Year: 1989
Developer: Midway
Sport: Basketball
System: Arcade
Lowdown: Arch Rivals was a basketball game. Two-on-two. Four four-minute quarters. Just score more than the other guy. Standard arcade stuff. Eight possible characters (they're chosen at random) are in play, some with weird names (Blade, Hammer, Mohawk, Moose, Lewis), some normal (Reggie, Vinnie, Tyronne). They have different skill sets, like real basketball players. But there was one caveat: The fallaway-J not falling? Punch the other guy in the face, and drive to the hoop. You can punch to your hearts content, really. Just punch everyone to be safe. The game was seemingly created by a group of people (at Midway, natch) who saw Kermit Washington give Rudy T a broken face-an event that nearly caused a race riot and very well could have destroyed the NBA-and said, "Yes." It's the original NBA Jam before NBA Jam existed, but with teeth. And for that, we are grateful.

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