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Top 4 Coin-Operated Machines of the 1990s

To say that coin-operated machines are a thing of the past is wrong for many reasons. We might agree that the golden age of these devices is over, but that doesn't mean there's no longer interest in this area. On the contrary, hundreds of arcades worldwide offer video games, pinballs, redemption games, and the like. They are visited by thousands of people every year.

Additionally, we all know that casinos offer coin-operated games such as pokies, pachinkos, etc. Online casino games took precedence in this case, but it is too early to write off the physical versions. Whatever happens, one thing is sure: people who lived when these machines were at their peak remember them fondly. This article will look at the most popular options that appeared in the 1990s.


The Cleopatra slot is the pioneer of Egyptian-themed slot machines. Even today, many of the gambling sites, offering a variety of casino games to play, have at least a few such titles in their offer, such as “Cleopatra’s Fortune”, “A Night with Cleo”, “Play With Cleo.” Regarding the Cleopatra slot machine’s early days, it’s worth highlighting its attractive visual elements. The gameboard with 5 reels and 9 paylines (there is also a 20-payline version) features various symbols with many details, including scarabs, the Eye of Horus, a cartouche, a flail, and stylized playing card values.


Furthermore, the flaming Sphinx symbols highlight scatter pays. On top of that, you can activate the Cleopatra bonus, which provides 15 free spins, during which every win is multiplied by three. With an RTP of around 95%, this slot game is within the industry average.


Overall, this is one of the coin-operated machines of the 1990s that once again aroused the public interest in coin-op machines, especially among gambling enthusiasts.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

We can't create a list like this without mentioning Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. This 2D fighting game was a real magnet for teenagers and youth in many arcades. I was developed by the famous Japanese video game company Capcom.


Interestingly, it took Capcom 4 years to develop a sequel to the original Street Fighter game, which was also very successful. Still, many players believe the wait was worth it because the sequel was better.


This game has a simple and memorable story. The main villain (M. Bison) invites fighters to a global fighting tournament to lure them into his secret organization. This time, players can choose from eight characters, including the iconic Ken and Ryu, which appeared in the predecessor. The others include Chun-Li, Zabgief, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Guile, and Blanka.

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior became part of popular culture thanks to its engaging gameplay. It's mentioned in many movies, magazines, and songs.

Sega Rally Championship

If you are into arcade racing games, you have probably heard about Sega Rally Championship. This game became available as a coin-op machine in 1994. In addition, players can find it on PlayStation 2, Sega Saturn, Windows, Game Boy Advance, and N-Gage.

As the title suggests, Sega developed and published this release, which is praised for its engaging racing experience, something players couldn't imagine before. Instead of driving on paved roads, this arcade-style racing game is focused on providing an off-road experience. With its help, you can drive on snow, gravel, and dirt.


This is by no means a simple game. The guys from Sega did their best to make the racing as realistic as possible. So, competing against other players is a challenging and fun activity. Another thing that made the Sega Rally Championship popular is the presence of multiple tracks in specific environments.


The 3D graphics used in this title couldn't be seen in many other arcade games. Of course, the fact that you can compete against another player on two machines simultaneously is another reason so many people were fond of it. As a result, Sega Rally Championship ended among the six best-selling arcade games of 1995.

Dance Dance Revolution

Undoubtedly, Guitar Hero is a fun game, but have you ever tried Dance Dance Revolution? This Konami product was released in 1998 and became an instant hit. It's an arcade that brought much-needed refreshment to the arcade gaming scene.

One thing that makes this coin-operated machine unique is that it encourages active gameplay. Players don't sit when they play. On the contrary, they must walk and jump on a specially designed dance pad and try to synchronize their movement with the on-screen instructions.


The good news is that the most famous music genres with various singles are covered in this game, so there's something for everyone here. Like the Sega Rally Championship, DDR offers a multiplayer mode that makes the experience even more thrilling.


The popularity of this game made many other developers create spin-offs or titles with similar gameplay. Finally, this machine led to the developing of a community of players who were part of tournaments and special events.


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