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Top 10 Highest-Grossing Arcade Games of All Time

16 May, 2024
Written by
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Elizaveta Latinskaya
Reviewed by
Aigerim Ercik
Aigerim Ercik
Top 10 Highest-Grossing Arcade Games of All Time

Arcade games have been the cornerstone of gaming culture for decades, creating unforgettable moments for players worldwide. Their immersive gameplay, challenging mechanics, and social aspect made them a dominant force in gaming. The following are the top 10 of the most popular arcade games. They have not only influenced the gaming landscape but also set benchmarks in sales and gameplay, giving them enduring popularity. We focused on modern arcade games and presented their revenue for the last year.

How we calculate Our high-load parsers scrape the web and our marketing analysts process the data to provide up-to-date information for business.
Rank Game Genre Developer Publisher Platform Release Date
1 Forza Horizon Racing Playground Games Microsoft Studios Xbox 360 October 23, 2012
2 Mortal Kombat Fighting, Action-adventure Midway Games Midway Games, Williams Entertainment, Warner Bros. Games Amiga, Android, Arcade, Dreamcast, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, GameCube, Game Gear, Game.com, iOS, Windows, Master System, MS-DOS, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, R-Zone, 32X, Sega CD, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Super NES, Stadia, TV game, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S. August 1992
3 F1 Racing Codemasters, EA Redwood Shores, EA UK, Feral Interactive, Image Space Incorporated, Intelligent Games, Sumo Digital, Tiertex Design Studios, Visual Science EA sports, Codemasters Android, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Linux, Macintosh operating systems, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Vita, Stadia, tvOS, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S. February 29, 2000
4 TEKKEN Fighting Bandai Namco Studios Bandai Namco Entertainment Android, Arcade, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Portable, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S. September 21, 1994
5 Need for Speed Racing Criterion Games Electronic Arts 3DO, Android, Arcade, Game Boy Advance, iOS, Kindle Fire, Mac OS X, Windows, Mobile game, MS-DOS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, GameCube, Nintendo Switch, OS X, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Saturn, Wii, Wii U, Windows Mobile, Windows Phone, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Zeebo. December, 1994
6 The Crew Racing Ubisoft Ivory Tower, Ubisoft Reflections Ubisoft PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One December 2, 2014
7 DRAGON BALL Fighting, role-playing Various Bandai, Banpresto, Infogrames, Atari SA, Bandai Namco Entertainment Super Cassette Vision, NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis, Playdia, PC Engine, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, GameCube, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, PlayStation Vita, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, WonderSwan Color, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Portable, Mobile Phone, Android, iOS, iPadOS September 27, 1986
8 Street Fighter Fighting game Capcom, Dimps Capcom 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, Amiga, Amiga CD32, Amstrad CPC, Android, Arcade, Atari ST, BlackBerry, Commodore 64, CPS Changer, Dreamcast, Fujitsu FM Towns, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, iOS, Java ME, Master System, Microsoft Windows, Mobile phone, MS-DOS, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Switch, PC Engine, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PocketStation, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Sharp X68000, Steam, Super NES/Super Nintendo, TurboGrafx-16, Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, ZX Spectrum. August 30, 1987
9 ACE COMBAT Combat flight simulator Namco, Bandai Namco Studios, Access Games Bandai Namco Entertainment PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Mobile phone, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PC, iOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 June 30, 1995
10 Injustice Fighting NetherRealm Studios Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Windows, iOS, Android, Arcade. April 16, 2013

The Evolution of Arcade Games

Arcade games, a symbol of pop culture in the 1970s and 1980s, ignited the video gaming revolution with titles like Pac-Man and Space Invaders. These games offered simple yet addictive gameplay, attracting a diverse audience to bustling arcade centers. The cabinets themselves, featuring colorful artwork and compelling digital sounds, were as much a draw as the gameplay, providing a tangible, social experience that home consoles couldn’t initially replicate. However, as technology advanced, the rise of home gaming systems in the late 1980s and early 1990s, equipped with improving graphics and capabilities, began to eclipse the arcade’s allure. Players could now enjoy a growing library of games without leaving their homes, diminishing the arcade’s appeal as a novel entertainment destination.

