Arcade Game of the Year – 1999

Welcome to the end of the 90s! There are 117 games this year. After everything I’ve seen, I’d say the 80s and 90s are pretty evenly matched. I think the sweet spot had to be somewhere in the years between 1985 and 1995. I say that mostly because there are a lot of years where the top 5 are GREAT titles, but many runner ups are just okay. About the same could be said for this year.

#5 – Typing of the Dead

Yep, apparently this came out for the arcades as well, though I personally prefer the PC port. It’s a House of the Dead 2 mod that teaches you typing. It’s goofy, but it’s a surprisingly competent educational game that doesn’t feel like a educational game at all. If you liked House of the Dead 2, there is absolutely no reason to give this one a pass. I’d argue I actually like it better than HotD2 because it also helps me with my typing as I play.

#4 – Tekken Tag Tournament

I still strongly believe that Tekken 3 is my favorite, mostly because of all the depth and options. However, this is an excellent title that STARTS you with a retarded amount of characters and the tag system is hot. It should also be noted that other games started sharing formulas similar to this, but in the form of “strikers,” similar to what Capcom games had been doing. All the same, this is one of the more popular tag fighter games and definitely deserves your time if you come across one.

#3 – Strider 2

I’m a huge Strider fan (probably obvious by now). If Osman was a big fuck you to Strider, then this is a big fuck you to Osman. This is everything a modern Strider (well, for 1999) should be. This was also a way for the Strider series to regain its credibility after the utterly terrible failure that was Strider 2 for the Genesis. If you’re looking for crazy futuristic ninja action, this is right up your alley.

#2 – Garou – Mark of the Wolves

Some people are torn on this one and I have no idea why. The backgrounds are amazing, the music and sound is spot on, the graphics and animations are wonderful, and the T.O.P. system is very interesting. It’s challenging, fun, and looks and sounds great. Really, what more could you want from a fighting game, let alone Fatal Fury? About the only thing I don’t like about it is Terry doesn’t really look like Terry, but you can’t win ’em all I guess.

#1 – Crazy Taxi

This is a game that’s a treat to play, watch, and listen to. It’s a very simple formula. Pick up passengers and drop them off. You get bonuses and multipliers for crazy driving. That’s it. This is one of the few racing games I could play again and again in the arcade. And yes, I was very happy to see Sega sending a nod to the fans by adding B.D. Joe to Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed.


It’s good to see the 90s go out with a bang and not a whimper. I’ve already started working on 2000 and I’m starting to feel a little depressed. Yeah, there are a lot of great shooters, but I’m not coming across much else to write home about. That said, even if no more Arcade Game of the Year articles come out, I’m confident with what I’ve put out for just these two fine decades.

Runner Ups

There are some decent runner ups this year, but it’s mostly bullet hell shooters, a few brawlers, racing games that feel like more of the same, and way too many music/rhythm games. That’s not to say this was a bad year, but yeah. The main problem is we’re entering the era of cloning where if a game displays ANY amount of success, you’re going to see far too many clones that are uninspired pieces of trash. Not that it DIDN’T happen in the 80s and 90s, but still.

500 GP
Airline Pilots
Aqua Rush
Battle Bakraid
Beatmania 2DX Club Version
Beatmania 2DX Substream
Beatmania 4th Mix
Beatmania 5th Mix
Beatmania Complete Mix
Beatmania Complete Mix 2
Brave Firefighters – Real Life Heroes
Buriki One – World Grapple Tournament ’99 in Tokyo
Bust a Move 2 – Arcade Edition
Captain Tomaday
Change Air Blade
Crisis Zone
Cruis’n Exotica
Dance Dance Revolution 2nd Mix
Dance Dance Revolution Solo 2000
Dance Dance Revolution Solo Bass Mix
Dancing Stage Featuring Dreams Come True
Dancing Stage Featuring True Kiss Destination
Dancing Stage – Euromix
Daytona USA 2 Power Edition
Dead or Alive 2
Densha de Go! 2
Emergency Call Ambulance
EZ2DJ – Special Edition
F355 Challenge
Final Fight Revenge
Final Furlong 2
Flame Gunner
Gachaga Champ
Gaia Crusaders
Gals Panic S2
Garou Densetsu – Wild Ambition
Ghoul Panic
Giga Wing
Golden Tee ‘99
Golgo 13
Guitar Freaks
Guitar Freaks 2nd Mix
Guitar Jam
HipHopMania Complete Mix
HipHopMania Complete Mix 2
Hydro Thunder
Idol Janshi Suchie-Pai 3
Invasion – The Abductors
Jambo! Safari
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure – Heritage for the Future
King of Fighters ’99 – The Millenium Battle
Knights of Valour
Knights of Valour Plus
Knights of Valour Superheroes
Knights of Valour Superheroes Plus
Landing High Japan
Legend of Silkroad
Logic Pro Adventure
Metal Slug X
Mr. Driller
NBA Showtime – NBA on NBC
NFL Blitz 2000 Gold Edition
Paca Paca Passion 2
Paca Paca Passion Special
Pachinko Sexy Reaction 2
Pilot Kids
Point Blank 2
Pop’n Music
Pop’n Music 2
Pop’n Music 3
Pop’n Stage
Pop’n Stage EX
Power Stone
Prehistoric Isle 2
Psyvariar – Medium Unit
Pump It Up!
Puzzle De Bowling
Puzzli 2
Racing Jam Chapter 2
Ring Out 4×4
Road Burners
Rock’n 3
Rock’n MegaSession
Rock’n Tread
Rock’n Tread 2
Rolling Extreme
Samba de Amigo
San Francisco Rush 2049
Savage Quest
Sega Marine Fishing
Silent Scope
Spawn – In the Demon’s Hand
Spikeout Final Edition
Street Fighter 3 – 3rd Strike – Fight for the Future
Street Fighter EX 2 Plus
Strikers 1945 3
Strikers 1945 Plus
Super World Stadium ‘99
Taiko no Tatsujin
Toy Fighter
Virtua NBA
Virtua Striker 2 ver. ‘99
Virtua Striker 2 ver. 2000
Virtua Tennis
War – Final Assault
Zombie Revenge

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Filed under Arcade, GotY Series, Retro, Videogames

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