by Mark Jenison
Last Updated: 5/10/12Updates and contributors
This is my list of movies that contain video arcade games. While most movies only have brief shots of the arcade game mentioned, some movies get a good shot of the game's cabinet and/or screen.
The purpose of this list is for trivia reasons, but also to provide a reference where someone could see and maybe hear specific games in movies. This list only contains actual video arcade games; no console games or movie prop games (unless their cabinets can be identified).
In looking at the size of the list, you can see just how much video arcade games have had an effect on our culture and society.
- means that the movie has been verified to contain these games (by either myself or a contributor)
- means that there are some games in the movie that a contributor was unsure of even after reviewing the movie. This could be due to an unclear shot or other reason. There are "?" by the one which are unsure.
- means that this entry has not been verified.
- means that the movie writers showed a complete lack of knowledge about the game, either by mentioning an incorrectness in game play, or by dubbing other video game sounds over the actual game sounds.
Confirmations of these movies or additions to the list below would be appreciated. Please send me an e-mail to contribute.
Accused, The - 1988
Video games in bar scene.
Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, The - 1984
Airheads - 1995
Airport '77 - 1977
Pong Doubles cocktail
America 3000 - 1986
Space Duel, Centipede, some other
Arthur - 1981
Arthur 2: On the Rocks - 1988
Back to the Future - 1985
Back to the Future Part II - 1989
Wild Gunman, Pacman
Bad News Bears, The - 1976
Older yellow cabinet - Sprint?
Bean - 1997
Ms. Pac-Man in the background in the bar scene. Possibly a Galaga next to it. Shot is too blurry to tell.
Behind Enemy Lines - 2001
There is a mounted gun game behind a Terminator 2 pinball in the scene where troops are searching for him through the mall area. Can't tell what it is, but maybe someone out there can identify it.
Benchwarmers, The - 2006
Ms. Pac-Man, Gorf, Asteroids. Ms Pac-Man has additional marquee artwork on the sides so the audience can understand that it is Ms. Pac-Man
Beneath the Valley of Ultravixens - 1979
Better Off Dead - 1985
Punch Out! and what looks like a caberet Gorf. Sound of Ms. Pac-Man in the background . In the restaurant you can see the side of a Robotron and the back of a Pac-Man.
Big - 1988
Defender, Out Run, Spy Hunter, Track & Field table, some Nintendo games, Centipede, others. Arcade scene.
Bingo - 1991
Skull & Crossbones, Golden Axe, Mercs, MVP, Wheel of Fortune, Strider, Magic Sword, Star Trek, Badlands, Playchoice 10 game, a few other.
Blood Sport - 1987
Blue Velvet - 1986
Either a golf or driving game. Shot is too far away to tell.
Body Double - 1984
Centipede, a Nintendo game, and some other.
Boomerang - 1992
Some games in the background when they are playing pool. Shot is too blurry to see what they are.
Brother From Another Planet, The - 1984
Pole Position, some others
Bully - 2001
Mortal Kombat (not sure what version)
Bustin' Loose - 1981
Can't Buy Me Love - 1987
Afterburner II, Hang On, Rygar, Donkey Kong, Mario Bros, Asteroids Deluxe, Konami Basketball, 1942, some others.
China O'Brien - 1990
Asteroids, maybe more
City Hunter - 1992
Street Fighter 2
Click - 2006
Donkey Kong, Outrun (in bar scene)
Cloak & Dagger - 1984
Cloak & Dagger (screen shots only)
Clockers - 1995
Color of Money, The - 1986
Comic Book Villains - 2002
Crow, The - 1994
Kangaroo and some other game (Taito game, I think).
Dawn of the Dead - 1978
Night Driver, Starship 1, F-1, Sprint 2, Duck Shoot, Gun Fight
Death Wish 4: The Crackdown - 1987
In the Boardwalk Arcade scene: Joust, Ikari Warriors, Rolling Thunder, Centipede, Commando, Galaga, Karate Champ, Pac-Man, Spy Hunter, Star Wars, Sprint, Sprint 2, Discs of Tron
In the Roller Rink Arcade: Ms Pac-man, Super Punch-Out!!, Time Pilot, Centipede, Donkey Kong 3, Gravitar, Mr. Do!, Lady Bug, Thayer's Quest, Tempest, Zaxxon, Marble Madness, Donkey Kong, Karate champ, Tron, Vulgus, Champion Baseball 2, Satan's Hollow
Donnie Darko - 2001
Outrun, Mach 3 (check deleted scenes in the DVD)
Don't Tell Her It's Me - 1990
Doom Generation, The - 1995
Double Dragon - 1993
Arcade scene. Double Dragon, some others
Dude, where's my car? - 2000
Tekken 3, Time Crisis II, House of the Dead, San Francisco Rush, Daytona USA 2, a few other modern games
Eddie Macon's Run - 1983
Defender, some others
Encino Man - 1992
End of the Line - 1987
Fast Times at Ridgemont High - 1982
(in order of appearance) Pac-Man, Gorf, Pleiads, Deluxe Space Invaders, Tempest, Kick, Star Castle, Lunar Rescue, Missile Command, Super Cobra, Centipede, Video Pinball, Asteroids, Space Invaders. Defender appears in the TV editted version.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off - 1986
Karate Champ, Mario Bros? Sound effect of Pac-Man dying, but no Pac-Man around
Footloose - 1984
Zaxxon, Tac-Scan, Congo Bongo, Astro Fighter. When the preacher shuts off the radio, you can hear the sound of Pac-Man dying, but no Pac-Man around . In another scene, and Asteroids is being moved on a truck.
