Arcade Game of the Year – 2001

There are only 78 titles this year, which sounds depressing until you realize that it more than makes up for the year 2000 being kind of a dud. Really, the toughest part about this year was finding a fifth. I already knew what my top 4 were going to be, so it was kind of a coin toss regarding the fifth entry. That might seem entirely random, but overall I’m pleased with how this turned out.

#5 – Sengoku 3

What, no Tekken 4? Man, fuck Tekken 4. Sengoku 3 takes hack n slashes to a new level by allowing lots of different types of attacks, projectile attacks, and multiple special attacks per hero. Furthermore, each hero is grossly different and varied, allowing for lots of strategy, especially since there’s a wide variety of moves for each character. Sengoku 1 and 2 may have just been alright, but 3 brings it back in full force.

#4 – Ikaruga

Yeah, I know. Most people were probably expecting this to be #1, but it is not meant to be. Ikaruga IS, however, an incredible bullet hell game with a strong focus on duality and polarity. You can change your ship from white to black and back again to absorb bullets, which is a common strategy given how much shit is flying around at a given moment. Tough, fun, and totally addictive, Ikaruga should win anyone’s top spot this year.

#3 – Virtua Fighter 4

This is probably my all-time favorite tactical fighting game. There’s a variety of hidden strategy in this game regarding counters, floating attacks, grappling, and so on. It can be tough, but it’s always fun. The best part is the console versions teach you a crapload of the strategy, presumably because of the ridiculous kumite mode, which I always had fun playing.

#2 – Police 911

This is exactly what being at the arcades is all about. Sure, they could probably reduplicate this with the Wii or the Kinect now, but I digress. In Police 911, you duck and dodge bullets as well as take cover to reload. So in a way, it’s almost Time Crisis, but in a way that’s better and tests your reflexes as well as your physique. This game is highly addictive and well worth anyone’s time in the arcade.

#1 – Mocap Boxing

And of course, this takes everything from Police 911 to the nth degree. Think Punch-Out, but add in the fact that you ACTUALLY have to dodge and counter. It’s damn fun and there isn’t much else I have to say about it other than I got all the way to the last contender in one credit. This is a must play for anyone that enjoyed games like Punch-Out.


This year was saved by the top 5 and maybe a couple of runner ups. It wasn’t a very strong year either, with the lowest game count we’ve seen thus far. You’d think with less games there would be stronger focus, but it is what it is. Sadly, this is a constant retelling of arcades up until developers simply didn’t care about them anymore, which we’ll see soon enough.

Runner Ups

At the end of the day, this simply was not a strong year. Yeah, Police 911 and Mocap Boxing kick ass, but there are just way too many music/rhythm games, which I happen to like, but that alone can’t save the arcades. It should also be noted that this was one of the final years for the Neo Geo console as well. Sure, they tried to doll it up with newer Neo Geo consoles, but I’m saying that the Neo Geo in general was on its last legs during these years.

Air Trix
Arctic Thunder
Beach Spikers
BeatMania 6th Mix
BeatMania 2DX 5th Style
BeatMania 2DX 6th Style
BeatMania 3 Append 6th Mix
Boong-Ga Boong-Ga
Capcom vs. SNK 2 – Millionaire Fighting 2001
Crystal of Kings
Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Force
Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix Plus
Dance Dance Revolution 4th Mix Plus
Dance Dance Revolution 5th Mix
Dance Maniax 2nd Mix
Dance Maniax 2nd MIX:: append JPARADISE
DDRMAX – Dance Dance Revolution 6th Mix
DoDonPachi 2 – Bee Storm
DrumMania 4th Mix
DrumMania 5th Mix
Dynamic Golf
ES – Evolution Soccer
EZ2Dancer 2nd Move
EZ2DJ 3rd Trax
EZ2DJ 4 – Over Mind
Football Power
Golden Tee Fore! 2002
Guitar Freaks 5th Mix
Guitar Freaks 6th Mix
Heavy Metal – Geomatrix
Jockey Grand Prix
Jurassic Park 3
KeyboardMania 3rd Mix
King of Fighters 2001
Lupin the 3rd – The Shooting
Mambo a Go Go
Martial Masters
Mr. Driller G
Para Para Paradise 1st Mix Plus
Para Para Paradise 2nd Mix
Police 911 2
Pop’n Music 6
Pop’n Music 7
Pop’n Music Animelo 2
ProGear – Storm of Progia
Project Justice
Pump It Up – The Perfect Collection
Puzz Loop 2
Salaryman Champ
Shikigami no Shiro
Silent Scope EX
Smashing Drive
Spikers Battle
Sports Jam
Star Trek Voyager
Street Fighter Zero 3
Taiko no Tatsujin 2
Tekken 4
Thrill Drive 2
Vasara 2
Virtual Striker 3
Virtua Tennis 2
Wangan Midnight
Wild Riders
World Series Baseball
Wyvern Wings
Zero Gunner 2

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Filed under Arcade, GotY Series, Videogames

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