The Best 2-Player 80s Arcade Games for a Nostalgic Game Night

Remember the days of pumping quarters into the arcade machine to keep your game going? The 80s was a golden era for arcade games, and playing them with a friend made the experience even better. If you’re looking to relive those glory days, or just looking for something fun to do with a friend, here are some of the best 2-player 80s arcade games to bring out for a nostalgic game night.

1. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Street Fighter II holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers, and for good reason. The game’s iconic characters, intense gameplay, and memorable soundtrack make it a classic that still holds up today. Playing as Ryu or Ken and battling it out against a friend is a must for any arcade game night. With a variety of moves and combos to master, you’ll be shouting “Hadouken!” in no time.

2. Gauntlet

Gauntlet is a cooperative game that requires players to work together to navigate through mazes and defeat enemies. With four unique characters to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, there’s a role for everyone. The game’s infamous voice prompts, such as “Wizard needs food badly”, add to the fun and nostalgia factor.

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Cowabunga! The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game is a classic beat ’em up that lets you play as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, or Raphael to take down Shredder and his minions. The game’s colorful graphics and catchy soundtrack capture the essence of the beloved cartoon series, and playing with a friend allows for even more turtle power.

4. Bubble Bobble

If you’re looking for a cute and whimsical game to play with a friend, look no further than Bubble Bobble. Controlling Bub and Bob, players must trap enemies in bubbles and pop them to progress through levels. The game’s colorful visuals and catchy music will put a smile on your face, and the cooperative gameplay is perfect for a fun night in.

5. Rampage

Ever wanted to wreak havoc on a city as a giant monster? Look no further than Rampage. Playing as George the gorilla, Lizzie the lizard, or Ralph the wolf, players must climb buildings and smash them to pieces while avoiding military attacks. The game’s goofy humor and destructible environments make it a blast to play with a friend.

6. Contra

If you’re looking for a challenging game to play with a friend, Contra is the perfect choice. The side-scrolling shooter requires players to dodge bullets and defeat hordes of enemies across multiple levels. Playing with a friend adds another layer of cooperation and strategy, as you can cover each other’s backs and share power-ups.

7. Double Dragon

Double Dragon is a classic beat ’em up that lets players take on the role of brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee as they fight their way through gangs to rescue Billy’s girlfriend. The game’s memorable soundtrack and satisfying combat make it a standout among 80s arcade games. Playing with a friend allows for even more strategic combos and teamwork.

8. Pac-Man

No list of 80s arcade games would be complete without Pac-Man. The timeless classic has players control the titular character as he navigates through mazes, avoiding ghosts and collecting pellets. Playing with a friend can add some friendly competition to see who can get the highest score. Plus, Pac-Man’s simple gameplay and iconic design make it a game that anyone can enjoy.


There you have it, some of the best 2-player 80s arcade games to bring out for a nostalgic game night. Whether you’re a fan of fighting games, cooperative gameplay, or classic arcade action, there’s something for everyone on this list. So grab a friend, stock up on snacks, and get ready to game like it’s the 80s all over again.