The 1980’s were a revolutionary time when it came to arcade machines. Arcade machines were EVERYWHERE! Grocery stores, 7-11’s, furniture stores, malls… virtually everywhere seemed to have arcade machines.
Fast forward to today, and its not as common to run into arcade machines in the wild. Cell phones and home gaming consoles replaced the magic of the arcade for todays youth, making it a distant memory for those of us lucky enough to have experienced it.
We have had the opportunity to find and share these relics through buying and selling, operating, and renting them out for parties and events. By doing all this over the last 10 years, we have been able to come up with our list of the 5 most popular arcade games, games that have been requested the most from our customers.
Lets dive into the 5 most popular arcade games!
Released in 1981 by Atari, Centipede was an instant crowd favorite during the golden age of arcade games. You are essentially a Bug Blaster firing darts at a centipede through a field of mushrooms, all while dodging spiders, fleas and scorpions. Sounds interesting, right? Atari had some of the most creative games during the time. Centipede is rumored to be a favorite upon female players, possibly because the lead designer was a female.
Another classic released in 1981 by Midway, Galaga makes number 4 on our list. In Galaga, you control a spaceship and protect earth from the Galaga aliens. One of the most recognizable classics today, Galaga initially didn’t test very well during pre-release. That soon changed and became an instant crowd favorite both back then as well as now.
3. Ms. Pacman
Ms. Pacman is the most recognizable arcade character of all time. Released in 1982, Ms. Pacman was the sequel to the popular Pacman released a couple years prior. In the game, you control Ms. Pacman through multiple mazes, eating power pellets and avoiding ghosts. Such a simple concept but extremely addictive.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
A bit of a curveball for an 80’s list, but Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was actually released in 1989, which until very recently I didn’t realize. One of my favorite side scrollers created by Konami, you play as your favorite ninja turtle, battling the Foot Clan. One of the best features is 4 simultaneous players at the same time.
1. Donkey Kong
Here it is, what you were waiting for. Our number one pick is Nintendo’s 1981 release Donkey Kong. You maneuver Mario (originally named Jumpman) through obstacles to rescue the damsel in distress (Pauline) from a giant ape (Donkey Kong). A game that has stood the test of time, and inspiring huge franchises still going on today. Donkey Kong is our most requested arcade machine we keep in our inventory.