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Top 10 Neo Geo Games We Want To Come To The Virtual Console

Posted by Corbie Dillard

The Neo Geo console was a lot like a Rolls-Royce.

It wasn't necessarily that much better than the other consoles on the market at the time, it was just a hell of a lot more expensive. Not only that, but if you managed to somehow survive the $650 price tag the console hit you with, you'd still have to shell out another $200-$300 per game if you wanted anything to play on your shiny new console. It goes without saying that most gamers passed on the Neo Geo system, but the story still managed to have a happy ending. Over the years the Neo Geo consoles and arcade cabinets have become quite collectible around the internet and now these wonderful titles are getting a second chance on the Wii Virtual Console service.

Since Neo Geo titles are finally beginning to hit the Virtual Console at a more consistent pace, I thought it would be nice to take some time and put together a top 10 list of Neo Geo game titles I think would be perfect additions to the Wii Virtual Console. While I'm certainly not what you would call a Neo Geo expert, I have owned a Neo Geo MVS arcade cabinet for almost a decade now and chances are if it's ever been available for the Neo Geo, I've played it at some point. Here are my picks.

10. Neo Mr. Do - Mr. Do was a fantastic arcade classic, but Visco really outdid themselves with their update of the game for the Neo Geo. They took the simple yet addictive play control of the arcade game and whipped up some of the most outrageous and vivid visuals to go along with it. They also added some new tunes to the mix that fit the zany look of the game perfectly. It's a shame that more of the classic 80's arcade titles haven't received the same type of makeover that Mr. Do was given. If you're a classic arcade game fan this is one insane title that you absolutely don't want to miss.

9. World Heroes Perfect - The World Heroes titles have long been considered the dark horses of the Neo Geo fighting games. Most hardcore fighting game fans will generally tell you that the games just don't feature the type of depth found in some of the more respected Neo Geo fighters like Garou: Mark of the Wolves or the King of the Fighters series. While it's true that World Heroes Perfect is a little more basic in design, it certainly doesn't make the game any less enjoyable and is probably a good starting point for gamers interested in getting their feet wet in the fighting game genre. There are several games in the World Heroes lineup, but World Heroes Perfect is easily the best game in the series by a good margin.

8. King of the Fighters '99 - The King of the Fighters series is one of the most respected fighting game series available on the Neo Geo and it won't take you long to understand why that is. The game takes many characters from various Neo Geo fighting titles and throws them into one giant 3-on-3 slugfest. The play control feels a lot like that of the Fatal Fury series, but there are some tweaks here and there to give King of the Fighters an edge all its own. Every game in the King of the Fighters series is a top notch title, but King of the Fighters '99 is the one I find myself playing more than any of the others. King of the Fighters '94 is already available on the Virtual Console and is worth checking out. If you like it, you should definitely consider picking this one up if it ever makes it to the Virtual Console.

7. Prehistoric Isle 2 - While fighting games reigned supreme on the Neo Geo, there were a few gems from other genres that snuck their way into the lineup as well. Prehistoric Isle 2 is one such gem. The game takes the game play from a horizontal shooter and throws in a lot of angry dinosaurs to liven things up. The visuals in the game are outstanding and there are a ton of special effects strung throughout each level to keep the visual eye candy flowing. The play control is tight and responsive and the unique dinosaur theme really makes the game stand out from many of the other shooter offerings from this time period. If you're looking for a break from the never-ending list of fighting titles on the Neo Geo, this game will do the job quite nicely. It's not the best shooter for the Neo Geo, but it's right up there near the top and is unique enough to warrant some attention.

6. Metal Slug 3 - Metal Slug has become one of the most successful series found on the Neo Geo systems and Metal Slug 3 represents the pinnacle of the series. There's enough run-and-gun goodness in this game to satisfy even the most ardent arcade shooter fan. The visuals are fantastic and the soundtrack is one of the best ever heard on the Neo Geo. As good as the previous Metal Slug titles are, Metal Slug 3 is just that much better. If you're fan of games like Contra and Gunstar Heroes, you really owe to yourself to pick this game up if it's released on the Virtual Console. It's easily on par with some of the best run-and-gun action titles out there.

