Arcade games 🕹️ | Play For Free on GamePix (2024)

The Iconic Cabinet

If you’re under 30, you’ve probably never seen an arcade game in real life. You’ve maybe seen an arcade cabinet in a movie—they are iconic technology that instantly sets any story in the eighties. Like the cassette Walkman or the first, brick-sized mobile phones, arcade cabinets symbolize their era and the heady early years of consumer electronics.

Ping Pong to Pong

While there had been games on computers in some US colleges, and even a few coin-operated games, it wasn’t until 1972 that the coin-operated arcade cabinet really took off.

Atari was formed to release the world-famous Pong, a coin-operated arcade based on table tennis. Although most of us think of arcades as coming before home consoles, Pong was based on a similar game for the Magnavox Odyssey, the world’s first home games console.

Pong’s wild success drew many companies into the arcade-making business. Companies like Sega and Taito—which we think of as video games companies—were making pinball machines before Pong.

Big in The Eighties

Now that we all have immensely powerful gaming platforms in our pockets it’s almost impossible to believe how big computers used to be, even if you’re old enough to have used one of them. Moore’s Law—that computers double their power roughly every two years—means almost everybody alive today has seen constant, exponential improvement in the electronics they own. What once took up a room now fits easily in a wristwatch.

Arcade cabinets were big in both senses of the word. They were physically big, of course—usually as big as a fridge or bigger. They were also very heavy, with some weighing ¾ of a tonne or more.

They were also incredibly popular. Before you could get your hands on a games console for your home, the only place to get your gaming fix was the arcade. And people really wanted to play!

In an early sign of the behemoth that video games would become, Taito sold an estimated 160,000 Space Invaders cabinets in Japan and North America alone, making the game the highest grossing entertainment product of its time.

The Golden Years

The late seventies and early eighties were the golden age of arcade games. It was a time of huge innovation, with graphics, sound and gameplay all racing ahead as technology became more powerful.

Many games released in the golden era are still household names today, long after their heyday. From Pac-Man to Donkey Kong, even those that didn’t become huge franchises are well-known for their cultural impact.

The success of arcades across the globe began to wane in the nineties as home consoles took off. In the early years, at least, home consoles couldn’t match the power of the huge arcade machines, and so many would still hit the arcades to see the most advanced games and get a taste of what was coming soon to games consoles. Long before game expo events, arcades were a powerful way for game companies to deliver hype to their fans.

The Ingredients of Video Games

Many of the ingredients of modern gaming were refined on arcade machines in the golden era. The first arcade games were all about swallowing your coins. That meant providing you with short, sharp bursts of entertainment. They relied on the ‘just one more go’ mentality that still permeates much of gaming culture today, particularly in the mobile market.

The persistent high score, another first achieved by Space Invaders, brought a competitive social aspect to the game. Kids around the world pitted themselves against other kids in their area to get their name on the score-board. That shift, from video games as something you played against a machine, to something you could play against your friends—or enemies!—was the beginning of the P2P play. Today, you can enjoy P2P against anybody in the world, online with your console, desktop, mobile or tablet.

Even the age-old debate around video games and violence was born in this era, when arcade games first started featuring enemies that you could crush or shoot at. The fact that arcades used to be treated as gambling machines didn’t help their image much and it wasn’t until relatively recently that games became the normal, mainstream pastime that it is today.

The most consistent ingredient, of course, is the thrill you get from winning in a video game. The triumph over adversity that a challenging game can give is uniquely satisfying, and arcade games are maybe the purest version of that experience.

Arcade Games at Gamepix

Arcade games are snappy, intuitive and absorbing games, built from the same basic ingredients that gave us classics like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. They are stripped-down experiences that will please the purist in you. That’s what makes them so perfectly suited to the GamePix platform.

With no story to invest in, no complicated controls to master and no extensive levelling-up system to wrestle with, you can get straight into the action in seconds. If you’re a gamer who is used to more elaborate and ‘slow-build’ experiences, you may find the simplicity of a high-score incredibly liberating.

These games remain popular today because they are so easy and quick to play. They were designed to be played for minutes at a time, after all, so they fit easily into those short gaps in your day.

They also fit easily into your pocket and budget! Our browser games work on any device with no downloads or updating so you can play them on your phone or whatever else you have to hand, and you don’t have to keep feeding coins into the machine to carry on—they are all completely free! The flexibility of in-browser gaming means that our arcade games can take on almost any form, including adaptations of many of the old-school classics.

GamePix offers you the best modern arcade games which are based on those original classics. We also offer many of the classics themselves. Games that spawned whole genres of the modern games world and became bigger than any dared to imagine. For those wishing to relive the birth of gaming and see where it all started, there is really no better option.


Do arcade games count as video games?

Yes! Although far less common today than in the eighties, arcade games are arguably the definitive video games

Are arcade games free?

The arcade games cabinets of the eighties were notoriously good at making you spend money but the online arcade games we have here at Gamepix are 100% free to play with no installation necessary. They won’t cost you anything.

What are the most popular arcade?

  • Dogeminer
  • Dogeminer 2
  • Turbo Dismounting
  • Slope Racing 3D
  • Cat Clicker
  • Morphit
Arcade games 🕹️ | Play For Free on GamePix (2024)


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