back to article Twenty classic arcade games

I’d better say it from the outset: picking 20 all-time arcade game classics is a nightmarish task, not simply because of the almost endless array of titles available to choose from, but because of all the really good ones you have to omit. Space Invader Here then, are the titles that made the cut, either because they have …


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  1. jason 7

    Oh no Space Harrier?

    My fave.

    1. 2020hindsight

      Re: Oh no Space Harrier?

      Agree - Space Harrier was to my memory the first mainstream hydraulic cabinet game, and to be honest I think the pinnacle of arcade fun before the consoles took the money and innovation out of the market.

      1. Professor Clifton Shallot

        Re: Oh no Space Harrier?

        Yeah, would have had Space Harrier, Battle Zone, and Missile Command on the list.

        And Moon Cresta, Galaxians, Tempest, Centipede, Asteroids, Scramble, I Robot ... and, and ,and damn it really is an impossible task to whittle these down.

        1. big_D Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Oh no Space Harrier?

          Yep, Moon Cresta, Scramble and Tempest were great, as was Space Harrier.

          We had Gaplus, Amidar and Time Pilot in the college common room, later joined by Food Fight.

          I could clock Time Pilot and Gaplus. 10p in Time Pilot was good for whiling away a couple of hours...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh no Space Harrier?

      First game to have 16-bit graphics and use the new Sega "super scaler" game engine.

      Mr Do should be on the list somewhere too, it was the first game to be sold as an upgrade or conversion kit to reuse existing cabinets, so it was cheaper for arcades to replace games.

    3. Craig Chambers
      Thumb Up

      Re: Oh no Space Harrier?

      Welcome to the fantasy zone... Get Ready!

  2. Thomas 4

    This is an outrage

    No Afterburner on the list? For shame, sir!

    1. ukgnome
      Thumb Up

      Re: This is an outrage

      Totally agree, the hydraulic cabinet was way ahead of it's time.

    2. Peter Bennett 1

      Re: This is an outrage

      I'm sorry that 'Scramble' is absent. That and Defender used to take up a lot of my teenage time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is an outrage

        Karate Champ, Kung Fu Master, Gorf, Phoenix are on my list.

      2. 4.1.3_U1


        I never became any good at Defender, but at the time I found it to be extremely compulsive - just had to put one more 20p (or whatever it cost) in the slot.

        For some reason I still have nostalgic feelings about this game; never mind (the bollocks).

    3. Psyx

      Re: This is an outrage

      I was thinking the same about 'Centipede'; the first game I ever saw with a trackball.

      1. Super Fast Jellyfish

        Re: This is an outrage

        Not sure, did missile command do it first?

        1. Psyx

          Re: This is an outrage

          "Not sure, did missile command do it first?"

          Maybe, but I never *saw* that game in the flesh.

      2. Homer 1

        Re: This is an outrage

        +1 for Atari Centipede, my all-time favourite game.

        Also: Missile Command; Mach 3; Pac-Man; Gorf; Qix; Gradius; Battlezone and Final Fight, to name a few.

    4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: This is an outrage

      > No Afterburner on the list? For shame, sir!

      I managed to read this post 8 times, due to the fact the pages had the "top scored posts" at the bottom of every bloody page.

      *why*? Even on single pages reading a "top reply" first may be senseless if you don't see what it's a reply to,

      If it ain't broke, don't break it :(

      REG FAIL

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    I was only looking for Paperboy and Defender for my phone this week.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Classics

      Just grabbed Dragon's Lair for my Nexus 7 - I can see some definite timewasting coming up over the next day or two...


    Has to be ... Star Wars!

    Ahh the memories of wasted hours [1983) in the Bath Student Union bar trying to 'use the force'. Only got to plant the torp a couple of times.

    oddly pints of Wadsworth's 4X didn't help Luke in any form in using the force....

    1. jason 7

      Re: Has to be ... Star Wars!

      Yeah playing Star wars at the Arcade in Hunstanton was great fun. Never got all that far but it was thrilling to play.

      Loved gaming back then as your imagination was encouraged to fill in the gaps.

      1. diego

        Re: Has to be ... Star Wars!

        I recently found my Ultima maps and manuals from the Ultima collection (I-VI). That's what I call filling the game's gaps with imagination. Those books really set the mood for the game, I agree that games today lack that...

    2. ArmyCrow

      Re: Has to be ... Star Wars!

      Luke never could hold his shandy. The amount of times 3PO had to pilot the Landspeeder home was embarrassing.

      1. Heathroi

        Re: Has to be ... Star Wars!

        but it took a loooooonnnnggggg time as 3po wouldn't go very fast and stopped at every notice board.

    3. Merlinski

      Re: Has to be ... Star Wars!

      Wadworth's 4X ???

      6X, surely.

      It's Castlemange who make 4X. (Yes I know how Castlemange is spelt, thank you.)

      1. philbo

        Re: Wadworth's 4X ???

        ..maybe he only had 2/3 of a pint?

    4. R W Rodway

      Re: Has to be ... Star Wars!

      Yup, got to concur with Star Wars. I spent FAR too much time playing that at Uni. Including one 11 hour game (got to 95 million+, 350 odd death stars (the counter stuck at 99, but after 256 it went back to 0), and then the arcade closed and they threw me out! Still don't know if the score can handle 100M :))

  5. EddieD

    Ah - the passage of time

    I knew - and loved - all the earlier games, but the later ones were a mystery. I think I discovered girls or something.

    For me, Space Invaders - the first really huge game, Donkey Kong - the first platformer, Star Wars - incredible 3D, but I think BattleZone was first on the Vector 3D..., and Gauntlet - just damn good fun in the Union bar - I got the adaptor for my Atari ST so that we could play G2 4 up on the machine - but since you couldn't buy more healther, it wasn't as good.

    All classics - and cheers for the memories (btw, no Lunar Lander? That was the first I played, in the mini Virgin Megastore in Nottingham...)

    1. Andrew Moore

      Re: Ah - the passage of time

      I always thought it was a great pity that The Empire Strikes Back wasn't more available and that The Return of the Jedi was in raster not vector.

    2. MarkBlack

      Re: Ah - the passage of time

      I was surprised that BattleZone didn't make list.

    3. Super Fast Jellyfish
      Thumb Up

      Re: Ah - the passage of time

      Ah battlezone, with the periscope viewsight. However I think tailgunner was the earliest 3d vector game back in '79...

  6. Tsung

    Ahh memories..

    Paperboy was an arcade game you could crash by holding full right (or it might of been left) at the end of the level. This would cause you to miss the end of the level and carry on into the abyss. :) Space Harrier missing? makes me sad. That must of been one of the first full motion sit in arcade cabinet games. There are so many other iconic games missing, Golden Axe, Pole Position, Outrun, Mr Do, Bagman.. Maybe a top 100 list next time?