Gamer - 2009
Metal Slug, Centipede, Sinistar, Galaxian, Missile Command, Defender, Battlezone, Galaga, Asteroids Deluxe, Pole Position, some Neo Geo cabinet, game where enemies stream out of a satelite, dual sitdown driver with red seats.
Ghostbusters - 1984
Star Castle, Missile Command? Q*bert?
Goin' All The Way - 1982
Asteroids, Star Castle
Goonies, The - 1985
Cliffhanger, Track 'n Field
Great Outdoors, The - 1988
Joust, Qix in pool room scene.
Gremlins - 1984
Star Wars, Atari Force Liberator? Centipede?
Grifters, The - 1990
Guy Thing, A - 2003
Donkey Kong, others in laundry mat scene.
Heavenly Kid, The - 1985
Pac-Man, Donkey Kong
High School High - 1996
Rolling Thunder cabinet ("Homeroom Homicide"), Star Castle cabinet ("Classroom Carnage")
Hollywood Zap - 1995
Arcade scene. Zaxxon, Joust
Honeymoon in Vegas - 1992
Arcade scene. Race Drivin', others.
Hot Dog...The Movie - 1984
Pac-Man in bar-scene
House Arrest - 1996
How to Lose a Guy in 10 days - 1993
Marble Madness, another?
Hunter Will Get You, The - 1976
Jaws - 1975
Killer Shark, Computer Space
Jaws 2 - 1978
Death Race, Dominoes
Jekyll & Hyde... Together Again- - 1982
Pac-Man, Vanguard, Kick, "Grand Racer" (sitdown Grand Champion), Space Invaders, Tank Battalion
JoySticks - 1983
Pole Position, Moon Patrol, Galaxian, Millipede, Pooyan, Solar Fox, Front Line, BattleZone, Space Dungeon, Ms. Pac Man, Gorf, Super Speed Race GP V, Super Pac-Man, Qix, Satan's Hollow, Tempest, Berzerk, Carnival, Star Castle, Hustle, Centipede, Pac-Man, Scramble, Asteroids, Naughty Boy, BurgerTime, Galaga, Lemans, Zarzon, Missile Command, Americana (strip machine, credits says Computer Kinetics Corp. designed it; emulated in MAME as Streaking by Shoei) Space Invaders Deluxe, Jungle King, Defender, Stargate, Rally-X, Night Driver, Wizard of Wor, Atari Basketball
Juggernaut - 1974
"Ping Pong" (some variant of Pong)
Juice - 1992
Street Fighter, some others
Karate Kid, The - 1984
Galaga, Qix, Centipede,Moon Patrol, Champion Baseball, Pole Position, Super Pac-Man, Pac-Man, Joust, Ms Pac-Man
Ladies Man, The - 2000
Ms. Pac-Man cocktail?
Last Starfighter, The - 1984
Last Starfighter machine
Live Free or Die Hard - 2007
Magnolia - 1999
Mama's Boy - 2007
Man of The House - 1995
Virtua Fighter, arcade scene (maybe more)
Man on the Moon - 1999
Ms. Pac-Man. Player start music is played twice in a row when he is not even near the machine
Maniac Copy 2 - 1990
P.O.W., Operation Wolf
Maximum Overdrive - 1986
Star Castle, Time Pilot '84, Tempest cocktail
Midnight Madness - 1980
Star Fire (actually a mock-up created for the movie), Tank 8, Indy 800, Fonz, Death Race, F-1 (Atari/Namco projection game), Tank, Atari Football, Speed King (electro-mechanical?), Jet Rocket (electro-mechanical?), Space Invaders, Speed Freak, Steeplechase, 280-Zzzap
Midnight Run - 1988
Mystic Pizza - 1988
Net, The - 1995
Never Say Never Again - 1983
Next of Kin - 1989
Donkey Kong, PacMan, Front Line, Merit Trivia, BurgerTime?
Night of the Demons - 1988
Nightmares - 1983
Kick, Tron, Zaxxon, Frogger, Slither, Pleiades, Galaxian, Pac-Man, Vanguard, Ms Pac-Man, Centipede, Monoco GP, Atari Football Asteroids, Dig Dug, Joust, Burgertime, Jungle Hunt, Carnival, UniWarS, Explorer, Super Cobra, Rip-Off, Scramble, Starship 1, Defender, Asteroids Deluxe, Tail Gunner, Battlezone
Night of the Comet - 1984
Tempest, Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe
Ninja III: The Domination - 1984
No Small Affair - 1984
Star Wars, Ms. PacMan, Q*bert, a few others.
