You come from Mexico, I hear stories about how they turned MK cabinets into Neo-Geo cabbies lol. In the USA, Neo-Geo cabinets were not nearly as abundant. There was 2 cabinets in my hometown, one had Samurai Shodown I, then II for the longest time, and 2 other games I don't remember but they weren't fighters, so I didn't play. Another place had a cabinet with KOF95 which was my first KOF.
Anyways, Art Of Fighting can be attributed mainly for introducing new features in fighting games, such as desperation moves, power gauges, taunting, battle damage/cheese K.O's, etc. But gameplay wise, the actual fighting in-game was not solid at all and was extremely limited compared to most other 2D fighting games out at the time, it's like the game just lacks in strategy and footsies, your options and mobility are limited, there just isn't much to do and the game controls like crap. Most of the characters are also pretty shitty. Nobody gives a shit about Micky Rogers, John Crawly, Temjin, Jack Turner, or the characters in 3 that aren't named Kasumi.
I think Art Of Fighting 3 had some of the most amazing sprites and animation around for it's time, I'd even rate it above Street Fighter 3 and Garou:MOTW, but that gameplay was abysmal.
SNK has gone on to do way better things since the AOF series, Samurai Shodown, KOF, Real Bout Special/2, MOTW, Last Blade etc.