In the year 2018 and 2019, you can see many blockbuster games coming out almost every month. They come in all shapes and forms from simulations to arcades. Many of them do try to convey what was once experienced at the Arcade by using real coins to start a game. These are some of the most successful arcade games from back in the day.
Pac-Man by Namco
Even today, there is some sort of a cult around Pac-Man. It is easily recognizable throughout today’s pop culture (including movies and even music). You can buy very cool T-shirts with Pac-Man’s face on it. It’s a bold game that sold about 400,000 during its lifetime. The revenue by 1990 was 3.5 billions of dollars. If you adjust that for inflation in 2018, that’s 7.7 billions of dollars. How’s that for sales?
In this game you are guiding Pac-Man himself. He is running away from ghosts until he is not running anymore and instead, he eats them (possibly for breakfast, as they say). The game is over once they catch up to you or you go into the next level if you destroy all the ghosts on the map.
Space Invaders by Midway
I doubt there is any gamer out there who didn’t hear about Space Invaders. They were everywhere. And when the time came for Space Invaders to enter home console space, they did. They showed on many consoles in different forms and editions but the core gameplay was the same: combat in space.
During the Space Invader’s lifetime, there were 360,000 cabinets sold around the world. The revenue all the way to 1982 was 2.7 billion (about 6.6 billion in today’s money). That is quite a financial success. Arcade was a big financial income for developers back in the day. This was especially true before home consoles could match the quality of graphics.
Street Fighter II – Champion Edition by Capcom
The game series that still gets produced in its modern form even today is Street Fighter. After massive arcade success, you can still play new Street Fighter 5 on your PS4 or Xbox One or even PC. But let’s take a look at the cabinet sales back in the day: about 200,000 cabinets were sold. That’s a pretty decent amount. These cabinets made 2.3 billion dollars (3.5 billion in today’s money). Certainly this financial power ensures future for this game series.
Street Fighter II invented the standard gameplay style for fighting games. This kind of gamplays was later sought in every other fighting game. Naturally, this game became very competitive and many people were playing against each other to prove themselves. It was the golden time for arcade version. The newest Street Fighter II game was released on Nintendo Switch in 2018. This new game is very recognizable to anyone who played the arcade version.
Some honorable mentions for the best and biggest arcade titles ever are: Ms. Pac-man, NBA Jam, Defender, Asteroids, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat I and Donkey Kong (DK sold 132,000 cabinets, and other titles sold less than 30,000 for comparison). Arcade lives in our mobile devices now, even if we can’t insert coins anymore.