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My Recommended MAME Games

Posted: July 1st, 2009, 6:01 pm
by Hierophant

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

My Recommended 3D MAME Games

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Since bewildered newcomers often ask me what MAME games I would recommend to them, I wanted to make a place where they can get a wide range of answers.

The goals of this thread are;

- to foster the sharing of game knowledge between MA (MameAddicts) members and broaden our information base.

- to build a list of recommended games that not only encompasses the most popular games in MAME, but also those games that may be less well known yet are still worthy of attention.

- to create a resource for newcomers and veterans alike that helps give some guidance through the maze of the thousands of games available in MAME.

- most importantly, to have fun exploring that vast maze with each other and hopefully uncover some hidden gems along the way!

NOTE: Read all rules and guidelines before posting in My Recommended MAME Games (AKA Rec Games). This is a continually evolving project so check back here occasionally to keep up to date with the do's and don'ts.

TL:DR? Don't blame me if you post something sub-standard in here and it gets heavily edited or removed.

DON'T post any comments here! This thread is strictly for MAME game recommendations only and comments will be deleted without notice. Failure to abide by this condition will result in a warning, or a ban for repeat offenses. Ignorance is no excuse. This thread is left open in good faith for the convenience of the authors involved. Please post comments in the Recommended Games Discussion thread instead.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Obviously there may be spoilers contained in the recommendations. If you wish to avoid any spoilers it may be best to go to the Index first to get the names of any games you might want to try, then read the reviews later after you've had a chance to play the games for yourself.

Please be patient while these pages load as there are many images posted here. Even after a page has finished loading it may sometimes be necessary to refresh the page to bring back any images or vids that might not have made it on the first load.

"My" recommended MAME games doesn't mean only this author, but anyone who wants to contribute, so feel free to post your own recommendations. To stay on topic please keep to the following rules and guidelines:

- DO make a separate post for each individual game.

- DO put a heading with at least the correct name for each game entry to make it clear which game you're talking about. A game's heading must normally be for the original parent rom version. Other versions (clones) with significant differences can be referred to separately within the content of the recommendation. For games with alternative headings just use the primary English heading, which is usually to the left of the forward slash. Alternative headings can be mentioned in the review's content if desired. The recommended game headings are kept to a uniform format and include name, company, year, and category. I use MAME itself to check for any necessary corrections to headings when new posts are submitted. If you want to do the heading format yourself, use the following code (Jump to Index code also included for convenience) and add in your material:

Code: Select all

[color=#004080][size=200][b]Game name goes here[/b][/size][/color]

[color=#004080][size=150]Company, Year, Category goes here[/size][/color]

[url=]Jump to Index[/url]
- DO give some reasoning behind your recommendation in your own words. It doesn't need to be a full blown game review, just a few short paragraphs on what personally appeals to you about the game can suffice.

- DO try to avoid double posting a game that has already been entered. Check the Index. I'll do my best to keep the Index updated, but it may be necessary to scan the thread manually for recent additions so that you don't waste time and effort writing up a recommendation for a game that's already been entered. Check the Discussion as well to see if any other authors have already called their next project. First come, first served, so be quick to get your faves in!

- DO include YouTube videos of gameplay demos, game music, etc, if you wish. Try not to swamp the thread with vids though; one or two per game is plenty. Keep in mind that the spoiler rule (see below) applies to videos as much as anything else, so please use common sense. For gameplay demos, what's generally required is a stage 1 play through and boss kill. That may apply differently depending on the type of game, though. For example, with a versus fighting game you'd generally just beat up the opponent in the first battle and stop there. Gameplays must represent the games as they are in MAME as best as possible, with no overt modifications to the in-game graphics and audio.

- DO include at least two screenshots per review as a rule, one title screen and one gameplay screen is the acceptable minimum. A picture is worth a thousand words to readers who might be skimming the thread looking for games to try out, etc. At the other end of the scale, try not to be too snap happy. If I deem that there is a disproportionate ratio of snaps to written material then the snaps will be trimmed down to a sensible amount.

