The Easiest and Hardest Arcade Games of All Time

The Easiest and Hardest Arcade Games of All Time

If you’re going to purchase an arcade machine for your business or personal collection, your top question might be: "Is this game fun to play?" Well, that depends on the player and their idea of fun.

Some games are fun because they’re challenging. Others are fun because they provide an enjoyable experience for any skill level. Finding an arcade game with just the right difficulty is, well, difficult! But not to worry. We’ve taken some of the guesswork out of the equation with our list of the top 3 most easy and the top 3 hardest arcade games of all time. 

3 Easy Arcade Games

If you’ve been saving up your quarters, relax. You probably won’t need to burn through your change playing the games on this part of the list. We’ve compiled a few of the more easy arcade games to play. Check it out if you’re looking for something that’s fun for anyone who can reach the joystick!

Street Fighter II

A classic example of “easy to learn, hard to master.” If you’re looking to play your first fighting arcade game, Capcom’s Street Fighter II is a great introduction to the genre. Pick a character that you’re comfortable playing. Then, take the time you need to learn their combos as well as their special moves and super moves.

Once you master all these attacks, it shouldn’t take long for you to reach Bison and defeat him.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time

In this classic beat ‘em-up game from Konami, you get to play as one of the Ninja Turtles, fighting all sorts of Foot Clan members as well as Baxter Stockman, Tokka and Rahzar, Krang, and Shredder.

With up to four-player co-op, you and a few friends can team up to lower the difficulty and make it much easier to take out all the bad guys who walk out onto the screen.


Similar to Turtles in Time, the X-Men arcade game is a 4-player beat ‘em up from Konami. It’s much easier to win this game when you play with a group of friends who are good at mashing down the attack button quickly.

The 3 Hardest Arcade Games

If you’re searching for an epic challenge, look no further than these impossible arcade games. Part of the reason why even the best games from the 90s and 80s are so difficult is that the controls aren’t as responsive as the video game controls we’ve become accustomed to today.

The entrants on this list are deceptively difficult. Hopefully, you’ve saved up a fistful of quarters because you’ll need them if you plan to take down any of these classics.

Super Mario Bros.

In the original Mario Brothers game from 1985, you can speed through the first few levels fairly easily. But the game becomes more difficult as you advance through different worlds. Simple design and mechanics give way to increasingly complex level designs that require pattern memorization, timing, and precision. 

While subsequent Mario games become much easier to beat, the original has stood the test of time as a call back to the days of learning the ins and outs of each level in order to conquer them.


While it wasn’t the first of the shoot ‘em up games, Sinistar was and most certainly still is a challenging game.

In Sinistar, you control a spaceship while trying to fight off angry enemy ships that come at you from every possible angle. The action is constant and the screen is usually filled with enemies, making it difficult to be fully aware of all incoming attacks.

Meanwhile, you have to mine asteroids for crystals that are used to create bombs to fight off Sinistar — a giant, haunting skull-shaped spaceship.


This is another extremely difficult, outer-space-related game. Developed by Atari, Tempest offers a 3D layout where enemies use different lanes to attack you. Your goal is to blast them away and last as long as possible. But Tempest is the first game that allows you to select your starting level.

Easy vs Hard: Which Is Better?

After all this you might still be wondering, do you want a challenging arcade game or a simple one? That’s not an easy question to answer, and the answer depends on why you’re purchasing an arcade game and who will play it.

For Businesses 

If you operate an arcade or another type of business, you’ll first have to consider your audience. Do you cater to families? Or is your customer base older? Children will likely get more enjoyment out of an easier, simple arcade game. Meanwhile, a challenging game is a great way to draw in a crowd when a player is doing well. 

Also, consider your current selection of games and machines. Do you already offer plenty of games that are approachable and less of a challenge? Then it would probably be better to offer a variety and choose games that provide more of a challenge.

For Home Game Rooms

If you’re thinking of building a home game room or you already have one, knowing which games are right should be a little easier. The main consideration is who will play the game. Do you have younger children? Do they have friends they’ll invite over to play? If so, a game that’s a little more accessible might be ideal for them. 

No kids? Are they out of the house? An arcade game that’s a little harder might be a fun way to spend time with friends.


At M&P Amusement, you’ll find classic arcade games that challenge players, newer games that are fun for the entire family, and everything in between..

Check out our selection of new and used arcade games to find the perfect fit for your home or business. If you have any questions about our refurbished games and machines, please feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (717) 887-5293.

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