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Retro Gaming Roars Again: Ranking the Best 80s Beat-em-Up Arcade Games

Title: The Greatest 80s Arcade Beat-em-Up Games of All Time

The 80s was an era of neon lights, big hair, and epic arcade games. We all have our fond memories of standing at the arcade cabinet, mashing buttons, and putting in quarters to continue playing our favorite beat-em-up games. In this article, we will be ranking the best 80s arcade beat-em-up games, from the classics to the hidden gems. So, grab your joystick and let’s dive into the pixelated world of arcade gaming!

Section 1: What are Beat-em-Up Games?
Before we start ranking the best 80s beat-em-up games, let’s define what they are. Beat-em-up games are a subgenre of action arcade games that involve the player controlling a character who fights off waves of enemies in a side-scrolling environment. The gameplay usually involves using a combination of punches, kicks, and special moves to defeat the enemies and progress through the levels.

Section 2: Ranking the Best 80s Arcade Beat-em-Up Games
2.1 Double Dragon – Released in 1987, Double Dragon was a game that revolutionized the beat-em-up genre. The game follows the story of the Lee brothers as they try to rescue their girlfriend from a gang of thugs. With its co-op play, unique moves, and challenging gameplay, Double Dragon became an instant classic.

2.2 Streets of Rage – Released in 1989, Streets of Rage was Sega’s answer to Double Dragon. The game has the players controlling one of three characters, each with their own unique moves, as they fight against a criminal syndicate. The game’s memorable soundtrack, challenging levels, and multiple endings made it an instant hit.

2.3 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Released in 1989, this game was based on the popular cartoon and comic book series. The game features the four turtles fighting against the evil Shredder and his Foot Clan. With its four-player co-op mode and iconic characters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became an instant classic.

2.4 Final Fight – Released in 1989, Final Fight was a game that set the standard for future beat-em-up games. The game followed the story of the mayor’s daughter being kidnapped by a ruthless gang, and the player had to take down the gang’s leader to rescue her. With its memorable characters, challenging levels, and intense gameplay, Final Fight became a fan favorite.

2.5 Golden Axe – Released in 1989, Golden Axe was a game that combined beat-em-up gameplay with medieval fantasy. The game had the players controlling one of three characters as they fought against the evil Death Adder. With its unique setting, memorable characters, and fun gameplay, Golden Axe became a beloved classic.

Section 3: Honorable Mentions
3.1 Kung-Fu Master – Released in 1984, this game was one of the first beat-em-up games. The game had the player control a martial artist fighting his way through five levels to rescue his girlfriend. Though not as flashy as later games, Kung-Fu Master set the foundation for future beat-em-up games.

3.2 Altered Beast – Released in 1988, this game was famous for its memorable opening line “Rise from your grave!” The game follows a centurion who is brought back to life by Zeus to rescue his daughter. The game’s unique power-up mechanic, where the player can transform into different beasts, made it a fan favorite.

3.3 Renegade – Released in 1986, Renegade was a game that followed a man fighting through gangs to rescue his girlfriend. Though not as well-known as some of the other beat-em-up games, Renegade set the standard for future games with its combo system and boss fights.

The 80s was a golden era for arcade gaming, and beat-em-up games were at the forefront of that boom. From the classics like Double Dragon and Final Fight to the hidden gems like Renegade, these games defined the beat-em-up genre. So, whether you’re a fan of retro gaming or a newcomer to this style of gameplay, grab a friend, two quarters, and dive into the world of 80s arcade beat-em-up games.