- DO scan the thread and read at least one review to get an idea of the minimum standard that has been set for what constitutes an acceptable submission. I won't have the hard work of regular contributors undermined by sub-standard submissions, and as such they will be either moved or deleted. See my Dungeon Magic review for an example of a recommendation that is short, but sweet, and meets minimum requirements.

IMPORTANT! Regarding screenshots, keep in mind Chris's warning about hotlinking (hotlinked images will be removed), and please keep the image dimensions reasonably small. I recommend using MAME's inbuilt snapshot function, which by default is press F12 during the game. I remap mine either to spacebar or a spare controller button which makes it really easy to take rapid fire snaps on the fly. With this you can send as many PNG screenshots as you like to MAME's snap folder and upload your final selection to your image hosting provider. Very convenient! The images you get with MAME snap are a nice preset size for posting, and much sharper than a full screen prt scr that's been shrunk down. Another thing to keep in mind about images is that the forum only allows a maximum width of 700 pixels and maximum height of 1,000 pixels.

- DON'T include major spoilers. It's virtually impossible to write an informative game recommendation without including some minor spoilers, so that's perfectly fine. However, major spoilers such as last boss screens, game ending screens and the like are a disservice to readers and will be removed.

- DON'T make joke or bogus submissions; eg., posting a recommendation for Pit Fighter; and absolutely, definitely none of the MAME "adult" games, either. This will be considered as hostile to the purposes of Rec Games and the post and it's submitter will be dealt with accordingly. This thread is for genuine recommendations of popular or well rated games at least. If you're seriously unsure about a game's general critical reception then check gamefaqs, metacritic, wikipedia, etc.

- DON'T bother covering any games for the PlayChoice/Nintendo Vs. System series/Nintendo Super System or Mega-Tech/Mega Play systems. Even though they are playable in MAME these are not proper arcade games. They are basically direct ports of NES/SNES/Mega Drive games and are therefore deemed not worthy of coverage here. The same goes for all of the fruit/slot/poker machine gambling games that are now part of MAME.

- DON'T recommend games that are not fully playable in MAME for the majority of people. Fully playable means a game is generally capable of 100% FPS during gameplay with no use of frame skipping on an average PC. This means that practically any game with 3D polygon graphics rendered in real-time is not acceptable for recommendation here as, performance wise, MAME is generally not very friendly with 3D game emulation. So while Carnevil, Gauntlet Legends, etc. might be very good games, they are not suitable for this thread. Use the My Recommended 3D MAME Games section instead.

- DON'T plagiarise. If you want to add any quoted material to augment your recommendation then acknowledge the source. In any case, it is the author's original content that is valued here, not the ability to copy/paste from wiki, etc. Any post found to contain large amounts of plagiarised material will be promptly deleted.

- DON'T attach forum signatures (untick it in post options before submitting). I don't want people's sigs distracting attention away from the games.

(See my first game recommendation below, Alien vs. Predator, for an example of how to use the above rules and guidelines. You can use the Quote function to preview it and use the same layout for Game Heading and Jump to Index, delete everything else and copy/paste your material in from a Word doc.)

Post in the Discussion or send me a PM if you want to contribute your recommended MAME games and need help or clarification with any of the above points. I will cross-reference each recommended game with the Index. I reserve the right to edit Recommended Games posts for the sake of organization, format, accurate information, major spoiler removal, etc, but as far as possible without compromising the author's original content.

Good luck and have fun!
Hiero :hello:

Alien vs. Predator : Capcom, 1994

Posted: July 2nd, 2009, 12:01 pm
by Hierophant
Alien vs. Predator

Capcom, 1994, 2.5D Fighter



You might think this game needs no introduction, but then you might be wrong. I've had a few people ask me in MameAddicts chat what's my fave MAME game, and then say they've never even heard of Alien vs. Predator (AVP).

