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The Top 10 Old School Arcade Games

by Reverend_Danger   February 04, 2009 at 10:00AM  |  Views: 6,394

The days of the traditional arcade seem numbered today. Every modern console has a virtual “arcade” with downloadable content of all their classics. Why go to the corner and pump quarters into Street Fighter when you can fight the same fights on your couch? It’s because they’re not the same. Just as Netflix isn't the same as going to a movie in an turn-of-the-century opera house, there's nothing that beats an old school arcade game.

Source: Getty Images/Royalty Free

By Reverend Danger

The following article does not represent the opinions of Spike TV or its affiliates.

 

10. Mortal Kombat

image

Source: Sega

Mortal Kombat is one of the youngest members of the list, but still qualifies as old school for two reasons: 1) I’m not super old so it’s old school to me, ya bunch of grayballs...and 2) It’s old enough to have caused quite a stir with its now-tame gore among soccer moms nationwide.

9. NBA Jam

image

Image Source: Midway

NBA Jam was successful as a console game and an arcade game because it did what I wish every sports game did: make it not like that sport at all.  You can punch dudes in the face in NBA Jam and all that happens is you get the ball and do a quadruple summersault from the 3-point line while you’re on fire.  It doesn’t take an hour to set up your roster of thinly-veiled player avatars for a game that doesn’t have the full NBA license.  Plus, did I mention the fire?  I think I did.

8. Space Invaders

image

Source: Midway

Space Invaders sort of really opened up the entire field of coin-operated arcade machines.  It was just a 2D shooter much like other entries (later in this list), but as one of the progenitors of the genre, and by extension, a fuel for the entire gaming industry, it deserves placement on this list. 

7. Defender

image

Source: Williams Electronics

Defender is a side-scrolling, alien-killing, humanoid-protecting shooter that was incredibly difficult. In it, you shoot all sorts of aliens, but the most important are the Green Landers which spend their time trying to abduct your human brethren for who-knows-what-level of anal probage.

6. Galaga

image

Source: Namco/Midway

Galaga is a simple and epic game.  You play a space pilot trying to blow up a seemingly-endless march of space enemies flying out you in alarmingly uniform rows.  There’s a few different varieties of ships, but Galaga is brilliant in its simplicity.  Shoot the aliens.  That’s all, dude.  Just shoot the aliens.

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