(I typed all of this on Friday and then forgot to actually submit it here...d'oh)
Well, here's my personal Arcade top 10:
1. Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
--This was my first arcade purchase and is something I still play. Replayability, a steady learning/difficulting curve, solid visuals, and a cheap price tag make this game a force to be reckoned with.
2. Outpost Kaloki
--Clearly one of the biggest time-eaters on my list as I've poured tons of time into this one. For me, OKX is all about intuitive controls, never ending challenges, visual flair, but above all chuckle-inducing quirk-tastic humor.
3. Marble Blast Ultra
--Talk about a challenge...once you finish the game the "basic" way you are exposed to trap launching, easter eggs, double boosting, corner launching, and all kinds of crazy shortcuts that add depth and mind cramping challenge to this slick game.
4. Lumines Live!
--I know there was controversy about this game, but I am not complaining. I got great value out of my $15 and once I was skilled enough I went ahead and got the Advance Pack. $22.50 is not much to pay in this world of $40 (or more) repackaged Tetris games that still underperform the original. The visual style and audio work here is stellar. (Note: I never played the PSP version so I didn't have as big an issue with the pricing or the controls.)
5. Cloning Clyde
--A great sophomore XBLA effort from Ninjabee with the vision of John Kenworthy Nielson. No slump here despite completely switching genres and play styles. The humor is still there (kick those chickens!) as well as a unique visual flair. Gameplay is solid and even the "glitches" provide endless opportunities for fun and experimentation.
6. Hexic HD
--Simple and effective presentation along with a (IMO) better than on the PC control scheme, Hexic HD is a great puzzle game. Period. The price (free) doesn't hurt either.
7. Wik: Fable of Souls
--A completely unique control scheme within a bizarre tale about a frog-like creature in search of his family. Like nothing else...frustrating at times, but still ultimately fun and challenging.
--Fun with friends (and enemies). And it's even cheaper than the actual card version.
(Don't own it)
--Always thought this game was cool. Thumbstick is a very good input device for this type of game. Don't own it probably just because I suck at it.
10. Small Arms
(Don't own it)
--Amazing visuals packed into a tight package. Controls seem pretty responsive and most of my personal frustration with the game is not because the game is bad (it's actually pretty damn cool) but because I personally am not that great at it.
Other than that, I don't appreciate them ripping into Time Pilot...I love that game. For the most part they are reiterating the community's sentiment, but saying $10 arcade games are "bunk-tastic" is clearly short-sighted since good games take time (and money) and those that make them should be rewarded for their hard work. (And have they noticed that the PC version of Bejelewed 2 or Zuma goes for $19.99?)
Obviously, you can see by my list that I am always interested in the *new* or original stuff. Some games have the nostalgia factor to some degree (SF II, Contra, Time Pilot, Robotron: 2084) but I focus most of my purchasing power of supporting new games.
(Disclaimer: I do own Time Pilot and Robotron: 2084 [Camera pack-in]. Other games I own, not on the list -- TotemBall, Texas Hold 'Em, Sneak King, Big Bumpin', Bankshot Billiards 2 [Live pack-in])