1. Street Fighter II (1991)
It was far from the first fighting game, but SFII epitomised the best things about arcade games: it was multiplayer, it was a bit weird in an imaginative (and very Japanese) sort of way, and if you gave it time, you could string together fiendishly complex special moves that made a bespectacled 11-year-old feel like Chuck Norris. Don't agree? Well, tough: Street Fighter II is now legally the best arcade game ever. It's on the internet, so it must be true.
Well, there's a whole bunch of superb arcade games we missed out - Donkey Kong, Ghosts 'n' Goblins, Joust, OutRun, Mortal Kombat, Ridge Racer and Space Invaders should all have obviously made the list, even though there isn't space for any of them. But when I think about it, the game I actually wasted more time and money on as a kid wasn't one of these titans of gaming history. It was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Why? Partly because I was a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles franchise (they were Heroes in Europe, in the belief that this would make children aspire to be Heroes rather than Ninjas, thereby creating a more altruistic and productive generation). But also because it was genuinely a great game, with 4-player co-op, different fighting styles for each character and lots of helpful reminders to eat pizza. On the very rare occasions I spot a battered old TMNT cabinet, anyone with me is immediately coerced into playing a few levels as Raphael or Michaelangelo. But not Donatello. I get Donatello.