Many entertainment activities fail miserably to stand the test of time, but that is certainly not the case where slot machines are concerned.
They date back to the 1890s, when San Francisco car mechanic Charles Fey created the iconic Liberty Bell slot machine.
The three-reel slot paid out a jackpot of just 50 cents – a far cry from the massive progressive jackpots available to modern-day players.
While Fey’s invention provided a template for subsequent games, the arrival of video technology was largely responsible for transforming the slots industry.
The first video slot machine was developed in 1976 by Las Vegas–based Fortune Coin Co – a firm that was quickly acquired by International Gaming Technology (IGT).
Video slots soon became all-the-rage in the sector, sparking a boom during the 1980s that is widely viewed as being the golden era for the genre.
Fast forward to today and many online slot games have themes which hark back to those times, tapping into the public thirst for all things retro.
There are also plenty of examples of slots that have video game themes, further highlighting that players look back on that period with fondness.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at some of the best retro and video game themed slots you can play online today.
Space Invaders was a global phenomenon when it was first launched in the late 1970s, sparking a massive surge in the popularity of arcade video games.
Playtech expertly tapped into the desire for retro games by creating the Space Invaders slot – a five-reel, 10 payline game that has been hugely successful.
Playable on desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet devices, the game benefits from both ways wins and stackable symbols.
The Invaders Turn Wild and UFO Wild features have the potential to deliver bumper wins on a slots game that perfectly hits all the right nostalgic notes.
7s to Burn
Much of the boom in popularity in slots during the 1980s was driven by seaside amusement arcades, which provided people with a sense of escapism on short breaks and holidays.
Most of the slots from that era featured a handful of symbols including fruits such as cherries, lemons, oranges, bananas, plums and melons.
However, the real money was to be made from the number seven, which was the jackpot symbol on many games around that time.
Barcrest’s 7s to Burn online slot pays homage to those games, with the wild feature, free spins and hi-roller bonus putting a modern spin on this retro title.
– Image via YouTube
Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword
Daring adventurer Lara Croft embarks on a global treasure hunt in the ridiculously immersive Tomb Raider: Secret of the Sword slot.
Created by slots giants Microgaming, it is a five-reel, 30 payline game packed full of exciting features including free spins, sticky wilds, rolling reels and multipliers.
Trigger the Global Adventure Bonus for a whistle-stop world tour where collecting artefacts can deliver massive cash prizes.
This retro video game themed slot was revamped in 2018 using HTML5 technology meaning it can be played on mobile devices as well as PCs and laptops.
With 3,125 different paylines, Reel Rush is a retro slots game that brilliantly taps into every player’s desire to experience a winning feeling.
The game bears plenty of resemblance to Candy Crush – the free-to-play match three puzzle video game that enjoyed huge success on Facebook.
Free spins and wild symbols improve your winning chances on Reel Rush, boosting your hopes of scooping a jackpot that pays out 480,000 times your original stake.
Reel Rush proved to be so popular that Swedish developers NetEnt created a follow up – Reel Rush 2 – which takes the best elements of the original and adds in even more features.
Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil is a Japanese horror video game series and media franchise consisting of survival horror, third-person shooter and first-person shooter games.
It subsequently expanded into a live-action film series, animated films, television series, comic books, novels, audio dramas and slots games.
Unsurprisingly based on the sixth release in the horror movie franchise, the Resident Evil 6 slot is a stunning five-reel, 25 payline game.
Scatter pays, free spins, random wilds, sticky wilds and wild reels add to the excitement on an extremely enjoyable slot.
Twin Spin Megaways
Prizes of up to 38,000 times your original stake are a tempting attraction on the Twin Spin Megaways slot, an updated version of NetEnt’s classic Twin Spin game.
This beefed-up sequel keeps all the best elements of the original, but supercharges the action with the innovative Megaways game engine mechanic.
Game highlights include Avalanche Reels and Twin Reels which join to show the same matching combination of symbols.
Trigger the free spins feature and you can look forward to unlimited free spins, while wild multipliers have the power to double or treble your returns.
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
Ask video game fans to name an iconic title from the past and it is highly likely that many of them will mention the Street Fighter series.
It has become the best-selling title since the golden era of arcade gaming and one of the highest-grossing video games of all time.
On that basis, it would be wrong not to include Street Fighter II: The World Warrior in this list, as it is one of the best video game themed slots in the business.
There are numerous features on the game including Wild Combo, Insert Coin Gamble, Beat the Boos Free Spins and Car Smash Bonus.