    1. Tom 13

      Re: Maybe a top 100 list next time?

      I second that idea! And would third it too if that were cricket.

      If I might over an amendment? Do it as a Reg submission/poll sequence.

  7. Tweets
    Thumb Up

    Surprised that Golden Axe isn't in there! It was one of the few games from that same era that to me summarised it almost as well as Star Wars! Spent many a £ on Gauntlet, Star Wars and Golden Axe!

    1. FartingHippo

      Bestest Game Evar!

      I suspect the 'best' coin-ops were the popular ones when you were 12-16 years old, however old you are.

      (unless you're under 20, in which case you can just f*ck off back to your console)

      1. Simon Round
        Thumb Up

        Re: Bestest Game Evar!

        +1 - That made me chuckle. Personally I was 12-16 in the late 70's early 80's. Oh the memories.

        Me looks wistfully into the middle distance. Must Build Cabinet.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hyper Sports should be there

    The follow up to Track and Field, Hyper Sports should really have taken it's place. The game play was better as each round got more and more difficult to pass.

    Track and Field stopped getting hard after 3 or 4 rounds and and it was possible to play it for 14 hours on a single 10p (restricted to the opening hours of the shop it was in). We did this as a relay team one day taking turns to do rounds - Think we ended up with a score of around 7 million.

    For any Hyper Sports fans out there I was part of a partnership called HFX - we mainly played in the north (as that was where we were from and weren't old enough to drive). We held the vast majority of records in Blackpool and surrounding holiday locations.

  9. FartingHippo


    The definitive list will never be agreed on, but here are my faves from the era:

    Bubble Bobble (I mean, come on! 100 levels, hidden portals, easter eggs galore)

    Wonder Boy (I can still hum the music)



    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: Others

      And to add to the list:

      Dragon's Lair (or Space Ace) - As something different, with it's laserdisc animated graphics

      Hypersports - much better than track and field (using half a kinder egg to mash the buttons).

      Galaxians - would deserve a place, but I guess too much to squeeze into 20 that already has Space Invaders (which should of course always be #1 in the list).

      Joust - still love that game today!

      Rampage - manga monster mash! Nuff said.

      1. FartingHippo

        Re: Others

        Galaxians? Pfff. We don't need your steenking Galaxians.

        Galaga, though, is a whole other story.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

          Re: Others

          Nah, Gorf was better, or at least ate more of my 10p's.

          Then there's Asteroids, Tempest, Missile Command, Tron (On Discs of course, the better of the two games) and Battlezone.

          Damn, I'm gonna have to dust off Mame and have a retro-fest this weekend!

    2. Dave Schofield

      Re: Others

      Surprised at no mention of:

      Pacland/Super Mario Brothers


      Space Harrier

      Marble Madness


      But, each to their own and they all took a big chunk of my available cash. Might be time to fire up MAME again tonight...

    3. Bushman1234

      Re: Others

      What about Space Harrier?

    4. Osmosis Jones

      Re: Others

      aaah Shinobi....I could have been the next Mozart or George Best but wisely i dedicated my formative years to becoming a Master Ninja.

  10. Reading Your E-mail
    Thumb Up

    Bang on

    Yes there are a ton of others you could have had, but the 10 you picked were all bang on as far as I'm concerned, all ten have swallowed up their fair share of my time (actually probably much more than that).

    Killer Instinct Arcade would be on their if it was my list, the only arcade I have ever 100% finished (even with eyedol) but it's your list not mine so 10/10 :)

  11. Mike Smith

    And what about

    Space Fire Bird (with the screen embedded in a table) and Missile Command? Fond memoiries of playing that in the Bournemouth Pier arcade. The huge explosion when you lost Missile Command and the words THE END blazing from the screen.... ah those were the days.

    Explosion icon, obviously.

  12. David Paul Morgan

    Missile Command anyone?

    with the enormous track-ball.

    Tellingly, if pushed, you would sacrifice the civilian cities to protect your missile launcher!

    Where's WOPR & Matthew Broderick when you need them

    1. Merlinski

      Re: Missile Command anyone?


      And that's why I use a track ball not a mouse ... how can you possibly navigate a spreadsheet <strike>launch nukes at a target quickly and accurately enough </strike> with a mouse ???


      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Missile Command anyone?

        I used to be pretty good at Missile Command. Was certainly on the High-Score table most times anywhere I played, and often at the top.

        One day I cam to my favourite machine (with the smoothest track ball), and there was a stranger playing. I watched him clock the machine (twice, IIRC), have cities stacked up across the screen, and then get bored after about 45 minutes and walk away before he was wiped out (in fact, before he even started losing significant numbers of cities). You would not believe how erratic the intelligent mines became, and yet he could hit them. I think he must have maxed out the difficulty levels, and the machine started using more and more lurid colour combinations to put him off.

        I never saw him again, and I lost all interest in playing, knowing that I could NEVER be that good. In fact, that was pretty much the end of me spending time in Arcades.

  13. Pete the not so great

    Ahh, thems were the days

    Galaxian, Phoenix, Asteroids and one I cant remember the name of but it's catchphrase was "Downtown humanoid"

    1. Siberian Hamster

      Re: Ahh, thems were the days

      I believe you mean 'Countdown humanoid, countdown intruder!' and also 'humanoid chicken, fight like robot!'

      Loved that game... Berzerk I think it was.

      1. Lukin Brewer

        Re: Ahh, thems were the days

        Yup, it was Berzerk. I think the opening phrase was "Get the humanoid, get the intruder!" It would also interject with "Attack it!", "Charge the humanoid! and similar during gameplay. It also featured hurry-up enemy Evil Otto, the most deadly and indestructible smiley face ever (Alan Moore's Comedian can eat his heart out. :-) Look, there he is now, at the top left of the post! Time to go!! :-)

  14. Sir Sham Cad

    Wot, no Tron?

    I spent a lot of pocket money on that and it had the best looking cabinet in the arcade!

    Also: How the hell is "Asteroids" not in this list? Space Invaders and Asteroids were the two staples of my arcade experiences.

  15. Titus Aduxass


    And where's Galaxian?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Happy memories!

    A great look back on some classic titles. Outrun will however, always be my favourite.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: Happy memories!

      Outrun was great. One afternoon once, for the hell of it, I completed the game by every possible route and had all the high scores on the game in the Students' Union :-)

  17. Jon Green

    Star Wars' "faithful reproduction of both soundtrack and voice samples"?

    "Ooo da war, Ploop!"

    Oh happy days!

  18. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Space invaders, yes, of course

    But where was Galaxians? Space invaders that attacked you from behind - spent far too much money on that one.


    Showing my age, I know. I got bored with video games after then, never got into PC/console gaming at all.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Space invaders, yes, of course

      Thanks. Was just trying to remember what that was called, and of course it's Gorf. Which, as I recall, had a space invader type level, and then a bunch of others, finishing with the mothership. Then was it back to the beginning (but faster)?

