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Arcade Shooting Games: How to Find and Play the Rarest and Most Valuable Games

Arcade Shooting Games: A Blast from the Past

If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, chances are you have fond memories of playing arcade shooting games. These games were some of the most popular and exciting attractions in any arcade, offering players a chance to shoot their way through hordes of enemies, aliens, zombies, and more. Whether you used a light gun, a joystick, or a trackball, you felt like a badass as you blasted your way to the high score.

But what are arcade shooting games exactly? How did they evolve over time? What makes them so fun and addictive? And where can you play them today? In this article, we will answer these questions and more, as we take a look at some of the best arcade shooting games of all time. Let's get started!

arcade shooting games

What are arcade shooting games?

Arcade shooting games are video games that involve shooting at targets on a screen, using either a physical or a virtual controller. They are also known as shooters, shoot 'em ups, or shmups. Arcade shooting games are different from other genres of video games, such as first-person shooters or third-person shooters, because they usually have a fixed perspective and limited movement. They also tend to focus more on fast-paced action and scoring points than on story or realism.

The history of arcade shooting games

The first arcade shooting games were not even video games, but rather mechanical devices that actually fired pellets at physical objects within the cabinet. These games were popular in the 1930s and 1940s, and were often based on hunting or carnival themes. Some examples of these early shooters are Seeburg Ray-O-Lite (1936), Seeburg Shoot the Bear (1949), and Midway's Shooting Gallery (1950).

The first video game that resembled an arcade shooter was Spacewar! (1962), which was developed by Steve Russell at MIT. It was a two-player game that involved piloting spaceships and firing missiles at each other. However, Spacewar! was not intended for commercial use, and was only played on university computers.

The first commercially successful video game that featured shooting was Space Invaders (1978), which was created by Tomohiro Nishikado at Taito. It was a fixed shooter game that had players defending the Earth from waves of alien invaders. Space Invaders was a huge hit, and spawned many imitators and sequels. It also influenced other genres of video games, such as platformers and puzzle games.

The types of arcade shooting games

Over the years, arcade shooting games have diversified into many subgenres, each with its own characteristics and gameplay mechanics. Here are some of the most common types of arcade shooting games:

Light gun shooters

Light gun shooters are games that use a light gun as a controller, which is a device that emits a beam of light when the trigger is pulled. The game detects where the light hits on the screen, and registers it as a shot. Light gun shooters usually have realistic graphics and settings, such as police stations, haunted houses, or war zones. Some examples of light gun shooters are Duck Hunt (1984), Operation Wolf (1987), Time Crisis (1995), House of the Dead (1996), and Virtua Cop (1996).

Run and gun shooters

Run and gun shooters are games that combine shooting with platforming elements, such as jumping, climbing, and dodging obstacles. Run and gun shooters usually have cartoonish graphics and humorous tones, such as robots, aliens, or zombies. Some examples of run and gun shooters are Contra (1987), Metal Slug (1996), Gunstar Heroes (1993), and Metal Slug (1996).

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Fixed shooters

Fixed shooters are games that have a fixed screen, where the player can only move left and right, or up and down, and shoot at enemies that come from the opposite direction. Fixed shooters usually have simple graphics and abstract themes, such as space, geometric shapes, or insects. Some examples of fixed shooters are Space Invaders (1978), Galaxian (1979), Galaga (1981), and Centipede (1980).

Rail shooters

Rail shooters are games that have a predetermined path that the player follows, while shooting at enemies that appear on the screen. Rail shooters usually have 3D graphics and immersive settings, such as jungles, cities, or futuristic landscapes. Some examples of rail shooters are Star Fox (1993), Panzer Dragoon (1995), Star Wars: Rebel Assault (1993), and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007).

Why are arcade shooting games so fun?

Arcade shooting games are fun for many reasons, but here are some of the most common ones:

The thrill of shooting

Shooting is an instinctive and primal activity that appeals to many people. It gives a sense of power, control, and satisfaction, especially when you hit your target. Shooting also releases adrenaline and dopamine in the brain, which make you feel excited and happy.

The challenge of aiming

Aiming is a skill that requires concentration, coordination, and precision. It is a challenge that tests your reflexes, accuracy, and timing. Aiming also adds a strategic element to the game, as you have to decide when and where to shoot, and how to conserve your ammo.

The variety of enemies and environments

Arcade shooting games offer a wide range of enemies and environments to shoot at, which keep the game interesting and unpredictable. You never know what you will face next, whether it is a giant boss, a swarm of aliens, or a hidden trap. You also get to explore different settings, such as outer space, ancient temples, or haunted mansions.

The social aspect of playing with others

Arcade shooting games are often designed for multiplayer modes, where you can play with or against other players. This adds a social aspect to the game, as you can cooperate with your friends, compete with your rivals, or chat with other gamers. Playing with others also increases the fun factor, as you can share your experiences, tips, and jokes.

What are some of the best arcade shooting games of all time?

There are many arcade shooting games that are considered classics by fans and critics alike. Here are some of the best ones:


Time Crisis1995Light gun shooterA game that introduced a pedal system that allowed players to duck and reload their weapons.

Metal Slug1996Run and gun shooterA game that featured hand-drawn graphics, humorous animations, and over-the-top action.

Galaga1981Fixed shooterA game that improved on its predecessor Galaxian by adding more enemies, bonus stages, and the ability to capture enemy ships.

Doom1993Rail shooterA game that popularized the first-person shooter genre by having players fight demons in hell.

How to play arcade shooting games online?

If you want to play arcade shooting games online, you have several options:

The benefits of playing online

Playing online has many benefits over playing in an actual arcade. For one thing, you don't have to pay any coins or tokens to play. You also don't have to wait in line or deal with noisy crowds. You can play anytime and anywhere you want, as long as you have an internet connection. You can also access a larger variety of games than what an arcade can offer.

The best websites to play online shooting gamesThere are many websites that offer online shooting games for free, without the need to download or install anything. You can play these games on your browser, using your keyboard and mouse, or your touchscreen. Here are some of the b


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