In any other year, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection would be a no-brainer recommendation for ’90s gaming nostalgia. Who could turn down an invite to an arcade stocked with 13 of the series’ earliest hit games, all set up for free play with welcome modern tweaks?
But this far into 2022, another arcade filled with Turtles fun has already opened on the same block. Shredder’s Revenge, a new title featuring the series’ old-school arcade action, earned a spot in our year-end best-of list barely two months ago—and its brilliant, beautiful, six-player fun costs $15 less.
TMNT fanatics with big gaming budgets can look forward to a competent and content-rich Cowabunga compilation, and we generally recommend the new collection to that crowd, despite some issues. But for fans with more limited time and money, Shredder’s Revenge is the better ’90s-styled arcade brawler by far—and it shows that The Cowabunga Collection‘s games have aged somewhat poorly.