The message about the controller being detected / configured means that RetroArch starts ok. Can you try and enable verbose logging from the Runcommand launch menu when running the game, then exit the game and copy the /dev/shm/runcommand.log file over. Post it's contents on pastebin.com to take a look at what might be the error.
You'll probably need to enable SSH and use WinSCP to copy that file, since it's not available via file shares.
@mitu Sorry for the delay in getting back to you and thank you for posting. Between work and being new to this, it took me a bit to get to the runcommand log (used winscp). I am positive I am using lr-mame2003, made sure to check through each step/popup and downloaded the romsets labeled as being 0.78. Checking the file, I do see where it says I am missing files and the game won't run. I thought that was weird seeing as the game worked previously the other day. (tmnt: the arcade game, (tmnt2po and tmnt couldn't get turtles in time working as its upside down), my friend owns the actual machine though it's since become a large paperweight, this pi is for him) However, I did delete and try to add the games again though usb drive (with light) and it still didn't work. I decided to try uploading the same games through winscp....and now tmnt the arcade game works again no problem. Perhaps this is a usb or card issue or something else? Not sure why it would work one minute and not the next. Here's hoping these versions work for a while. Sorry if I wasted your time.
Retropie requires you to read the instructions that are comprehensively written and it's not a boot and play solution. If you have no time, it's the wrong project for you. 99% of all your questions are covered in those docs.