A Round-Up of the Top Retro Games


Do you fancy yourself as somewhat of an expert in retro games? Are you searching for your next soon-to-be gaming obsession and want to re-familiarize yourself with the iconic games of the time? Either way, read on to discover a round-up of the top retro arcade games.


Recognizable to people around the world (even people who have never so much picked up a controller), the mighty Pac-Man is arguably the topmost retro arcade game of them all.

On May 22, 1980, at the tender age of twenty-four, gaming designer Toru Iwatani created the legendary game of Pac-Man, and many people are still unaware that he actually named the ghosts; Inky, Blinky, Clyde, and Pinky.

What is more, the catchy electronic sounds heard throughout the game of Pac-Man were directly inspired by early pioneers of the hip-hop genre and the song “Pack Jam”, by Jonzun Crew.

Time Crisis

Time Crisis is another cult classic, both developed and subsequently released in 1995 by Namco. There were a number of reasons why Time Crisis gained popularity so quickly, and indeed, why Time Crisis is still one of the top-rated games today, partly due to the option to duck and cover when reloading the gun. This was the first time in any arcade game that this “cover system” was included.

If you want to treat yourself to the gift of a lifetime, check out https://bespoke-arcades.co.uk/pages/buy-arcade-machines-cabinets for a stunning range of authentically designed retro arcade machines.

Street Fighter II

Capcom was a huge name in the arcade machine industry, specifically throughout the 1980s and the early 1990s, namely due to the unprecedentedly popular release of its Street Fighter series.

Although each incarnation of Street Fighter has its dedicated fans to this day, it was the second installment of the series, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, which really captured the hearts and minds of gamers.

Here are some little-known facts about the iconic Street Fighter II game:

  • Every single character has a detailed and extensive backstory written for them
  • SFII was the very first arcade game to include attack combinations
  • There’s literally no way you can possibly defeat Sheng Long
  • Even the two fighters in the introduction have names
  • Designing the tights of Chun-Li almost maxed-out the memory

Mortal Kombat

First introduced way back when, in 1992, Mortal Kombat was initially exclusively released in arcades, but due to the speed in which the game gained notoriety and fans, it quickly led to several spin-offs available to play on the video console.

Due to the graphic nature, not to mention the violent content of Mortal Kombat, it is no surprise that when initially presented to game publishers, it was rejected, before Midway Games finally agreed to purchase and publish the game.

Even though its popularity soared, critics of the game were still alive and well throughout the 1990s and even beyond, and interestingly enough, this controversy led to the formation of the ESRB (the Entertainment Software Rating Board).

Space Invaders

Released in 1978, the Japanese created the incredible arcade game Space Invaders. This was published by gaming giant Taito and was responsible for elevating the world of gaming in a hugely influential way.

Namely, Space Invaders was the first ever game to allow the player to achieve high scores, and what is more, save them, allowing the competitive nature to make the player play for longer to beat both their own and their friends’ scores.

Even though, as is often the case with truly legendary retro games, the initial sales figures for Space Invaders were disappointing, with only a handful of arcade operators choosing to purchase even one machine, in 1978, the game made over six hundred million dollars.

Donkey Kong

The history of the final iconic arcade game on the list, Donkey Kong, is equally fascinating. Famous game developer Shigeru Miyamoto joined Nintendo in the early 1980s and is largely considered to be one of the pioneers of classic arcade games. After a couple of years of earning his stripes, Miyamoto was responsible for creating two world famous video game characters; Mario (originally named Jumpman) and Donkey Kong.

Released in 1981, the game Donkey Kong was an overnight success and essentially involved the player guiding Mario through the game phases to eventually attempt to rescue his girlfriend, Pauline, who has been captured by Kong. After the original Donkey Kong, many sequels were quickly created and published, including Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Jr., and Donkey Kong Land.

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