The Best Of Classic Retro Arcade Games

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5 Arcade Games That Are Fun As Ever - Must Try's For 2024

Retro arcade games on wooden arcade cabinets at Games Night event

In the past 20 years, arcade halls and the classic arcade games that filled these seemed like relics of the past – something to look back at with nostalgia but to strictly never approach again. However, recently a change has began to brew in the video game industry, with a growing sentiment of genuine intrigue toward retro arcade games, and their at once simple yet wonderfully entertaining qualities. From the re-introduction of trendy arcade halls into big city’s (hello NQ64 London) to the emergence of an increasing number of luxury home arcade cabinet companies (yes, us included), arcades suddenly seem to be the thing. We’ve curated an arcade beginner friendly list of the top 5 arcade games to try in 2024, guaranteed to get you introduced with the thrill and joy of retro gaming. 

Super Mario Bros arcade game on Minato arcade

1. Super Mario Bros or Super Mario World

From our experience, whenever someone sees our arcade cabinets, it takes about 30 seconds for them to ask “Is there Super Mario on it?!”

The Mario franchise has worked long and hard to become one of the best known names in the video game industry. However, few know that the original Mario game was released on an arcade machine, way back in 1983. Now we may be biased, but the old school Super Mario Bros and Super Mario World are arguably even better than Nintendo’s newer Mario releases. From the nostalgic soundtrack to the surprisingly intricate level and character designs, these games deserve the top spot on our list of arcade classics to test out. 

We will say however (having completed the entire Super Mario World game over the bleak winter months) that some levels can be incredibly tricky to pass. If you’re looking for some top tips on passing levels or just need some guidance on how to play this game, be sure to check out our Super Mario mini guide here

2. Street Fighter II

There’s no doubt you’ve heard of the Street Fighter games before, but like Super Mario, these games are rooted in arcades. The first Street Fighter arcade game was released in 1987, and although it was a success it was its successor, Street Fighter II that made this franchise blow up.

As quoted by Seth Killian, Capcom Senior Manager, “Competing against a live opponent, in front of strangers, to see who kept their quarter, and who went to the back of the line? The experience was intoxicating.”

This statement still rings as true in 2024 as it did back in the 80’s. Street Fighter is an absolutely thrilling arcade game, that both arcade aficionados and players new to the game can enjoy. With it’s various characters, diverse landscapes and iconic soundtracks, this game will have you hooked. The Street Fighter II game is available on each of our arcade cabinets, ideal for your next Games Night arcade battle. 

Wooden arcade with Street Fighter arcade game
Retro arcade hall collage
Out Run arcade game on wooden luxury arcade cabinet

3. Out Run

A less known arcade game that we think deserves a spot on the best arcade games to try in 2024 is Out Run. For all of Formula 1 and car enthusiasts out there, this ones for you.

Out Run is an adrenaline inducing racing game released in 1986 by Sega. The aim of the game is to race to the top without crashing your (ever so stylish) red racing car. The game has multiple levels, with each more challenging than the last, and although there is no two player option, you get scored for your race time and quality of driving, making this a super fun, competitive game. 

This game is a classic to add to your arcade game rotation. If you’re looking for some help in setting up the game on your Maison Roshi arcade or need top tips for how to play the game check out our Out Run guide

4. Space Invaders

A true retro arcade game relic, Space Invaders might be the simplest game in terms of gameplay on our top picks. However, this game is not to be underestimated.

Let the facts speak for themselves: upon it’s release in Japan in 1978, Space Invaders became an immediate hit amongst young gamers in Japan. In fact, the game spread so quickly and widely that the country experienced a temporary Yen shortage.  Moreover, the games popularity led to an increase in game related crimes, as many young gamers desperately tried to get coins just to play this game. The legend says that a girl was found to have stolen 5000 dollars from her parents, just to play Space Invaders.

If you want to really experience the wonders of old school gaming, test out Space Invaders the next time out get your hands on an arcade cabinet. For inspiration on getting that top score on the game, check out this guide we found and tested (hint: it works!)

Luxury arcade with Space Invaders game
Wooden arcade cabinet magical kingdom game

5. Magical Drop and Magical Drop II

A less well-known arcade game, Magical Drop was first released in 1995. This game features a puzzle like structure, with an action like feel. With an excellent two player option, Magical Kindgom has got to be one of our go-to games for 2024. 

The premise of the game is to collect as many “drops” of the same colour from a row of “drops” above you, and expel them from your arms to keep the “drops” from crashing down onto you – we promise it sounds far more complicated than it actually is. It reminds us of games like Puzzle Bubble and Tetris, except with more interesting characters and gameplay (sorry to all the Tetris enthusiasts!).

This super fun game is completed with colourful characters (with the coolest outfits) and a nostalgic soundtrack, and is honestly the perfect family friendly game for a good Games Night 1 vs. 1 contest. 

 

 

Old school arcade game hall photo

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