      I still like Space Invaders. I still sometimes play it on

      I'd love to find a way to play Gauntlet again. I was looking for that a while back, but no joy. Hmmm. Looks like a lot of this stuff has turned up on the iPad since I last looked. I wonder how it plays on a touchscreen though? Probably not well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Space invaders, yes, of course

        You can get all of these on an emulator for your PC. Well good. Can't wait till my Picade comes through the door and then it'll be like back in '84

    2. Admiral Grace Hopper
      Thumb Up

      Re: Space invaders, yes, of course

      +1 for Gorf. I didn't stare at a screen so intently or for so long until I my first truly mission-critical database restore.

    3. Milo Tsukroff

      Galaxians, of course

      Ah, yes, Galaxians - my personal favorite of the "quarter-eater" generation. Wave 1 - Best hand-eye coordination practice ever. I still play it occasionally. I was shown how to play it at University. The challenge is to never, ever shoot an alien from behind, only when it's coming at you. Complete Wave 1 without losing a ship. If you can do it, you've won! If you can't, do it again ... and again .. and again... and again ...

  19. Alien Doctor 1.1

    Can anyone remember...

    the title of a MotoGp or World Superbike-styled racer? I used to waste my lunchtimes from Unisys at the Crown in St. Nicks market Bristol, supping on a Newky Brown and shovelling coins into the game.

    1. <spez>

      Re: Can anyone remember...

      Hang-On or Super Hang-On.....

      1. Timfy67

        Re: Can anyone remember...

        I played this so much that I still hum the theme tune to this day!

      2. Alien Doctor 1.1

        Re: Can anyone remember...

        Thanks <spez> that was it. Have a beer old chap.

  20. Neal 2
    Thumb Up

    Inspired choices. Each and every one of those screenshots transported me back to the sights and smells (mainly the smells actually) of the arcades where I played each on.

  21. groovyf

    A pretty good list there. Defender ranks as #1 for me personally and yes, where's Galaxian or even Scramble, though let's face it, too many to mention and to nail into a top 10 easily.

    I threw far too many coins into Xevious myself.

    Also worth noting, Bradford's National Media Museum has a room with some cabinets and sit-downs in for retro-gaming goodness, and still at the original 10p per game too. They have Defender too... I'll always try to find time to have a blast on that when I'm there.

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up


      A game I loved, becasue if you knew where all the bonus life Flags were and the towers etc, you could (like I once did) play for 1 1/2 hours on one 10p :-)

  22. NogginTheNog
    Thumb Up


    Why no Gorf? The first time I'd heard speech synthesis in a game, and each level totally different and unique (if something of a rip-off of other games?!).

    Overall though a great trot down memory lane, even if I don't know so many of the later ones...

  23. El_Fev

    Come on ...

    No missile command and I second Asteroids

    1. Mark Leaver
      Thumb Up

      Re: Come on ...

      First time I ever used a track ball was playing Missile Command...

  24. Hairy Spod

    Golden age of racing games

    Its all very well putting in chase HQ, but surely the golden age of racing games was the 90's when you could finally race your mates on two player with a bit of force feedback in the steering wheel. Sega rally for my money.

    And how about bit of puzzle bobble in the students union anyone?

    1. Matt_payne666

      Re: Golden age of racing games

      Yes, but no!! I learned to drive playing Hard/Race Drivin' - realistic speed, force feedback, multiple turns lock to lock, ignition key, real gearbox and CLUTCH PEDAL!!! not to mention a loop-de-loop!!

      and a huge soft spot for ridge racer full scale...........

  25. ukgnome

    So many that could\should be on the list.

    Where is Gorf? "alert alert enemy invaders..."

    Why isn't out run mentioned? Or pole position for that matter.

    Sad to see no ghost and goblins.

    And what of Tron?

    Ahh so much wasted youth, oh the folly

  26. David Paul Morgan

    I spent ages playing Tempest...

    with the yellow 'claw' that you rotated around the lip of te tunnel, to stop the 'aliens' crawling out.

    Quite abstract, but I spent valuable drinking tokens in college on this one!

    happy days :-)

    1. Andrew Moore
      Thumb Up

      Re: I spent ages playing Tempest...

      Another vote for Tempest here. A fantastic game.

      For abstract- how about I-Robot, also by Atari.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mainly a good list, but...

      ... missing MARBLE MADNESS and JOUST.

      1. Milo Tsukroff

        Re: Mainly a good list, but...MARBLE MADNESS?!?!!

        Marble Madness ... AAAAAAaaaaaaah!!!

    3. Jedit Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: I spent ages playing Tempest...

      For reference, the "claw" in Tempest is called a C-Shooter.

      Dave Theurer's finest hour, that game, and it didn't get any worse when Jeff Minter remade it as Tempest 2000.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    You didn't prefer Outrun?

    I did. There wasn't any destruction, unless you crashed. It was simpy drive as hard and fast as you can.

    Even better was Hard Drivin'. I spent every lunch hour at the mall in the arcade ignoring the very attractive red-head while using all of my lunch money, and some of my drinking money, to write sentences on the high-score screen. The best part was the ability to run the course backwards...

    Oh, and Other than these two....I sucked at video games (and still do).

  28. Mondo the Magnificent


    This brings back some fond memories of being a teenage immigrant lad in South Africa in the late 70's as the arcade games era hit us..

    I recall Ridge Racer, then Space Invaders being the first two I saw at the local cafe (as the cafe's were the pre-games arcade hangout for "gamers")

    Then came Donkey Kong, my next addicition and introduction to the Brothers "Mario"

    "Track and Field" was known as "Hyper Olympics" here, exact same game, different name but a great game!

    By the early 80's games arcades sprung up all over the place, usually alongside roadhouses or cafes, as the (usually Portuguese or Greek) cafe owners saw the opportunity and opened arcades.

    I do recall most of the titles, we didn't get them all here, sadly, but one thing I believe needed a mention is this nostalgic article was "Asteroids"

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane to when I was a teenage school/college boy who used to starve all day just to spend his "lunch money" on those great CRT and oversized button equipped coinops..

  29. Tom 13

    The one I find odd is Ms. Pacman but not the original

    which was a far better game.

    I also spent quite a few quarters in Beserk, not that I expect it to make a top 20 list. "Come back and fight like a robot!"

    I suppose Donkey Kong get's you the Mario Brothers franchise, but I far preferred the turtle game. Played Kong on a console again recently and had the same issue with icon locating that I found irritating in the first.

    And where the heck is Robotron?!?!?! Sure Battlezone gave you pedals and a yoke, but Robotron required the use of both joy sticks, and in a fashion that doesn't exactly come naturally to the human brain.

    Still the picks on the early games are good. Can't comment on the new ones. Stopped doing the arcades around 1990, but I do get nostalgic for them.

