50 Best Arcade Fonts (Free and Paid)

The first arcade fonts, such as those by Atari and Namco, came out during the golden age of video games, which lasted from the mid–1970s to the early ’90s.

Typically, these fonts were designed in an 8 x 8 pixel grid. However, it could also be 7 x 7 to account for the extra spacing between characters.

In the book Arcade Game Typography, author Toshi Omagari makes an interesting point. “A math teacher will tell you 8 x 8 equals 64, but my answer would be the infinity symbol (an eight turned on its side).”

I agree with Omagari: In my quest to find the best arcade fonts, I found that while many appear similar, there are, in fact, subtle differences making them unique. The variations are limitless.

In this article, I’ll cover all-time classics like Namco and Pac-Font. I’ll also show you modern arcade fonts like Super Pixels and Game Over. Free and premium options are included, so no matter what, you’ll find the arcade font to suit your needs.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, and I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. To learn more, visit my editorial guidelines.

What Are the Best Arcade Fonts?

1. Bubbly Bit

First, let’s take a moment in silence to appreciate the retro magnificence that is Bubbly Bit. The best arcade fonts are all about the tiniest details, and Snape Design Studio didn’t squander any pixels in creating this bitmap revival that comes in both regular and italic.

Bubble Bit Arcade Font
Image credit: Snape Design Studio

2. Arcade Classic

Arcade Classic was designed by Jakob Fischer, who goes by the name “pizzadude.” This freeware font is available as a TTF (true type font). It only has uppercase letters, so it’s an excellent option for a headline or display.

3. Pac-Font

Like Crackman (see below), Pac-Font was inspired by the Pac-Man arcade game but has a slightly different flavor. Each of the characters has little lines on it adding an element of dimensionality. According to DaFont, this TTF is free for personal use.

4. Game Over

The instantly likable font Game Over recalls my favorite action-adventure games from the 1980s, such as Zelda and Galaga. The boxy figures and sharp edges of the characters are a great choice for titles of various kinds.

5. PXL3287

PXL3287 has everything you need, from uppercase and lowercase letters to glyphs and multilingual support. This arcade font is an excellent choice for projects related to science fiction, outer space, or technology.

6. Broken Console

Designer Ahmad Ramzi Fahruddin took inspiration from “old school game consoles and pixel art” when creating this font. Still, it has enough flourishes to make it unique. Accents, drop shadows, and multiple weights are it a great choice for retro projects, from action movies to gaming logos and everything in between.

Broken Console Pixel Font
Image credit: Arterfak Project

7. Low Def

Low Def is one of the most eye-catching arcade fonts I’ve found. Though released long after Y2K, it captures the same high level of creative freedom found in bitmap games of old. A slight forward slant conveys a feeling of motion, while various font widths make it adaptable for many use cases.

8. Crackman

Once you see Crackman, the name makes a lot of sense. The shapes and proportions are an unabashed homage to one of the greatest arcade games of all time (Pac-Man). Want to know the best part? It’s licensed under the CC0 license and, therefore, free to use.

9. Pixel Arcade

Type legend John Roshell, known as “Mr. Fontastic,” created Pixel Arcade for Comicraft. Though it was technically designed for use in comic books, this 8-bit font looks like it was swiped directly from the arcade gaming machines of my youth.

10. Sabo

Sabo Pixel is one of my favorites. The font download includes an outlined version (as well as “filled”). It’s fun to experiment with different color backgrounds to make the characters pop. It’s a great choice for labels, packaging, and signage.

11. MultiType Pixel

MultiType Pixel is a newish offering by Cyanotype that is equal parts bold and daring. This arcade font is mixable, meaning you can mix and match the different weights and widths of the font family to create something that feels fresh and retro simultaneously.

12. Commodore 64

No discussion of video gaming is complete without mentioning Commodore 64. Created by Devin Cook as a tribute to the old Commodore character set, this TTF contains three styles— round corners, angled edges, and classic—as well as glyphs and pixel art.

13. Definety

If classic arcade fonts are a little too rough around the edges for you, then Definety may be the perfect solution. The typeface is well-crafted, and there’s a level of elegance to this “pixel-perfect” specimen.

Definety
Image credit: DEFNST

14. SuperDario

Inspired by one of the most iconic games of all time, SuperDario takes a straightforward approach in this 8-bit pixel font. It’s not as flamboyant as other arcade fonts, so it may be the best option when a low-key nod to retro gaming is needed.

