Rediscover classic arcade games on PS4 and PS5 

These groundbreaking games might pre-date PlayStation, but they're all playable on PS4 and PS5. Take a step back in time to discover classic titles that helped shape the games you love today.

Shooters to thrill

From deep-space dogfights to overground skirmishes, fighting fire with fire never goes out of style.

Galaga (1981)

Like its 1979 predecessor Galaxian, Galaga is a ‘fixed shooter’ that owes a huge debt to 1978's genre pioneer Space Invaders, while seeking to improve on it in every way.

  • Destroy all enemies on screen to move to the next level. It sounds simple, but Galaga will test your reactions.
  • Retrive a captured fighter to upgrade your craft into the Dual Fighter with increased attack power.

1942 (1984)

Capcom’s second foray into arcades is a top-down, vertically scrolling shooter set during World War II. 

  • Designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, who later developed Street Fighter II, 1942 is the first game to feature an evade button.
  • 1942 was followed by further 19XX games, several of which are in the Capcom Arcade Stadium collection.

1942 is only available as part of Capcom Arcade Stadium.

Commando (1985)

Having mastered aerial shooting, Capcom grounded itself for this intense run-and-gun shooter, which was one of the biggest hits of 1985.

  • This is where the ‘one-man army’ school of shoot ‘em ups began, with the player given unlimited ammo and countless enemies.
  • Military shooters like Call of Duty and Battlefield have Commando in their DNA; both this and its sequel Mercs are available in Capcom Arcade Stadium.

Commando is only available as part of Capcom Arcade Stadium.

Gradius (1985)

Konami transformed the genre with side-scrolling space shooter Gradius, which gave players control over their power-ups.

  • Pilot the Super Dimension fighter Vic Viper and take on the enemy using a mix of firepower and agility.
  • Collect power-ups to unlock abilities such as a laser attack and increased speed - at different levels.

Contra (1987)

Konami’s famously hard side-scrolling run and gunner is a test for any experienced arcade player.

  • Contra plays out over three level types: traditional side-scrolling, fixed-screen shooting, and a third-person shooter-like 3D perspective.
  • The International and Japanese versions of Contra are included in this package, but those wanting further titles can check out the Contra Anniversary Collection.

When was the first arcade machine created?

Ted Dabney and Nolan Bushell's Computer Space of 1971, based on 1962's Spacewar!, is considered the world's first arcade game and also the first commercial video game. Dabney and Bushnell later founded Atari, releasing Pong to huge success - and the rest is history. (Pong and more Atari hits can be played on Atari 50.)

Action innovators

There’s never a dull moment with this lot.

Ghosts 'n Goblins (1985)

Capcom's supernatural run-and-gun platformer is a test of any player's skill, and considered one of the most difficult video games of all time. 

  • Sir Arthur is brave but extraordinarily delicate - one hit will break his armor, and another will kill the near-naked knight.
  • Its punishing difficulty and fantasy setting has seen Ghosts 'n Goblins called the Dark Souls of its day. If you're up to the challenge, this game and its sequel Ghouls 'n Ghosts are available on Capcom Arcade Stadium.

Ghosts 'n Goblins is only available as part of Capcom Arcade Stadium.

Double Dragon (1987)

One of the biggest belt-scrolling beat 'em ups of the 1980s, Technōs Japan’s Double Dragon was originally the sequel to Renegade before becoming its own game.

  • It's not just enemies you need to defeat. If you reach the ending in co-op, with Jimmy and Billy alive, the brothers fight each other to win the kidnapped Marian's affection.
  • If one Double Dragon isn't enough for you, the Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle offers 18 titles including Renegade and River City Ransom.

Haunted Castle (1987)

An arcade-first entry in the Castlevania series, Haunted Castle is now available on PlayStation for everyone to experience Simon Belmont's quest to save his wife from Dracula.

  • Fight familiar Castlevania enemies, such as skeletons, zombies and mermen, across six challenging stages.
  • Haunted Castle is available individually or on Konami's Arcade Classics Anniversary Collection, which includes Scramble, TwinBee and more.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game (1989)

Available on PlayStation as part of the TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection, this side-scrolling beat 'em up was a revelation to fans of the 1980s cartoon.

  • Konami capture the tone and energy of the show in this fighter that supports four simultaneous players, with each controlling their own Turtle against fan-favorite enemies.
  • The Cowabunga Collection version allows players to select the starting level, adjust their lives, and activate a Nightmare Mode to increase the challenge.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game is only available as part of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga Collection.

Mystic Warriors (1993)

This ninja-themed hack-and-slash game was developed at Konami by the team behind the celebrated Sunset Riders, and remained unported to console until 2023. 