    1. NullReference Exception

      Total carnage! I love it!

      Smash TV is on the list, and it's basically an updated Robotron - same designer, same dual-joystick setup, same basic gameplay.

  30. ropie
    Thumb Up

    Influential Graphics

    I was never much of an arcade-machine user but Outrun inspired a lot of my GCSE art classes (many drawings of red Ferraris on cute single-point perspective roads) :)

  31. Simon Round


    A great list. Many of my all time favourites on there. It takes me back to to days spent on tript to Scarborough or in the 'Harrogate Computer & Video Centre' (I think that was what it was called) down in the basement arcade playing games.

    My all time favourite though has got to be Nemesis. I could always complete this on 10p and often stopped to discover a crowd had gathered to watch. These days I don't get to arcades so use emulators to get my fix when I have the time.

    Alien in lieu of a space invader icon.

    1. jubtastic1

      Re: Blimey!

      +1 for Nemesis, awesome game that could make 20p last a lunch break, Also honourable mentions for Commando & Kung Fu Master, oh and Rolling Thunder & Green Beret.

  32. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Hmmm. It's a good list but missing a few: Missile Command, Galaxian, some of the overhead multi-player racing around the track games (can never remember the name - you get spanners and such to power up your car after races), the afterburner type pseudo-3d high speed shoot em up, and there are no examples of vertically scrolling shooters either, such as "battle for midway" but I'm sure that wasn't the first and possibly not the best.

    There was also a ground breakingly different one where you got to drive a tank using two vertically aligned joysticks...

  33. thesykes

    Glad to see Gauntlet ln there, loved that.

    Another favourite was Battlezone, may have just been the eyepiece you had to look through, but I always headed straight for it.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ms Pacman?

    Drop that and put Missile Command instead.

  35. bigc90210


    Mortal Kombat Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. guyh

    Xevious ...

    X E V I O U S !! 'nuff said

    1. El Zed

      Re: Xevious ...

      Ah Xevious,

      I used to hog the high score table of both the Xevious machines in Dundee back in the early 80's, and the one in the arcade in Glasgow (one of the ones on Argyle Street), several years after I'd stopped playing them regularly, I found myself back in the arcade in Glasgow one drunken Friday night, early 90's, found the Xevious machine still there and that no-one had ever beaten my highscores.

      Only one person in Dundee ever beat me, he worked in a bank (I think) on Reform Street.

      Xevious and Mad Planets..way too many boozy hours in the Arcades as a student spent on them both..I've tried playing them on MAME, but it ain't the same..

  37. guyh


    WAS (and still is?) the best video game shooter ever.

  38. Corborg

    Wizard needs food, badly

    All the usual suspects, can't go too far wrong with that list.

    I would stick with Outrun over ChaseHQ, I still play that today. And I would stick Robotron 2084 in not SmashTV.

    This is my arcade cabinet, I built it when I ran out of space for a full sized cabinet :)

    1. Armando 123

      Re: Wizard needs food, badly

      "Valkyrie is about to die ..."

  39. tsdadam


    Sinistar made the space invaders look as scary as E.T.

    1. Nick
      Thumb Up

      Re: BEWARE, I LIVE

      I used to play this while working night shift as an underutilised mainframe engineer at the Midland Bank computer centre in Brent, N. London.

      Wasn't good for much else after an hour of this... but it did keep me awake.

  40. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Komputers schmoputers!

    All those newfangled computers! When I was spending my kopecks that was on the real thing, like this - proper analog stuff, with a real periscope! Sinking capitalist-imperialist fleet with my proletarian green-glowing (nukular?) torpedoes!

    Playable emulator here: (Press the big red button at the top to play).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Komputers schmoputers!

      That reminds me- I didn't see Tetris on that list.

  41. kbb

    What was that one called...?

    What was that game that had live action scenes played. It was a western and you had to shoot things at the right time to move on? If you got it right the next scene played. If not a death scene played. (Something like that - it was a long time ago now.)

    I remember seeing it crashed in an arcade in Margate and it was showing the infamous Guru Meditation; sooo chuffed to find out that it was basically an Amiga inside.

    1. Corborg

      Re: What was that one called...?

      quickrdaw macgraw?

      1. Dabooka
        Thumb Up

        Re: What was that one called...?

        That's my vote, but I always found it lacking in substance and was expensive for what it was. Good novelty value though

      2. tsdadam

        Re: What was that one called...?

        You're actually thinking of Mad Dog McCree (I think), Quickdraw McGraw was a cartoon horse.

        1. Corborg

          Re: What was that one called...?

          Hah yes you're right. When I wasn't watching cartoon horses, I was in arcades shooting people.

  42. Captain TickTock

    Tempest and Space Wars

    Space Wars was like 2 player Asteroids. Much more fun.

    1. Nick Woodruffe

      Re: Tempest and Space Wars

      Space Duel was one of my favourites with your asteroid style ships tied together by a boom.

  43. ElsieEffsee

    Oh the memories

    I wonder how much time and money I spent on all of these? Esp Star Wars as I played this so much I used to dream about it.

    Although my absolute favourite was a vertical scrolling shooter called Flying Shark. Only 4 (very large) levels but eventually I could complete the whole thing twice on a single life. When they took the machine out of Shivers arcade in Leicester I was slightly miffed. Now arcades are full of fruit machines.

    Pac Land. I loved that one too and can hear the music now!

  44. James Hughes 1

    I'd add

    Missile Command


    Battle of Atlantis


    Mr Do!

    Bubble Bobble


    Vanguard (loved the music)

    Pac Land

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      Re: Vanguard (loved the music)

      Did you know that the music that played when you got the Power Up in Vanguard was the Hawkmen Attack Theme by Queen from the movie of Flash Gordon!

      Gordon's ALIVE!! :-)

  45. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Dragons Lair

    Infernally difficult, and I am happy be corrected but wasn't this the first major game to be driven by QTEs?

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Dragons Lair

      Beat me to it. I still remember reading the articles about how awesome Dragon's Lair was, and waiting months for the local arcade to get one. The graphics were way cool for the time, but I can't recall I was ever very good at the game itself. And, iirc, it was a 4-quarters game in the arcades around here, so playing was pricey. One game of Dragon's Lair where I was sure to die quickly, or four games of Galaxian? Wasn't too hard to make that choice. But when it first came out, DL was visually amazing.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: Dragons Lair

        I always thought Space Ace (the sci-fi variant on the same laserdisc hardware) was better.

        But in either case, it was almost as much fun to watch someone who was skilled at the game going through it to just enjoy the storyline (or Dirk getting fried). A fun way to waste a chunk o'time.

        1. Simon Round
          Thumb Up

          Re: Dragons Lair

          +1 for Space Ace. Spent many an hour playing and completing that one.

