Video games as we know them now got their start in arcades, where real coin-operated machines like pinball and skill cranes were popular.

In spite of classics such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders, as well as contemporary hits such as Time Crisis 5 and Star Wars Battle Pod, arcade games are no longer as popular as they once were. However, there is still a great deal of respect for the aesthetics and craftsmanship of cabinet-based video games.

So, without further ado, let’s take a journey down memory lane and look back on some of the best arcade games you may have grown up with if you were a young gamer throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Crazy Taxi
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Driving games are a dime a dozen in arcades, so when Capcom decided to add a cab driving touch to the formula, it was an instant hit. Crazy Taxi, which focuses on stunt driving and racing against the clock to carry customers, provided a unique type of challenge to players, and the game’s ska and pop-punk-inspired soundtrack helped it stand out from the crowd.

Metal Slug X
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The revised version of Metal Slug 2, which is unquestionably the best entry in the series, included a slew of enhancements and additions to the original. It was similar to a DLC expansion that the majority of people were unaware they had purchased. As the game progressed, the scope and scale of events increased, with up to two players battling mummies and alien invaders while doing everything they could to avoid being killed by errant gunshots.

Taiko no Tatsujin
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On paper, rhythmic percussion-based gameplay may not appear to be new, but being able to perform the Doraemon theme song flawlessly in front of your friends and family is an experience that will stay with you for a long time. That’s why every arcade should have a Taiko no Tatsujin arcade cabinet, a game that makes drumming accessible to anyone who wants to learn.

Dance Dance Revolution
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If the Taiko games made players feel like they were real percussionists, Dance Dance Revolution transformed everyone into a true master of the boogie. When I was growing up, having an arcade DDR cabinet was a huge deal, and the home console plastic pad version simply paled in contrast to that. Despite the fact that there are many various types of rhythm games available now, none can compare to the explosion that was DDR.

Daytona USA
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A Nascar racing setup, replete with the option of an automatic or manual transmission, was the setting for this 1994 classic, which gave five-year-olds the opportunity to drive. The fact that Daytona USA cabinets can still be seen in lines of four in Southeast Asian arcades today, despite the fact that it is a time capsule from the 1990s, demonstrates just how influential the game has been.

Tekken 3
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It’s true that any Tekken game would have been the shining pillar of an arcade in the late ’90s and early ’00s, but for our money, Tekken 3 is the game of choice. The first two games laid the groundwork for this revolutionary new type of arcade fighter, and Tekken 3 essentially refined it in every manner imaginable on top of that.

Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara

Fighting games such as beat ’em ups were popular in the 1990s, but fantasy co-op adventures disguised as fighting games were even more popular. Extremely unusual occurrence. Because of this, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara and its predecessor are must-play titles, particularly because they faithfully mimic the role-playing aspect of the tabletop games while keeping the gameplay fast and enjoyable.

House of the Dead
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This zombie shooter may not have been as action-packed as the aforementioned Time Crisis series, but House of the Dead symbolized something more significant. In order to prove their mettle against older siblings, younger siblings picked it up; its B-movie charm was irresistible to children who grew up watching Scary Movie; and it was, for the most part, a wonderful co-op game.

Captain Commando
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While more well-known beat ’em ups such as The Simpsons Arcade Game and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time are warmly remembered, it’s impossible not to adore Captain Commando and his zany band of misfits in Captain Commando. Whether you’re taking on the role of a hip hop mummy or a mech-controlling infant, Captain Commando is a charming and engaging game that delivers on both appeal and playability.

Mario Kart GP
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Growing up in Southeast Asia, it’s likely that most of us didn’t have access to a Nintendo home system until the release of the Wii. As a result, access to the company’s distinctive games was restricted to portable systems at the time of their release. Because most of us got to race as Mario and the crew in Mario Kart GP and its sequel, which were arcade-exclusive experiences that were significantly more immersive than any of the home releases, we were in for a treat.