Keep in mind these are my favorites not the "Greatest Top 5 Arcades Ever"! I have very fond memories of playing these games as a kid and they will never die. So heres a little flashback, for me anyways. Enjoy it.
2. Twin Eagle
Awesome soundtrack, cool sound effects and the number one reason... DOGFIGHTING WITH F-14 TOMCATS!!!!. As a kid, those dogfights mixed with that soundtrack blew my fucking mind everytime. "Waaah waaah waaah, gonna break you doooown!" Ahh, fuck yeah.
When I was a kid, there was only one place I knew of that had this game. 7-11 in Madera near my grandparents house. Every time my cousins and I gathered there for the holidays, we always made a trip there to play it. There were always older kids playing it and I remember it bieng super-difficult so I would always stand back and watch them play unless I was there by myself (I didn't want to get LOL'd at :) ) The soundtrack is amazing and Rastan looks dead on like Conan the Barbarian which is awesome. Rastans voice just makes him sound like a badass, even when he dies he lets out this crazy "Rooooaaaaaarrrrr" This is how I pictured Rastan in real life(I'm sure the Rastan character was inspired by Conan).
4. Street Fighter 2
I want to say the game that started it all, but that would be the original Street Fighter of course. But, after this game was released is when all the biters came out of the woodwork to try to make a fighting game. While there were a handful of awesome ones, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Samurai Shodown, etc.., Street Fighter 2 will always be king. Street Fighter 2 is legendary and will always be the undisputed king of all fighting games. To this day, I still love Dragon Punching the fuck out of my opponents. Something about a punch setting your opponents ablaze that is just downright fierce. (see what i did there?)
Heres the old school Street Fighter. I remember watching crazy SF battles at Tilt in Fashion Fair. They had this huge arcade version with massive padded punch and kick buttons that you had to pound to execute moves. Coolest arcade machine I ever saw. Yes, better than the giant Afterburner machine.
5. Ye Ar Kung-Fu