ByMarcus O'Shea, writer at
Resident RPG nerd and SoulsBorne fanatic. Can be spotted by their floofy hair.
Marcus O'Shea

For those of us old enough to remember the hey-day of the arcade, it was a magical time. Bright lights, shining colors, announcer's voices screaming the names of like stall-owners at some market trying to get your attention. Even the occasional drug dealer loitering in the back felt like something out of a beautiful dream, especially if you bought his drugs, which I hope none of you did (you got the good stuff from Steve behind the Burger King anyway).

The Arcade Game Intros That Made Us Want To Waste Our Quarters

There were a lot of games competing for your time. As time went on they got more elaborate, with fancy seats, full sized replica motorbikes and dance pads. But the best games knew that to lure you in, all they needed was a totally rad intro movie. It wasn't called 'attract mode' for nothing.

6. 'Tekken 3'

had a certain knack for amazing Arcade intros, as we'll find out later in the list, and Tekken 3 is no exception. From the first moment you see Jin's pretty face surrounded by flames and the rockin' soundtrack kicks in, you know you're in for a ride.

Even the free-play demo mode is backed by some amazing tunes, the kind of thing that would play in a 90s movie while the hero had a gunfight in a rave club that was probably full of vampires. The only way it could have been better is if it had been the PlayStation intro.

5. 'The Simpsons' Arcade Game

This one might be nostalgia talking, but nothing drew me to its arcade cabinet quite as fast as The Simpsons's beat 'em up game. Perhaps it was that heavenly choir of the opening theme that tickled my love of seeing episodes every evening. Perhaps it was the blaring saxophone and cacophony of the iconic theme song.

Or maybe it was the bizarre choice to make Lisa's catch phrase 'embrace nothingness' like she was out there nihilistically murdering fools even before the action began. Lisa, you wanna talk to a professional or something?

4. 'Marvel Vs. Capcom: Clash Of The Superheros'

Hello arcade-goer, my name is Marvel Vs. Capcom and I hold every fantastical nerd dream of yours in a single box. That's what the intro called out when I passed it by as a young geek.

The hyper-kinetic soundtrack perfectly complimented the constantly flashing colors and shifting sprites of MvC's intro video, which was so garish and eye-searing I'm surprised it didn't cause a seizure in me. Instead it hypnotized me into spending my weekly allowance getting alternately destroyed by the CPU and a Singaporean kid three years younger than me. Now that the series is finally getting a new iteration, I can get destroyed over the internet instead.

4. 'Final Fight'

I had to throw a true classic in there somewhere. For me, nothing of the era tops the intro to Final Fight. Things start off plain, with a bit of narrative text over the map, but it's the moment when you see the words "Somewhere in the 1990s" that it really kicks off.

The soundtrack that kicks in is kick-ass enough to leave you air-guitaring in the arcade and is perfect for pumping you up to feed your money into the machine. The best bit though, comes when you discover that Mike Haggar isn't just the angry mayor that will send your two kung-fu fighting dudes on their quest. He's along for the ride, and he's pissed. Sorry generic pretty-boys, I'm playing the dude with the awesome stache and pile driver.

3. 'Alien Vs. Predator'

Speaking of pile drivers, it's hard to think of anything that could get me more excited for a game than the promise of delivering an honest-to-god Xenomorph. Since I first saw Alien and Aliens on VCR (my parents were not the best at filtering my media consumption) I've dreamed of two things: Aliens invading earth and kicking ass. Also being murdered by Aliens in a lot of nightmares. Again, my parents really should have payed more attention to what I was watching.

Alien Vs. Predator delivered something that no Alien movie, even the long-awaited crossover films, ever could. A full scale Alien invasion of a city on earth, complete with colonial marines and scary but honorable predators. Add the fact that there's dozens of new Alien variations we'd never seen and the aforementioned ability to pile driver them, and you've got a magical recipe for getting my allowance.

2. 'Metal Slug'

Metal Slug's intro works because of its simplicity. It doesn't need fancy story, it doesn't need cut scenes, all it needs is to show you the gameplay in all its brutal, frenetic glory. The sight of nazi-looking soldiers getting mown down in comical sprays of blood, the screaming of the announcer naming every weapon upgrade and the rain of explosions after the demo player jumps in the tank, it was all so perfect. By the time the announcer yelled "METAL SLUG" you were already reaching for your velcro wallet.

1. 'The House Of The Dead'

As a kid, I consumed a lot of horror movies (again, thanks mom and dad). Despite the nightmares, screaming and the hurried night-time sprints to the bathroom, I just couldn't get enough. So when I saw The House Of The Dead in the arcade, the red glow of its screen playing over the handles of the light guns alluringly, I knew I had to check it out.

When I saw the demo movie playing in the , I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. The organ music brought me back to the classic Hammer movies I'd watched with my dad, while the sight of getting bloody chunks blown off them looked straight out of the more brutal titles I'd snuck past my parents. I didn't even mind the terrible voice acting; once you've watched enough bad horror, that slides right off. It was the announcer's voice that sealed the deal though, that gravelly, sinister cry as the logo came up.


I knew I was going to be on it all day.

What were your favorite arcade games? Any current ones you love? Got a fave game intro on the arcade or at home? Let us know in the comments!


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