What are your top 5 light-gun arcade games?

arcadehero January 29, 2011 20

(Thanks for the tip igo)

I’m not a big fan of Top X lists because for me my favorite games aren’t set in stone but sometimes it’s fun to chat about some of the best games in a particular category. If you were horrified by the video in our last post of the cabinets being thrown off a building then this is something more light-hearted for the day. With this list by The Game Heroes (not us, the Arcade Heroes) they give a rundown on their top 5 light-gun arcade games. I’m not sure if they’ve played anything recent (they do show a Terminator Salvation in the background towards the beginning) as something like Deadstorm Pirates or Let’s Go Island/Jungle might take the cake over Jurassic Park but they make some nice points. Except with Revolution X, I’m with the guy on the left in the video. There are so many superior games to RX that it’s a shame they had to waste the time talking about that here. For me, that would be in my bottom five, if I had to list them.

So what are your top 5 light-gun games, if you had to decide?

UPDATE: If you typed a comment in and it didn’t show up I apologize, all entries have to be approved by hand, but it’s up now. Some of the comments remind me of when I had a “score war” with some others at an arcade I first worked at. Several of us employees had our battles on a number of games: Star Wars Trilogy Arcade, SF Rush 2049, and Crisis Zone were the particular games I focused on and it was a ton of fun. I became good enough at Crisis Zone that I managed to beat it in about 12 minutes without taking a hit and I ended up dominating that game.  I got very close on Star Wars but never managed to knock the top score off (it’s sort of a light-gun shooter, without the light-gun :D). Good times.

Also one day I would love to get my hands on a 2Spicy. I know it didn’t do well but I like the mechanics of a one-on-one battle as they are in the game.


  1. Arcades4ever January 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    My top light gun games in no order has to be…
    The maze of the kings by sega
    The house of the dead
    Primeval hunt by sega
    Dead storm pirates (motion based cabinet)

    Very tough desission but those are my favourites I think but that could change over time if there’s a better game coming next year since dead storm pirates is very recent but I’m also into sega’s ocean hunter at the moment since I played it while was on holiday few weeks ago.

  2. RJAY63 January 29, 2011 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    I used to play lightgun titles a lot between 1997-2004. Here is my top 5:

    1. House Of The Dead 2
    The best of the series; Lots of fun with this between 98-99.
    2. Time Crisis 3
    Ferocious score competition in 2003 with another player. Used to cycle straight to the arcade after work to play this
    3. Confidential Mission
    One of the first lightgun games to have an ‘internet ranking’ mode (set difficulty, set lives, one credit only). Great to use when arcade operators kept changing the settings.
    4. House Of The Dead
    The lightgun game that started it all, pulling me away from the hardcore 2D fighter scene.
    5. Silent Scope 2
    Another ‘score war’ game back in 2000. Never found a cab with the tournament mode switch on.

  3. Bobby Conover January 29, 2011 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    I’m a little biased toward a certain company’s games — forgive me! Though I’ll at least only do one entry from each series so the whole list isn’t Point Blank sequels..

    01. Point Blank
    02. Quick & Crash
    03. Oh Bakyuuun! (aka Ghoul Panic)
    04. Cool Gunman
    05. Time Crisis

  4. HeavyElectricity January 29, 2011 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Mine are as follows:

    1/ Virtua Cop 2
    Possibly the most memorable shooter I’ve played. The car chase, the shootout on the train, one of the most well-directed games I’ve played.

    2/ 2 Spicy
    Fantastic innovation, way too obscure. Such a shame, there will probably never be anything like this again.

    3/ Time Crisis II
    Gets the nod over the first game (which I also love) due to the two-player mode, and the later games due to simplicity and great stage design.

    4/ Silent Scope
    I liked this one for doing things differently. Great use of a second display, and the home conversions never held a candle to the arcade cabinet.

    5/ House of the Dead 4
    Most people plump for 2, but I like the bigger crowds of enemies in 4. People deride this as an exercise in bullet-spam, but it’s not if you’re playing it well…

    • arcadehero January 30, 2011 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Yeah HOTD4 tempts you to spray and pray but if you want to get a decent score, you have to fire as little as often and in the head. I’m amazed by how many people die off before they get out of the first corridor though, it’s certainly not a forgiving game to those who aren’t on their toes.