5. Samurai Shodown II - Samurai Shodown was a milestone in the life of the Neo Geo system in the fact that it was the first fighting game released for SNK's system that could actually hold its own against the all-powerful Street Fighter 2. Not many other companies outside of Capcom could claim that at the time with Street Fighter 2's absolute dominance of the fighting game genre during its time period. While Samurai Shodown is an outstanding fighting game, Samurai Shodown II blows it away. It not only adds 4 amazing new characters, it also includes new backgrounds, new musical tracks, and tons of other little goodies to keep Samurai Shodown fans happy. The classic Samurai Shodown fighting engine is back in full force and even brings with it a few new moves for the characters. If you're a fan of Samurai Shodown, and shame on you if you're not, you're in for a real treat when Samurai Shodown II hits the Virtual Console.

4. Twinkle Star Sprites - It would be easy to quickly dismiss Twinkle Star Sprites as just another cute 'em up, but if you do you'll be missing out on an absolutely amazing shooter experience. Instead of just sending you out on a mission to fly your way through a level shooting everything in site, Twinkle Star Sprites forces you to take on another player. By taking out enemies and collecting power-ups you can use to send special attacks at your opponent. You're goal is to take out your opponent before they take you out. It's like a shooter with a fighting game mentality thrown into it. If you think it sounds outrageous, wait until you try it out for yourself. Then you can see why this is one of the most sought-after (and expensive) Neo Geo titles in history.

3. Garou: Mark of the Wolves - The Fatal Fury series was where SNK's quest for fighting game credibility first began. And as the Fatal Fury sequels and spin-offs were released one after another, the games gradually got better and better. Garou: Mark of the Wolves represents the pinnacle of the Fatal Fury series and is easily one of the best fighting games ever created. In fact, most Neo Geo fighting game fanatics will tell you, in no uncertain terms, just how outstanding the game truly is in great detail if you somehow make the mistake of asking them. Very few 2-D fighting games can come close to equaling the unbelievable amount of depth found in Garou's game play engine. If you're a diehard fighting game fan, this is one to put at the top of your Virtual Console wish list.

2. Pulstar - Sure Pulstar is about as blatant an R-Type rip-off as you can get without a full-blown lawsuit. But if you're going to rip off a game, you might as well make it one of the greatest shooters ever made. Pulstar features some outstanding visuals, not to mention enough amazing explosion effects to keep even the most diehard shooter fan giggling. The music in the game is also incredible. It has an uptempo beat, but it's very moody, which fits in with the eerie look of the game. The game play will feel quite familiar to R-Type fans as the two games are very similar in style and execution. As good as the bosses were in R-Type, Pulstar manages to one-up them with some of the biggest and most fierce end of level bosses you're ever likely to encounter. If you can appreciate an amazing shooter experience and don't mind a fairly high degree of difficulty, Pulstar is right up your alley.

1. The Last Blade - As I mentioned earlier, most hardcore Neo Geo fighting game fans will tell you that Garou: Mark of the Wolves is the best fighting game available on the Neo Geo system, but here's where I have to disagree. The Last Blade takes the weapons-style combat of Samurai Shodown and builds a much more fluid play control system around it. The result is a much more "user-friendly" fighting engine that will appeal to fighting game fans of all skill levels. The game just has this smooth, fluid feel to it that makes playing the game a real treat. Couple all of this with gorgeous backdrops and some of the best music you'll hear on the Neo Geo system and you have what I consider the best fighting game ever created by human hands. This is one that everyone should at least consider purchasing when it hits the Virtual Console. It's absolutely spectacular and a game that I play more often than any other Neo Geo title in my collection.

I know that I've left a lot of great Neo Geo titles off the list, but there was only ten spots to be had. It's obvious that fighting game fans are going to get more out of the Neo Geo console than any other type of game fans, but it's worth noting that there are some other fantastic games available for the console that aren't fighting games. You just have to do a little looking. It's a shame that so many gamers missed out on the Neo Geo console for one reason or another, not to mention these outstanding games. I just hope that all ten of these amazing titles eventually get the second chance they all deserve on the Wii Virtual Console. It would be a real shame if they didn't.

If you'd like a more in-depth history of the Neo Geo console, don't forget to check out our Neo Geo Hardware Focus.

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User Comments (63)



Dazza said:

Great list corbie, what a system the Neo Geo was. I hope some of those games you mentioned eventually make it to VC. We're just getting the early generation stuff at the moment, but when the developers really got to grips with the hardware, some really special games got made.

One of my favourite games from the system has to be Blazing Star which is a excellent shoot em up. Its really high energy and just defines what an arcade game should be. Awesome stuff.



Corbs said:

Blazing Star is an amazing shooter. It was #12 on the list of 20 I made. For those who care, here are the runner up Neo Geo games that didn't make the Top 10.

