How to catch all the re-released Neo-Geo classics

(updated 20-10-01)
Despite once being the most expensive, exclusive and elusive console, Neo-Geo is now actually the most ever-present classic format available to any modern gamer. As of September 30th 2020, 109 of the 148 official Neo-Geo titles listed on neo-geo.com have been re-released on at least one modern format. Now, I’m not generally counting any re-releases for Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or Wii, because at this point they are probably as hard to find as an original MVS title (if possibly cheaper).

While we’re about to get new consoles, both are backwards compatible so the library should theoretically port over to Playstation 5 and Xbox Series S/X.

With that in mind, the best place to get the biggest Neo-Geo library is the Switch or Xbox. Both have access to all 104 currently available ACA Neogeo titles, but only the Switch (and PS4) has the remastered version of Windjammers. Consider this the master list of available games (bolded are the major classics):

Switch and Xbox ACA Neogeo titles
2020 Super Baseball
3 Count Bout
Aero Fighters 2
Aero Fighters 3
Aggressors of Dark Kombat
Alpha Mission II
Art of Fighting
Art of Fighting 2
Art of Fighting 3
Baseball Stars Professional
Baseball Stars 2
Big Tournament Golf/Neo Turf Masters
Blazing Star
Blue’s Journey
Burning Fight
Crossed Swords
Cyber-Lip
Fatal Fury
Fatal Fury 2
Fatal Fury 3
Fatal Fury Special
Football Frenzy
Galaxy Fight
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Ghost Pilots
Gururin
Karnov’s Revenge
King of the Monsters
King of the Monsters 2
Kizuna Encounter
Last Resort
League Bowling
Magical Drop II
Magical Drop III
Magician Lord
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 2
Metal Slug 3
Metal Slug 4
Metal Slug 5
Metal Slug X

Money Puzzle Exchanger
Mutation Nation
NAM-1975
Ninja Combat
Ninja Commando
Ninja Master’s
Over Top
Pleasure Goal
Power Spikes II
Prehistoric Isle 2
Pulstar
Puzzle Bobble
Puzzle Bobble 2
Puzzled
Ragnagard
Real Bout Fatal Fury
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special

Riding Hero
Robo Army
Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown III
Samurai Shodown IV

Samurai Shodown V
Samurai Shodown V Special
Savage Reign
Sengoku
Sengoku 2
Sengoku 3
Shock Troopers

Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
Soccer Brawl
Spin Master
Stakes Winner
Stakes Winner 2
Street Hoop
Strikers 1945 Plus
Super Sidekicks
The King of Fighters ’94
The King of Fighters ’95
The King of Fighters ’96
The King of Fighters ’97
The King of Fighters ’98
The King of Fighters ’99

The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2001
The King of Fighters 2002
The King of Fighters 2003

The Last Blade
The Last Blade 2

The Super Spy
Thrash Rally
Top Hunter
Top Player’s Golf
Twinkle Star Sprites
Waku Waku 7
Windjammers

World Heroes
World Heroes 2
World Heroes 2 Jet
World Heroes Perfect
Zed Blade
Zupapa

What about the Playstation 4? Theoretically it should have the same games, but a couple are not available in Europe for whatever reason. Luckily this doesn’t include many notable titles, but Strikers 1945 Plus, World Heroes Perfect and the last three King of Fighters games are some of them. It also gets complicated as some games appear only on PS2 re-released collections, such as Aggressors of Dark Kombat, Ninja Combat, Ninja Commando, Ninja Master’s and Twinkle Star Sprites on the ADK Damashii collection, and Savage Reign and Kizuna Encounter on the Fu’un Super Combo collection. A couple can be had in collections or separately, like the Art of Fighting and Samurai Shodown games. And of course, titles like Garou, Last Blade 2 and Samurai Shodown V Special have dedicated separate releases with online support. It should be noted that the PS2 titles often go on sale cheaper than individual ACA Neogeo titles, but in return might not be arcade perfect.

But if there were 109 games, what happened to the missing four? It’s definitely worth mentioning that four football games were listed by Hamster to be available at one point: Neo Geo Cup ’98, Super Sidekicks 2, Super Sidekicks 3 and The Ultimate 11. They have since been removed. Why? Well, Taiwan and Hong Kong have teams in those games, and SNK is now owned by a Chinese company. So yes, they are petty enough to have a subsidiary go in and actively block mentions on these countries in 25 year old games.

