Cube Quest
I realized the other siku that I've finally read my last "Best 10 arcade games of all time" list. They're very limited, and they tend to have the same games, listed over and over. Usually I don't agree with the choices, either. The games that I've been most passionate about over the years are generally ones that don't make it onto such lists. So here, without further ado, is an off-the-cuff orodha of the Best Arcade Games Ever. These are the games that, had I room, I would purchase and rebuild for a nyumbani arcade, as I wouldn't get tired of playing any of them.

Early games
In the beginning, video arcade games were simple concepts where the player did one sort of thing over and over again.
Sinistar
There were no 'levels' as we think of them today - successive stages were different only kwa the speed at which the sprites moved, and there was no "end" to the game - wewe would play until wewe couldn't hack it anymore. "Space Invaders", "Missile Command" and "Asteroids" are good examples of this kind of game. The best game of this type is "Sinistar". "Sinistar" is a variation of "Asteroids" where the
asteroids are mined, rather than destroyed. Mining the asteroids gave the player a number of Sinibombs. The challenge came from other spacecraft trying to stop you, and then the eventual appearance of Sinistar itself, which could only be defeated kwa using the Sinibombs. Woe to the player who hadn't mined enough before Sinistar appeared... "Run, coward! I live!"

Differing levels
Gyruss
Some time after the advent of video arcade games, game manufacturers started experimenting with the idea of having games with distinct levels, where patterns would be repeated on specific screens but different patterns would occur on other screens, and sometimes even the layout of the levels would differ from one level to the next. "Xevious" is an example of this, as is "Tempest". "Tron" is an extreme example. The best game of this type is "Gyruss". In "Gyruss", wewe pilot a ship in a circular motion and moto down a tunnel as enemy spacecraft spiral toward you. While the levels of "Gyruss" are not laid out differently, the movement of the sprites attacking your ship varies significantly from stage to stage, making for a great variety in this fairly simple game.

Non-violent games
QBert
There have been a few games over the years that didn't involve punching, kicking, shooting au crashing. Even though the main character still risked death in these games, they are categorized as non-violent because the player was not performing the violence. "Frogger" and "Pac-Man" are good examples of this. The best game of this type is "Q-Bert" (which is probably the best known of the games on my list). In "QBert" wewe bounce your character around a series of cubes to change their colors while avoiding baddies who are trying to catch you. "QBert" has a greater variety of obstacles and opponents than other non-violent games, and the diagonal, hopping, isometric controls are unlike any other.

Platform games
These games involve a character running and jumping to advance through levels and accomplish tasks.
Elevator Action II
Very maarufu on consoles, this is a type of game that wewe never saw much of in the arcade even decades ago, and really don't see at all in modern arcade games. "Donkey Kong" is a classic example, as is "Popeye" and "Kangaroo". But the best game of this type was "Elevator Action II". In "Elevator Action II" wewe control a spy infiltrating a building to collect secret files and then escape, all kwa jumping, sneaking, shooting bad guys and environmental objects, and riding up and down on elevators. "Elevator Action II" had improved graphics and sound from the original, and an impressive variety of different levels.

Fighting games
Kung Fu Master
Eventually the games moved from spaceships to a zaidi personal level, where a single player would control a person, fighting either through a series of opponents on static screens au through a scrolling world of opponents. "Double Dragon", "Yie Ar King Fu" and "Dungeons and Dragons: Shadows over Mystara" are all examples of this type of game. The best was "Kung Fu Master". One of the first fighting games, "Kung Fu Master" is an horizontal scrolling beat-em-up game, where wewe wander through several levels, taking on all comers. One of the reasons this is the best one is the variety of opponents. At first, wewe just deal with kisu wielding wushu practitioners, but soon enough you're fighting wanyama and robots! Classic.

