Mortal Kombat first came out in the days before the internet, so the only way to learn how to perform one of the game's super violent fatalities was to just "figure it out". Because of this, whenever you saw someone successfully pull off one of the game's hyper violent fatalities it was like a bloody bloody Christmas.
3. Playing "House Of The Dead" With One Gun In Each Hand
While it's impossible to have great aim when firing two light guns at the same time, and it cost twice as a normal game because you were paying for both a first and a second player, this play style on House of The Dead made you feel really cool, and that's all that matters.
4. Coming In At The Last Second To Save a Complete Stranger
Picture this, you've got a few quarters in your hand, you're trying to figure out what arcade game to play. In the corner of your eye you see someone barely struggling through the second level of Time Crisis 2. Sure, you could throw that money into a rousing game of Cruis'n USA, but there are terrorists to kill and a complete stranger needs your help. Your only option is to pick up the second light gun and get to work. Or you could leave the arcade and buy a super pretzel. That's an option too.
Beach Head 2000 wasn't a particularly great game, but the second any of us saw this crazy yellow helmet mounted to an arcade cabinet featuring Original Playstation-era graphics, we HAD to give it a shot. Just don't ask yourself if anyone ever cleaned the inside of that helmet.
Putting a quarter right below the monitor on an arcade cabinet was an unspoken way to say "I got next". For games with larger lines like Street Fighter II, the quarters often stretched all the way across the bottom of the monitor. It was rare for someone to try to grab this cash and make a break for it, but if someone did, think of the dollars they'd have!
We all went through a phase where we exclusively played arcade games with high ticket pay outs in the hopes of getting something from the prize cage. After months of hoarding thousands of tickets I finally saved up enough to afford a five cent slide whistle.
8. How Noisy They Were
This is either the sound of the inside of a video arcade or the sound of the inside of a running microwave you filled with i-phones.
There was something really neat about waiting for sometimes thirty minutes at a time to finally get your shot at the current best Street Fighter II player in the arcade. This was often someone far younger then you, who swore far more than you. On second thought, this one hasn't changed much.
Every arcade had a stack of these things specifically for kids who weren't tall enough to reach a cabinet's controls. The previously mentioned Street Fighter II Champion had his own. And it was monogrammed.
Most arcades of the '90s had a row of skee-ball machines and while they weren't anyone's first pick, they were a great time waster when waiting for space to free up at one of the several dozen Gauntlet Legends cabinets every arcade also seemed to have.
13. When A Crowd Forms To Watch A Particularly Good Game
One of the truly great things about arcade culture is that if someone was really tearing it up on a game and if the place was packed, a crowd of people would form around the machine and cheer the player on. This is a stark contrast to when I told a player "good game" while playing Destiny recently and in return he said some pretty nasty things about my mother.
14. Hologram Time Traveler
This game cost a few dollars to play and honestly wasn't very good, but I think every kid's brain melted when they saw it. I mean, it's an arcade game that used holograms to tell a story about time travel. HOW IS THAT NOT AWESOME!
Sure, online leaderboard exist for modern games, but there was something neat about working really hard to get the top high score in a game and then seeing your name on the leader board days, weeks, and even years later. Or until some kid accidentally unplugs the machine. I hate that kid.