20 Classic Arcade Games From the ’80s That Deserve a Comeback

The 1980s was the decade of the video game revolution, and many arcade gems are to be credited for this. Arcade cabinets are the birthplace of gaming, and the games in those cabinets evoke a sense of unshakeable nostalgia even today. The success of arcade games was instrumental in shaping modern gaming, paving the way for mechanics and concepts that we take for granted today.

1. Missile Command (1980)

Missile Command (1980)
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Atari published this shoot-’em-up arcade game where you must protect your civilization from a missile attack. Tony Temple, the creator of ArcadeBlogger, points out that the design may seem simple, but the challenge can keep you hooked for a considerable time. Unfortunately, there is no ending besides failure, causing the end of the civilization.

2. Pac Man (1980)

Man playing Pac-Man
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It would be a crime to talk about the ’80s gaming scene and not mention Pac-Man. Many know Namco’s beloved maze action video game as the ultimate arcade experience. However, don’t let the simplicity fool you because this game will test your patience.

3. Donkey Kong (1981)

Donkey Kong
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Donkey Kong’s release gave birth to the popular franchise and was crucial to the 1980s video game revolution. The Nintendo Company was not joking around with this one since it is, to this day, a somewhat challenging game. Imagine cycling through four stages for a total of twenty times to reach the kill screen.

4. Tempest (1981)

Tempest (1981)
Image Credit: Atari, Inc.

Programmed and designed by Dave Theurer, Atari introduced this fast-paced game in 1981. The vivid visuals, three-dimensional surface, and 100-level gameplay made it one of the best video games of the decade.

5. Burger Time (1982)

Burger time game
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I never thought flipping burgers would be this difficult. As a chef, you must step on platforms of ingredients to drop them on the plate and produce a burger. However, pickles and wieners will attack you, and your only hope is to trap them between the layers.

6. Dig Dug (1982)

Dig Dug (1982)
Image Credit: Atari, Inc.

Namco’s Dig Dug is a delightful maze arcade where players must defeat all the enemies to clear the stage. You can finish them off by inflating them or crushing them under rocks. The addictive gameplay made it significant to the ’80s arcade experience.

7. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1982)

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1982)
Image Credit: Atari, Inc.

Based on the 1981 film, this action-adventure game was released the following year to be played on the Atari 2600. This game, designed by Howard Scott Warshaw, may not have the most spectacular graphics, but the nostalgic value remains irrefutable.

8. Mario Bros. (1983)

Mario Bros.
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Mario Bros. is a household name to this day, and for good reason. Newer renditions such as Mario Kart have only been made possible by the success of the 80s version. What started as a simple platform game has become a prominent franchise known to all.

9. Paperboy (1984)

Paperboy (1984)
Image Credit: Atari Games.

Regarding a unique concept, it’s hard to miss Paperboy as a primary contender. As the name suggests, you are a paperboy riding your bicycle along a street. Your job is to deliver newspapers, scare the non-subscribers, and avoid any obstacles in your way.

10. Ghosts’ N Goblins (1985)

Ghosts 'n Goblins (1985)
Image Credit: Taito America.

This game is no joke, and those who’ve tried their hands at it would agree that it is one of the most difficult arcade games. Here, you play as a knight who goes to Demon Realm village to rescue a princess. Various projectile weapons are at your disposal, including axes and daggers, which constantly keep things interesting.

11. Adventure Island (1986)

Adventure Island (1986)
Image Credit: Hudson Soft.

Hudson Soft introduced this colorful side-scrolling platform game inspired by Sega’s Wonder Boy. The gaming experience is surprisingly engaging as you have to look out for weapon upgrades, consumables, and buffs on your way to rescue the princess.

12. Bubble Bobble (1986)

Bubble Bobble (1986)
Image Credit: Taito.

In this classic from Taito, players control two adorable dragons named Bub and Bob, who must rescue their girlfriends from the Cave of Monsters. This platform game is comprehensive, and beating 100 levels is quite the experience.

13. Castlevania (1986)

Castlevania
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Castlevania is a prominent NES classic that allowed players to control Simon Belmont, a vampire hunter. The goal is to defeat Count Dracula, who has reappeared after a century. The atmosphere and gameplay made this classic a financial success.

