Mario and his brother, Luigi, are one of the most popular arcade games and characters to ever exist.

Today, you can explore Mario and Luigi video games such as:

Mario Kart
Mario Party
Luigi’s Mansion
Paper Mario
And More
Donkey Kong
Alongside Mario, Donkey Kong quickly rose to fame in 1981 when their arcade game was introduced in the North American market. Local arcades were noticing that this particular cabinet was getting over 120 plays ($30) a day, and continued to order more of the arcade game to accommodate demand.

If you’re a diehard Donkey Kong fan, you’ve probably played one or more of these video games:

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
Donkey Kong 64
Mario Kart (Donkey Kong is a featured driver)
The Donkey Kong Country series

Space Invaders

As one of the first available arcade games, and quite frankly one of the most popular during the Golden Age of Arcade Games, Space Invaders has certainly left its mark on video game history. While the game and specific characters did not spark a significant legacy of offshoot games, you can still play this legendary arcade game online and on various home video game consoles.

Dance Dance Revolution

This universally accepted dance craze and game got its start in Japanese arcades in 1998. While many doubted its ability to saturate the American market, Dance Dance Revolution took the world and industry by surprise. In Japan, arcades were a popular destination for hanging out with friends. In America, this was not the case.

Because the game required a physical component and was not like any other video game on the market, the success soared! As such, the game was developed for all types of home consoles in order to generate a larger following, and of course, revenue.

NBA Jam (And Sports Games)

As you’ve noticed by now, many arcade games had a futuristic and imaginative story line and concept. NBA Jam (along with other sports games) sparked the wave of sports-related arcade games, and as such, video games.

From Madden to Wii Sports, sports-related video games are here to stay, all thanks to the initial arcade games.

Street Fighter

This popular fighting game created by Capcom started out in local arcades and grew into a multi-million dollar franchise. The first Street Fighter game was released in 1987 and has experienced continued success since, with games such as:

Street Fighter EX
Street Fighter Versus
Street Fighter III
Street Fighter IV
Street Fighter V (Coming in 2016)
Interested in finding any of these classic arcade games for sale? Stop by one of our upcoming arcade game auctions.