Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (2024)

Like so many gigantic Japanese companies, Konami started in arcades before they hit the console market. Whether they were making something for the arcade, or the home, onewas perfectly aware thatit was going to be great. This was true throughout the '80s, '90s, and even the early millennium.

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However, when the company got into this generation, controversy and a lack of enthusiasm for the home market started to crop up. We couldn’t help but think of them as one of their star players for so many years, Hideo Kojima, released his first game without them: Death Stranding, and despite how hyped we are,we're not here to open that can of weird pod babiestoday.Instead,in honor of better times, we went back and ranked the best arcade experiences Konami ever released.

10 Rock'n Rage

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (1)

Let's begin with something obscure from Konami's library. Rock'n Rage begins with a bland playing a concert when the female singer gets whisked away by a giant demon hand. Two of the band members then jump into the vortex after her.

The first level is set in Egypt, so we get to see these rockstars whack mummies with guitars in this top-down, run and gun shooter. It is a super silly and novel idea that is most definitely from a bygone era. It's a bit more interesting than it is actually good, but totally worth a spin. It released in 1986 and never got transferred outside of the arcade realm.

9 Sexy Parodius

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (2)

Despite the name, this game is anything but risqué. It launched in 1996 for arcades and later that year for PS1. It is a side-scrolling ship shooter, but one that is incredibly wacky and nonsensical, from the heroes to the host of enemies.

That is why the series is called Parodius, as it is a parody of shooters in a way. There are eight playable characters (including the ship from Gradius)along with a handful of original characters. This includes Michael and Gabriel, who are two differently shaded pigs with wings.

8 Bucky O'Hare

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (3)

Bucky O'Hare is based on a comic that began in 1984. This game released in September 1992 for arcades and never got any ports, although there was a NES game based on the property as well.

It also launched before the arcade version. As is the case with most of these, Bucky O'Hare supports four-player co-op, and one can decide to be Blinky, the titular Bucky O'Hare, Dead-Eye Duck, or Jenny. It features an open environment like a brawler, but is actually a shooter.

7 Aliens

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (4)

Based on the movie of the same name, Alienslaunched in arcades in 1990. It has never been ported to any console, and remains a long lost gem from a bygone era. Players can choose to be either Ripley or Hicks in this run and gun shooter.

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Similar to Contra, players can gain better weapons, like flamethrowers, to send back the alien scourge. It goes against their seemingly unstoppable nature depicted in the film, but that aside, it feels great to finally have the upper hand.

6 X-Men

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (5)

Even though this game launched in February of 1992, it was presumably developed to capitalize on the cartoon, which would appear months later in October. Besides the arcade version, it wouldn’t get a port until 2010 as a digital game on Xbox and PS3.

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There are alternate versions of the cabinet, but when it first launched, it was made to be a six-player experience. The heroes included were Cyclops, Colossus, Wolverine, Storm, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler.

5 Sunset Riders

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (6)

Sunset Riders is a western themed run and gun platformer. It debuted in 1991 in arcades and in 1992 for the Sega Genesis as the first supported home edition. It features 4-player co-op and one can take on the role of Billy Cool, Cormano Wild, or the lesser named bounty hunters of Bob, or Steve.

They all play similarly and weapons and other power-ups will be littered across every level. Some stages are more traditional while others allow the gang to chase down their prey on horseback.

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (7)

Metamorphic Force is like Altered Beast, but done better. It released in 1993 for arcades and has never been ported to anything else since. The intro scene is reminiscent of Captain Planet with a white robed Athena summoning her clandestine warriors to go out into the world to fight monsters.

These four heroes, Ban, Claude, Max, and Ivan, besides having different weapons, also transform into anthropomorphic beast men. Ivan, for example, can turn into a bear. It likely doesn't need to be pointed out, but this is obviously a four-player brawler.

3 The Simpsons

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (8)

Released in 1991, it was developed in tandem with the first and second season of the show, before everyone's roles were truly defined. This meant that Konami had to take some creative license with enemies, weapons, locations, and character motivations. For example, Smithers never struck us as a diamond thieving baby snatcher.

All family members can be played simultaneously as it supports four players. Homer punches, Marge uses a vacuum cleaner, Bart swings around his skateboard, and Lisa has a jump rope. It was ported to computers like the Commodore 64 and MS-DOS around this time, but it didn’t hit consoles until 2012 for PS3 and Xbox 360.

2 Dance Dance Revolution

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (9)

Before Just Dance and Dance Central tore up the floor, there was the granddaddy of them all, Dance Dance Revolution. The first machine hit arcades in 1998, with a PS1 version to follow (including a special mat) controller in 1999.

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From console to arcade, there have been dozens upon dozens of sequels and iterations on this original title. While it is a lot easier to dance and workout from home now, what with the aforementioned two games and all, it still doesn’t beat the original DDR experience in arcades.

1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (10)

And last, but certainly not least, we have Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. It launched in 1991, with the SNES version to follow in 1992. After that it was remade on PS3 and Xbox 360 as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled in 2009.

As one can probably guess by now, this had four-player co-op with Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael, all being ready to kick some butt through time. Konami made a lot of TMNT games, but this is by far their best work on the brand, and their greatest arcade achievement.

NEXT: Capcom’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked

Konami’s 10 Best Arcade Games, Ranked (2024)
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