Top 10 Arcade Games That Became Console Mainstays

Even though it’s past its prime, arcades are still some of the best places to spend a cheap Saturday afternoon. In addition to this, they have provided games with many innovations over the years. Many big name games that many people thought started on handheld devices or consoles actually started in the arcade.

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This list aims to highlight some of the most interesting games to come to consoles from arcades. These are also games that have, for the most part, stood the test of time and are still around today.


10 Gauntlet

Gauntlet took many of its ideas from Dungeons and Dragons. This was done well as the game is an entertaining top-down experience. The game was later brought to consoles. On consoles, later versions did not have a pronounced top-down view, but the game still took a third-person approach.

There hasn’t been a console version of the game since 2014. However, WB still owns the IP and may release a new one when they stop being silly. Hopefully it’s soon.

9 Crazy Taxi

Crazy Taxi took taxi driving and made the most intense taxi game imaginable. It was first released in 1999 and was later ported to various consoles. The game revolves around players having to get customers to different areas of the map as quickly as possible.

Many people thought that this game was dead but it is alive and well with a new version of the game releasing sometime in the future either 2024 or 2025.

8 The Simpsons

The Simpsons game is something that many people probably didn’t expect to start out as an arcade game. In 1991, this game was quite successful. It started a plethora of Simpsons games, many of which have been included on various consoles over the years. The Simpsons games always combine genres from previous games with the humor of the show.

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The humor aspect is probably part of why in 2007 The Simpsons Game was nominated for best video game writing. The gameplay offered in the Hit and Run game is also one of the most extravagant in the racing genre. Overall, The Simpsons theme is sure to linger for years to come.

7 pac-man

Pac-Man first came out on an arcade machine in 1980, making it one of the oldest games on the list. It originally started with Pac-Man going through mazes, trying to eat as many yellow pellets as possible to clear the maze or die trying. Some ghosts chase him and try to consume him. This game has had many console versions of itself.

The latest version was a remake of the platformer version of Pac-Man for the Switch. The platform game is called Pac-Man World Re-Pac and it shows how far Pac-Man has come..

6 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The arcade game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has caused a large number of ports. The game that started out as an arcade co-op experience is now a couch co-op to enjoy with friends and family or online with TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection.

This is sure to be a series that will never leave the console world, especially in light of the recent sequel, TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge, which continues the beat ’em up fun.

5 Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong first appeared on the arcade scene in 1981. A copy was not made until 1994 for the Game Boy. That same year, Donkey Kong Country was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This completely changed the trajectory of the once villain Donkey Kong, making him the protagonist and allowing him to have his own story.

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Donkey Kong games are some of the best in the platform genre. This is a character who will likely live throughout history.

4 Street Fighter

Street Fighter came out in 1987 and was a very basic arcade fighting game. The game only had one playable character, Ryu, unless someone else joined the game. If a second player got on, then they would fight Ryu as Ken. Both characters had the same moveset and only had cosmetic differences.

The game has greatly grown in popularity. The series now has a serious eSports scene that has been around for about 20 years.

Metal Slug first came out on an arcade machine in 1996. The series was also released for the Neo Geo console, which was an expensive console that has now faded away. Since then, the games have been ported to many more familiar consoles like PlayStation and Switch.

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The Metal Slug games have some of the most unique art styles in terms of design and animation. The series is supposed to take place in the near future. It has great gunplay and enjoyable boss battles that are tough but mostly fair. He is one of the best run and gun shooters to date.

two Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat hit the arcade scene in 1992. It’s pretty crazy to think about because of the violent nature of the game. It quickly became one of the most popular arcade games when it was released. It was a unique fighting game that featured some of the most brutal combat in the genre.

Over the years, the game series has become one of the best of all time in the fighting game catalogue. Newer iterations have tighter controls and have featured close to 100 fighters.

1 tetris

Tetris first became available in arcades in 1988. The Tetris formula is simple as it involves stacking blocks of different shapes on top of each other. These blocks fall at various speeds. Players must match horizontal lines of blocks so that those blocks disappear and the player earns points. If the blocks reach the top, the player loses.

The game has undergone some style changes over the years, but the gameplay remains the same. The most recent iteration, Tetris Effect: Connected, has shown that even a game as simple as Tetris can have magnificent effects.

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