One Dark Night - 1983
Arcade scene. Tempest, Scramble?
Over The Top - 1987
Mario Bros, Nintendo vs. System cabinet, Punch Out!
Pacifier, The - 2005
Mortal Kombat at the amusement center.
Parallax View, The - 1974
Parenthood - 1989
Bad Dudes, some others.
Philadelphia Experiment, The - 1984
Lunar Lander, BattleZone
Piranha - 1978
Shark Jaws (Atari/Horror Games)
Plains, Trains, and Automobiles - 1987
Poetic Justice - 1993
Street Fighter II Champion Edition
Private School - 1983
Amidar, Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Donkey Kong Jr., Jungle Hunt? Pac-Man?
Psycho II - 1983
Battlezone, Ms. Pac-Man
Puberty Blues - 1981
Space Invaders cocktail, Speed Race (GP-5?)
Pushing Tin - 1999
Rancho Deluxe - 1975
Real Genius - 1985
Food Fight - college dorm approx 10 minutes into movie.
Reckless - 1984
Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins... - 1985
Asteroids - Remo and Chuin Walk by it after departing the Wonder Wheel in Coney Island.
Replacement Killers, The - 1998
Arcade scene. X-Men, Smash TV, Fighter's History, Pac-Man, Virtua Racing Sitdown Deluxe, Soul Edge, Mario Bros., Mortal Kombat, Bloxeed, Beast Busters, Centipede, Altered Beast, Air Inferno Sitdown, others
Robocop 2 - 1990
Bad Dudes, Midnight Resistance, Sly Spy, Dragon's Lair, some other Data East games.
Rocky III - 1982
Star Castle, Crazy Climber, Asteroids, Astro Fighter, Space Encounters, Magical Spot, Space Invaders, and an old driving game.
Running Scared - 1986
Battlezone - in Billy Crystal's apartment, Tempest, Centipede - in Tattoo parlor.
Russkies - 1987
Scanners II: The New Order - 1991
Arcade scene. Operation: Wolf, others.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 1978
Bandito, Shark Jaws, Sprint?
Slacker - 1991
Something Wild - 1986
Galaga, Defender, Yie-Ar Kung Fu, Ms Pac-Man
Soul Man - 1986
Food Fight (moved between shots), Track & Field, and a mystery game
Soylent Green - 1973
Species - 1995
Centipede, Missile Command
Spring Break - 1983
Galaga. "You need more thrust."
Strange Brew - 1983
Two unknown arcade cabinets. When Bob powers up the games, you can hear the death sound from Donkey Kong, and Centipede sounds are in the background
Suburban Commando - 1991
Joust, Centipede, Afterburner, some others?
Superman IV: The Quest for Peace - 1987
Table for Five - 1983
Centipede, Asteroids?, Tempest?, Super Bug?
Tank Girl - 1995
Super Pac-Man, some other one.
Teen Wolf - 1985
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - 1990
Arcade scene. Bad Dudes, Narc, Double Dribble, others.
Terminal Velocity - 1995
Terminator, The - 1984
Terminator 2 - 1992
Afterburner, Missle Command, Trog, Space Invaders, Hit the Ice, NBA Jams, Narc. Sound of Atari 2600 Donkey Kong in the background
Terms of Endearment - 1983
Thing, The - 1982
Things to do in Denver when You're Dead - 1995
Tightrope - 1984
Ms Pac-Man in background of bar scene
Titus - 1999
Some arcade cabs with fake titles...Fatal Fury?
Toy, The - 1982
Centipede, Ms. Pac-Man?, Space Duel - in kid's bedroom
Toys - 1992
"Tank Gunner" (might be a fake game), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, "Sports Match", "Lightning Fighter" is the marquee but the game is something else, Rampart, Nastar Warrior, Contra, Attax, Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, a game that ends with "Fight", and a guy with sword sidescroller with weird letters marquee.
Tron - 1982
Space Wars, Battlezone, Atari Football (2 and 4 player), Rally X, Asteroids Deluxe, Tailgunner, Sprint 2, Berzerk, Atari Basketball, Omega Race cockpit
Twilight Zone The Movie - 1983
Used Cars - 1980
Van Wilder - 2002
Cruis'n USA, Ms Pac-Man. "I know Ms. Pac-Man is special. She's fun. She's cute. She swallows."
War Games - 1983
Donkey Kong, Centipede, Frenzy, Asteroids, Robotron 2084, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Jr., Turbo Jungle Hunt, Blue Print, Ms. Pac-Man, Tron, Satan's Hollow, Space Duel, Tutankham, Gravitar, Sub-Roc 3-D, Zaxxon, Galaga, Dig Dug
Wasabi - 2001
Arcade scene, including The House of the Dead 2, Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix, "Buffalo Cops"?
Welcome to the Dollhouse - 1995
Wizard, The - 1989
Playchoice 10, Double Dragon, Baby Pac-Man, Super Off Road, some others