Laser disc games
Cube Quest
In the mid 80s, game manufacturers decided to embed laser discs into their arcade consoles to enable them to incorporate studio-grade uhuishaji into their games. "Dragon's Lair" and "Space Ace" are the most maarufu examples of this type of game. My temptation is to say "Cliffhanger" was the best of these, solely for the novelty of playing Lupin III in various sequences from the anime, but in all honesty, I didn't go back to play that again and again, getting admission to Great America and then wasting most of time not on rides au other attractions but in the arcade playing the best laser disc game ever. No, that was "Cube Quest". In "Cube Quest", wewe are trying to maneuver a spaceship across the galaxy in a number of warp jumps. wewe begin kwa piloting your space ship on the nyota map, which is a three-dimensional cube formed of many smaller cubes. wewe start in one corner of the large cube, and your goal is to make it to the far corner. Each edge of the smaller cubes represents one warp jump, but wewe have to plot your course around obstacles that block certain edges au big enemy ships which rove around the cube, blindly seeking you. Once wewe have selected a warp jump to make, the game transitions to the planet at that jump, composed of beatiful scenery, and a number of obstacles which wewe must destroy au avoid to make it to the inayofuata stage. It is a gorgeous game, and bila mpangilio elements made navigating the cube significantly different each time it was played: wewe couldn't just memorize patterns as wewe could in so many other games.

Driving games
Early on, game manufacturers realized that the joystick, kifimbocheza wasn't the only way wewe could provide input to a game console. So the driving game was born. Most driving games involve racing through a course, trying to make it checkpoints before an arbitrary timer runs out and ends the game. "Crazy Taxi", "Night Driver" and "Cruisin' U.S.A." are all well-known, but the best game of this type was "Road Blasters".
Road Blasters
"Road Blasters" involved a car racing down a country road, dodging au ramming other cars, some of which were also trying to get you. Certain cars would yield fuel, which was essential to collect to remain in the game. To make matters zaidi interesting, occasionally your vehicle upgrade glider would fly past overhead and drop additional equipment for your vehicle, such as a roof-mounted cannon, which allowed wewe to pulverize the other vehicles with greater ease.

Shoot 'em ups
The antithesis of the non-violent game, the shoot-em-up is a straight action game, usually involving a spaceship of some kind blasting away at enemies without any possibility of a cessation in hostilities. "Zaxxon", "Centipede" and "1942" were all shoot-em-ups, but the best one kwa far is "Time Pilot '84".
Time Pilot '84
"Time Pilot '84", like "Xevious", allowed your spaceship to bomb ground-based targets as well as gunning down airborne opponents, all on the surface of alien worlds which always reminded me a bit of doing an attack run on the Death Star. The difference between this game and others that allowed wewe to bomb surface targets was that wewe could fly in any direction and there were secret targets which would give wewe bonuses if wewe bombed them. Like "Sinistar", each stage would end with a mothership hunting wewe down, in this case with homing missiles. At that point wewe could moto your own homing missiles to take it down and complete the stage. Unlike many other shoot-em-ups, "Time Pilot '84" had a real sense of place, and a good deal of variety of opponents.

Gun games
At the same time the video arcade console was invented, consumers were already playing games with light guns with nyumbani consoles, shooting targets on their TVs, so it was only a matter of time before game manufacturers started making light gun games for the arcade. These involve holding some sort of wacky controller, aiming it at the screen, and pulling the trigger repeatedly. "Crossbow" and "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" are two games of this type, but the best one kwa far is "Lucky & Wild".
Lucky & Wild
This is sort of a cheat, because it is also a driving game. As a single player, wewe could steer with one hand and wield your gun to shoot the bad guys with the other. In addition, a sekunde player could ride shotgun, wielding a sekunde light gun. The premise was that wewe are cops driving an interceptor, trying to incapacitate crooks and bring them to justice. To do so, wewe had to destroy their getaway car, both kwa ramming it and kwa shooting it. A great, fun game. While it is never clear how wewe could shoot through your own windshield, there's just nothing like steering with one hand and firing a pistol with the other. "Let's go, Mr. Driver!"

Cooperative shoot-em-ups
Heavy Barrel
For a long time, multiplayer in arcade games meant "hotseat" gaming, where one player played until he Lost a "life", at which point he would switch with the other player. This was modeled on pinball games, where wewe could only have one person playing at a time. But eventually manufacturers realized that wewe could have multiple people playing at the same time. "Ikari Warriors" and "Gauntlet" are examples, but "Heavy Barrel" is the best of these. In "Heavy Barrel" wewe could steer your little commando in any direction to proceed through the levels, firing at wave after wave of bad guys who attacked you. As wewe proceeded, wewe would collect power ups which gave wewe advanced weapons for a limited time: flamethrowers, lasers, wide shot, au one of six pieces of the Heavy Barrel. Once the Heavy Barrel was assembled, wewe were presented with 30 sekunde of glorious mayhem as wewe fired an enormous energy beam from the gun, mowing down any enemies in your path.

