Best of Classic Arcade Machines- favourites game list

The history of retro gaming goes way back to the 70s,80s and 90s when Atari, Capcom, Midway, Namco, Sega arcade machines where everywhere from bars, movie theatres and local shops.

Video games and consoles have evolved rapidly to the point that they are now more powerful than the original arcade machines. They also bring benefits like playing with friends at home or online whenever and wherever you like. The uptake of in-home gaming has without doubt reduced the appeal of arcade game centres.

Last we checked arcade centres open included Timezone, Playtime at Crown, Fortress Melbourne, General Public Dingley and a few FunLab brands including Archie Brothers Docklands, Strike Bowling and Lucky and Sons.

So it's not all doom and gloom for the treasured arcade machine as there's a very powerful upside that cannot be challenged. Many hold fond memories playing old school classic arcade games during the 70s, 80s and even 90s.

.. and retro gaming somehow brings a different dynamic and experience - in many cases families and friends have had more fun enjoying older arcade games together than playing far more advanced consoles like an XBox.

Nostalgia and fond memories of the past are powerful and being relived and shared with family members, passing on the experience to todays kid's.

So if you're a fan of retro games, you're in luck. And if you're not a fan of retro games, you may want to consider whether you need to be. After all, research suggests that video game nostalgia can make people feel closer to their past, their friends and family, and even themselves. Nothing beats a feel good moment - even better when shared.

So without any further delay, lets get into some arcade game favourite's which without doubt includes some of the best retro arcade games ever! Yes you read that right, lets go down memory lane...

Space Invaders - 1970

Being the first of its kind, Space Invaders is shooter that tasks you with the job of defending the earth from a screen full of aliens. 48 per level to be exact as they move side to side and closer to your defending ship at an increasing speed. You have 3 lives along with 3 shields the alien missiles break down slowly.

Space Invaders was released as a traditional stand up upright arcade cabinet and a 2 player sit down cocktail table top machine. The cocktail table used the plastic barstools that are now synonymous with retro arcade machines.

Ported to consoles

Amiga, Amstrad CPC , Atari ST, C64, NES and ZX Spectrum

Manufactured and distributed

Taito Japan. Midway managed distribution to America, Australia and the UK.


Pong - 1972

Asteroids - 1979

Galaxian - 1979

Pac-Man - 1980

Ms. Pac-Man - 1981

Centipede - 1981 

Galaxian/ Galaga - 1979 - 1981

Galaxian is a fixed shooter which was similar to Space Invaders where you would need to clear each round of aliens with a difference - they would dive and shoot towards you.

You then have the alien ship beam that can capture your fighter. If you shoot accurately you end up with dual fighter ships side by side, but if you shoot wrong, you've just lost your ship. Delivered in true RGB colour the bright and vivid colors brought Galaga to life. It was very successful sitting just behind Space Invaders in earnings for 1979.

Spin offs include Galaga in 1981, Galaga '88 and Galaga '90.

Ported to consoles
Atari 7800, Game Boy, MSX, NES, PC, PlayStation 1 and the TurboGrafx-16 as Galaga '90.

Manufactured and distributed by

Namco. Distributed in America by Midway.


Donkey Kong - 1981

Frogger - 1981

Defender - 1981

Q*bert - 1982

Zaxxon - 1982

Pengo - 1982

Elevator Action - 1983

Spy Hunter - 1983

Kung-Fu Master - 1984

Bomb Jack - 1984

Tetris - 1984

Out Run - 1986

Bubble Bobble - 1986

Bubble Bobble as the name implies was based around blowing bubbles that capture the enemy which you can then pop while capturing fruit and finishing special levels. Designed by Fukio Mitsuji, Bubble Bobble was initially pitched as a game that couples could enjoy together. This lead to the cute characters, sound and overal appeal of Bubble Bobble along with a co-op mode. Unlike most 2 player games of its time that were based on combat, challenging and levels of violence, Bubble Bobble took softer approach where you would need to work together to get to the end. To top it off the music was super catchy and yes there were many spin offs including Everybubble for the Nintendo Switch in 2023.

Ported to consoles
Amiga, Amstrad CPC , Apple II, Atari ST, C64, Game Boy, NES, Sega Master System, X68000 and ZX Spectrum.

Manufactured and distributed by

Taito. Distributed in America by Romstar and Europe by Electrocoin.

1943 : Battle of Midway - 1987

The sequel to 1942 introduced different bosses and a lightning attack while keeping the defensive loop from 1942. It continues as a vertical scrolling shoot em up.

While harder to play as it only gave you one life, you did get a fuel meter and ability to pick up power ups. The game consists of 16 stages and is based on historical events that played out off the coast of Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean between Japan and America. 

Ported to consoles
Amiga, Amstrad CPC , Atari ST, C64, NES and ZX Spectrum

Manufactured and distributed by


Street Fighter II - 1992

What favourite game list would be complete without SF2? Calling this arcade game iconic would be an understatement as it set the benchmark for fighting games to come. Street Fighter II was the first to introduce versus mode, player selection and give each player a unique set of moves including combos. 

Ported to consoles
Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, C64, PC, SNES and ZX Spectrum

In following years due to the Street Fighter franchise popularity it was ported to a number of newer gaming consoles including Game Boy, PlayStation, Sega Master System, Xbox and more..

Manufactured and distributed by



Headquarters are located in Osaka, Japan. Capcom maintains operations in the France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, U.K and the U.S.