I beat Mega Man 8, the last normal game in the Mega Man Anniversary Collection, over at Ben's new room today. There are two extra games included: Mega Man Power Battle and Mega Man 2: The Power Fighters. The extra games are some pretty decent arcade-only fighters, but don't really count in the series. Since I had never really played much Mega Man before the collection, here are the individual impressions:

Mega Man 1: HARD. Classic. Fun, but the controls are a little loose.

Mega Man 2: One of my favorites. Much easier than the first, but has its share of difficulties.

Mega Man 3: Great sequel. Bosses are still innovative and clever. Sliding rules.

Mega Man 4: Perhaps the worst in the series. Clearly they started running out of ideas, and the difficulty was set way too high. Yay for charging and rush, though.

Mega Man 5: The bosses got cool again. Introduced Beat.

Mega Man 6: Stupid easy -- I beat this one in one sitting -- but enjoyable. Introduced the energy balancer.

Mega Man 7: Finally, a game on SNES! Annoyingly difficult at times, controls seem to have gotten looser. Great artistic style. Shopping for items and TONS of extra powerups (Mega Man is a badass at the end, assuming you got all of the items). Introduced Treble and Bass.

Mega Man 8: Huge step backwards for the series in graphics and sound. HORRENDOUS voice acting. 3D rendered parts look awful. Gameplay is still good, though. (Of course, it's a Mega Man!) The levels had perhaps some of the most interesting designs in the series. The difficulty was balanced near perfectly. Introduced the concept of choosing, in order, which powerups you want to purchase.

"Make no two bones about it, Mega Man Anniversary Collection is one of the best anthology sets we've seen for any platform so far (even if it is a little light in the game count compared to other retro throwbacks like Intellivision Lives and Activision Anthology). Throw in the fact that is has a suggested retail price of less than thirty bucks, a nice amount of bonus content, and the right dose of enhancements to an already strong lineup of games, and it's hard to imagine our GameCube and PlayStation 2 libraries without it." - IGN