17.

The original Mortal Kombat is one of the most controversial games of all time. The only thing it had in higher volume than gore and violence was people that wanted to play it. Mortal Kombat focused on Liu Kang's journey to save the earth from the evil sorcerer, Shang Tsung, but everyone else focused on the spine-rippingly good fatalities. Not to mention Sonya Blade--who put the "babe" in "I'm getting the shit kicked out of me by a babe." Though lacking the refinement of a Street Fighter or the manic pace of a Marvel vs. Capcom, Mortal Kombat was undeniably bad-ass, especially juxtaposed against the backdrop of the Super Nintendo. Their portly Italian plumber spokesman barely decapitated anybody.

 

16.

(Official Title: Final Fantasy IV) While the game has been re-released under its original title, Final Fantasy IV was originally known as Final Fantasy II outside of Japan. Believe it or not, there was a time when executives were afraid that the Final Fantasy series wouldn't appeal to western gamers and picked and chose what to send over. Considering Final Fantasy X-2, this is clearly no longer a concern. In any case, Final Fantasy IV was a major step forward in RPG story-telling. It paved the way for the rest of the series and other RPGs in general. Also, suck it, Final Fantasy VII: Final Fantasy IV was killing off main characters before it became cool.

 

15.

Considered by some to be the greatest fighting game ever (or at the very least, the best Mortal Kombat game), it's no surprise that gamers rank it as one of the greatest SNES games of all time. MK II introduced a slew of brutal new fatalities and added Babalities and Friendships to the roster. Sprinkle in a few secret characters, the ability to play as original Mortal Kombat boss Shang Tsung, more playable ninjas (because Mortal Kombat always needs more ninjas) and you've got a hit on your hands. TOASTY!

14.

The prequel of the Mario Bros. series, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island gives you the apparently much-demanded backstory of how the bros. and their sweet dino companion came to be, sparing many parents the awkward experience of explaining where Baby Marios come from. Yoshi's Island maintained its predecessor's excellent platforming and added a unique focus on puzzle-solving. It had a beautiful hand-drawn aesthetic to accompany its delightfully idiosyncratic game mechanics. What it lacks in princesses and fully-grown characters, it makes up for in being able to control dinosaurs--which is all anyone could ever ask for.