          If I remember correctly there were a couple of decision points in thengame where you could go one way or another. Basically you could choose the easy or hard route. And it wasn't always obvious that there was an alternative decision to the one suggested by the game play.

    2. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dragons Lair

      The best part about Dragon's Lair was the glitch whereby if you played two-player and player two finished before player one, player one would then get infinite lives to complete the game.

      I used to get extra game money by offering to do this for others in my local arcade :-)

  46. groovyf

    Glad to see I'm not the only Xevious fan here!

  47. James 36


    what about Battlezone ?

    Star wars was probably my fave arcade game ever, getting through the trench and watching the death explode was awesome, though in my head I was Han naturally

  48. EyeCU
    Black Helicopters

    Wasted or well spent youth?


    Space Harrier


    Golden Axe


    Altered Beast

    These and many more ate many hours of my life, ahh the memories!

    <-- Choplifter

  49. chivo243 Silver badge


    Battle Zone, Xybots, Pleadies, and Robotron 2084.

  50. kyza

    Another one for Xevious here.

    As well as 1942, at least one of the massive Sega hydraulic cabinet games (for my tastes Afterburner), at least one sideways scrolling solider-y game (Green Beret/Contra or again, for my taste, Super-Contra with the 3 screen big end of level bosses).

    Still, I reckon that Star Wars & Gauntlet probably gobbled up more of my pocket money than any other machines and my first ever interaction with a home computer of any sort was Space Invaders on a Commodore PET!

  51. Peter Bennett 1

    Our _two_ main weapons are...

    Scramble and Missile Command - I'm sitting at a desk, still using a track-ball rather than a mouse, and I think that's got something to do with Missile Command.

  52. sventamagotchi

    robotron 2084

    Save the humans!

    That is all

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Sega Rally?

    If you are including 90s arcade classics such as Time Crisis, why not Sega Rally.

    Influenced the whole racing game / rally genre, had decent Saturn and PC ports too.

  54. Spasticus

    No mention of...

    Star Force.

    Pub opens, put West End Girls on jukebox, play Star Force. Sorted

  55. Lee D Silver badge


    Never really got into the arcade scene - think I was a bit too young and home computers were more interesting and cheaper to run.

    But definitely played to death Tank Trax (the controls and the "periscope"), Spy Hunter (the controls and the music), Wonderboy (just because), Operation Wolf/Thunderbolt (the guns and the multiplay), Space Harrier (the huge moving apparatus on the better versions), Dragonninja ("Bad Dudes vs" in some places) and - most of all - Final Fight.

    Final Fight is the only arcade game that I ever completed. My brother and I, in a Butlin's holiday camp, and a bag full of 10p's, going right through the whole game in one sitting. Damn, that felt like an achievement back then.

    But arcade is dead. Even the dance games couldn't save it. And the Wii and high-end gaming gear brought all that equipment into the home.

    Hell, I'm looking at getting a cheap Logitech G72 with the full pedal set - finally looks like a complete driving simulator is doable for a half-decent price rather than costing a fortune to have a junky Wii-like feel to a steering wheel (like my last 15-pin D-socket one that I bought).

  56. Spoonsinger

    No Moon Cresta!!!

    Actually loved that for the table top pub version. But for pure comfort the Star Wars pod was the best.

  57. Alfie

    Takes me back to Codonas...

    ...on Aberdeen beach. Happy days spending all my money on Outrun (got top sores on that one), BattleZone, Star Wars and there was a Gauntlet in the Aberdeen Students Union as well ("Elf's life force is running out"). I tried Space Harrier once, I felt travel sick and nearly fell off, couldnt get the hang of HangOn either, unless it was just the handlebars version. Going further back into my childhood and I used to play Boot Hill, which was like a western version of pong but with bullets and suitably crappy graphics and sound. :-)

    Thanks for all the memories!

  58. Armando 123


    Come on, knights on flying ostriches! How could you NOT love the realism of this?

  59. Anonymous Coward


    No Chuckie Egg? That's no yolk....

  60. Alex Walsh

    Red Elf Shot the food!

    Red Elf is about to die....

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wot, no Battlezone?

    ...or Asteroids, or Scramble (there was a Scramble in our local chippy, spent many a happy time trying, and ultimately succeeding to complete it.)

  62. Huntsman
    Thumb Up

    Nice List

    I also loved the four player Teenage Mutant Hero (Ninja?) Turtles games from around '89. Awesome fun with pals.

  63. Ragarath

    Gradius and Salamander

    Many many hours were wasted with my brother and I battling it out on these, most notably Salamander.

    R-Type was okay but we much preferred these.

  64. XioNYC

    There's only one thing worse than "torrent of abuse I’d suffer if it wasn’t included" and that's kowtowing to the unwashed masses.

    Here's to Centipede, Super Mario, Arkanoid, and all the other titles we've squandered our time upon.

  65. Admiral Grace Hopper

    It's all a matter of taste, of course

    But I would have found room for Gorf, Moon Cresta and Bomb Jack before some of the later games. Good, thought-provoking choices though.thank you.

  66. ch815
    Thumb Up

    No Metal Slug?

    Some great gmaes in that list, brings back many happy memories.

    Metal Slug is probably the best platform game ever made IMHO. I think it definitely deserves a spot in that list. Still regularly play it today on mame running on the old xbox, nice to finally be able to complete it without spending a fortune in the arcades!

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can anyone identify...

    A game I saw once when I was a kid, you controlled a rocket missile, taking off from the bottom of the screen, avoiding a set of left/right floating obstacles (a bit like Frogger I guess) and then you had to collide with a small bunch of enemies at the top of the screen. I've never seen anything like it since. It was in a small arcade area on a cross-channel ferry, late 70s or early 80s :)

    I'd love to know what it was...?

  68. Ironclad
    Thumb Up

    Virtua Fighter

    ...the game that launched dozens of '3d' beat-em-ups

    Amidar - weird game where you play a paint roller

    Jump Bug - a game I was so addicted to that on holiday in Spain once I used to play a broken cabinet version that had a small electric current running through the metal joystick with my hand wrapped in a t-shirt until the tingling became too intense.

  69. Simon Round

    Early Vector Graphics Cabinet

    I remember a very early sit down arcade game called 'Rear Gunner'.

    Simple stick joystick with a fire button on the top. Waves of 3 enemy would come down from the top of the screen to be shot as quickly as possible. There was only about 3 or 4 wave patterns so it was easy to learn and play for hours. The graphics were very simple. The enemy were triangles and there was a small cross hairs.

    A true classic. Must have been in the late 70's, early 80's and predates games such as Battlezone and Star Wars

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: Early Vector Graphics Cabinet

      yes, LOVED that game. The enemy ships vaguely resembled Klingon Battle Cruisers. One of the few arcade games with an analog joystick.