Despite this decline, arcades have retained a niche appeal, especially among enthusiasts and retro gamers. Modern arcades have diversified by integrating other forms of entertainment like virtual reality experiences, barcades combining drink and play, and venues focusing on competitive gaming events. These elements, along with the nostalgia for classic arcade video games, continue to draw dedicated gamers, maintaining a vibrant if smaller, arcade culture.

10 The Most Popular Arcade Games

1. Forza Horizon


Revenue: $410,000,000
Release Date: 2012

Forza Horizon rightfully leads the top of the highest grossing arcade games. It revolutionized the racing genre by creating an open-world playground that captured both competitive racing and exploration. Set in the Colorado landscape and inspired by the Horizon Festival, the game mixed motorsport competition with a celebration of car culture. Players were free to roam the open world, participate in races, perform stunts, or simply cruise through varied environments. This blend of activities, coupled with a dynamic day-night cycle and realistic weather conditions, made every session feel fresh. The extensive car customization options and diverse race types catered to casual drivers and racing enthusiasts alike.

The game’s commercial success stemmed from its strong appeal to a broad audience, its visually stunning graphics, and its addictive gameplay loop, which encouraged exploration and competition. As an Xbox exclusive, it harnessed the platform’s full power, delivering a seamless gaming experience that set a high bar for future racing games. With each sequel, Forza Horizon solidified itself as a leading franchise, continuing to captivate players with its innovative approach to racing.

2. Mortal Kombat


Revenue: $103,000,000
Release Date: 1992

Mortal Kombat burst onto the arcade scene in 1992, shocking the world with its brutal fighting mechanics and over-the-top finishing moves, known as “Fatalities.” It can be called nowadays as old school arcade game. It pits a roster of unique warriors against each other in a tournament held by the sorcerer Shang Tsung. Its success was driven by a combination of compelling characters like Scorpion and Sub-Zero, each with their own fighting styles and special moves, and a dark, mystical storyline. The game’s lifelike, digitized characters and gory violence set it apart from competitors, attracting a massive audience while sparking controversy that only bolstered its fame.

It was this notoriety, along with its addictive multiplayer mode and technical combat system, that cemented Mortal Kombat as a dominant force in fighting games. Released initially in arcades, it swiftly expanded to home consoles and PCs, building a legacy that led to sequels, movies, and a dedicated esports following. The formula of balancing skill-based fighting with cinematic flair made it a perennial favorite and a commercial powerhouse.

3. F1

Revenue: $99,950,000
Release Date: 2000

The F1 series captures the essence of Formula 1 racing, offering players the chance to live out the thrill and strategy of being a professional driver. With accurate depictions of circuits worldwide, the game brings to life the intense competition of motorsport. Players manage tire strategies, pit stops, and fuel efficiency while competing against AI or real players. The addition of a comprehensive career mode allowed players to build their racing legacy from rookie to champion.

Released initially on arcade cabinets before finding a home on consoles and PCs, F1 excelled due to its precision simulation, providing a realistic driving experience that rewards careful planning and consistent performance. Its deep customization options and authentic presentation of Formula 1 culture resonated strongly with fans of the sport, helping it reach massive commercial success.

4. TEKKEN

Revenue: $73,450,000
Release Date: 1994

TEKKEN brought fresh dynamics to the fighting genre with its 3D combat and intricate martial arts moves. The story centers around the Mishima family feud, but it’s the wide range of playable characters, each with their unique fighting style, that sets it apart. Players learn to master their favorite characters’ combos and special moves while maneuvering in three-dimensional arenas.

Released first in arcades, its smooth mechanics, competitive multiplayer mode, and cinematic flair quickly made it a hit. Transitioning to PlayStation consoles solidified its legacy, bringing fighting game enthusiasts into an evolving world of intense rivalry, creative storylines, and technical gameplay.

