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Arcade Games I Wasted All My Quarters On

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If you’re of a certain age, and enjoy videogames, you spent A LOT of time in the arcades. It was a time when those massive cabinets had more processing power than home consoles, so the games provided an experience you couldn’t get at home. And while, theoretically, dropping some quarters into a game was cheaper than dropping the 70 bucks on a new cartridge (shudder), you inevitably burned through more than that in the span of a few weeks. And what games were the prime targets of such heavy quarter losses? THESE GAMES WERE!


Star Wars Arcade

arcade games star wars vector


Vector Graphics 4 Life. The original Star Wars arcade game, where you re-enact the death star battle from the original film again and again, was one of the best, most old school games. The choice of Vector graphics means its look has aged better, because it makes it seem like a stylistic choice, instead of just a practical one.


Street Fighter II

arcade games street fighter II character select


Another game that still can’t be recreated at home (unless you drop the hundred bucks on an arcade controller), and the one that ushered in the fighting game craze that persists to this day, SF II: Tournament Edition drained a lot of my games because… well, because I was terrible at it. Full disclosure? To this day, I can only do a haduken about fifty percent of the time.



arcade games x-men six person cabinet


The king of the arcade beat ‘em ups! Especially if you could find one of the giant, six person cabinets that let you play as every character. There were a few weird character choices in the game (Dazzler*cough*), but that only added to the joy of making one of your friends play as that terrible character. Also, each mutant power was well represented.


Time Crisis

arcade games two guys playing time crisis


Ugh, so hard was Time Crisis, the unit at the arcade I always went to was broken because a guy punched the screen so hard it broke. I was always drawn to this game because it was the first shooter to let you take cover and hide, which had a real appeal to me, because I am a coward. Also, this was a later, more expensive arcade game so it could cost upwards of a full dollar coin (I’m Canadian).


Simpsons Arcade Game

dumbest johnny depp quotes body is my journal


Could this game possibly have had less to do with The Simpsons? No, but it really didn’t matter. The Simpsons Arcade Game captured the art style perfectly, and also inserted in weird touches from Matt Groening’s comic strip, Life Is Hell. Like a lot of side scrolling beat ‘em ups, it was juuuuust hard enough that you lost lives regularly enough, but it didn’t feel frustrating. I’m pretty sure I’ve beaten this game around seven times, at a price of ten thousand dollars.


Die Hard Arcade

arcade games die hard in action


Another game that had nothing to do with its source material (because when they imported it from Japan, they just slapped “Die Hard” on it), Die Hard Arcade was one of the first games to use quick time events, which if you completed successfully, would make the game easier (usually, you escaped having to fight a few additional goons). It was also polygonal, with destroyable environments, and you always get my attention when I can hit guys with fire extinguishers.


Those Racing Games Where You Sit In The Car

arcade games kid on dumbo ride


LOL jk they reminded me too much of those rides outside of Grocery stores.


What do you waste your money on now that these are dead and buries? Let me know in the comments!


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