15. Press Start 2P

Cody Boisclair, aka “codeman38,” is credited with converting dozens of old arcade game fonts from bitmap to TTF. This includes Press Start 2P. Based on the letterforms from The Return of Ishtar (1986), this pixel font is now available from Google Fonts under the Open Font License.

16. Arcade Gamer

One thing that makes Arcade Gamer unique is that it’s available in TTF, OTF, and WOFF formats. This means you can use it for anything, including web design. It looks like the old Atari font but is slightly more polished. In sum, this game-inspired font is a winner.

17. Level Up

There’s something innately satisfying about Level Up. It’s a bit chunkier than your standard arcade font, so it can easily be used as a display. With uppercase and lowercase letters, this font is versatile enough for t-shirts, movie titles, and more.

18. Retropix

Retropix caught my eye because of the shortened ascenders and descenders on its characters. This gives it a more contemporary edge than other arcade fonts with strictly retro stylings. Umka Type foundry makes quality fonts, and this one is no exception.

19. Eightbit

In contrast to the previous font, Eightbit is designed to grab your attention. The ascenders and descenders appear to be disintegrating, just like the shields in Space Invaders. Use it on posters, logos, or packaging; either way, this one is worth the dough.

20. Retro Game Font

If you ever played an original Nintendo or Sega, this font speaks to you on a near-cosmic level. The beefy, pixel letterforms evoke long afternoons spent battling your friend for the top score, spending all your quarters, and loving every second of it.

Retro Game Font
Image credit: OWPictures

21. Pixel Kart

When I saw Pixel Kart, I was reminded of meeting up with friends to play Pole Position after school. Car racing games aside, though, you can use this classic font for just about anything, from posters to packaging, wherever you want retro vibes.

22. Pixelist

Pixelist is a serif typeface that somehow feels retro and contemporary simultaneously. The characters are much thinner than most bitmap fonts, making it more readable than old games. I could see this font on branding or packaging for a hint of nostalgia.

23. Pixeldust

What do you get when you combine the freewheeling forms of hand-lettering with the boxlike shapes of arcade fonts? The answer is Pixeldust, a unique typeface that takes an organic approach to this retro gaming fonts trend.

24. Pexel Grotesk

Grotesque fonts are an early form of sans serif, originating in the 19th century. Pexel Grotesk combines elements of this tradition with the grid-like structure of arcade fonts. This results in an eye-catching combo that looks great on posters and large formats.

25. Dotrix

Dotrix is a serif, immediately setting it apart from other bitmap fonts, which are usually sans serif. This gives it a moderately dressed-up feel as if a gaming machine was plopped down in the middle of a library. Sounds weird, right? Yes, but in a great way.

26. Retro Kiddo

Designer Elena Choo made this font for kids who grew up in the 1990s, but anyone can enjoy it regardless of age. These vector alphabets are incredibly customizable. They can be used for social media posts, t-shirts, or logos for a fun retro vibe.

27. Bitbybit

Bitbybit is a retro arcade font that is every bit as cute as its name (no pun intended). Suitable for either headlines or paragraphs, this paid download comes with fun icons to use with your logos, social posts, or reels.

Bitybit
Image credit: The Good Store

28. Dancin’ Pixel

Dancin’ Pixel is unique because it lets you create an animation by layering three styles. Alternatively, you can use each one as a regular static font. Due to its thickness, you’ll probably want to make it a headline. In any case, feel free to experiment and have fun.

29. SB Standard

Modern arcade fonts often focus on readability as opposed to entertainment. SB Standard is a perfect example. It may look like a standard bitmap font, but you can use it in paragraphs instead of just displays. This makes it great for labels, icons, or similar projects where the text will be used at a smaller size.

30. Basika Core

This font looks like it came from a science fiction movie or outer space. With its unique and eye-catching characters, Basika Core is pure retro game nostalgia. Use it at heavier weights—regular and black—to mimic the arcade games from childhood.

31. YWFT Blackgold

The foundry that created YWFT Blackgold has a history that includes some of the biggest brands in the world (Apple, Nike, Disney). Therefore, you can be sure it was created with the highest standards. Blackgold is one of the best arcade fonts in terms of quality.

32. Navigator

If you’re looking for an amazing arcade font that is legible in smaller sizes, look no further than Navigator. The font download includes two styles—regular and rounded—and 556 glyphs, making it an incredible bang for your buck.

33. VP Pixel

Designer Val Kalinić created VP Pixel and released it under his foundry VP Type in 2017. An elegant interpretation of the classics (think Atari and Namco), this modern gaming font pairs nicely with traditional serif fonts on posters, titles, and more.