5. Need for Speed

Revenue: $71,960,000
Release Date: 1994

Need for Speed tapped into the underground world of illegal street racing, offering players the thrill of high-speed pursuits and the creativity of car customization. Set against a backdrop of neon-lit cities, highways, and police roadblocks, players compete in street races or dodge law enforcement. The game balances arcade-like fun with realistic driving physics, keeping racers engaged through varied challenges and unique vehicle upgrades.

Initially released on the 3DO console before expanding to other platforms, its engaging gameplay and high-quality graphics captivated players worldwide. The combination of arcade-style action, realistic graphics, and car culture brought together a loyal community of racers.

6. The Crew

Revenue: $67,140,000
Release Date: 2014

The Crew brought an expansive open-world approach to the racing genre, letting players explore a scaled-down version of the United States while forming “crews” to tackle missions and challenges together. With cities, deserts, mountains, and coastlines to traverse, the world felt rich and diverse. The game blended multiplayer competition with social elements and RPG-like progression, offering various vehicles to customize.

Initially available for consoles and PC, it stood out for its sheer scale, engaging both solo players and friends seeking a team-based adventure. The cooperative gameplay, combined with a visually impressive world and varied challenges, made it a commercial success.

7. DRAGON BALL

Revenue: $57,500,000
Release Date: 1986

DRAGON BALL transformed the arcade fighting genre by bringing iconic anime characters to life in epic battles. Players control heroes and villains like Goku, Vegeta, and Frieza, each wielding their signature moves in colorful, fast-paced fights. The game incorporated a storyline that mirrored the beloved anime series, offering single-player and multiplayer modes.

The game can be attributed to 80s arcade. Its origins and subsequent home console releases capitalized on the massive popularity of the Dragon Ball franchise, capturing the nostalgia of anime fans while delivering accessible yet deep gameplay. The dynamic special moves, recognizable characters, and competitive spirit ensured its commercial success.

8. Street Fighter

Revenue: $41,230,000
Release Date: 1987

Street Fighter pioneered the competitive fighting game genre with its innovative controls, special moves, and a wide cast of characters. Players engage in martial arts battles across the globe, mastering characters like Ryu and Chun-Li, each with their unique styles. Its precise timing and strategic mechanics rewarded skill and memorization, while the multiplayer component helped it gain traction as a social experience.

Released first as an arcade game, Street Fighter evolved into a major console presence, driving competitive gaming and esports. Its accessible yet complex fighting system, coupled with its iconic characters, built a legacy that has endured for decades.

9. ACE COMBAT

Revenue: $37,000,000
Release Date: 1995

ACE COMBAT redefined the aerial combat genre by offering gripping dogfights in fictional geopolitical conflicts. Players take to the skies in modern fighter jets, completing a variety of missions from escorting allies to engaging enemy aircraft in thrilling battles. The game features smooth controls, detailed environments, and a rich storyline that keeps players engaged.

Initially an arcade game, it soon made its way to consoles, where its blend of realistic flight mechanics and compelling narrative set it apart from other simulators. This combination of storytelling and gameplay ensured a strong following among flight enthusiasts.

10. Injustice

Revenue: $30,500,000
Release Date: 2013

Injustice pits DC Comics heroes and villains against each other in a dark, alternate universe where Superman becomes a tyrant. The game’s deep story mode follows Batman’s rebellion against Superman’s regime, blending intricate fighting mechanics with cinematic storytelling. Players choose from characters like Wonder Woman, The Flash, and The Joker, each wielding their signature powers in brutal fights.First released on consoles and later on mobile devices, Injustice became a hit due to its rich narrative, deep roster, and balanced gameplay. Its innovative mechanics and competitive multiplayer mode resonated with both comic book fans and fighting game enthusiasts.

1. How have arcade games impacted modern gaming?

Arcade games laid the groundwork for competitive gaming, multiplayer interaction, and iconic franchises. Their innovative mechanics have inspired today's video games.

2. Why are fighting games so popular in the arcade genre?

Fighting games deliver fast-paced action with a focus on mastery, character diversity, and competitive play, making them ideal for arcade environments.

3. Do arcade games still generate significant revenue today?

While physical arcade cabinets have declined, many classic arcade franchises have found new life on consoles, mobile devices, and PCs.

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