Alright, but what about the modern Neo-Geo consoles? I’m not going to go into the specifics of the quality of these, as I haven’t tried the recent ones, but we have the old Neo-Geo X from 2012 which connected to the TV or used a separate portable mode, the Neo-Geo Mini from 2018 which is a standalone mini arcade that also connects to the TV, the Neo-Geo Arcade Stick Pro from 2019 which only connects to the TV as a console but also works as an arcade stick in itself, and the upcoming Neo-Geo MVS X almost fullscale arcade.

Neo-Geo X titles
3 Count Bout
Alpha Mission II
Art of Fighting
Art of Fighting 3
Baseball Stars 2
Blazing Star
Blue’s Journey
Cyber-Lip
Fatal Fury
Fatal Fury Special
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
King of the Monsters
Kizuna Encounter
Last Resort
League Bowling
Magician Lord
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 2
Mutation Nation
NAM-1975
Ninja Master’s
Puzzled
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown III
Savage Reign
Sengoku
Shock Troopers
Super Sidekicks
Super Sidekicks 3
The King of Fighters ’95
The King of Fighters ’96
The Last Blade
Top Hunter
World Heroes 2 Jet
World Heroes Perfect

The Neo-Geo X had a very small library. It came with 20 games plus a bonus one, and had five packs of three available for separate purchase. With 36 games in all, it was missing a ton of classics and even games like Garou and Last Blade needed to be bought separately. It’s basically not even an option today. If you really want to play these games portably, Switch has it covered.

Neo-Geo Mini titles

Aggressors of Dark Kombat
Alpha Mission II
Art of Fighting
Blazing Star
Blue’s Journey
Burning Fight
Cyber-Lip
Fatal Fury
Fatal Fury 2
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
King of the Monsters 2
Kizuna Encounter
League Bowling
Magician Lord
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 2
Metal Slug 3
Ninja Commando
Ninja Master’s
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
Robo Army
Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown III
Samurai Shodown IV
Samurai Shodown V
Samurai Shodown V Special
Sengoku 3
Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
Soccer Brawl
Super Sidekicks
The King of Fighters ’97
The King of Fighters ’98
The King of Fighters ’99
The Last Blade 2
Top Hunter
Top Player’s Golf
Twinkle Star Sprites
World Heroes Perfect

With only a little bigger library than the old X, the Mini has overall better games. It comes with Blazing Star and Garou out of the box, and has Last Blade 2 instead of having to buy Last Blade separately. It also has Metal Slug 3, the later Samurai Shodowns, Sengoku 3, King of Fighters ’97-’99 (all of which were strangely missing on X) and Twinkle Star Sprites. Despite having a small range of games, it tends to pick the best of each series but is curiously lacking Shock Troopers.

Neo-Geo Arcade Stick Pro titles

Art of Fighting
Art of Fighting 3
Fatal Fury
Fatal Fury 2
Fatal Fury 3
Fatal Fury Special
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Kizuna Encounter
League Bowling
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 2
Metal Slug 3
Metal Slug 4
Metal Slug 5
Metal Slug X
Ninja Combat
Ninja Master’s
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown III
Samurai Shodown IV
Samurai Shodown V Special
Savage Reign
Shock Troopers
Shock Troopers 2nd Squad
Soccer Brawl
Super Sidekicks
The King of Fighters ’95
The King of Fighters ’97
The King of Fighters ’98
The King of Fighters ’99
The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2002
The Last Blade
The Last Blade 2
The Super Spy
World Heroes 2
World Heroes 2 Jet
World Heroes Perfect

The Neo-Geo Arcade Stick Pro came with only 20 games, but has added an additional 20 free titles since release. It was basically entirely a fighting game system, but has since added the Metal Slug and Shock Trooper games and some more, but like the other new Neo-Geos it doesn’t have Blazing Star, Pulstar, Waku Waku 7 or Windjammers.

Neo-Geo MVS X titles

3 Count Bout
Art of Fighting
Art of Fighting 2
Baseball Stars Professional
Fatal Fury
Fatal Fury 2
Fatal Fury 3
Fatal Fury Special
Football Frenzy
Garou: Mark of the Wolves
Kizuna Encounter
Magician Lord
Metal Slug
Metal Slug 2
Metal Slug 3
Metal Slug 4
Metal Slug 5
Metal Slug X
Real Bout Fatal Fury
Real Bout Fatal Fury 2
Real Bout Fatal Fury Special
Samurai Shodown
Samurai Shodown II
Samurai Shodown III
Samurai Shodown IV
Samurai Shodown V
Samurai Shodown V Special
Savage Reign
Sengoku
Sengoku 2
Sengoku 3
Shock Troopers
Super Sidekicks
The King of Fighters ’94
The King of Fighters ’95
The King of Fighters ’96
The King of Fighters ’97
The King of Fighters ’98
The King of Fighters ’99
The King of Fighters 2000
The King of Fighters 2001
The King of Fighters 2002
The King of Fighters 2003
The Last Blade
The Last Blade 2
Top Player’s Golf
World Heroes
World Heroes 2
World Heroes 2 Jet
World Heroes Perfect

