Today everyone is enamored with the newest console games from Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation, but when it comes down to it, it’s hard to beat the classics. And I mean the true classics: good ol’ arcade games. Unfortunately, actually going to the arcade isn’t as easy as it was in 1984. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy these games! Mobile apps have thankfully not forgotten arcade games, and many of them still keep the retro vibe while finding a fresh, modern twist. So keep your quarters in your pocket and download these six apps that put the arcade in your hands.

Q*bert Rebooted

Q*bert Rebooted arcade app

Available on: Android, iOS

Q*bert knows how to stick around. The foul-mouthed little oddball is one of those classic arcade icons that seems to never go away. Maybe you remember the Q*bert cartoons of the ’80s or the NES adaptation? Regardless of your gaming background, you’ve probably come across the round little orange guy with googly eyes. He’s just as much an icon as Mario or Pac-Man, even if he doesn’t have the same cred.

Thanks to Sony, Gonzo Games, and Sideline Amusements, we now have a way to play this classic anytime. Q*bert Rebooted is a dual-entry mobile game that gives us the choice to go classic or contemporary. The original game is ready to play with almost identical controls to the source despite missing the joystick element, and the reboot puts a new spin on an old favorite. This solid mobile title is an excellent blend of golden era gaming and modern free-to-play fun. Q*bert is still a joy, even 35 years after debuting in arcades.

[Andrew Hawkins, Fan Contributor]

Crazy Taxi: City Rush


Available on: Android, iOS

Sega has been making arcade games even longer than console games, and Crazy Taxi was one of its biggest in 1999. The chaotic racing game of pushed you to take folks from point A to B worked great in arcades, as well as on consoles like the Dreamcast, PS2, and Xbox. And that gameplay still works well as a free-to-play app in Crazy Taxi: City Rush.

The fun music is there, as are the combos for smoothly dodging other cars and drifting. Crazy Taxi: City Rush maybe has a few too many bonuses to spend real world currency on, but before you ever spend a penny, you’ll get a good deal of silly ride-sharing fun first.

[Henry Gilbert, Senior Games Editor]

Galaga Wars


Available on: Android, iOS

If you’ve played it even once, you know that the 1981 game Galaga is dangerously addicting. Bandai Namco‘s Galaga Wars takes that addiction and multiplies it by a thousand, it’s that good. The first major difference you’ll notice is that instead of your ship being stuck at the bottom, you can move it all around the screen, which adds a whole new range of gameplay.

There’s also unique power-ups you can earn for a handful of different ships (most of which you have to buy, regrettably). These let you kill enemies beyond your standard bullets. The game also updates the classic 8-bit look with stunning new space backgrounds. It’s easy to get mesmerized by these graphics, but Galaga Wars definitely succeeds in pulling its predecessor’s gameplay into the age of apps.

[Chrissie Miille, Fan Contributor]

Galaxy Shooter: Space Invaders

Available on: Android

A relatively new addition to the Space Invaders franchise, this game delivers the unique challenges of the classic games but breathes new life into the franchise by allowing touch capabilities. The motions allow the game to move and feel like a truly unique, evolved video game while recalling the classic motivation to succeed against ships designed to pose a challenge. It adds new dimensions with a fully mobile defender ship and the approach of utilizing the capabilities of the touch screen.

The game in and of itself doesn’t provide the most advanced smart phone graphics but has a throwback to more indie-based games of the early 2000s. Truly a game that offers up nostalgia, fun, and a massive challenge with its levels-based systems, active graphics, and the unique feel of both classic and updated gameplay. This Space Invaders truly seems like a missed gem in the Google Play store.

[Thomas Wilson, Fan Contributor]

Super Mario Run


Available on: Android, iOS

Nintendo held back on supporting the mobile gaming boom for years and years. When it finally made its move, the publisher was ready with its biggest star of all time and his most popular gameplay style. Super Mario Run takes the look and feel of the hit New Super Mario Bros. franchise, then translates it into the single input action of an endless runner.

The visuals have all the feel of the recent Mario games, while the light action and quick stages are just bite-sized enough to play in short bursts. Super Mario Run might not have as much of the hidden depth as its console counterparts, but its daily challenges and goals do a great job of pulling you back in even after you’ve conquered Bowser.

[Henry Gilbert, Senior Games Editor]

Pac-Man 256


Available on: Android, iOS

Pac-Man is, without a doubt, the King of the Arcade, nearly synonymous with the word itself. The pellet muncher is also a prime candidate to make into an amazing app, and Bandai Namco’s Pac-Man 256 accomplishes just that. The app adds a 3D dynamic to the core game and lets you choose from a variety of maze themes to play, from the classic arcade design to a retro “Moon Lander” theme. The gameplay itself stays fresh as well with several new elements.

Instead of aiming to clear the board, the maze never ends and your goal is to munch on 256 Pac-Dots in a row, making it an addicting, intense challenge. In addition, you can collect coins to unlock and level up new power-ups. These abilities let you kill ghosts in additional ways to the power pellet – yet another way this app breathes new life into the legendary classic.

[Chrissie Miille, Fan Contributor]

Chrissie
Chrissie Miille is a Fan Contributor for Fandom and an admin on the Danny Phantom Wiki. When not watching Danny Phantom, Gravity Falls, or Voltron, she's usually neck-deep in another fandom, following the Warriors, listening to Michael Jackson, or stargazing.