VP Pixel
Image credit: VP Type

34. Namco

This font is a recreation of the Namco logo, which appeared on some of the most successful arcade games ever. It will surely make a bold statement when you want to add a retro gaming element to your design project.

35. Joystix

Joystix is another reason Ray Larabie is one of my favorite font designers. Inspired by 1980s arcade games by Atari, it is available in monospaced and proportional versions. The former is best for classic retro style, while the latter works well for tight spaces.

36. Arcade Machine

Arcade Machine has a different kind of flavor than what we’ve seen so far. It is more influenced by Miami Vice and shopping malls than pixels and grids; nevertheless, this eye-catching font has retro gaming all over it. To give it a whirl, simply sign up with Envato Elements and enjoy.

37. Sanspix

This font recalls the action-adventure games we used to play as children. However, this version is vector-based (TTF and OTF), so you can scale it to any size you need.

38. Compixs

Snape Design Studio makes several quality pixel fonts; Compixs is one of the best. At first glance, it looks similar to others; but upon further examination, you’ll find subtle quirks like the bowl of the letter P.

Compixs arcade font
Image credit: Snape Design Studio

39. Pixel Stick

A fun interpretation of a classic bitmap font, Pixel Stick features short descenders that lend it a unique appearance. I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for body copy in some instances; it even includes italics, which is handy.

40. Super Pixels

This font gives a stretched-out impression as if the screen was accidentally left on “wide mode.” However, this is what makes it so great—that lo-fi, slightly askew appearance that was so common in the early days of video games.

41. MultiType Gamer

MultiType Gamer oozes with “retro gaming vibes,” says the publisher, Cyanotype. Best used for headlines and display purposes, this all-caps font has 24 styles in the family. However, you can buy individual styles as well. (Huzzah!)

42. Round Bit

How do you make a bitmap font more approachable? One way is to use rounded edges to give it a more humanist appearance. If you’re looking for a retro-style font that aims to be more readable, give Round Bit a shot.

43. YoungDantes

It’s refreshing to find a pixel font designed for use in smaller sizes, similar to handwriting. Incidentally, YoungDantes pairs nicely with bold arcade fonts such as Basika Core or Pexel Grotesk.

44. Techpixs

When it comes to these fonts, I’m a fan of slightly off-kilter proportions. They tend to feel more glitchy and organic versus polished and perfect (just like old video games). Techpixs has just the right amount of these anomalies to feel convincing.

45. Pier Arcade

This is the kind of font you see emblazoned on the facades of dedicated arcade shops in dingy amusement parks. Imagine playing a superhero game in a dimly lit arcade, inserting quarter after quarter until it says “game over.” That’s Pier Arcade.

46. Extrude

This font was created by a member of the BitFontMaker community, a website that lets you build your own characters from scratch. Extrude is unique in that it has a drop shadow, making it an excellent choice for projects that require a bold retro style.

47. MultiType Glitch

Cyanotype’s series of mixable fonts continues with this display font inspired by “glitch effects, errors, and hacks.” Like MultiType Pixel, you can mess around by blending the different styles together. It’s the most fun you can have outside of playing arcade games.

48. Custle Guard

Custle Guard is unlike any other gaming font I’ve seen, and that’s a good thing. Lo-fi, chunky, and pixelated, its strange charm lies in the minor deviations from convention. If you’re looking for something unique yet familiar, look no further.

49. Alpharush

This font looks pretty good as body copy, so if your project requires a bitmap revival font that stays legible at smaller sizes, consider Alpharush. The uppercase letters, in particular, are a thing of beauty.

Alpharush
Image credit: Inspirationfeed

50. Videobeast

Videobeast is yet another font inspired by Pac-Man. All the letters are comprised of tiny dots, just like the ones you have to eat in the game. Though less practical than other options, it may be handy for a specific word or phrase.

Conclusion

Well, it’s been fun, but it’s time to wrap things up.

In conclusion, if you need arcade fonts for your graphic design project, there are many fantastic options for both Mac and Windows. You can download them from websites such as DaFont, Envato Elements, and Creative Market. 

Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can make your own with BitFontMaker.

I recommend choosing one of the fonts above that invoke the golden age of arcades. In any case, the possibilities are endless if you want to tap into this retro style.

Whether you’re ready to download a TTF or here to learn about the subject, I hope you found some helpful ideas.

Further Reading

Before you go, check out this list of books for drawing inspiration.