11. Matrimelee
12. Blazing Star
13. Viewpoint
14. Last Blade 2
15. Waku Waku 7
16. Nam 1975
17. Metal Slug X
18. Windjammers
19. Neo Bomberman
20. Nightmare in the Dark



ToneDeath said:

Good list. I've played Last Blade and I too thought the visuals were beautiful, and of course it's fun too. Strange that it doesn't get mentioned as often as some of the other fighters.
Another Neo Geo game I enjoyed was Shock Troopers, a good alternative to Metal Slug (though Metal Slug 2 is my favourite Neo Geo game overall).



retrogarden said:

On my list would be:

KOF '95
3 Count Bout
Super Sidekicks 2 (one of the best football games ever made).



North99 said:

I see lots of fighters that look like the same game with new skins on the characters. No wonder I never bought this system originally.



Adamant said:

I'd love to see Aggressors of Dark Kombat as well. It's a fighting game with a twist, and originality is good.



KeeperBvK said:

Glad to see Windjammers making in at least into the top 20, but why anybody would want to see Waku Waku 7 being released is beyond me. The neat style just covers an extremely barebone fighter that feels clunky all around.



sadpanda212 said:

Great Article Corbie, I would love most of those on the VC, The exception for me being Metal Slug 3, I don't know why but this is the only metal slug game I've not really got into.

There was a Neo Geo game I used to play in the arcades called Mutant Fighter, I used to spend a fortune on that when I was younger, I'd love to see that on the VC.

As far as I'm concerned, the more Neo Geo games the better, I could never afford one but I always wanted one. 900 points for a Neo Geo game is a steal.

@ Retrogarden

Super Sidekicks was amazing, I loved that game



Terra said:

Blazing Star was awesome. I really hope the VC gets that in the future



Shiryu said:

Reallly need Blazing Star and, one of my all time favorites, Shock Troopers.



marktheshark said:

@ Ragnor

There were no RPG's for the system but if I can remember correctly, the Neo Geo CD had a Samurai Shodown RPG.



slangman said:

So those are the best Neo Geo games huh? For some reason Garou Mark of The Wolves really stands out for me (since I heard its one of the best fighting games ever made) and i hope it comes to the VC soon. I wounder when the other games mentioned will come out? The Neo Geo really needs some of the later titles at the moment.



DEMON212 said:

I'm surprised at no Fury Special, everyone seems to go mental over that.

Glad I'm not alone in thinking that Slug 3 is the best



Adroitone said:

That's a great list Corbie, but for me, I'll have to put Shock Troopers, Matrimelee, Rage of The Dragon, and Blazing Star, and Samurai Shodown 4 in the top 10. Last Blade is definitely the best 2D fighter of all time, no question. I've played around 90% of all fighters to ever exist and 2D wise, I don't believe there's any contest. They are pretty much 2D Soul Caliburs. Last Blade 2 was outstanding as well, but I didn't like how they dubbed down the Speed Mode.

Matrimelee and Rage of the Dragon, oh, and also Ninja Masters (the first game the Last Blade team created) are very overlooked but outstanding fighters that everyone should get. Kizuna Encounter as well.

To the person who said all the fighters look the same, I think you need to youtube those fighters. They are nothing alike.

Last but not least, Garou is definitely the best Fatal Fury, no question, however, lets not forget the outstanding Real Bout series. All of those games were top of the line as well. Fatal Fury 3 was no slouch either.



classicmike said:

I never played or heard of the neogeo because of 2 reasons, (1) I was born in '94 and (2) I used 2 always play the NES, the N64, and the Genisis. Though, I find these games 2 be very interesting and I might even get some of them if they do come out on the VC. Also, congrats 2 u corbie for turing this nintendo fanboy into also a neogeo fanboy.(sorry if I didn't spell any words correctly)



Adamant said:

@Mike: "Is fighters the only games that the Neo Geo was good for?"

No, but being a pure arcade-at-home console in the 90s, that only got "standard" genres without all kinds of fancy ways of controlling the action on the screen, it was the dominating genre.

If you picture an arcade, how many different genres would you see represented if you ignored all cabinets with guns, wheels, dancing mats and such? Not a whole lot.



blackknight77 said:

I am ready for Metal Slug 3. Its my favorite of the Metal Slug games. I really enjoyed the underwater shooting levels.



