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Top Games to Include in Your Multi-Game Arcade Machine

The allure of classic arcade games never seems to fade, and with the advent of multi-game arcade machines, the nostalgia of the arcade era can be relived in the comfort of your own home or commercial establishment. Whether you're a vintage gaming enthusiast or you want to attract customers to your arcade business, selecting the right games for your multi-game arcade machine is crucial. In this article, we'll explore a selection of top games that should feature prominently in your arcade collection, bringing endless hours of entertainment and nostalgia to gamers of all ages.


No list of top arcade games would be complete without mentioning the iconic yellow circle known as Pac-Man. Released in 1980, this maze-chase game captured the hearts of gamers worldwide. The objective is simple: guide Pac-Man through a labyrinth filled with dots while avoiding ghosts. It's easy to pick up and play, making it an ideal choice for players of all skill levels. Pac-Man's timeless appeal ensures that it remains a crowd-pleaser.

Space Invaders

Space Invaders, released in 1978, is another classic that has stood the test of time. In this game, you control a ship defending Earth from descending waves of alien invaders. With its simple yet addictive gameplay and ever-increasing difficulty, Space Invaders remains a must-have for any multi-game arcade machine.

Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II, released in 1991, revolutionized the fighting game genre and became an arcade sensation. Its diverse roster of characters, each with unique moves and combos, offers endless replayability. The competitive nature of the game and the thrill of pulling off special moves like the "Hadouken" make Street Fighter II a fantastic addition to your arcade machine.

Donkey Kong

Before Mario became the beloved plumber we know today, he made his debut as Jumpman in Donkey Kong. Released in 1981, this game introduced the world to platforming and featured the first appearance of Donkey Kong himself. The goal is to rescue a damsel in distress from the clutches of the irate ape by navigating a series of platforms while avoiding obstacles. Donkey Kong's historical significance and challenging gameplay make it a must-play.


Galaga, released in 1981, is a classic space shooter that builds upon the foundation of games like Space Invaders. Players control a ship that must fend off swarms of insect-like alien enemies. What sets Galaga apart is its "dual ship" power-up, allowing players to have two ships on screen at once, increasing their firepower. Its fast-paced action and strategic gameplay make it an excellent addition to any multi-game arcade machine.

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat, released in 1992, brought a new level of violence and controversy to the arcade scene with its realistic graphics and visceral finishing moves. This fighting game franchise has evolved over the years, but the original remains a classic. Mortal Kombat's memorable characters and over-the-top fatalities ensure that it still draws a crowd.


Frogger, released in 1981, is a deceptively simple yet highly addictive game. Players control a frog attempting to cross a busy road and navigate a treacherous river by hopping on logs and avoiding obstacles. Its unique concept and challenging gameplay make it a timeless classic that appeals to gamers of all ages.


Tetris, created in 1984 by Alexey Pajitnov, is a puzzle game that has captured the hearts and minds of players worldwide. The objective is to arrange falling blocks into complete lines to make them disappear. Tetris's addictive gameplay and ever-increasing speed keep players coming back for more, making it a staple in the world of arcade gaming.

Golden Axe

Golden Axe, released in 1989, is a classic side-scrolling beat 'em up game that allows players to choose from three different characters, each with their own unique abilities. The game's fantasy setting, epic battles, and cooperative multiplayer mode make it a standout title in the beat 'em up genre.

Galaga: Legions

Building upon the success of the original Galaga, Galaga: Legions, released in 2008, offers a modern twist on the classic formula. With its updated graphics and frenetic gameplay, this game adds a fresh dimension to the Galaga franchise while retaining the essence of the original.

Expanding Your Arcade Game Collection

While the previously mentioned games are unquestionably classics, diversifying your multi-game arcade machine's collection can enhance its appeal even further. Here are some additional titles that are worthy contenders for inclusion:


Released in 1980, Defender is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up that introduced innovative gameplay mechanics for its time. Players pilot a spaceship, defending humanoids from alien abductors and battling various alien creatures. The game's speed and complexity set it apart and make it a must-have for any arcade enthusiast.

Ms. Pac-Man

Ms. Pac-Man, released in 1982, is the sequel to the original Pac-Man and introduces new mazes, faster gameplay, and more complex enemy AI. It's often considered even more entertaining than the original, making it an excellent addition to your arcade collection.

The Simpsons Arcade Game

The Simpsons Arcade Game, released in 1991, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up that allows players to take control of the beloved Simpson family characters as they attempt to rescue Maggie from the clutches of Mr. Burns. The game's humor, cooperative gameplay, and nostalgia factor make it a fantastic choice.

Metal Slug

Metal Slug, first released in 1996, is a run-and-gun shooter known for its stunning pixel art, intense action, and challenging gameplay. Players take on the role of elite soldiers battling an evil organization. Its beautifully detailed sprites and explosive action have made it a cult classic.


Selecting the right games for your multi-game arcade machine is essential to creating an enjoyable gaming experience for yourself and your customers. The games mentioned in this article represent a mix of timeless classics and iconic titles that have left a lasting impact on the world of arcade gaming. Whether you're aiming to relive the golden age of arcades or attract a diverse group of gamers to your establishment, including these top games in your collection is a surefire way to keep the nostalgia alive and the quarters rolling in. So, fire up your arcade machine, grab a joystick or controller, and get ready to embark on a journey through gaming history.

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