Punzai Thanks! By the way, Warriors of Fate and all the other games in the Capcom Arcade Stadium collection can now be purchased individually and for a pretty low price.
That’s an extremely cheap legitimate way to play ProGear, Battle Circuit, Giga Wing and/or 1944: The Loop Master if you are not interested in the other games from DLC Pack 3, for instance. (And the three packs are on a -25% sale right now.)
LeFish I’ve recently been picking up some of those Hamster arcade archives games and I would like to indulge in a few more that I’m less familiar with.
On top of the excellent recommendations by TracyDMcGrath above, looking at my Switch’s All Software tab, I can recommend the following. I won’t presume what’s obscure or not to you, most of these names are famous so feel free to skip those you know or own already.
The Neo Geo has tons of decent to great action games. The original Metal Slug and Nam-1975 are classics of the Run & Gun genre. Metal Slug is a natural evolution of Contra while Nam is a refreshing take on Cabal.
Ninja Commando and Shock Troopers are good vertical jogging shooters in the same vein as Commando and Ikari Warriors.
If you favor action games with
bullshit deaths platforming elements, Top Hunter is a melee-focused action platform game reminiscent of Yuke Yuke Troublemakers and Ristar with playable characters able to grab and throw their enemies (or background elements). Magician Lord, one of the launch games for the Neo Geo, is a more old school and very hard action game more akin to Alisia Dragoon and Mystic Defender.
If you feel very adventurous, The Super Spy is one of the earliest attempts (all sprite-based) at a first person action game. Calling it a FPS would be a bit dishonest but when has that ever stopped us? It’s a Neo Geo FPS!
Outside of the Neo Geo, I already mentioned Nintendo’s Vs. Wrecking Crew but obviously Donkey Kong is a true classic – the godfather of 2D platformers – which I am sure a few youngsters among you have actually never played, and Sky Skipper is worth owning for all the trivia you can share about it when people (your stepfather? a wild raccoon? the IRS?) notice the icon in your home menu.
Circus Charlie is pretty fun and inventive as recently explained here by @Tradegood and Arabian is a cute little run & jump game heavily inspired by Donkey Kong.
Big Tournament Golf (a.k.a. Neo Turf Masters but they lost the copyright to the original US name) is probably the most famous golf game ever released in the arcades, by the same team that would release Metal Slug the same year, but entirely deserving of its reputation. It’s golf so I guess you can decide pretty quickly if you are interested. League Bowling is a really well made bowling game.
Your mileage may vary depending on how much authenticity you need in your football game (no 2 point conversion etc.) but I fell in love with the arcade version of Tecmo Bowl, even as a single player game (although it shows its true potential as a 2v2 experience). It’s so easy to screw around with the CPU that it’s the only arcade game I consistently play in the hardest difficulty.
Similarly, Punch-Out!! is an interesting experience in case you are familiar with the NES version but have never played the arcade version. Especially if you have either a Flip Grip or access to a pivoting monitor in order to keep the original “two stacked screens” ratio. Same goes for the sequel.
Shusse Ozumo from Technos is the first video game about sumo. It’s a very simple but very expressive experience (also oriented for vertical screens due to the era).
The recently released judo-themed Typhoon Gal from Taito is an important milestone (first fighting game with a playable female character!). I wrote a bit more about it here.
Money Puzzle Exchanger, Shanghai III and Puzzle Bobble 2 are the three absolute classics here.
Like pretty much every classic NES-era Tecmo game (such as Ninja Gaiden, Tecmo Bowl and Rygar), the original arcade version of Solomon’s Key is different from the console port and the NES version is arguably better, but the arcade version remains a droll time.
Life Force is stealthily a great deal because, as explained here, the commercial exploitation of this game went through some some interesting swerves and you will in fact get access to three different games (🇯🇵Salamander, 🇺🇸Life Force and 🇯🇵Life Force) depending on which “version” you launch from the main menu.
Irem’s X Multiply is their weird take on Life Force, in the same way R-Type seemed like a response to Gradius. Raiden, Twinkle Star Sprites and In the Hunt are other well known classics.