It’s hard to believe that we are nearly three decades past the golden age of arcade machines. While the current generation may laugh at the technology of the golden age of gaming, they’ll never experience the pure thrill of entering an arcade and testing your skills against your peers. If you’re in a battle of gaming stories with your children or their friends, consider the most popular games of all-time. Let’s put our quarters down on our favorite machines and take a look at the best-selling games in the history of arcade machines.
Pac-Man – It’s no surprise that when you bring up arcade machines to a non-gamer, they most likely respond with something along the lines of, “you mean like Pac-Man?” The truth is that Pac-Man is synonymous with arcade games. The game was an instant sensation from the start of 1980. It led to Ms Pac-Man just three years later. There have been movies based on the game as well as countless prized memorabilia. The game sold more than 400,000 units worldwide.
Space Invaders – The only game that rivals Pac-Man in terms of influence and sheer sales numbers is Space Invaders. Space Invaders debuted in 1978 and was revolutionary in its time. While the game had a simple concept, there was nothing like it at the time it debuted. It led to several sequels and it helped start the golden age of Arcade games. More than 360,000 hard units were sold worldwide. After Pac-Man, only Space Invaders has endured as a worldwide phenomenon.
Donkey Kong – The third and final game in our list of the best-selling arcade machines of all time is Donkey Kong. 132,000 units were sold worldwide. You can see the huge drop off from Space Invaders and Pac-Man, but the third game on our list helped launch arguably the most important video game character of all-time: Mario. Donkey Kong helped inspire a new generation of gaming and eventually led to Nintendo being the powerhouse brand that it is today.
When it comes to arcade machines, the three machines above set the stage for the games children play today. No matter what type of gaming system you now love, these three games made them possible.