Classic Arcade Games That Deserve Championship Editions

Henry Gilbert

No matter how fun new releases are, everyone loves a good retro game. Those classic hits still hold the same charm first seen in the arcades. Though that doesn’t mean they can’t be improved with some modern day polish. Just look at how fun Pac-Man gets when he’s shined up for Pac-Man Championship Edition 2.

Just look at that intense, techno-infused gameplay. So many of Pac-Man's arcade contemporaries deserve that same treatment. So why aren't more icons of gaming getting the same treatment? Here are five old-school arcade game championship editions that need to happen ASAP.

Donkey Kong

arcade game championship editions Donkey Kong Mario Nintendo

Donkey Kong may be the most famous arcade game ever, perhaps second only to Pac-Man. Yet, outside of a 1994 Game Boy game, Nintendo has never actually remixed its first big hit. A championship edition of the early platformer could take Mario back to his roots. You'd have the original pixel graphics spiffed up for HD. The early stages could quickly morph into more involved (and challenging) variations. And the soundtrack could expand on the simple original in fun ways with multiple remixes. Donkey Kong Championship Edition could even take a cue from Super Maio Maker by including a level editor. Put all that on the eShop and just watch the profits explode.

Missile Command

arcade game championship editions missile command atari

Missile Command is an ‘80s arcade classic that doesn’t get the love and respect it deserves, other than a brief cameo in Terminator 2 (because symbolism). Part of the reason could be the original’s use of a trackball, a control standard that hasn’t been in wide usage since Golden Tee. Missile Command Championship Edition could benefit from more modern controls. Something akin to Amplitude, Rock Band Blitz, or the upcoming Thumper would work nicely. Instead of defending six different bases by aiming and intercepting missiles, you could jump from base to base on a moving track and enter the proper commands at just the right time, all in time with a techno soundtrack. This definitely fits in with juggling aspect and frantic nature of the original, but with an all-new Championship Edition remix. [Entry by Matthew Allen, Executive Games Editor]

Dig Dug

arcade game championship editions dig dug namco

At one time, Dig Dug was Namco's most famous mascot behind Pac-Man. In the decades since there was the spiritual sequel Mr. Driller, but that's about it for Dig Dug. Namco shouldn't let Pac-Man have all the championship edition fun! Let Taizo Hori loose to dig underground and explode dinosaurs once more, only with better visuals and music. A Dig Dug Championship Edition could include stringing together as many enemies as possible to blow them up simultaneously. Or how about zooming the camera way out to show massive underground tunnels available to you? Most importantly, though, I demand that a Dig Dug Championship Edition include a remix of Chubby Checker's unused Dig Dug song.


arcade game championship editions outrun, out run sega classic

I’ll be honest, I haven’t played OutRun since the version inside another Yu Suzuki classic, Shenmue II. Part of the reason is that the OutRun formula had just gotten so stale. You can only cruise around in a sweet Ferrari Testarossa listening to rockin’ tunes so much, ya know? OutRun could benefit from a Championship Edition makeover. Every time you pass a checkpoint, OutRun Championship Edition would get faster and faster, with a change in scenery, car, and an all-new remixed song inspired by the original classic soundtrack by Hiroshi Kawaguchi. Then layer in the original game’s unique nonlinear gameplay by allowing you to choose different paths to take in each race, and you have a game with the potential to be featured in another Suzuki game years from now. Maybe Shenmue III[Entry by Matthew Allen, Executive Games Editor]


arcade game championship editions

Frogger is a classic that has been remade or reinterpreted many times. Those updated versions almost always stuck closely to the original gameplay -- sometimes a little too closely, to be honest. Sometimes they used the license for an entirely different game type, such as the Frogger Adventures platformers. But imagine if you took the classic Frogger gameplay mechanics and dropped them into a rhythm game in the vein of Crypt of the NecroDancer. Not only would Frogger have to avoid obstacles like cars and alligators. Now he'd have to do so to the beat of a remixed soundtrack. Make it an endless roguelike hopper like the Frogger-inspired Crossy Road, and you’ve got a Frogger Championship Edition with (frog)legs. [Entry by Matthew Allen, Executive Games Editor]

Were there any big ones that we missed? Tell us in a reply to out Twitter, @GetFandom.

Henry Gilbert
Henry Gilbert is Senior Games Editor at Fandom. He's worked in the gaming press since 2008, writing for sites as diverse as GamesRadar, IGN, and Paste Magazine. He's also been known to record a podcast or two with Laser Time. Follow him on Twitter @henereyg.
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