This game is so badass!!!

To be able to play AVP and relive the arcade glory days it represents is one of the main reasons I sought out MAME in the first place. AVP shows how the scrolling fighter genre had been evolving at that time. Not only had graphics improved greatly, but there was a lot of gameplay innovation happening too. The characters in AVP have a large array of easily accessible moves and combos that keep the action involving and intuitive.

The game can get a bit weapon mad in the later stages, with defeated enemies dropping armaments all over the place. This can be used to the players advantage though. If you keep picking up the same weapon type over and over it adds to the ammo stock of that particular weapon, allowing you to go totally Rambo!

I could go on for ages about all the great aspects of Alien vs. Predator, but I think it's best to discover for yourself how truly awesome this game is. I give it my highest recommendation.


What a dilemma! All the characters are so cool.

The end of another successful meet and greet session with the first boss.

My Alien vs. Predator gameplay vid.

Some Alien vs. Predator Trivia from Arcade History

"Two Space Marines and two Predators go after hordes of H.R. Giger's most fearsome creations! Each character has special projectile weapons in addition to the standard super moves.

The game combines enemies from the two Twentieth Century Fox films entitled Alien and Predator. This is the first title to ever combine elements from two separate, non-related films into a single game.

Lieutenant Linn Kurosawa made a cameo appearance in the background of Ken's stage in "Street Fighter Alpha 2".

This game is based on the Dark Horse comics : Aliens vs. Predator (1989-1990) (5 comics)."


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Dungeon Magic : Taito, 1993

Posted: July 3rd, 2009, 3:27 am
by Hierophant
Dungeon Magic

Taito, 1993, Maze / Fighter


Dungeon Magic is one of those hidden gems that may slip under the radar in the wider field of more generic scrolling beat 'em ups.

This game is a combination of fighting action and RPG elements presented in an isometric view. There are four characters to play as - knight, ninja, archer, and magician. Gameplay is non-linear, and there are many secrets to uncover, level ups and items to gain, and enemies to mash. The orchestral music is a suitably epic complement to the quest.

Taito, while not in the same fighting game league as experts like Capcom, SNK, Sega and Konami, still did a great job with Dungeon Magic. It's one for the curious beat 'em up fan who wants to try something a little different.

Choose your character while they wait around in the tavern.

Image Image
Medieval fantasy ninja action!

One of my Dungeon Magic music vids. The music is something really quite special for an arcade game.

Here is the playlist of all my uploads for the game's music: ... plpp_video

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Snow Bros. : Toaplan, 1990

Posted: July 3rd, 2009, 10:51 am
by eliaskeme
Snow Bros. - Nick & Tom

Toaplan, 1990, Platform / Run Jump


Without any doubt my favourite game. And that's because it is not only the game I grew up with, it is also the game that I own the world record in the arcade section. Believe me you are gonna love it.

Info: In this game you have two players and your goal is to save your princess girlfriends. However you have to go through 50 different stages to accomplish that. And there is more: every 10 stages you will face a Boss, which means you will have to defeat 5 Bosses. In the rest of the stages you will have to destroy small monsters. How ?? You will put them in a snow ball and then kick the ball on the wall so the monsters will disappear. If the balls hit other monsters then they will be destroyed as well. You will receive some power-ups on your way to the final. These power-ups are: Speed Up (you run faster), which is a red potion, Power Shot (your snow deals double damage and the snow balls require half of the shots), which is a blue potion and Long Range Shot (your shots go longer), which is a yellow potion. There is also a green potion which makes you huge and you destroy monsters just by touching them. This lasts for only one stage though. Rarely, you will find the SNOW power-up. This power-up will freeze the time and throw 4 monsters that need to be destroyed ONLY inside snow balls. You will see that when you trap one in a ball it will have a letter on it. If you manage to make S-N-O-W then you will receive an extra heart. But you must be fast. And another thing: if you manage to destroy ALL the monsters in just ONE shot (that means shoot all your snow balls at the same time regardless of their number) you will receive the 10000-point special gifts that will fall down and then slightly disappear. Make sure you have a red potion obtained or you will miss most of them (if not all of them).