Finally, the Neo-Geo MVS X. This is exciting as an almost fullscale arcade cabinet which focuses on completionists of certain series. Thus we have all the Art of Fightings, Fatal Furies, the Fu’uns, the Metal Slugs, the Samurai Shodowns, the King of Fighters, the Last Blades, the Sengokus and the World Heroes. Aside from Shock Troopers, little else is even interesting and it’s the same generic trash that fills out any Neo-Geo collection. So while it has more games than the Arcade Stick Pro (50 vs 40), there’s not anything really better on it. However, since it’s new it may very well end up having additional games added down the line. To really be exciting, it would need some previously not re-released games, like what Sega is doing with their Astro City cab.

Then what about the Neo-Geo games that are currently unavailable? There’s 39 of them (developer listed):

Andro Dunos (Visco)
Bang Bead (Visco)
Breakers (Visco)
Breakers Revenge (Visco)
Captain Tomaday (Visco)
Chibi Marukochan Deluxe Quiz (Takara)
Double Dragon (Technos)
Eight Man (Pallas)
Fight Fever (Viccom)
Flip Shot (Visco)
Ganryu (Visco)
Goal! Goal! Goal! (Visco)
Irritating Maze (Saurus)
Kabuki Klash (Hudson)
Legend of Success Joe (Wave)
Mahjong Bakatonosama Manyuki (Monolith)
Mahjong Kyoretsuden (SNK)
Mahjong Minnasano Okagesamadesu (Monolith)
Master of Shogi (ADK)
Matrimelee (Noise Factory)
Neo Bomberman (Hudson)
Neo Driftout (Visco)
Neo Mr Do! (Visco)
Nightmare in the Dark (Gavaking/Eleven)
Panic Bomber (Hudson)
Pochi & Nyaa (Aiky)
Pop’n Bounce (Video System)
Puzzle de Pon! (Visco)
Puzzle de Pon! R (Visco)
Quest of Jong Master (Yubis)
Quiz Daisousa Sen (SNK)
Quiz King of Fighters (Saurus)
Quiz Meitantei Neo & Geo (SNK)
Rage of the Dragons (Evoga)
Super Dodgeball (Technos)
SVC Chaos: SNK vs Capcom (SNK)
Tecmo World Soccer ’96 (Tecmo)
Viewpoint (Sammy)
Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer (Technos)

As you can see, Visco was a rather active third-party for the Neo-Geo and apparently SNK hasn’t been able to strike a deal with them. The Breakers games are coming in a separate collection, so it’s possible that someone is licensing their titles eventually, although there’s not much more to find there. This list includes some terrific fighting games that are unavailable for various reasons. Kabuki Klash and Voltage Fighter were based on anime, SVC Chaos obviously includes Capcom, and both Double Dragon and Rage of the Dragons are connected to the franchise owned by Technos. Out of all these, Matrimelee is by far the best, and Sammy’s Viewpoint used to be really popular. But most of these games are probably best left to history. If you don’t want to buy original carts, at least Double Dragon and Gowcaizer had (poor) PSone releases and Matrimelee and SVC Chaos are available on Playstation 2.

So in conclusion, if you’re buying the Mini, the Arcade Stick Pro or the MVS X, you are doing it for the form factor. All of them are missing essential titles, although in theory you could mod new games into them if you’re prepared to go that route. The consoles will obviously never get the unlicensed titles, so the cool unique fighters are lost unless SNK and/or Hamster go on a licensing spree. Still, it’s pretty amazing that two thirds of this once unique library can be had for, relatively speaking, very little money.

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Ett svar till How to catch all the re-released Neo-Geo classics

  1. Erik Malm skriver:

    Avoid the PSX version of Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer at all costs. It’s the single worst ”straight” fighting game conversion I have EVER played. Yes, worse than Su-goi! Arcana Heart 2 for the the PS2 and even PSX Samurai Shodown III.

    BTW, PSX Double Dragon isn’t much better. Urban Plant (the converters) are hacks; the PSX managed to host decent versions of Vampire Savior, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and King of Fighters ’98.

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