  • Something of a forgotten classic, this side-scroller will appeal to anyone who loves challenging titles like Ghosts 'n Goblins (see above) or console equivalents like the Mega Drive/Genesis classic Gunstar Heroes.
  • Fight solo or in co-op with between two and four players teaming up to take down the evil Skull Enterprise and rescue a kidnapped companion.

Are classic arcade games really that hard?

Arcade games of the past often feature dramatic difficulty spikes and truly testing bosses. Most were designed to keep the player coming back - and spending money. On PlayStation, many of these titles have helpful save states, and pressing continue won't cost a thing.

Cute and creative

An eclectic selection of adorable and inventive classics.

Frogger (1981)

One of the biggest games of the so-called golden age, this early Konami title offers simple gameplay that's challenging to master.

  • Guide your lost frogs back to the far riverbank, avoiding obstacles as you go. Get five hoppers home and the game repeats at a higher difficulty.
  • Obstacles include a road full of traffic and a river swimming with alligators. A skull and crossbones appears on screen wherever you've croaked it.

Dig Dug (1982)

Arriving two years after Pac-Man, Namco's Dig Dug is a maze game where the player creates their own passageways rather than follow set corridors.

  • Play as the titular spelunker and inflate enemies until they burst or crush them beneath falling rocks.
  • With 256 stages, Dig Dug is another golden-era arcade hit that demands a lot of the player. Its gameplay would inspire Namco's later series, Mr Driller.

Pac-Land (1984)

While the honor of first side-scrolling platform game goes to 1981’s Jump Bug, this game laid the groundwork for modern platformers that move past single-screen action.

  • Guide Pac-Man as he runs from left to right across several Fairyland levels, avoiding obstacles and his usual ghostly foes.
  • As well as being available individually, Pac-Land can be enjoyed on the Pac-Man Museum Plus collection, which features the original 1980 game alongside many others.

Bubble Bobble (1986)

Play as bubble-burping dragons Bub and Bob in this single-screen platformer where the goal is to clear all enemies as quickly as you can.

  • Trap your foes in your bubbles and then pop them to send them spinning away. Collect letters to spell 'EXTEND' and gain an extra life.
  • Bubble Bobble features different endings based on how you complete its 100 levels, and spawned a great sequel in Rainbow Islands.

Wonder Boy (1986)

Sega’s original Wonder Boy is a more straightforward game than its sequels, a pure arcade experience with plenty of charm.

When was the 'golden age' of arcade gaming?

Many consider the period from Space Invaders' launch in 1978 to the mid-1980s to be arcade gaming's golden era. It was a time of huge commercial expansion, innovation and recognition as gaming entered mainstream culture.

Sporting legends

Games that walked so we didn’t have to run.

Track & Field (1983)

Konami's Track & Field brings together a collection of athletic events for arcade-goers to bash buttons along to, against the computer or other players.

  • Six events are featured: 100-meter sprint, high jump, javelin, long jump, 110-meter hurdles and hammer. 
  • A pioneer of what's fondly become known as 'button mashing', Track & Field's arcade cabinet was updated post-release to replace worn-out buttons.

Karate Champ (1984)

Technōs Japan, the creators of Double Dragon (see above), also developed the first one-on-one fighter with Karate Champ, which was published by Data East.

  • Unlike modern fighters, Karate Champ uses twin-stick controls to perform moves and there's no health bar for fighters - instead, a successful blow earns a point, and the first to two points wins.
  • A less-serious bonus game sees the player tackle a charging bull. Street Fighter II was wise to stick with cars and bricks.

10-Yard Fight (1983)

A simplified but intense version of American Football, 10-Yard Fight was an early hit for Irem, who would later produce the world's first side-scrolling beat 'em up, Kung-Fu Master.

  • The game features one play with several options and the aim is to score big: a regular touchdown is 5,000 points and returning a kickoff for a touchdown is worth 20,000.
  • This was the first game to successfuly translate American Football to video games, with clearly defined players on a field, laying the turf for the Madden series.

Mat Mania (1985)

Another Technōs Japan game, Mat Mania puts you in the boots of wrestler Dynamite Tommy as you take on a series of opponents.

  • Your goal is to rise through the ranks of the Taito Wrestling Association, fighting characters including Insane Warrior and Golden Hulk, with matches presented as if they're on television. 
  • In 1989, Technōs Japan released the first arcade game based on the WWF (now the WWE), with WWF Superstars starring famous figures such as Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior.

Super Sidekicks (1992)

The 1990s saw several high-quality football (soccer) games released, and SNK's Super Sidekicks for the Neo Geo is a fantastic arcade-style option.

  • Using just two action buttons, Super Sidekicks is a very accessible game compared to today's titles like EA Sports FC 24
  • The player can select from 12 national teams including England, Italy and Brazil, who compete for the SNK Cup.