The 90s were a golden era of spectacular arcade releases. Back then, the arcade scene was still alive and booming. But even though the industry has changed a lot since then, specific titles are still worth playing today, whether through re-releases or arcade emulators.
Below, we’ll list our top 5:
- Dance Dance Revolution (1998)
Konami’s arcade dancing title was something so unique at the time that many considered it a whole new genre when it was released. The idea is to dance along with the arrow symbols that appear on the screen precisely in sync with the rhythm of the music playing in the background – if you have the stamina, that is. Given that the title features pop, anime, and dance music to lose yourself in, it’s easy to get addicted to the formula, whether as a single or multiplayer experience. Later on, the game was re-released on GameCube and Playstation, two popular console systems.
- Street Fighter 2 (1994)
Street Fighter 2 is what many consider to be the best arcade fighting game ever made. So much so that it still has an active fanbase. Despite being almost 30 years old, you will still find tournaments to participate in, whether online or offline. Many TV shows reference it, such as City Hunter, Wreck-It Ralph, Cuphead, and others. Also, there is a board game called Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game, released in 2021. There is even a dedicated slot game with the same name that you will see at the best casino sites like BetMGM that platforms such as American Gambler are reviewing.
- Crazy Taxi (1999)
Can you drive your customers to the goal in as little time as possible while avoiding a collision? This is the basic premise of Crazy Taxi that works so incredibly well, and every game forces you to navigate your way through unique action-packed scenarios. San Francisco is not only a challenging environment to traverse, but it’s also quite fun and colorful, although today’s standards date the graphics. Nevertheless, the game was quite impressive for a 1999 release, partly due to the vastness and complexity of the landscape to explore as a driver.
- Soul Calibur (1998)
Soul Calibur (and its predecessor, Soul Edge) is one of the classic arcade fighting game releases of the 90s. The game featured intuitive, characterized by a strong emphasis on moving around a 3D arena and dictating the pace with your weapon-wielding character. Yet, you’d have to master physically-complex mechanics to defeat your opponent. It was quite an eye-pleaser, but the title also came with a dramatic orchestral soundtrack made just for the game, the kind that’s easily worthy of a standalone listening session. Later on, a Dreamcast port was released that added a single-player mission mode to get a bit of practice against flesh-and-blood opponents. But mostly, people remember it for the long hours of multiplayer fun.
- Daytona USA (1994)
If you’re into arcade racing and aren’t easily swayed away by its rather simplistic graphics, Daytona USA is still regarded as one of the most substantial entries in the genre. The fact that it was released in 1994 makes it that much more impressive – the controls, although arcade-like, feel intuitive and fluid, thus giving you an excellent level of control over the vehicle. The soundtrack is also a memorable one. Too bad that its graphics can hardly match up, but that’s arguably its only (moderate) weakness. But if you can get over that, you’ll experience a racing title that was way ahead of its time and gave the players a whole new way to experience the thrill of fast wheels and crazy roads.