    2. Super Fast Jellyfish
      Thumb Up

      Re: Early Vector Graphics Cabinet

      Version I played was a standard stand up console and was called tail gunner

      1. Graham Marsden

        Re: Early Vector Graphics Cabinet

        Yep, Tail Gunner, with the proportional joystick, so it needed precise fingertip control rather than just "shove it all the way in the direction you want to go..."

  70. rho
    Thumb Up

    Overall a good list

    I would try to cram in Sinistar (64-way controller! Everything is too fast! Everything is too loud!), Wizard of Wor (eater of many coins), and Berzerk (unkillable smiley face of doom), but that's just personal preference.

  71. Tim 11


    battlezone - 3d vector graphics

    missile command - trackball

    and who could forget scramble and asteroids

    some nice inclusions like Track&Field and Gauntlet though

    I think this one deserves a reader poll.

  72. Zot

    All the games not on the list...

    It's definitely a 'personal' list, not a technical achievement list, and there's nothing wrong with that.

    What's never mentioned are the sound FX; sounds like Moon Cresta's FX ring in the ears far longer than expected.

    It was great at the time to see new innovations in arcade games year after year though, it true golden age to be a part of.

    I remember playing Gauntlet 2 for 3.5 hours on just 10p, now that's getting your money's worth!

    "I've not seen such bravery!" and "Yellow Elf needs food badly" ---aagh the rosy haze of memories... :)

    But it all ended when Arcades just wanted you to put loads of money in them just to advance in the game. The same thing is happening to iPad/Android games where the user ends up purchasing in-game aids just to advance to the next level. This corporate-centric cash cow wringing ruins gaming for me as a pastime.

    1. Spoonsinger

      Re: .Moon Cresta's FX ring.

      Da Da diddly da, Da Da diddly Da. DA DA DA...

  73. Anonymous Coward 15

    Polybius, anyone?

  74. Jim 59

    i vote for



    Missile Command


  75. Brian Bles*ed
    Thumb Up

    No one here...........

    ......... from the 'Breakout' or 'Super breakout' era?

  76. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    DEFINITELY redo article with expanded list!

    I wholeheartedly agree with all 20 entries in the article. And I was very pleased to see some of the seemingly less-obvious choices like R-Type.

    Many great games that gobbled probably thousands of dollars from me over the years would benefit from an expanded list . Legendary games one and all: Qix, Bosconian, Galaxian, Galaga, Missile Command, Tempest, Gorf, Tapper, Wizard of War, Xenophobe, Zaxxon, Afterburner, Centipede/Millipede, Metal Slug, 194x (various versions of the WWII vertical scroller), Rastan, Ghosts-n-Goblins, Gyruss, Satan's Hollow, Phoenix, Asteroids, Battlezone, Red Baron, Tron, Discs of Tron, and more. I still regularly play all of these except Discs of Tron, thanks to a MAME project cabinet I built a number of years ago.

  77. Locky

    And no one's mentioned...

    Super Sprint

  78. buggane

    can we add Mr. Do and Robotron? Great days...

  79. ukgnome

    Others that are missing but not forgotten


    Burger Time

    Bomber Jack ? (I think)

  80. Perry Munger

    Moon Patrol

    There are two missing games here. My all time favorite at the arcade was Moon Patrol. It beggared me as a young 'un. I also played an indecent amount of Millipede.

  81. Martin

    A few very early ones omitted - but a nice list.

    Before Space invaders, there was Asteroids. And Breakout.

    And what about Pong? Arguably, the very first video game.

  82. fawlty


    Oh my.. Outrun, Streetfighter, R Type, Super Mario, Afterburner, DK, Mortal Kombat..

    I think I know what I'm doing with my weekend - goodbye 'alcove shelves', 'new fence', 'MOT', hello 'Arcade Cabinet'...

  83. 1Rafayal

    Operation Wolf

    I dont think this game actually used a light gun, I think it used the movement of the whole gun assembly to control where the aiming pipper would appear on the screen.

    Could be completely wrong though.

  84. Kurt 5


    No mention of Berzerk? "Intruder alert" "Coins detected in pocket" "Kill the humanoid"

    Also votes for Centipede, Marble Madness and Robotron

    Smiley for Evil Otto

  85. Anonymous Coward

    God, where to start.. Zaxxon, astro blaster, wizard of wor, marble madness, berzerk, phoenix..Best of all, Qix.

    But thats not a bad list...Spent money on all of em

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There were some games others have mentioned that should have been on the list.

    The "chop-socky" games shouldn't be on the list. They define everything that went wrong with the video game industry.

  87. Colin Critch

    WizzBall and GoldenAxe

    Nice list. But even better with WizzBall and GoldenAxe

  88. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    A wasted youth...

    There was an 80's documentary about a guy in the US who was so good at a particular "Star Wars" type arcade game that he was whisked away for real in a flying car to space to help defend the galaxy from aliens.

    True. Look it up.

    1. Cipher

      Re: A wasted youth...

      All the space scenes were dome on a Cray...

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Good list, missing for me is:



    Moon Cresta

    I sold my bike and my wrist watch to buy credits, such was my addiction.

    1. Paul 181

      +1 for Moon Cresta

      Time Pilot was also a classic

      Pole Position best of the early racing games

  90. Anonymous C0ward

    Did anyone here go to GEEK 2013 in Margate?

  91. cfischer69

    Take me back!

    I've got a roll of quarters in my pocket itching to get spent. If only an arcade with these greats could be found here in the second decade of the 21st century.

  92. John 104

    Nice to see R-Type on there - one of my all time favorites and something I still play on MAME from time to time.

  93. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Tappity Tappity Foot

    And just where is Elite?

    1. Super Fast Jellyfish

      Re: Tappity Tappity Foot

      Don't remember seeing it down my local arcade?

  94. Matt_payne666

    not a good game, but one worthy of a mention

    Holosseum - I had never seen anything like it before! holographic fighting...

  95. John Munyard

    Oh dear, no Tetris = discredited article

    1. Graham Marsden
      Thumb Up

      Another one for Tetris!

      I've just read all the way through the comments and you seem to be the *only* person who's mentioned Tetris!!

      A brilliantly simple but incredibly addictive game with nice touches like the little Russian figures in the windows who would applaud you when you completed a level.

      They'd also do a little victory dance, but if you hit a button, a hook would come out from the side and snag them around the neck and drag them off! (If you timed it right, they'd duck it the first time, but get caught the second time :-) )

  96. robert lindsay

    Where's the love for Missile Command?

  97. eJ2095

    Mame Time

    I do have a Arcade can here with nowt in.

    Considered sticking a Mame pc in there but the time i have very little

  98. Anonymous Coward

    Moon Patrol?

    What about Moon Patrol? That was a very good time waster and money waster.

    1. Armando 123

      Re: Moon Patrol?

      Aw crap, I spent two years getting that song out of my head, and now it's back. Thanks a lot ...

