Since the dawn of the 32-bit era, arcade compilations have become rather commonplace. They were everywhere in the late '90s, but in recent years there's been fewer of them available. Most of the best ones, imo, stayed in Japan. Since I love the idea of playing classic (and sometimes not so classic) games on consoles, I've snapped up quite a few of them. Listed below are my ten favorites... these are the ones I keep going back to over and over.
On a side note - I don't consider Strider 2 to be a compilation... the only arcade game ported directly was the original Strider. Strider 2 is a slightly downgraded version of the original arcade game.
GAMES INCLUDED: Crystal Castles, Gauntlet, Paperboy, Marble Madness, Millipede and Roadblasters
Out of all of the comps that Digital Eclipse produced, this is my favorite. Marble Madness, Paperboy, Gauntlet and my favorite, Crystal Castles make this a set worth owning in my eyes.
GAMES INCLUDED: Super Pac-Man, Xevious, Grobda, Gaplus, DragonBuster and Mappy
One of the lesser known volumes of the Namco Museum series, yet it remains one of the best. How can you go wrong with games like Super Pac-Man, Xevious and Gaplus? Here's an interesting trivia fact for you: the Japanese version of NM Volume 2 has the ancient game Cutie-Q on it instead of Super Pac-Man... probably because Super Pac-Man was American made.
GAMES INCLUDED: Commando, Commando II (MERCS) and Gun.Smoke
Three of Capcom's most famous overhead run-n-guns on one disc. Wow. Now, if only Capcom had included more than just three games, it would have been even better. Oh well - even as it is, it's still great.
GAMES INCLUDED: Pac-Land, The Genji And The Heike Clans, Assault, Assault Plus, Ordyne and The Return Of Ishtar
This is another lesser known volume of the Namco Museum series. I've liked Pac-Land ever since playing the Turbografx-16 version, I love The Genji And The Heike Clans, Ordyne and Assault kick ass - and even The Return Of Ishtar isn't bad.
GAMES INCLUDED: R-Type and R-Type II
Two of the greatest shmups ever made grace this set. The first two installments of Irem's classic series are presented here, along with all sorts of background info, history and a lot more! If you like R-Type at all, you need to own this.
GAMES INCLUDED: Ghosts 'N Goblins, Ghouls 'N Ghosts and Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts (SNES)
Even though there's an SNES game included with this set, I consider it to be a bonus, and a nice way to round out a set containing two of my favorite arcade games. This is classic Capcom platforming at its finest.
GAMES INCLUDED: Gradius and Gradius II: Gofer No Yabou
Two of Konami's most legendary shmups surface on the first of several Gradius deluxe packs (that includes the Parodius and Salamander sets, of course). The only gripe I have with this set (aside from no Western release) is the lack of a sound test for either game. Other than that, I love it.
GAMES INCLUDED: Gradius III: The Outbreak and Gradius IV: Resurrection
For me, this was the first reason to own a PS2. In fact, I bought the game long before I bought the system! This set (in essence, the Gradius Deluxe Pack 2) fixes the few minor problems with the first Gradius Deluxe Pack and serves up quite a challenge as well!
GAMES INCLUDED: Time Pilot, Gyruss, Yie-Ar Kung Fu, Shao-Lin's Road, Scramble, Super Cobra, Road Fighter, Roc 'N Rope, Pooyan and Circus Charlie
I had to own this set for Time Pilot alone, but the other games on the disc were well worth having as well (aside from the horrid Road Fighter and the average Circus Charlie and Pooyan). Besides Time Pilot, Shao-Lin's Road, Gyruss, Scramble and Super Cobra bring back many fond memories... and even though I didn't play them back in the '80s, Yie Ar Kung Fu and Roc 'N Rope I enjoy almost as much.
GAMES INCLUDED: Salamander, Life Force and Salamander 2
I've played this set more than any of the rest, and with good reason. Salamander and Life Force continue to challenge me to this day, and Salamander 2 - despite being so easy due to the unlimited continues - is just plain fun. For some reason, I enjoy this set more than either of the Gradius packs, yet I like the Gradius games more. Odd, but true.
This is the fifth and final subsection of the Top 100 - hope you've enjoyed it!
Runner-ups: Sega Ages (Sega Saturn), Namco Museum Volume 1 (Sony PlayStation), Namco Museum Encore (Sony PlayStation), Namco Museum (PS2), Bubble Bobble Also Featuring Rainbow Islands (Sony PlayStation)