The 5 Most Played Arcade Games in 2024

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Arcade games are a great way to get us back to basics when it comes to graphics, gameplay loops, and design philosophy. The arcade games of time gone by focused on refining simple gameplay ideas with cost-effective music and art styles, which drove some fantastic ideas into popularity. In 2024, arcade games will continue to be as popular as they were at the time of their initial inception. Here are five of the best arcade games we cannot stop playing this year.

Mortal Kombat

The first groundbreaking arcade game on our list is none other than the Mortal Kombat series. A martial arts masterpiece that continues to draw people in from generation to generation. While the most popular games through the years have been jackpot slots, shoot’em ups, and racing titles, the two-dimensional fighting mechanics used in Mortal Kombat — combined with a seemingly endless amount of playable characters — made this particular game rise through the ranks.

This title was a cultural phenomenon at its inception and has boasted many releases and remasters in the following years. The game has also spawned many movies and spin-offs, which has been an important factor in why this title has seen so much success; plus, you can even find a hidden game of pong when playing the arcade versions.

Pac-Man

No list of the best arcade games would be complete without mentioning one of the originals in the genre: Pac-Man. It’s the quintessential arcade game you think of first when discussing such matters. This recreation captures the feeling of the first edition very well, with additional modes being unlocked as you play through the levels. Through the game, you can unlock cosmetics and costumes to motivate you to keep playing to try and beat your high scores. Pac-Man continues to be as fun as its initial release, captivating audiences through the ages and offering a mix of nostalgic gameplay and excitement.

Crazy Taxi

Video game developer Sega has seen a lot of love in the arcade world, and we will continue this trend with a mention of Crazy Taxi. This was a dynamite arcade game, and it also made waves in our homes with the Sega Dreamcast. In the game, you become a taxi driver, racing the streets to get your passengers across town under a particular time limit, meaning this ride is like no other as you speed around like you’re driving the namesake, a crazy taxi. The silly setup offers lots of humor on top of some pretty solid racing mechanics, which, despite being over two decades old, is still so popular today.

Horizon Chase

Those who grew up on racing arcade games, playing series like Sega’s OutRun, will surely fall in love with Horizon Chase. The graphics are a bit of a throwback to the style of the original arcade games. This modern spin looks good, plays even better, and can be played on most devices. The accessibility is excellent, allowing you to play just about anywhere. Through the game, you unlock new tracks and cars and can purchase added extras. If you love classic racing games, then Horizon Chase will be a great choice.

Downwell

Downwell has done very well in making a name for itself, redefining the vertical platformer genre altogether. The game aims to progress lower and lower down a well. Sounds easy, right? Well, you’re wrong.

This game will have you dying many times, getting frustrated, and aiming to beat your previous high scores with the most addictive qualities. Downwell is the personification of something done simply but well, perfect for bite-sized gaming sessions when you have some time to kill. The graphics play a huge role in this game. Enjoy its iconic red, black, and white tones, with plenty of stylized graphics as you sink deeper into the depths of the well.

What Arcade Game Is Your Favorite?

Although many of these games have existed for multiple decades, the resurgence of retro gaming has meant these titles are captivating audiences once again. If you’re still in the mood to play some of the most beloved arcade games, there is a title out there waiting for you in 2024. Keep your skills sharp and your wits about you; you never know when your next joystick is around the corner.

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