5. The one with the massive fire robot
The game: Axelay (SNES)
Published by: Konami
You played it in: 1993
What's Cool: This may be hard to believe, but once upon a time space shoot 'em ups were bankable. Axelay pits you against about a billion enemy space ships, armed with TV-filling weapons and complemented by a rockin' soundtrack. Sounds pretty basic, but Axelay also had impressive 3D graphic tricks and inspired boss design. The first time you see the sea of magma split, and a towering, machinated beast of lava erupts forth, you'll know why this is the best shooter on the SNES.
It's one of the few that hops back and forth between horizontal and vertical scrolling gameplay, too. Throw in a customizable array of weapons and every mission feels a little different than the last. In a deluge of copycat shooters, Axelay combined everything that was top drawer without appearing redundant.
Extra missions?We're gunning for this one.