10. Jailbreak

    This was in a 7-11 where I grew up. You took the part of a police officer in charge of rounding up felons escaped from jail. This one was a lot like NARC, but with a less confusing (in my opinion) control scheme. Every weapon from pistol to shotgun to tear gas was to be found (by rescuing bystanders) and used. This one was hard to find, but loads of fun.
9. Spy Hunter
(Data East)
    Just the thought of sliding behind the wheel of the first Spy Hunter gets the James Bond theme running through my head. There was no feeling quite like taking down the spiked-wheel car with machine guns or bumping an armoured car off the road.
8. Shinobi
    This one was a favorite platform jumper when I was 10. The action levels were always challenging but never really difficult (for a ten year old, I haven't played it since) The bonus levels were always fun (tossing throwing stars at the incoming ninjas was always my favorite part).
7. Rolling Thunder
    After Shinobi came Rolling Thunder, another side scrolling action game. This one I like better because I like the weapons better. No other reason, just a good time. The music gets you going, and the pace of the game grows as you get further on (true of most games, but this one really matched my learning curve.)
6. Mortal Kombat
    This one beats any sequel that ever will come out, in my opinion. I only played it at first because I saw a news report saying that it was bad for me. I didn't like it at first, but grew to enjoy it after picking a favorite kombatant (Kano rocks) and learning all of his moves. The fatalities don't excite me much, but the gameplay on this one is superior for its time, and the sequels are too comical for me. I like the tone of this one, it's more serious. Also the bonus "Test Your Might" screens were a neat addition, which I think should have been incorporated in the sequels.
5. Star Blade
    The curved-screen sit-down space shooter rates highly in my playability hierarchy. The graphics aren't bad either. It plays a lot like Star Wars, but I like the rumble seat that registers hits on this one. It's basically a rail game, but it's still extremely intense.
4. Virtua Cop and Lethal Enforcers (Tie)
(Sega and Konami, respectively)
    These two shooters, better than their sequels, are two pure shooters. Little plot and lots of weapons... just what I want in an arcade game.
3. Gunner Blade and Mace: The Dark Ages (Tie)
(Atari Games)
    Gunner Blade is a BIG gun version of Terminator 2. You take control of a .50 caliber machine gun mounted on the side of a police chopper and blast away at 3-d rendered terrorists who are extremely strong. Mace is a 3d fighter that is like Soul Edge but doesn't have those obnoxious "ring out" victories that become necessary against some of the later computer characters. They tie here because they are both graphicly and audibly stunning and because I experienced a similar feeling of excitement (which is difficult to verbalize) when I first played them.
2. Area 51
(Atari Games)
    This is my very favorite shooter. The action is quick and intense, and the hidden bonus levels are hilarious. Personally, I like to save up my quarters and go two-fisted.
1. Marvel Super Heroes
    This is my all time favorite arcade game, fighter or non-fighter. The fights are always drawn out, employing a mixture of strategy (on the little quick guys like Spider-Man and Psyloche) and button-mashing (on the big slow guys like Juggernaut and Hulk) and both (on the bosses like Dr. Doom and Thanos.)

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