Our Top Four Arcade Revivals

Posted by HLD 17 APRIL 2018

it's undeniable that a big trend in gaming, especially over the past two console generations are remasters or remakes. Games looking to the past to give the players of today a new, up-to-date experiences that can be enjoyed by even more players. This has happened countless times in recent years on the home console, with franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot and more all wowing existing and new audiences with revisited experiences, rebuilt from the ground up.

Did you also know that over the years, the certain arcade titles have also enjoyed similar revivals in arcades? Games from as far back as the 1970s have been given refreshing new twists in more recent years to make them more engaging and exciting for new players, whilst remaining faithful to the experiences that the classic players would have known and loved.

We're going to cover off four of our all-time favourite revivals that you can only find in the arcades.


Outrun 2 Arcade: 2006

Sega OutRun 2 Twin

Original release: Outrun (1986)

Outrun was one of SEGA's landmark arcade titles in the 80s, and is remembered with distinct fondness today as one of the all time great driving arcade games, with an instantly memorable soundtrack, and miles upon miles of open road to cover with your beautiful girlfriend in tow. Given Outrun's resounding success in the arcades as a driving classic, nothing really properly succeeded it, and wouldn't be for many years later (save for the odd spin-off title being released on home consoles such as Outrun Europa and Turbo Outrun). It would not be until over a decade later that the Outrun series would see a revival in the arcades, in the form of Outrun 2.

Outrun 2 was the same basic idea as Outrun but with a lot of new embellishments. The sprites of the 80s were gone, and replaced with high fidelity 3D models and lighting. The complete original Outrun soundtrack was present, and had been recreated in beautiful new arrangements that captured the brilliant atmosphere of the original tunes by Hiroshi Kawaguchi. Outrun 2 also boasted additional modes and cars for players to choose, including the classic outrun gameplay of driving as far as possible in a given time, and even a special new 'Heart Attack' mode, that put players on the spot by tasking them with impressing their passenger with flashy driving moves and drifts.

Outrun 2 was an instant favourite when it landed in arcades in 2006, with a brand new 2-person cabinet that allowed players to race head to head.


Space Invaders Frenzy: 2017

Space Invaders Frenzy

Original release:  Space Invaders (1978)

Who doesn't remember Space Invaders? The instantly recognisable alien creatures that slowly made their way down to earth, accompanied by the forboding beats as they slowly descended whilst you shot each monster out of the sky. The Space Invaders themselves have taken on a life of their own, and have been immortalised in countless merchandise items over the years from small collectible figures to drinks coasters. Space Invaders arrived almost before arcade machines had established themselves in popularity, so how could a game so simple be revived almost 40 years later?

Space Invaders Frenzy debuted in 2017, made by the Raw Thrills gaming company. Using a completely modern state of the art display that illuminates a 65,000 LED display, Space Invaders Frenzy sees the return of the same aliens in a completely new spin on the old classic. Space Invaders Frenzy is like Space Invaders with a big helping of Time Crisis thrown in, with the addition of large, pivoted light guns to shoot the invading forces out of the sky. Defending the earth is also no longer the responsibility of a single player, but now a head to head competition as you both take aim with your guns to fire at the invaders.

The aliens are now faster, bigger and more relentless than ever before, but equally so is the players' arsenal with a wealth of new power-ups to take advantage of as you play.


Pac Man Battle Royale: 2011

Original release: Pac-Man (1980)

Pac-Man is arguably the poster child for arcades, and is one of the games that helped kick off the boom of arcades in both the United States and across the world. Everybody understands the basic game - Controlling Pac-Man, navigate a maze, eating every pellet you see, whilst avoiding ghosts and eating bonus fruits. The game has been re-released countless times over the years, and around the time of the game's release numerous (in some cases unofficial) sequels, but Pac-Man disappeared from the arcades shortly after. Pac-Man would make occasional appearances on other types of arcade machines like air hockey machines, but remained largely absent from a properly playable arcade experience.

This changed in 2011 with 2011's Pac-Man Battle Royale. Battle Royale incorporated the same basic gameplay from the arcade legend it was based upon, and added an intense new competitive edge. Up to four players would be let loose into the maze at once, amongst all the ghosts and pellets, where the goal of the game is to consume pellets, survive the ghosts roaming the maze, and ultimately be the last Pac-Man left standing!

Eaating Power Pellets not only allowed you to turn the table on the ghosts, but onto your opponents as well. This allowed players to eat non-powered up players to knock them out of the running making for an intense arcade head-to-head experience.




Adding a bit of a curve-ball to our list, one of the most remarkable revivals in arcades in recent years is the simply huge resurgeance of pinball machines. Pinball had been a staple of arcades almost since its genesis in the 30s and 40s, then seeing a rapid rise to prevalence in the late 80s and early 90s, before pinball apparently died a death in arcades towards the end of the 90s, especially with so many different pinball manufacturers closing their doors at various points throughout the latter half of the decade (Gottlieb in 1996, then Bally and Williams in 1999).

STERN Pinball quietly kept pinball alive as the last remaining pinball manufacturer, releasing titles such as Monopoly, The Simpsons Pinball Party and others, but something of a renaissance came about with the emergence of a brand new manufacturer in the shape of Jersey Jack Pinball. Around this time, pinball was being remembered with nostalgia, barcades were suddenly becoming relevant and meticulously recreated digital versions of classic pinball machines began to find their way into consumer's hands.

Aerosmith LE Pinball Machine - Machine Overview

Pinball was suddenly immediately accessible to the casual player again, and this brought with it a whole host of new players and other manufacturers, making the game the biggest it's been in years. We are now seeing and hearing news of many new machines to look forward to, and playing even more fabulous titles than ever before.


 So that's our top four arcade revivals. Whilst the arcades have seen on the whole much less in the way of revivals, there have been some simply excellent revisits to some of our all-time favourite franchises. Out of our picks, what are your favourites? Are there any games that we've missed? Any arcade classics you'd love to see revived for the modern arcades? Let us know!

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