Advantages: Although the game isn't regarded as good as Bubble Bobble or Pac-Man it is a very good game to play because its style and stage designs are different. You will have a great time playing it. Try it.

Disadvantages: The monster models are limited and the gifts are limited as well. Also, you will find it very hard to the end without any red or blue potions. The yellow potions are just for the Bosses, but you can beat them without them too. Another bad thing is that the only point-extend is the one at 100000 points. After that you will get extra hearts only with the SNOWs.

Snapshots: Here are some game snapshots which I hope will help all of you. The snapshots include the game tips, the power-ups etc...

First of all we have the tips of the game:


Next we move to the power-ups:


Here is your appearance when you obtain the green potion:


Now this is how the special 10000-point gifts look like:


Finally here is the 1st Boss of the game (he is at the 10th floor):


Videos: Here is my Snow Bros gameplay video.

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Street Fighter III 3rd Strike : Capcom, 1990

Posted: July 4th, 2009, 3:10 am
by Nostalgia
Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future

Capcom, 1999, Fighter / Versus


Well if you're like me and love your 1v1 fighting games, then this game is a must-have. It is overall THE best 1v1 fighting game I have ever played.

The fighting system in this game is the best I've personally ever come across. The core of it is standard Street Fighter stuff, such as throwing fireballs and doing foot sweeps, but it advances from that into a level where you can almost become unstoppable.

I usually play this game online with Hierophant, which we started doing about a year ago. Just once or twice a week usually. But the level we are at now is quite advanced and every match takes a lot of concentration and creativity! Boy is it fun...

We use Kaillera to play 3rd Strike online. We only use P2P these days, however we used to play on local servers and the performance was ok. Playing on P2P is like you're sitting on the same couch though.

There are the old characters like Ryu and Ken, but there are also many new and interesting characters to choose from in 3rd Strike. Some of these are the type of characters that are hard to use but devastating if used properly. I stay away from these characters because:

1) I am lazy and can't be bothered learning how to use them


2) I'm a serial fireball thrower :yes:

I could go on all day about how remarkable this game is. All the character sprites and the backgrounds have a lot of attention to detail, the music is extremely groovy...

The controls? Perfect.

Best played on Kaillera P2P against another decent Street Fighter gamer!



The screenshots are of me playing, but I'm not in the video.

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Blood Bros. : Tad Corporation, 1990

Posted: July 4th, 2009, 4:16 am
by Nostalgia
Blood Bros.

Tad Corporation, 1990, Shooter / 3rd Person


Blood Bros. is a game with a unique but effective control system, diverse and destructible environments, funny moments, and great single/multi-player fun.

The graphics and sound are decent for 1990. It wouldn't have made the game much more fun with better graphics/sound in my opinion, as it's all in the addictive gameplay and longevity.

It's a pretty straightforward western shooter, so of course you have all the usual stuff you would expect in a western setting such as horses, cowboys, indians... all that stuff.

Everyone should play this game at least once. It's a classic.



See that train in the distance? That's the first boss, and it's coming right for me!

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Cabal : Tad Corporation, 1988

Posted: July 4th, 2009, 8:46 am
by eliaskeme

Tad Corporation, 1988, Shooter / 3rd Person


As a reply to Nostalgia's Blood Bros I present Cabal, a former game that is exactly like the Blood Bros. And this makes sense since both games belong to the Tad Corporation.

Info: You have two military soldiers and your goal is to destroy most of the scenery and enemies that appear. In the end of each level there is a boss and you have to destroy it as well. When you start you have your weapon and 10 grenades that make serious damage. During the shooting you may obtain more grenades as well as stronger weapons to inflict more damage. These weapons are a machine gun and a rifle. In order to avoid enemy fire you make a quick spin on the ground.

