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.

13.


Credited with starting The Great Fighting Game Craze of the 1990s, Street Fighter II: Turbo was the reason everybody was kung fu street fighting. Those kids were fast as lightning in begging their parents to let them get their flying spinning kicks and fireballs on, which was a little bit frightening for CPU-controlled opponents and vocal anti-violence-against-cars activists alike. While the arcade version is responsible for draining hundreds of thousands of dollars of allowance money, the Super Nintendo version allowed gamers to beat the shit out of each other in front of pixelated onlookers over and over and over again for no extra fee.

12.


A side-scrolling sequel to the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle arcade game, Turtles in Time brought the radical pizza-eating reptiles back where they belong—your personal television screen. Based on the animated series, you controlled your favorite turtle as they slid, dashed, and jumped around the sewers and streets of New York City, trying to cowabungle the plans of the evil Shredder. Also, there was time travel. If that doesn't sound totally awesome to you, you must have had toxic waste dropped on your head as a baby.

11.


(Official Title: Final Fantasy VI) Commercially successful and critically acclaimed, Final Fantasy VI was easily the best Final Fantasy game when it was released and perhaps ever. The game opened the floodgates for the franchise: Every Final Fantasy game since has been given a western release, no longer forcing publishers to change the names of games. VI also featured 14 playable characters and a level of storytelling head and shoulders above any seen in an RPG up to that point. While it lacks the same widespread appeal as Final Fantasy VII, FF VI will always be gamers' favorite Final Fantasy.

10.


Expanding upon the runaway success of the first installment, Donkey Kong Country 2 introduced more collectibles and more animal companions. With a new pirate theme and featuring Diddy Kong and his girlfriend Dixie, Donkey Kong Country 2 proved that Donkey Kong Country games didn't need the titular ape to move units. It was an improvement over its predecessor in almost every way with an orchestral soundtrack, higher difficulty level, and better graphics, though it can't quite unseat its classic status.