  99. Anonymous Coward


    Where is the love for Asteroids!!?? Ahead of it's time, and still an excellent training platform, given today's headlines!!!

  100. Jim Birch

    This might sound weird but I still play Asteroids regularly. Love the simplicity or the task, the vector interface.

  101. Int61H

    Arcade Classics

    Speedball II, Elite, Starglider, Frak?

  102. markthebrewer


    Then all the other revolutionary BBC games:





    Ultimate games for the speccy?

    Sabre Wulf


    Knight Lore



    Missile Command

    Never mind the omissions, I'm happy just reminiscing...

    Happy, happy memories.

  103. Anonymous Coward


    I remember one in the 80's that had alien ships coming out from the centre of the screen in any direction and you could fly your ship in a circle around the edge of the screen always pointing into the centre, at the alien ships, shooting them. I am sure it was called Zero. I spent a lot of time on that one, most enjoyable.

    Centipede was another favourite, together with Defender. I still have R-Type for my ancient Amstrad CPC664, never could get to the end. Also got Ghosts and Goblins which always showed as black and white if you used the modem with it to pay it on a tv and Elite. Galaxian, Galaxia, Phoenix were good ones. There are a lot I have probably forgotten.

    1. derek burns

      Re: Zero

      Gyruss arcade gaming with classical music!

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zero


  104. Frumious Bandersnatch

    It really depends on age

    Loved playing ... Asteroids (and later Thrust on C64), Moon Patrol (2 player version), Double Dragon (backwards elbow strike FTW), Bubble Bobble (relaxing, but great powerups), Ghosts and Goblins (hard!), Rampage (smashing and eating) and Outrun (bike racing games were great too).

    In another really fun game that I came across in later years (probably in Thailand, or somewhere in East Asia at any rate) you had to control a flying balloon by cycling and steering with a set of handlebars. No idea what it was called.

  105. Spiffo


    I can't believe Manic Minor, Jet Set Willy or Pajamarama don't make an appearance.

    Come Pajamarama had space invaders you could play in one of the rooms, how cool was that. A game within a game!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Really?

      Aren't these zx spectrum games and not arcade games?

  106. groovyf

    The article is about arcade games... ie, games that could be played outside the house in video arcades, not home computer games. I think a few have missed that point (or, not to be condescending, are too young to know about arcades).

    Late 70s through to late 80s... that's when it was all really happening with coin-ops.

    Maybe there's a market here for just such a retro arcade place - maybe stocked with MAME cabinets (though I doubt that's entirely legal...)

  107. ShearClass

    No Phoenix??!?!???

    How can you not include Phoenix????

    1st game with a proper boss level I remember.

    I nearly got expelled from school after getting caught skiving so many lessons to play this.

  108. Belgarion

    You only paid lip service... one of the greatest - Robotron 2084. Spent enough on that game to buy the original console. Finally found a PS3 version. Ah, the memories! :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You only paid lip service...

      ps3 version of robotron??? tell me more!!!!

  109. Nasty Nick

    Brits had slightly different most popular games I think...

    I reckon this top ten list is warped toward yank favourites, eg for us Brits, Paper Boy?!! Dodgy or wot.

    IFRC, over here most coin ops appeared and were played at first in pubs rather than arcades (which I think only got commonplace much later when planning regs were relaxed & tended to only be at the seaside or in a few of the dodgier parts of cities), so naturally memories are a bit hazy but here goes.

    The first coin op game I played was Pong, then came Space Invaders, then I'm not so sure of the order but I think it was, Asteroids, Battlezone, Defender, Frogger, Missile Command, Donkey Kong, Pacman, Galaxian. Lunar Lander was a bit of a niche one as it was more difficult to play when pi**ed. Dig-Dug I only played as a bootleg on an early IMB PC at work (copied off a 5 1/4 floppy!) . Forget those after mid eghties as by then the beer drinking had completely taken over.

    Never heard of Q'bert, Spyhunter and the rest apart from Streetfighter, but anything decent would have been available over here on the Spectrum/Commodore/BBC.

  110. Mark Leaver


    Joust was such a good game that it even got a special zone in World of Warcraft - Cataclysm :)

    There was a plethora of games that I miss from my youth. Crazy Climber, Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, Defender, Scramble, Streetfighter(any version), Galaxians and Galaga, Asteroids, Tetris, Lunar Lander, Frogger...

    Ahh... the hours (and dollars) spent wasting time playing those games... I think that I might have to go looking for some classic arcade machines :D

  111. Tom 11

    No Alien Storm either

    That one was totally unique for it's day, featured side scroling platform levels, high speed running levels, flying level and the ubiquitous 1st person sections AND bonus levels of smashing things ala' SF2 bonus style.

    Was a real gem.

  112. Tom 11

    @ killbot13 'Zero'

    When you finish R-Type it just starts again even harder.....

  113. Bill Fresher

    Bump 'n' Jump

    Bump 'n' Jump was the only arcade game I became addicted to. Couldn't stop playing it.

  114. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    What about Sinistar?

    "Beware, I live!"

  115. Michael 28

    David Braben?

    Elite didn't make the list?... oh noes!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: David Braben?

      Was Elite an arcade game, or a computer game?

  116. LeeAlexander

    Where's Asteroids?

  117. Fading
    Thumb Up

    So many 10 pence pieces wasted.......

    Not so much a list of bests but the games I wasted a silly amount money in (hydraulic cabinets - don't get many of them in the local chippy or Taxi office)...

    Space Invaders (the Grand daddy - I'm too young for pong)

    Battle zone



    Pac-Man (the original I didn't even know Ms Pac-Man existed in the Arcade)

    Buck Rogers (Medway services made a fortune out of me on this one)


    Aliens (Two player sideway scroller - in the corner of the local video rental store)

    Mortal Kombat 2 (Kung Lao or Mileena)

    and more recently (this side of the year 2000) House of the Dead 3 - with shot guns! ('nough said)

  118. KierO

    Midnight Resistance? - Especially this one.....spent half my childhood on it!

    Pit Fighter?

    After Burner?

    Mortal Kombat?

  119. Rob Crawford

    Wheres Xevious

    title says it all

  120. cnapan

    To all those people misunderstanding the meaning of 'arcade' here

    The article is only about games you played in an arcade - you know - loads of flashy lights, banks of those copper-shoving machines, a few air hockey tables and pinball machines, usually found on a windswept promenade or pier, and the odd odours of 4 week old popcorn and cigarettes smoked by mucky looking 5 year olds hovering suspiciously by the door?

    Playing in an arcade was like entering an illicit world of unbridled, dirty entertainment... oh er I seem to be getting aroused. I'll get me coat!

  121. Nick Woodruffe

    tastes changed over time

    Having grown up in the 70s I found my game of choice changed over time. Starting with:

    Space Invaders



    Space Duel


    Never a real fan of platformers so shootem ups continued to see my coins.






