Arcade Game of the Year – 1995

This was a legitimately tough year to select a top 5, again because there were several good titles, but not so many great ones. Hey, the 80s had them too. That doesn’t mean this wasn’t a good year, but it does mean it probably wasn’t as good as some of the others. Still, I’m confident with my top 5. There are 131 games this year, so let’s get to it!

#5 – Night Warriors – Darkstalkers’ Revenge

Capcom had been throwing awesome fighters left and right (mostly Street Fighter derivatives) and this was one of the best. Honestly, the last Darkstalkers game would have been picked, but there were so many better titles that year. This is a great monster mash up that has a lot of really fun characters and showcases Capcom’s constant and continuing efforts to make the latest and greatest fighting games.

#4 – Virtua Cop 2

Some people are going to see this and say why not Gunblade? Honestly, I didn’t like Gunblade as much. It was a little too frenzied and focused less on accuracy and more on just plain mayhem. That may be fine with some people, but I like old fashioned shootouts and Virtua Cop 2 is perfect for just that. It’s very oldschool, but you can see from here alone where Sega was going, especially with later titles like House of the Dead.

#3 – Double Dragon

What’s that? A Double Dragon game based on the terrible movie that’s a fighter AND is really damn fun? Yep, and only a company like Neo Geo could pull it off. This game has it all: super moves, wide variety of characters, lots of combos, tough boss battles, lots of different types of special effects, great sounds and music…the whole nine yards. Throw in the Double Dragon theme and you have an instant hit.

#2 – Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

But of course, very little is going to beat out a new MK. It’s strange that both MK3 AND Ultimate MK3 came out the same year, but eh. This one features everything you need in an MK and was the all-time best until MK Trilogy for the PS1. It boasts a huge cast of fighters, lots of bonuses and extras, running, and of course the classic MK formula buried underneath. Definitely well worth all of your quarters should you find a cabinet somewhere.

#1 – Virtual-On – Cyber Troopers

You will probably NEVER find one of these cabinets. They were incredibly expensive and rarely seen outside of Japan. Virtual-On is a great 3D fighter with lots of great music, animation, and all around kickass robot action. You don’t even have to be a huge Gundam fan to enjoy this game. It’s been remade again and again for different consoles and formats, so even if you can’t find it in an arcade, there are still plenty of ways to play.

Conclusion

Again, this was a relatively tough year to select a top 5. Truth be told, I had a top 4 in mind, then had to sift through the list a few times to select the extra one (which ended up being Night Warriors). There were very few TERRIBLE games this year and they were mostly limited to the ridiculous adult and mahjong titles. Definitely give the top 5 a play if you see them somewhere.

Runner Ups

What you start to see more and more each year is games sort of following in line and being either shooters, brawlers, or fighters…and feeling very much like everything else. Sure, you get to see some impressive technology with them, but the fact remains that you don’t see very much that’s different or attempts to be something more. This is an unfortunate trend that does make selecting a top 5 easier (just pick the ones that actually made an effort to stand out), but also brings to light why arcades, and in general the game industry, may be going downhill.

2 on 2 Midway Open Ice Challenge
Action Hollywood
Aero Fighters 3
Air Combat 22
Alien Challenge
Alpine Racer
Area 51
Avengers in Galactic Storm
Backfire!
Baku Baku Animal
Battle Arena Toshinden 2
Biomechanical Toy
Bubble Memories – The Story of Bubble Bobble 3
Cannon Ball
Chain Reaction
Chibi Maruko-chan Deluxe Quiz
Cool Riders
Crypt Killer
Cyberbots – Fullmetal Madness
Cyber Cycles
Daitoride
Dangerous Curves
Decathlete
Denjin Makai 2 – Guardians
Deroon DeroDero
Desert War
Dirt Dash
Disco Mahjong – Otachidai no Okite
DonPachi
Dragonball Z 2 – Super Battle
Dragoon Might
Dunk Dream ‘95
Dunk Mania
Eagle Shot Golf
Extreme Downhill
Far East of Eden – Kabuki Klash
Fatal Fury 3 – Road to the Final Victory
Fighting Vipers
Five A Side Soccer
Galaxy Fight – Universal Warriors
Gals Panic 3
Game Paradise – Master of Shooting
Ganbare Ginkun
Gekirindan
Goal! Goal! Goal!
Go! Go! Mile Smile
Golden Tee 3D Golf
Great 1000 Miles Rally 2
Gunblade NY
Gundhara
Hatch Catch
Hyper Pac-Man
Indy 500
Jackie Chan – Kung-Fu Master
Kick Goal
King of Fighters ‘95
Kisekae Mahjong
Landing Gear
Long Hu Bang
Macross Plus
Mad Donna
Mahjong Dai Chuuka Ken
Mahjong Doukyuusei
Mahjong Doukyuusei Special
Mahjong Hyper Reaction
Manx TT Superbike
Marvel Super Heroes
Mega Man – The Power Battle
Metamoqester
Mobile Suit Gundam Ex Revue
Mobile Suit Gundam Final Shooting
Moriguchi Hiroko no Quz de HyuuHyuu
Mortal Kombat 3
Mouse Shooter GoGo
Musoubana
Othello Derby
P-47 Aces
Power Instinct Legends
Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon
Psychic Force
Pulstar
PuPuRun
Puzzle Bobble 2
Puzzle de Pon
Quiz King of Fighters
Quiz Tonosama no Yabou 2
Rave Racer
Real Bout Fatal Fury
Samurai Shodown 3
Savage Reign
Shanghai – The Great Wall
Sky Target
Slipstream
Sosonuke Taisen Game
Soul Edge
Space Invaders ’95 – The Attack of Lunar Loonies
Speed Racer
Stakes Winner
Street Fighter Alpha – Warriors’ Dreams
Strikers 1945
Suiko Enbu – Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty
Super Sidekicks 3 – The Next Glory
Super Slams
Super World Stadium ‘95
Syougi no Tatsujin – Master of Syougi
Taisen Mahjong Final Romance R
Tekken 2
Tokyo Wars
Twin Bee Yahho! Fushigi no Kuni de Daiabare!!
Twin Cobra 2
Twin Qix
Ultra X Weapons
Viper Phase 1
Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer
War Gods
World Beach Volley
World Class Bowling
World Cup Volleyball ‘95
World Heroes Perfect
World PK Soccer
World Rally 2 – Twin Racing
WWF Wrestlemania
X-Day 2
Xevious 3D/G
Zip & Zap
Zombie Raid

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Filed under Arcade, GotY Series, Retro, Videogames

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