Saint_Nick said:

Windjammers, bar-none. The reason: I remember walking past a video game shop back in the day and I saw the title. Being the proud owner of all the big systems at the time (or so I thought) I assumed it would no problem at all to pick up this wonderful title and play it to my hearts content. Imagine my MASSIVE disappointment when I discovered it was on the NEO-GEO.

Back in the day, I remember that EMG and Game-pro would rarely but occasionally refer to this specialized machine and I would say to myself, "Who's got that kind of money". I thank my lucky stars for VC. Now bring us Pong +!



whalleywhat said:

I was gonna add Blazing Star, but I see Dazza got it. First post accuracy. I like the way it tells you 'you suck' if you die. Well, not in so many words, but that's the gist of it.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

I can live with your list since Blazing Star and Waku Waku 7 make it as runner ups. Never played them, but they look incredible!

I´m a bit surprised "meh-already-on-anthology" Metal Slug 3 (and X) make the list. But I´m all for classic controller support. so yes please! Considering the series bad reputation World Heroes Perfect is a bit surprising too. I´d love this or World Heroes Jet, if just out of curiousity.

Only game I miss is one of the Aero Fighters / Sonic Wings games. Fun co-op.



Corbs said:

If I had left off the Metal Slug series completely, I'd have been flamed back to the stone age.

Nice to see some fellow Windjammers fans as well. It's one of the most underrated Neo Geo games, in my opinion.



hal said:

100% amazing 2D!!!! (not often come by lately) doubt nintendo will go for it though... these games r just too good! lol .. wish that were a joke!



Cally said:

I downloaded a few Neo Geo titles, only to find out that they would come out on collections (again, equivalent of $1.25 per game). I don't know about you guys, but I don't intend to make that mistake twice.



Cally said:

Is "Shodown" just a misspelling, or some kind of pun (like from the word Shogun or something)?

I also wondered if the word "Gradius" was actually supposed to be "Gladius" (like the Roman sword), but wasn't corrected from Japanese which, in its L-deficiency always changes an L from a foreign word to an "R".



Corbs said:

"Shodown" is just spelled that way for some reason. If you check out the English (if you can even call it that) text in Samurai Shodown II, you'll see that the title fits right in!

@ Kevenz - You need to give it a try. It's one amazing shooter with an interesting dinosaur twist to it. Great visual effects as well. It's top shelf.



Adamant said:

@Cally: "I also wondered if the word "Gradius" was actually supposed to be "Gladius" (like the Roman sword), but wasn't corrected from Japanese which, in its L-deficiency always changes an L from a foreign word to an "R"."

Nope. Common myth, but if you look at the (phonetical) katakana spelling of the name, you'll see the pronounciations are different - the game is pronounced "Grah-dee-us", the sword "Gley-dee-us". The Japanese may not be the best at spelling words right in roman letters, but they pronounce the words (mostly) right. Had it been supposed to be named after the sword, they'd have spelled it "gureidiusu" with katakana, rather than "guradiusu".



Genroh said:

Good list but the lack of Aero Fighters 2 and Sengoku 3 makes me sad T_T



Corbs said:

I'm not a big Sengoku fan, but I do like the Sonic Wings titles. Just not enough to rank them in my top 20.



blackknight77 said:

I actually may pick up the SNK collection. I never owned a Neo-Geo but I used to play it at the mall arcade all of the time. I am not familair with all of these games though. Anyway I loved fighting games in the 90's and I would rent Fatal Fury 1 and 2, World heroes and Samurai Shodown for the Genesis. I thought the Genesis ports were pretty good. Fatal fury played really well.



That_Guy_from_Faxana said:

According to IGN the PS2 version of SNK collection suffers from both loading and slowdown, especially the fighters. I have little hope that this will get better on the Wii port. Plus, I´m not even sure us europeans will get the collection at all, I don´t see it on our releaselist.



blackknight77 said:

@ Faxanadu

I read that article as well. I think I will rent the SNK collection before buying. Classic controller support is a must



Kreegs07 said:

So there is a list of top 10 Neo geo and they release King of the Monsters?? WTF. I don't even want any games on the top 10 Neo Geo list so why would I possibly want that garbage??



Ricardo91 said:

amen. How about making a "Top 10 SNES Games we want to come to VC" list, eh? Now that would be a list I'd wanna see!



sephiroth79 said:

I agree whole-heartedly. Neo Geo was out of reach for many of us middle-class kids, and now we know was way more powerful than anything else out on the market.

My only complaint is the lack of good role-playing games, otherwise the fighters and shooters are the best of the best. I finally got to play last blade, and it's phenominal, but samurai showdown II is still my favorite.