Advantages: Since it is a game of its own category it is good to try playing it. Also it is very funny since your soldiers celebrate their victory dancing in a very funny music that is heard after the completion of each level.

Disadvantages: The problem with this game is that of you want to move during the shooting you have to stop firing and move. And that's because whenever you open fire you stay still and the only thing that moves is the crosshair so you have to watch your self too.

Snapshots: Although I believe the snapshots are useless since the game is the "father" of Blood Bros and the scenery is kinda the same.

This is how the things go to the 1st stage:


And here is the 1st boss:


Videos: My Cabal gameplay video.

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WWF Wrestlefest : Technos Japan, 1991

Posted: July 4th, 2009, 11:22 am
by eliaskeme
WWF Wrestlefest

Technos Japan, 1991, Sports / Wrestling


For all the fans of wrestling and especially the WWF this is the game they shouldn't miss, WWF Wrestlefest. The characters alone make it special: Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, Big Boss Man...

Info: WWF Wrestlefest is a game where you choose your favourite wrestler and your goal is to become a champion. The characters are: Hulk Hogan, Mr. Perfect, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Earthquake, Sgt. Slaughter, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, The Ultimate Warrior, Big Boss Man, The Demolition (Smash & Crush) and the Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal). The game has two options:


ROYAL RUMBLE: You get one wrestler and your goal is to be the one who is left in a Royal Rumble match. There can be 1 to 4 different players. In Royal Rumble you start along with 5 other wrestlers and every time you disqualify someone after some seconds someone else is replacing the one who left. The replacement is shown on the top right corner of your screen. This happens until all the wrestlers are disqualified but one, the one who is crowned the WWF Champion. Here, for example, Hulk Hogan is the last man standing on the ring:


How to disqualify someone ?? There are 3 ways, the covering, which is the standard one, the give up and the out-of-the-ring throw.
Covering: You decrease your opponent's life and when he is down you cover him until the referee counts 1,2,3. Then the opponent is disqualified. Occasionally if someone is covering someone else then you can also cover them. However there can be only 2 at a time and the one who gets disqualified is the one who got covered first. This is how the double cover is done:


Give Up: At certain times a wrestler will stand up and then starts panting. Then if you go behind him and try to hit him you will headlock him until he gives up. However the opponent must have low life. This is how you make someone give up. In the picture there is also Mr. Perfect making his entrance:


Out-of-the-ring throw: The fastest way to disqualify someone. However you must be next to the ropes. You grab someone and you throw him above the ring and he is disqualified at once.

TAG TEAM MATCH: You choose two wrestlers and form a tag team. You can play alone with your own team or with the 2nd player. If you do that then you can play against a third person or against two. However if one team loses then it has the right to continue. Your goal is to beat everyone on your way to the final match, the one against the Legion of Doom for the WWF Tag Team Championship. This is a picture of what is happening before the match against the Legion of Doom:


Here there are 3 ways of winning as well: covering, give up and count-out.
Covering: The same as in Royal Rumble. Here however when you cover the enemy the partners interfere to stop the referee's counting. This is what is done:


Give up: The same as in Royal Rumble. However the partners interfere to break up the headlock.
Count-out: Unlike in the Royal Rumble, if someone is thrown out of the ring, the action is continued. The partners join, too. However if the wrestler who is fighting stays out of the ring for 20 seconds then his team loses the match. When you are outside of the ring you can grab the items that are on the ground to hit the enemies. The items are boxes, fire extinguishers etc. This is what is going on when you are outside of the ring:


Advantages: The characters, the ring, their size, the music, the crowd makes this game a must.

Disadvantages: The gameplay is slow and because of the graphics you don't know whether you can cover or hit someone who is on the ground.

