Big budget games with hundreds of hours of gameplay are great, but you’re not always looking for a game that’s going to soak up that much of your time. Video games started off with much simpler concepts, and we still had fun with those back then, right?
Even though arcades are nowhere near as popular as they once were, arcade-style video games haven’t gone away. If you’re looking for quick fun games to play on Xbox, here are the best arcade games on Xbox Game Pass worth checking out.
A twin-stick shooter based on Xbox’s most famous franchise, Halo: Spartan Assault isn’t going to blow your mind, but it’s definitely a solid way to wind down.
While the gameplay doesn’t have as much to offer compared to the best examples of the twin-stick shooter genre, the art style and recognizable enemies and visuals do a lot to enrich the experience.
14. Pac-Man Museum+
Pac-Man ruled the video game world at one time. While the titular yellow ball character probably isn’t due for a comeback, Pac-Man Museum+ is a great way to experience the series. From the original game to clunky platformers, you get 14 different Pac-Man titles in this package.
13. Feeding Frenzy
Some of the best arcade-style games are built on incredibly simple concepts, and Feeding Frenzy is a solid example of this.
In Feeding Frenzy, you play as a fish. Your job? Eat anything smaller than you, and run away from anything bigger than you. You’ve probably played games like this before, but if you want to chill on your Xbox with this kind of gameplay, Feeding Frenzy is a great game to try.
12. Zuma’s Revenge!
Zuma’s Revenge! is a color-matching arcade puzzle game. You shoot colored balls at a chain, and when three or more match up, they disappear and you earn points.
Combo as many ball removals as you can to rack up points and eliminate the chain as quickly as you can. Once you get a few chain reactions going, you’ll find yourself inexplicably hooked.
Battletoads first came to life on the NES in 1991 as a brutally challenging beat-em-up game starring Rash, Zitz, and Pimple.
Well, these questionably named characters have returned in Battletoads on Xbox Game Pass. The game plays similarly to the original, except it has a vastly upgraded presentation.
10. Joy Ride Turbo
Based on a racing game for Xbox Kinect (which was aptly named Kinect Joy Ride), the follow-up Joy Ride Turbo drops the gimmicky peripheral for a standard gaming controller experience.
What you end up with is an arcade-style kart racer, which isn’t something you see a whole lot on Xbox Game Pass. But don’t overlook it! It’s one of the better arcade-style racing games, if you’re into that genre.
9. Heavy Weapon
Like many of the arcade games that came to the Xbox 360, Heavy Weapon draws on classic titles for inspiration while adding its own visual flair and gameplay touches.
In Heavy Weapon, you control a tank that moves horizontally while shooting into the sky to defend your land. While it’s a basic shooter, it’s addictive enough to keep you busy for a few hours.
Like a few other games on this list, Katamari Damacy Reroll isn’t exactly a brand-new experience. This is an updated take on the original Katamari Damacy, which debuted on the PlayStation 2 in 2004.
Controlling the Prince as you roll up bigger and bigger balls of, well, almost anything, just doesn’t get old. It’s lightweight, stress-free, and fun and funny in equal measure.
This one is somewhat of an odd entry, only because you’ll probably want a taiko drum-style controller to play this game. The problem is, there aren’t any taiko drum-style controllers that actually work with the Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S consoles.
That said, Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master! is still fun enough to play with a standard controller, making it worth checking out.
6. Mighty Goose
While the name might have you thinking that Mighty Goose is a follow-up to Untitled Goose Game, that’s far from the case.
Actually, Mighty Goose is a run-and-gun arcade shooter that takes heavy inspiration from retro series like Contra and Metal Slug. It’s relatively easy to pick up and hard to put down.
5. Peggle 2
Peggle 2 is quite the relaxing experience. There are no enemies and no timers counting down, so take all the time you need to line up your shots and watch as your ball makes its way through the pegs, pachinko-style.
Double Dragon Neon originally came to the Xbox 360 back in 2012. It was developed by WayForward, a developer who knows their way around arcade-style games.
The gameplay of Double Dragon Neon remains similar to the classic beat-em-up games in the Double Dragon series, but the tone of the game takes itself far less seriously than those earlier titles.
3. Rare Replay
Including Rare Replay on this list almost feels like cheating because there are a ton of great arcade-style games to enjoy here.
Of the 30 games in the collection, some aren’t arcade-style (like Kameo and Perfect Dark), but many of them are (including Killer Instinct, Battletoads Arcade, Jetpac Refuelled), and that makes this a must-play title if you’re craving retro arcade-style gameplay.
The 1-on-1 gameplay of Lethal League Blaze is hard to describe, but the easiest way to think of it is to imagine that someone mashed Pong with a fighting game and took it from there.
When you come out on top after an increasingly hectic back and forth volley with your opponent, it’s a great feeling. Play through singleplayer, with friends in a local match, or against others online.
A follow-up to the classic Neo-Geo game Windjammers, this sequel mostly takes a “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach. While the visuals are updated compared to the original, they still look like they’d be more at home in an arcade cabinet than on a modern Xbox console.
The gameplay is easy to learn, but if you watch high-level Windjammers play, you’ll quickly see how much there is to master.