StarDust4Ever said:

Why, why, why? Why does every single game for the Neo-Geo have to be a fighting game? I suck at fighting games, grumble...

I also suck at sports games and shooters. But nearly every single Neo-Geo game to date has been a fighter. Why? Surely there's something else from that console that could possibly be good. The only Neo game I downloaded was "Blue's Adventure" and I don't like swapping out the component cable, grumble...

The greatest 2D console, and Nintendo has alienated a few of their fans (like me) by only releasing titles from within specific genres. I wish I could love this system - but I can't. Sorry, Nintendo failed me again...



Corbs said:

Okay here you go - Top 10 Games We'd Like To Come To The Virtual Console:
1. Chrono Trigger
2. Super Mario RPG
3. Kirby Super Star
4. The Lost Vikings
5. Demon's Crest
6. Terranigma
7. Pocky & Rocky 2
8. Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel
9. Sutte Hakkuun
10. Soul Blazer

And don't be so quick to dismiss the Neo Geo. It was a great system with a lot of great titles. Besides most people already know what they want on the Super NES. We're trying to stir up a little support for the little-known Neo Geo console.



Ricardo91 said:

Hey Thanks!!

Wait a minute. Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel? Are you serious about that, Corbie? and I don't think we'll see KSS and CT on there since they're being remade for DS, but other than that it works for me!

btw I don't HATE the Neo-Geo, I just have don't know much about it.



Corbs said:

I love Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel. One of my favorite platformers of the 16-bit era. In fact, it's in my SNES right now as we speak.

And you're probably right about CT and KSS. But at least we get remakes on the DS. I guess beggars can't be choosers. I'll do a Top SNES Games list like the Neo Geo one next. How about that?



Ricardo91 said:


When was the last time we saw a new game from that system on VC anyway, it's been quite a while



Corbs said:

It has been awhile, sadly. I was putting together a Top 10 on my site and I had to quit on it for awhile because of other work. Maybe I'll just use part of it and finish it off to use on here. Shame for it to just sit there and go to waste.



Adroitone said:

Well it's good that he did a top 10 Neo Geo list since most of you are uninformed about the Neo Geo since the only thing most of you know is Nintendo consoles. This shows many of the great games that came out on the Neo Geo and why the Neo Geo is a good thing on the VC.



romanista said:

a bit of an unbalanced list if you ask me, sure, some of the fighter series should/will be completed, but more interesting are the other games.. mr do is a good example, but viewpoint would be a great addition for the shmups (as there isn't a zaxxon style one), neo turf master is a classic golf game, metal slug 3 isn't the pinnacle of the series (X is)

we would need more storage room to use all those nbeo geo games though

(oh and supernes games: unirally! zombies ate my neighbours!)



Ricardo91 said:

@Adroitone. I never though of it that way!

Edit: so the games costed $200-$300 each plus the $650 for the system itself? God, no wonder it failed. And I thought the PS3 was expensive...



Bass_X0 said:

Cheez, it was offering arcade perfect ports during a time when other consoles just couldn't handle it. it wasn't a console for regular gamers; more a way to cheaply have arcade games in your own home for those who wished to spend that much money on games.




Metal slug 3!! lol not the best in the series,too long and repetitive,besides if you want ms3 just go and buy the metal slug anthology like i did at launch,it makes no sense to pay 900 wii points for 1 game when you can pay a little extra and have all 6!! and i do not see a last resort in here but hopefully the snk collection will arive for wii soon,and what about a cd port of the best neo shooter which was cd only (brikinger) a.k.a iron clad? if only neo cd games would come to vc.



SNK said:

the neo-geo was the best console around when it was released,it was much better than any console out between 1990 and 1998 the snes and megadrive had no where near as good colour or graphics think about it some of the neo-geo games were 890mb even the playstation and sega saturn didnt have as much internal ram as the mighty neo-geo let alone the snes and megadrive, whats corbie dillard on about???



dfalco said:

top ten neo geo
king of fighters 96
waku waku 7
mark of wolfs
samurai showdown 3
last blade
metel slung
sonic wings
last blade 2
art of fighting 3



deadly_by_design said:

Nearly half way through 2011, the Wii successor is being announced, but still no Last Blade 1 or 2 on the Virtual Console. It's a shame, because it's a really hard game to get legitimately. (without buying an actual NeoGeo.... or Dreamcast... and I don't own a PS2 to buy the compilation w/ the censored port)

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