Additional Info: The character selection in Royal Rumble is this:

Image Image

However the character selection in the Tag Team Match is this:

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Also if you are playing the Tag Team Match you must be alone to choose Demolition so your partner has to wait to play with you. And another thing: The Legion of Doom is unplayable.

Videos: Here is my WWF Wrestlefest gameplay video.

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Metal Slug : Nazca, 1996

Posted: July 6th, 2009, 4:33 am
by Hierophant
Metal Slug - Super Vehicle-001

Nazca, 1996, Platform / Shooter Scrolling


Image Image

Metal Slug for the Neo-Geo is that rare breed of game which has endeared itself to gamers of all ages the world over. Its popularity hasn't diminished since its release well over a decade ago. Crucially, Metal Slug redefined the status of 2D graphics at a time when the focus of arcade gaming was seeing a shift towards 3D driven games such as Namco's Tekken series and Sega's Virtua titles. While these flashy new 3D games were still very successful, Metal Slug seemed to fill a void that the newer technology couldn't satisfy. 3D games of the mid 90s were certainly interesting to look at in arcades at the time, but they also emanated a brittle, unemotional quality. Enter Metal Slug, which oozed so much character and personality from every screen it was outrageous!

Metal Slug's graphics have a gritty charm perfectly suited to this parody of mechanised warfare. The animations of the game's cartoony sprites are brimming with humorous touches. The stunning background artwork offers an extensive range of uniquely themed locations for the action, and Metal Slug has action aplenty. Whether you're spraying gangs of enemies with heavy machine gun fire or lobbing tank shells at end of level bosses, the brutal military destruction hardly ever lets up. The combat intensity escalates as each mission is cleared, so skilful use of the tank is an essential strategy for minimising your own casualties.

You might say, "Who cares? I'll just put in more credits." Believe me, with many of the best MAME games, limiting the number of continues is vital to player satisfaction. While it's tempting to pump in an endless stream of credits in a greedy bid to see the last screens, it's also a sure way to ruin the overall experience. The sense of accomplishment to be gained from gradually mastering a classic game is far more rewarding than breezing through it in one go with infinite continues just for the sake of a short term thrill. A game as fantastic as Metal Slug deserves better, so take my advice people and limit those continues!

At the default settings of difficulty level 4 and 3 lives per continue, my suggested continue limits would be:
  • Beginner - no more than 10 credits.
  • Intermediate - no more than 7 credits.
  • Advanced - no more than 5 credits.
Anything less than 5 credits and you can consider yourself on the way towards true Metal Slug mastery.

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The almighty Slug!

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Metal Slug, more Rambo than Rambo!

My Metal Slug gameplay vid.

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Metal Slug 2 : SNK, 1998

Posted: July 7th, 2009, 9:29 am
by eliaskeme
Metal Slug 2 - Super Vehicle-001/II

SNK, 1998, Platform / Shooter Scrolling


The sequel of the 1st Metal Slug is now made by SNK. This time however you may fight Morden's troops however in the end you deal with filthy aliens !!! Nice game to play.

Info: Apart from Marco and Tarma, the characters from the 1st game, you now have two new ones: Eri and Fio, who are women !!!


The controls haven't changed since the 1st game:


In fact nothing has changed except from the characters, the vehicles and there is also a new weapon, the Laser:

Image Image

And when I say vehicles I mean that there are new vehicles added such as a Shooting Camel !! Check it out !! In this picture there is also the 1st boss:


Also another funny thing that happens is that you get fat if you eat too much food:


Advantages: The weapons, the sound, the fact that you fight against Morden's army are the "keys" of the game.

Disadvantages: There could be more weapons and vehicles as well as different enemies.

Additional Info: Before the battle against the final boss, you have a quick meeting with an old enemy !!!

Videos: My Metal Slug 2 - Super Vehicle-001/II gameplay video. I chose Tarma since he is by far my favorite character:

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