Power-up games
After a while, the simple shoot-em-ups weren't enough for gamers au manufacturers. They started making shoot-em-ups and platform games where the players could grab items to enhance their abilities, providing zaidi powerful attacks au defensive capabilities.
Smash TV
These games were generally made zaidi difficult to compensate for the increased power of the players, and so they were best played with a friend as P2. These almost always involved a top-down view of the action as the players scrolled horizontally and/or vertically through the levels. "Aero Fighters" is a good example, but the best of them all is "Smash TV". "Smash TV" was loosely based on the action movie Running Man, so in the game wewe play a contestant on an ultra-violent game show, trying to win as much cash as possible while staying alive. This was mostly accomplished kwa collecting power-ups to upgrade your weapons and then blasting the snot out of anything that appeared. The enemies were imaginative, well-rendered...and legion. "Big money, big prizes!"

3D cooperative games
Xybots
Some games expanded into the third dimension of depth, in addition to heighth and width, allowing players to roam about zaidi complicated levels. There were few of these, but the best is "Xybots".
Not only was "Xybots" an over-the-shoulder dungeon exploration game where wewe fought robots, but wewe could play with au against a friend on the mgawanyiko, baidisha screen. Destroying robots allowed wewe to collect currency, which could be used to upgrade various stats of your character and/or weapons between levels.

Finite games
NARC
As I mentioned earlier, in the beginning, most games didn't have an end. You'd either repeat the same stage over and over again, au you'd repeat a short set of levels over and over again, each time the levels would get a little faster, but wewe could, conceivably, play the game forever, as long as wewe were good enough. Not so with these games. They had a set progression, and if wewe were able to complete the game, the competition was then to see if wewe could do it faster au earn zaidi points than the others who could also complete the game. "Street Fighter II" and "Mortal Kombat" are examples, but the best one kwa far is "N.A.R.C."
"N.A.R.C." had wewe controlling one of two special DEA agents trying to shut down the criminal organization of Mr. Big. wewe did this kwa walking through this horizontal shooter and blasting only the bad guys. On many levels, wewe could avoid gunfire kwa ducking into adjacent buildings in addition to dodging, crouching au jumping. This game has the most ridiculous, over-the-top final boss EVER. When wewe finally defeated Mr. Big and completed the game, there was a tremendous feeling, not just of satisfaction, but of colossal accomplishment. If wewe were able to complete this game, wewe deserve a medal. Seriously.

Flying game
Space Lords
Manufacturers figured at some point that gamers would like to have a whole arcade console to themselves, and so they started networking multiple consoles so that multiple players could compete (or, rarely, cooperate) with one another. These are usually racing games - "Star Wars: Racer Arcade" and "Outrun 2" are great examples - but the best of them all is "Space Lords". While two players could play together on one console, multiple players could play head-to-head on different consoles as well. So wewe had the possibility of teams as well as direct opposition. Like "Lucky & Wild", "Space Lords" had P1 steering a vehicle and firing a gun, while P2 would just operate as a gunner. But in "Space Lords" wewe piloted a customizable spaceship, with nuclear missiles, lasers, shields, an indispensable rear-view (and gun) function, and the ability to go in reverse as well as forward. On multi-console cabinets, P3 would be another pilot, and P4 another gunner, etc. On juu of all that, multiple game modes allowed for unending entertainment.

Chaotic crazy fast action games
For hands-down, eye-glazing fun, with the most sprites moving on the screen and complete bewilderment, there is no beating "Strike Force". The third in the series of games starting with "Defender",
Strike Force
"Strike Force" was essentially the game of "Defender" made bigger in every way. Like "Cube Quest", wewe started on a map that wewe had to navigate, choosing which alien-occupied world wewe would attack next. Then your ship would fly down to zoom above the surface, trying to rescue other pilots who'd crashed on the planet, before they could be captured and transformed kwa the hostiles. Believe it au not, this game was faster than "Defender", had power-ups, ground-based enemies, hopping enemies, invulnerable enemies, enemies that would grab onto your ship to slow wewe down au inflict continuous damage, copious power-ups for your ship, and the downed pilots would also fight, providing cover fire, either from the ground au clinging to the underbelly of your ship. With all that on juu of the addictive "Defender" game play, this is possibly the best arcade game ever.

Now, I realize that this is my list, and it may not be yours. Certainly I notice that my orodha tends to focus on shooting games involving space somehow, but...so?

What would wewe prefer, zaidi Street Fighter games?