2008 saw the release of Mega Man 9, possibly the greatest installment in the entire classic Mega Man saga. Shortly after, Capcom followed up with Mega Man 10, which smoothed the formula even more.
Endless Attack modes in each provided an awesome new mode of platforming that has significant potential. You can already find about a dozen "endless attack" romhacks online. Proto Man and Bass provided the variety and challenge necessary for keeping the interest of the hardcore players. I still rank beating Mega Man 9 and 10 on hard with Protoman as some of my greatest gaming achievements.
Years later, however, I'm left wondering: where is Mega Man 11? Maybe the Wii is just coming to a close, or maybe Capcom is hesitant to continue the classic series without Inafune. Maybe that's it for Mega Man.
I recently purchased Mega Man X7 on a whim, but I've never really considered the MMX series all that great when compared with the classic NES and Wii 8-Bit adventures.
I'm sure Starship Mega Man 55 or whatever else Capcom is putting out is equally good, but I just can't get motivated to play the other games in the series. The platforming always felt sloppy and the game always felt like it was marketed to younger kids or people seriously into techno and mohawks. Only with classic Mega Man does one need to be badass mother fucker to achieve victory, without the artificial dark and gritty "edge."
The edge comes from the game itself, and if you don't have serious nuts you might as well go cry at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.