    Star Wars





    Last Resort

    There was also a pinball machine that fired hundreds of ball bearings at light targets traveling up the sides of the table. You used two handles to rotate your gun barrell to aim at the targets. Anyone remember the name of this table? Would love to own one of these.

    Time to dust off mame and my mame console tonight

    1. groovyf

      Re: tastes changed over time

      I remember that exact same pinball table too. Handles like pistol grips sticking out of each side (top) of the table? Only thing I recall was that it was made by Williams.

      1. Nick Woodruffe

        Re: tastes changed over time

        Found it!


        Images on google

  122. Nick Woodruffe

    Marble Madness

    Was once on holiday playing Marble Madness in a seaside arcade. Unbeknown to me, my mum was stood behind me watching. When I finished the game her only comment was "So that's where all your money goes!"

  123. Andus McCoatover

    Oh, my God...

    I actually wrote a copy of "Space Invaders" that ran on a UK101. 6502-based. Wrote it in Basic...

    Head bean-counter tried his hand, somehow even he couldn't understand that the srength you hit the keyboard made absolutely no difference to the force of the missile!

    Alright, it worked, but admittedly a tad slow.

  124. Andus McCoatover

    OKAY, stuck to 'arcade games'...

    I never, ever finished "Trinity" - text based. They were REAL games!!!

    Sorted out the "Gnomon Conquest" bit, never worked out the rest. I guess I needed to play a few more games of "Kensington" (still have my 1979 edition) to help me overcome the nannies pushing prams in the park.

  125. Anonymous Coward

    @cornz 1 - zero @ Derek Burns

    I just searched for screenshots of Tempest, that was a different game and I remember it now, only just. A good one that was.

    Just found Gyruss on youtube. Yes, that's the one, damn fine game, many hours spent playing that when I should have been studying.

    Thank you both.

  126. j_a_m_e_s

    Hmm loads missing there

    What about Afterburner, Pacland, Bombjack, 1942, Super Sprint, Choplifter, Double Dragon, Shinobi and loads more.

    Used a lot of 10ps back in those days.

  127. Anonymous Coward

    No sign or my personal favourite...

    G-Loc, the one and only arcade game I ever managed to complete... boy that was an expensive afternoon but I knew working in an amusement arcade was useful for something even then

  128. Anonymous Сoward


    No love for Mortal Kombat or even Killer Instinct? pah not a proper countdown unless it has those somewhere...

  129. Andy_H
    Thumb Up

    Sadly I never got a chance to play a lot of these games, though I do remember seeing a lot of them in action. My memories were of the more "modern" titles, 4 player Turtles and Simpsons - cheesy but I enjoyed them. Along with the odd go on Mortal Kombat and Killer Instinct.

    I remember having a go on Mad Dog McCree (which was mentioned earlier) when I was quite young...I don't think I made it past the first shot! :)

  130. pewpie

    wot no Trans-Am?

    im tellin mum

  131. Dreams
    Thumb Up

    Nostalgia is king

    Ahhh...the days after school spent in a basement arcade filled with lights, sounds and the smell of popcorn. Me and my buds smashing buttons to rock music blaring over the electronic beckoning of rows and rows of hypnotizing games.

    My kids don't understand the shit eating grin when I'm watching movies like War Games or The Last Starfighter, nor do they understand the subsequent urge to play Microsoft Arcade/Return of Arcade.

    Man the 70s and 80s...those were the days.

  132. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    Hall of the Things (ZX Spectrum)

  133. Scarborough Dave

    Steeplejack or Galaxians?

    Steeplejack or Galaxians?

  134. quarky

    WWF Superstars

    I spent more time on that game than any other. Bad Dudes vs Dragonninja was another one..

  135. This post has been deleted by its author

  136. AndrueC Silver badge

    no Lunar Lander or Asteroids? F'shame.

  137. Oooooh mein handy!

    Ahhh they were the days...

    not a fan of Commando or Space Harrier then ?

    I also remember sinking a few bob into Rolling Thunder and Gorf as well!

  138. piscator

    This article should have been a survey ?

    BattleZone got around 17 mentions .... ... apparently it was the first game used in training by the US Army ... but my other favourite, Atari Orbit - got none ! What a great game - you could even tweak the physics for more gravity, more / less thrust, absolute / relative direction control .....

    Maybe, (like a few other 'tards), I should be getting into MAME and relive these classics a bit !

  139. Danny 5
    Thumb Up


    If they don't have to be THAT old, then why not add space harrier to the list?

    If there's one game that cost me a lot of money, it's that one.

  140. RPF
    Thumb Up

    Good job!

    Great list, well done; must have been a nightmare to choose.

    Yie Ar Kung Fu was the title of the game I've been wracking my brains to remember for years; that really was a great game. You could learn superb moves, but the game learned to avoid them, so you had to save your best moves for the last opponents, making progress through all the levels a self-imposed balancing-act; brilliant!

  141. promytius
    Thumb Up

    Thanks for marker

    It is obvious to me that I stopped playing these games in 85 - don't recognize one after that - moved on to better graphics? Real life? Work?

    It's taken almost 30 years for good game design to get back into games.

    Also evaluating a game is almost impossible; for example take STO, I played it when it went FREE for about 10 hours and thought it was just stupid, repetitive, and flawed with errors in the initial missions, gave no direction, and incomplete info.

    Now that I've played (and remember, I'm retired) over 200 hours, still free, I think it is an amazing game; it is poorly presented, introduced and explained; it has the oldest/poorest starting scenarios, and yet at some point it completely morphed into a deeply complex, highly detailed, immensely satisfying game - but only after achieving a certain level of experience where the differences began to show themselves - beams versus cannons, 3 Eng. vs. 4 Eng. slots, etc.

    If I had written a 10 hour review it would have said 'skip it' - now my review is "must play" (every day...)

    We all have our "top whatever" lists, and I thank you for giving really good reasons why; except why you left out (fill-in favorite game here.) !

  142. ChrisChris

    Contentious issue, my two penneth is...

    Asteroids...Really? No Ateroids...?!?!


    Ghosts n Goblins?

    ...I mean come on! :)

  143. Eric Kimminau TREG

    WHAT!!!??? No Disks of Tron??

    The BEST 3D environmental EVER! So awesome I had to by one for myself as a Christmas present a few years ago.

  144. eJ2095

    Nice site to look at

    Friend of mine over in the midlands got a few cabs

  145. N2
    Thumb Up


    Or did I flip through the article to quickly, surely Asteroids must be on the list?

    Played many a Space Invaders as well!

  146. Trevor Gale

    Galaxians / Space Invaders

    The game Galaxians (very similar to Space Invaders but not the same) was what stopped me drinking too much Guinness and eating too many beans-on-toast snacks in a local 'pub' after I left England! We even had a kind of 'league', once I reached the limit of 32,767 points before they did an update for that!!!

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