The Dorklyst: The 15 Greatest Arcade Games of the 90's

November 10, 2010

10. Crazy Taxi

Before GTA 3, Crazy Taxi was the closest you could get to driving around a giant realistic city with all of the coordination of a coked-out six-year-old. Unfortunately, the only way you could do it in Crazy Taxi was with constant time limits, douche-y ska-band groupie drivers, and more advertising than a Don Draper wet dream. It was pretty weird to find a customer who needed to get to a KFC within 30 seconds, but odds are if someone takes cabs to KFC that often, they probably only had 30 seconds to live anyhow. And the craziest thing of all? Every driver spoke English.


9. Top Skater

Sure, it looked like your grandma's walker got combined with a fake skateboard while Pennywise was rockin' out in the background, but you could finally act like your cooler older brother and skate without falling onto the concrete and getting ridiculed by kids younger than you at the skate park. Also, the game was sponsored with in-game Coca-Cola advertising, meaning it turned out pretty awesome even though it combined gamers two least favorite things: physical activity and commercials. If you thought that was impressive, just wait 'til Cheetos' Jumping Jacks for Kinect. It's gonna blow your socks off.


8. Time Crisis

The game that was built to unforgivingly eat your precious, hard-earned (well, hard-given-by-mom) quarters with a relentless pace that almost no other arcade game could match. Time Crisis was unique for its crazy time limits (which took away all of your lives when it hit 0), pedal-activated cover system, and giving its light guns actual recoil, which helped complete the illusion that they let a portly 10-year old have a gun and be solely responsible for saving the world. It was like an episode of 24 come to life, except with less amnesia subplots.


7. Area 51

In 1995, graphics weren't quite as close to photo-realistic as they are now – so what did the makers of Area 51 do? Just use videos of real things! Real, awkward, goofy videos. Of course, this looked even goofier when the aliens (most of whom looked like regular dudes in neon jumpsuits) exploded into giant chunks whenever you shot them with anything. Regardless, it was a great on-rails shooter, even if it didn't end with uploading a MacBook virus to a spaceship.


6. Marvel vs. Capcom 2

The most exciting thing about this game has been its enormous cast of characters (even the superfluous ones, like Boneclaw Wolverine, Servbot, and everyone who isn't Iron Man), with almost each one having a totally unique set of moves and fighting styles. With literally hundreds of possible team combinations, the game never got dull. I mean – Morrigan, Iron Man, and Jill Valentine on the same team?! It's like a thousand fanfics suddenly came to glorious life, except without the added creepiness of everyone having sex with each other.


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