  5. Adam P January 30, 2011 at 1:28 am - Reply

    House of The Dead 2 really sticks out to me for some reason

    Silent Scope isn’t exactly traditional – and come to think of it might not actually be a light gun game at all, but I loved it

    Time Crisis really was a blast and I loved the mechanic

    Police 911 worked better than it should have and was way better than it should have been

    Virtua Cop 2 – Loved this game. The frist LG game I ever ‘dual wielded’

    (wellll…I just watched the video after typing this and there’s some repeats, but I stand by em.)

  6. neil January 30, 2011 at 2:30 am - Reply

    1. Crossbow
    2. Chiller
    3. Terminator 2
    4. Operation Wolf
    5. Sniper Scope

    • arcadehero January 30, 2011 at 9:23 am - Reply

      I love Crossbow, I have it on the Atari 7800 as well.

  7. editor January 30, 2011 at 8:45 am - Reply

    It is amazing to see how things have changed – the comments “arcade are dead and their games are no good” are being replaced by “…hey arcade games are really cool and I always played them lots!”

    It is best just to say that the consumer media’s heyday is diminishing, and aging writers are trying to find ways to secure their position as the magazines cut back. There is a danger of some really bad amusement coverage being made.

    I have already heard that one magazine – that forgot the EAG was on has approached the fans that did go to compile their coverage of the event – stripping images out of their YouTube video!

    Just remember where the real arcade ad amusement coverage comes from!

    • arcadehero January 30, 2011 at 9:27 am - Reply

      With EAG, it sounds like that happens every year, doesn’t it? They are ALWAYS missing these shows.

  8. Arcades4ever January 30, 2011 at 11:58 am - Reply

    I love the house of the dead games in the arcade but would say that THOTD 3 is my least favourite ( typing of the dead and EX don’t count as I haven’t played the but would love to try EX one day)

  9. Shapey Fiend January 31, 2011 at 8:23 am - Reply

    I read somewhere what rang the death knell for 2Spicy is there was a tutorial. Shame people are so quick to judge. I’d love to play it, if I could find it.

    My favorites are

    Virtua Cop 3
    Mad Dog McCree (bad acting was amazing)
    Point Blank
    Big Buck Hunter Safari

    and that old school clay pigeon shooting one where you’d proper full size rifles, a big screen and the targets were projected onto it. Been like 15 years since I’ve played it but remember it being awesome.

    There are way too many light gun (and racing) games. I don’t like most of them.

    • arcadehero January 31, 2011 at 8:51 am - Reply

      I heard that too. I wonder how often people skip tutorials on console games? I guess if you’re forced to do it then there is no choice but I’ve seen people walk away from a game that they haven’t finished just because they didn’t get it within the first moment they played.

      I don’t care that it has the tutorial though, I want one. It seems like a good game for tournaments. Although at my present location I would have no where to put a set, so I would have to put it into storage until we manage to find a new, larger place.

  10. Nomax January 31, 2011 at 10:45 am - Reply

    1 – The House of the Dead 2
    2 – Time Crisis II
    3 – Ghost Squad
    4 – Terminator Salvation
    5 – Friction

  11. igo January 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    1- time crisis 2
    2- silent scope
    3- deadstorm pirates
    4- Jurassic park 3 (It’s pretty generic but, I beat this game several times because it was really easy)
    5- Police Trainer 2

  12. Blaine January 31, 2011 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    While I’m not gonna dig out 5, since I’m not a huge light gun guy, I wanna give mention to Beast Busters and Rambo.

  13. skizzy February 1, 2011 at 11:10 am - Reply

    Top 5

    1. Aliens: Extermination
    2. Carnevil
    3. House of the Dead series
    4. LA Machine Guns
    5. Terminator 2

  14. Crabby February 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    For me there is ONLY one……

    [1] Time Crisis III
    [1] Time Crisis III
    [1] Time Crisis III
    [1] Time Crisis III
    [1] Time Crisis III

    No game has even come close to the sheer excellence and fun that this game provides. Terminator Salvation…. sure it’s cool but TC3 is in a class all by itself.

  15. Aaron May 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    1.the lost world jurassic park
    2.jurassic park 3
    3.jurassic parl
    4.house of the dead

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