Best Arcade Games for Kids


kids at the arcade

What Arcade Games Are Best for Kids?

Arcade games are a highly interactive source of entertainment for people of all ages, especially kids. Playing these games can also come with a virtually unmatched amount of excitement, especially when it comes to competition or head-to-head games. If you’re looking to create bonding experiences and lasting memories while sharpening your kid’s motor and problem-solving skills, an arcade location can provide a truly ideal environment. In this article, we’ll discuss what arcade games are best for kids from the various types of arcade-style and other cool arcade games that are currently available for you to play with your kid or a group.

Arcade-Style Games

arcade games

When you’re looking for what arcade games are best for kids, you’re usually looking for something with a mixture of characteristics. You want to pursue specific games that develop your child’s skills, including their motor, problem-solving, and teamwork skills at various points. At the heart of the arcade games you choose to play with your kid, you also want a high degree of positive affirmation and confidence-boosting incentives, such as rewards, treasures, and various other possible accolades. There are so many different arcade-style games out there to choose from, so it can sometimes be challenging to find these qualities and make a final choice.

While there are so many different arcade games out there, a high quantity of quality games remain popular, and digital game developers continue to create more each day for the various consumer demographics. Some of the best arcade games for kids include Pac-Man, NBA Jam, Donkey Kong, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Galaga, and Out Run. In addition to some of these popular classic arcade games, some newer games to bring complexity to your arcade experience include games based on various famous television, movie, and game franchises. Each of these games combines valuable skills and diverse entertainment.


If your child thinks the cool arcade games are those with sports such as football or basketball, NBA Jam is a perfect choice. This game combines fantastical arcade action and basketball games for a sports experience like no other. NBA Jam has existing teams from the National Basketball Association but provides a fun and unique experience for gamers in contrast to other games that strive for ultra-realism. For players and fans of sports and arcade games alike, this game series is a complete package of creative entertainment and court action.

Donkey Kong

Another arcade game that continues to be at the top of classic arcade lists for a reason is Donkey Kong. What could be better to encourage and develop your child’s motor skills, including their quick reflexes and hand-eye coordination, than a game involving dodging, racing, and climbing your way to a top platform to save a character from a barrel-throwing gorilla? Donkey Kong is one of the first platform games and remains beloved by many generations as a unique and visually engaging arcade game you can enjoy right alongside your kid.



There are few things as iconic or lasting as the pie-shaped, yellow figure of Pac-Man, the main character of the same-named arcade game. In the original Pac-Man game, Pac-Man journeys throughout the maze settings to eat the dots in the maze lanes while also trying to avoid connecting with the present ghosts. The ghosts float throughout the maze and travel through the walls in a continued attempt to attack Pac-Man. You can lose track of time as you chomp, travel, dodge, and face new challenges.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Released as a sequel to Street Fighter, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior consists of eight characters from whom you choose a fighter for one-on-one strategy battles. One of the most famous fighting franchises, Street Fighter pits characters with individualized moves against each other. It’s limitless fun mastering the special moves of each character and exploring the endless character combinations for battles. There are also options for tournaments in Street Fighter II, with even more possibilities in the succeeding editions.


Another timeless game when you’re looking for arcade games for kids, as well as adults, is Galaga. There’s something for everyone in this game of space exploration and fixed shooter combat. Galaga is Namco’s first big video game and built a quick fan base of space and starship enthusiasts. You can enjoy avoiding projectiles and various enemies while destroying the Galaga forces present in each stage of the game. There’s so much joy and confidence-boosting to have as you capture ships, work to transform your fighter, and gain additional firepower.

Out Run

If you or your child enjoys digital racing games, Out Run delivers third-person driving gameplay complete with an interactive cabinet. The involved steering wheel and attached seat combine as a large part of the interactive play as you race to the finish line through traffic. Out Run continues to be highly engaging as players drive to complete races before time runs out. This game is also one of the first of its kind, effectively inspiring so many notable digital racing games that continue to release each year since its creation, such as Cruis’n World, Mario Kart, and Daytona USA.

Popular Culture Games

For your next kid’s birthday party or other special celebration, other popular culture games are a unique way to integrate popular culture and celebration activities. For example, if the people at your celebration delight in the Jurassic Park or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, you can make an arcade location one of your activity destinations for some interactive entertainment that features many of the beloved characters. Your group can delight in the various antics, backgrounds, and gameplay options available as you interact more deeply with the movies, television series, and games you love.

The Best Arcade Games for Your Kid

If you’re wondering what arcade games are best for kids, consider some of these top suggestions. For more ways to have engaging fun while developing valuable skills, browse Wintrust Sports Complex’s other entertainment options today.