14. Last Mission (1986)

Last Mission (1986)
Image Credit: Data East.

Data East developed this memorable multidirectional shooter game for the ultimate arcade adventure. Unlike many other arcade games of the time, Last Mission offers neat features like complete movement control in eight directions and, of course, a handy grid map at the bottom of your screen.

15. Contra (1987)

Contra
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Contra, also known as Probotector or Gryzor, was an incredible run-and-gun platform game that offered a simultaneous two-player mode. According to IMDb, the characters in this game were inspired by Predator (1987) and Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985).

16. Rainbow Islands (1987)

Rainbow Islands (1987)
Image Credit: Taito.

Taito blessed the arcade world with a sequel to Bubble Bobble. Rainbow Islands is a surprisingly comprehensive game. In addition to its cute graphics, there are ten islands that players have to save by completing flour rounds per island. The game has multiple endings and even three secret islands for players to unlock!

17. Street Fighter (1987)

Street Fighter
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Many know this game as the pinnacle of arcade fighting. The series’ first installment changed the scope of combat-based video games, inspiring numerous renditions and spin-offs. Notably, the characters have diverse fighting styles. You can tell if your opponent had formal training as a martial artist or gained experience on the streets.

The first edition’s success led Capcom to develop the game further and introduce memorable characters such as Chun Lee in the later versions.

18. Superman (1988)

Superman (1988)
Image Credit: Taito.

As aliens invade the planet, the human species is on the brink of destruction, relying on one man to save them. Sounds familiar? Meet this arcade rendition of the impeccable Superman by Taito. This shoot-’em-up game allows players to determine the world’s fate and defeat Emperor Zaas.

19. Final Fight (1989)

Final Fight (1989)
Image Credit: Capcom.

Final Fight has one of the most stunning graphics among the 80s arcade games. The stage is set in Metro City, an area plagued by violence.  Players get to fight crime and beat goons in this beat-’em-up piece developed by Capcom.

20. Tetris (1989)

Tetris
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Everyone is familiar with Tetris, whether we’re talking about newer renditions or the good old arcade version. 1989 witnessed the release of Tetris on the Nintendo Game Boy. The game was based on the 1985 version by Alexey Pajitnov, with each level increasing in speed as you try to clear out rows by placing chunks of blocks that come in seven distinct shapes.

15 Shockers in Films That No One Is Talking About

The Day After Tomorrow
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Watching movies is a wonderful escape from the real world, especially those films with a happy ending. However, when taking a deeper look at specific films, there are shocking themes that viewers seem to overlook. Some of these elements are so surprising that you’ll never look at those films the same way again.

15 Shockers in Films That No One Is Talking About

Timeless Wisdom: 20 Seinfeld Quotes That Perfectly Capture Life’s Quirks

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Enter the quirky, fast-paced world of “Seinfeld,” a sitcom that entertained and offered a treasure trove of timeless quotes. From “No soup for you!” to “Yada, yada, yada,” these lines have transcended eras, encapsulating life’s quirks with wit and precision. In this collection, discover 21 ageless Seinfeld quotes that effortlessly encapsulate the essence of everyday situations, proving that the show’s humor and insight continue to resonate, remaining as relevant now as they were during their first hilariously unforgettable airing. Thanks, Jerry, for your insight…

Timeless Wisdom: 20 Seinfeld Quotes That Perfectly Capture Life’s Quirks

Author: Saad Muzaffar

Title: Freelance Writer

Expertise: Entertainment, lifestyle, and gaming

Bio:

Saad Muzaffar is an entertainment, lifestyle, and gaming writer at Wealth of Geeks. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science focusing on Cyber Security and Data Science with an accompanying Minor in Political Science. When not writing, Saad enjoys playing the latest exclusive on his PS5 while trying to maintain his authority as the best Smash player in his group of friends. Community work is his passion, and he tries to help out whoever he can to the best of his abilities. He has one cat, Riki, and loves discussing his latest scratches. At WealthOfGeeks, Saad writes contributing lists focusing on entertainment, lifestyle, and politics.