10 Best Arcade Archives Games (2024)


  • The Arcade Archives series revives classic arcade games with updated features, visuals, and audio for modern gaming systems.
  • Titles like Haunted Castle, Bubble Bobble, and Splatterhouse offer nostalgic gameplay experiences for both old fans and new players.
  • Donkey Kong, Contra, and Sunset Riders are just a few of the many exciting games available in the Arcade Archives collection.

Arcade Archives is a series of retro arcade games, lovingly emulated by the team at Hamster Corporation for modern-day systems. Not only do these games look and sound fantastic in their newly emulated state, but they are often adorned with new quality-of-life features, ready to be adopted by a new audience.


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With so many iconic arcade games being re-released under the Arcade Archives banner, some are naturally going to shine brighter than others. From bombastic shoot ‘em ups to cutesy puzzle games, it’s simply delightful to see these classic games get another life in this day and age.

This list will only cover games included in the standard Arcade Archives line of games, and not those that have been released in the ACA Neo Geo sub-series.

10 Haunted Castle

A Castlevania Classic

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Some Castlevania fans may not know that Konami released some arcade games in the series way back in the day, with Haunted Castle being the standout. This game is not a port of a NES title, instead being its own unique adventure in the Castlevania series that is definitely worth a playthrough.

The detailed visuals and audio were miles ahead of what home consoles could manage in 1987, but the monster-slaying, castle-exploring gameplay is just as rewarding (and challenging) as the other early games in the series. More than just a novelty, Haunted Castle earns its niche, yet no less significant, place in Castlevania’s rich history.

9 Bubble Bobble

A Finely-Honed Platforming Classic

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Bubble Bobble’s timelessness can largely be attributed to its simplicity. Like many great arcade games of its era, it maximizes the utility of its few mechanics to create a brilliantly enticing experience; one that is just as fun when played with a friend as it is by yourself.

The Arcade Archives port of Bubble Bobble captures all the bubble-blowing fun of the original arcade machine. Grab a friend and set aside an afternoon to play through one of the best co-operative arcade games of all time. The unique approach to combat in the Cave of Monsters is as engaging as it's ever been.

8 Splatterhouse

A Gory Beat 'Em Up Inspired By Horror Legends

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Splatterhouse's uncompromising depiction of violence and gore seems heavily inspired by its original era’s horror films, Friday the 13th in particular. The level of brutality portrayed in Splatterhouse is less eyebrow-raising than it once was, but thankfully the game actually has some staying power and isn't simply a deliberately controversial novelty.


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While the beat ‘em up gameplay is simplistic, there’s still something satisfying about smashing your way through the waves of ghastly monsters presented here. The horror-inspired setting of Splatterhouse is the game’s true strength, faithfully re-created in its Arcade Archives Port to provide a genre entry like no other.

7 Donkey Kong

A Versatile Version Of An Arcade Great

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Not only is Donkey Kong one of the best titles from the golden age of arcade games, but its Arcade Archives port goes to great lengths to carry forward the legacy of this seminal game. Importantly, you can choose between the early, late, and international versions of Donkey Kong, allowing you to enjoy this classic game in whichever way you prefer.

As far as the actual game goes, what more is there to say about Donkey Kong that hasn’t already been said? It was the breakthrough moment for so many of gaming’s biggest names, and endures as a challenging but fair action platformer that perfected the “one more game” mentality crucial to any great arcade game.

6 Contra

A Run And Gun Revelation

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While many people are more familiar with Contra’s NES port, this series actually had its genesis as a popular arcade game. Played on a vertically-oriented screen, the arcade version of Contra contains all the explosive co-operative action you could ask for from this classic Konami series.

The bullet-blasting adventure of Bill and Lance is wonderfully emulated in its Arcade Archives port, containing both the Japanese and international versions of the game. There are few better ways to kill an evening with a friend than to take to the jungle in this timeless run and gun game.

5 Salamander

A Scrolling Space Shooter With A Unique Sense Of Style

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Whether you call it Salamander or Life Force, this beloved space shooter represented a high point for its genre when it first launched in 1986. It contained all the memorable power-ups and bosses that you’d expect from a Konami shooter from this era, but it also let you enjoy the experience with a friend at your side, which was unusual.


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This Arcade Archives port lets you play either the Salamander or Life Force version of the game, letting existing fans and newcomers experience this treasured game however they wish. With so many finely-tuned mechanics working in harmony, Salamander is still one of the best shoot ‘em ups you can pick up and play to this day.

4 In The Hunt

An Unusual Underwater Shooter

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You can expect good things from an arcade shooter developed by the same team who would later go on to create the Metal Slug series. In The Hunt sets itself apart from other shooters from its era by putting you in control of a submarine, in an action-packed adventure that takes place beneath the waves.

This unique setting, coupled with the gorgeous sprite work and tight controls you would expect from these developers, results in a true hidden gem from the arcades. Thankfully, this stellar Arcade Archives port means In The Hunt gets another chance to emerge from the depths and get the appreciation it has always deserved.

3 Punch-Out!!

Still Delivering That Knockout Blow

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Punch-Out!! was a hit among arcade players in 1984 for its intense yet strategic boxing fights, detailed visuals, and unique dual monitor set-up. Each fight in Punch-Out!! was more like a puzzle than a simple scrap, as you learned the techniques and tempos of each opponent and reacted appropriately.

The Arcade Archives version of Punch-Out!! lets you choose whether you want the two screens set in their original top and bottom configuration, or if you’d prefer them side by side. Otherwise, everything that made the original Punch-Out!! great 40 years ago remains great in this meticulously emulated port.

2 The Legend Of Valkyrie

Ride Of The Valkyries

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For the longest time, players outside of Japan were unable to enjoy excellent 1989 Namco action RPG The Legend of Valkyrie. Fortunately, the game has gradually become more accessible to other territories around the world, with the Arcade Archives port being an excellent and convenient way to enjoy this overlooked classic.

Reminiscent of the best of the Wonder Boy series, while still very much carving out its own unique identity, The Legend of Valkyrie combines tight controls and design, excellent co-operative multiplayer, unobtrusive role-playing systems, and delightful visuals to create a game that demands more recognition from the global gaming community.

1 Sunset Riders

A Fun Slice Of Multiplayer Gunslinging Action

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Sunset Riders is about as pure a gaming experience as you can find. This classic run and gun shooter from Konami has all the style and excitement that you would hope for from an arcade game of this era, and somehow still manages to outshine many of its contemporaries.

That’s not even mentioning the four-player multiplayer, memorable levels, and general gunslinging goodness. The Arcade Archives version of Sunset Riders maintains all the charm and energy of the arcade original and transports it into your modern-day home. It's a title many won't have played before, and it deserves to be experienced.


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10 Best Arcade Archives Games (2024)
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