9.


In this title, Fox McCloud and his team of zoo animals embark on their first battle against the forces of Andross. Star Fox featured graphics revolutionary for its time, utilizing the much-hyped Super FX microchip. It was a game of firsts: the first true 3D Nintendo game, the first installment in a core Nintendo franchise, and the first time animals were put in space ships without upsetting animal rights organizations. Memorable not only for its face-melting polygons and big polygon faces, Star Fox also introduced us to Slippy, a weird, horrible sexless troll creature that would haunt our dreams for years to come. As Falco would say, "Dabba do dada?"

8.


The original Mega Man games were bright, breezy, colorful, (hair-pullingly difficult), romps populated by cute robots and memorable bosses. Mega Man X switched up the setting and added in new gameplay elements without sacrificing the formula that made the original games classics. It dialed back the punishing difficulty and added dashing, wall-jumping, and the ability to charge special weapons. Mega Man X was designed to make you feel like the penultimate dystopian bad-ass. The ultimate, of course, is Zero.

7.


Bowser and Mario, working together? Mass hysteria! Before Super Mario RPG, that was merely a pipe dream. Developed by the RPG whizzes at Square (under the guidance of videogame maestro Shigeru Miyamoto) and published by Nintendo, Super Mario RPG cast the characters of Mushroom Kingdom in a new light. Rather than a standard top-down world crawl, Super Mario RPG played like an isometric platformer, complete with the block hopping and brick smashing of traditional Mario games, while adding a new dimension to exploration. The battle system, too, added layers to the formula by including timed button presses, making combat fast-paced and engaging. The ultimate "shouldn't work but totally does" game, Super Mario RPG broke all the rules of plumber roleplaying.

6.


Made by the "Dream Team" of Square developers, Chrono Trigger revolutionized the RPG genre. Praised by critics and loved by fans, this game had it all: multiple endings, time travel and an anthropomorphic frog knight. Starring the greatest mute protagonist this side of Hyrule, Chrono Trigger combined traditional turn-based combat with a sophisticated combo system. When someone starts playing Chrono Trigger, it's not a question of whether he or she will play through the entire game: It's a question of how many times.