Heck, it’s hard to choose - KOF 2000/2001 were hugely influential on my in terms of visual style, though ’97 is the one I played the most, just because I got it on Saturn!
Metal Slug 3 influenced me enough to write a feature about how you can’t go home again. Money Idol Exchanger was one of the last games by FACE, one of my favorite devs, so that’s in there. Crossed Swords and The Super Spy are underrated as weird side-scrolling dungeon crawlers. Some day I’d love to combine that sort of thing with a superscaler, sounds like a hot time.
The Neo Geo wasn’t 100% synonymous with quality, but I do feel like it was synonymous with “interesting,” and that’s all I really need. It might be easier to list the games I’m not interested in than the ones I am! So many of these games tried new things, and it’s amazing to see how far the system came across its incredibly long life just by adding ram!
anyway: I love it