Beat em up
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991)
Samurai Shodown II (1994)
Double Dragon (1987)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 Arcade, Capcom, 1996 (Street Fighter Zero 2 in Japan)
Capcom reached the peak of the Alpha series of beat-em-ups with SFA2. Super polished, unlike SFA1, this had super balanced gameplay that leads to tight fights. It’s still played competitively today.
Numerous game magazines at the time voted SFA2 one of the best arcade games of the year, the relatively minor changes to the fundamentals of the game and the extensive polishing of the same winning formula gained general approval from competitive fans also.
Mario Kart (Nintendo, SNES, 1992)
Who hasn’t played this? Great in multiplayer, not shabby in single player. The N64 version wasn’t a patch on this, the GC version isn’t bad but still fails to reach the heights of the SNES classic.
Mario Kart is a series of go-kart-style racing video games developed by Nintendo as a series of spin-offs from their trademark and highly successful Super Mario series of platformer adventure-style video games. At least one Mario Kart game is released for nearly every Nintendo console. To date, there have been seven Mario Kart games – Wikipedia.
Hard Drivin and Race Drivin’ (Atari, Arcade, 1989 / 1990)
Great arcade games that never made it to home consoles or computers in a decent form. Even now MAME handles these very badly and I’ve never got them running to a point where the game is really playable. These are pseudo simulations, the handling is perfect and if you drive well one game can last a really long time. It was the best arcade experience around, turning off for the stunt track, hitting the cow, looping successfully … great times for 20p a throw. You’ll have to find one of these in an arcade to appreciate it.
This game invites players to test drive a high-powered sports car on a stunt course. Players select either an automatic or manual transmission and turn the ignition key to start the game. By taking different off ramps, players can select the track they prefer.
Doom (id, PC, 1993)
‘Nuff said. Well OK, maybe not quite enough. The daddy of the FPS. Forget Wolf and Catacombs, Doom is the game that created the FPS benchmark.
Goldeneye (Rare, N64, 1996?)
The greatest console multiplayer game since Mario Kart. Rare, who seem to appear a couple of times on this list, wrote a classic shooter. It has aged really badly, but I think still deserves a nod. Your best bet for a decent game of this is to buy a second hand N64.
Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990)
Super Mario World (1991)
Mario 64 (Nintendo, N64, 1996?)
The largest step forward in modern gaming history, the birth of the fast polygon game. This really gave a kick up the pants to the entire games industry and it remains one of the best 3D games ever made; the character control and the camera are perfect. The new Mario Sunshine isn’t a patch on the old version, which is an indictment against Nintendo in every way. Your best bet for a decent game of this is to buy a second hand N64.