Anyone can play the popular classic MAME games, but when I turn my cab on, I find myself always drawn to the rare titles I missed playing in arcades as a kid. Such as...
1) CROSSBOW: I remember playing this on Atari 2600, but the arcade version is outstanding. Plays great on MAME with a dialed-in trackball.
2) REACTOR: Most people think Q-Bert is Gotlieb's best arcade game. They'd be wrong. Reactor has intense science-based gameplay & a KILLER soundtrack.
3) KRULL: Another forgotten Gotlieb classic. 4 unique boards, KILLER sounds. The dodging rolling boulder board is worth the 25 cents alone.
4) CLOAK & DAGGER: So underrated. Get in & get out quick! Good story for an early 80's game. Enter Dr.Boom's evil bomb-making factory & retrieve the stolen plans from the basement, level by level before the bombs explode, then work your way back up to the surface. It's fricking impossible. Also love the elevator animations which gives you a couple seconds to breathe between levels.
5) ELEVATOR ACTION II: The original was one of my all-time favorite arcade games. This sequel far exceeds the original...in graphics, level design & challenge.
6) SATAN'S HOLLOW: Imagine playing Galaga in Hell....only with castles, fire, brimstone & floating Lucifer heads.
7) NBA HANGTIME: I was always an NBA Jam fan, until I played this. Plus you can create your own player & continue your progress by entering your birthday & PIN number. Genius!
8 ) WINDJAMMERS: Great two-player action. Basically a PONG clone, but with muscle-bound extreme Frisbee players. Don't knock it until you try it.
9) DO DON PACHI: Most people prefer side-scrolling beat-em-ups like X-Men, TMNT, Simpsons, etc. Those games bore the hell out of me after about 10 minutes. I prefer vertical scrolling bullet-hell games. This 90s Japanese classic is one of the best in the genre. Killer graphics & super intense action.
10) RAIDEN II or DX: Another 90's vertical scroller. Flip a coin between this & the game mentioned above. Can't go wrong with either. I can only imagine how many continue quarters were dumped into these insanely difficult games in the arcades.