Though it might not have the bells and whistles afforded to Warped, Crash Bandicoot 2 still has rock-solid design and great gameplay variety. It squeezed every inch out its 25 levels, hiding collectibles in every nook and cranny. It's tough to say why Crash 2 is just slightly better than Crash 3, but the flawless and objective scientific methods of the Dorkly Toplist must not be questioned.
The follow-up to the beloved Chrono Trigger wasn't what anyone was expecting, but in this case it was a wonderful thing. The crazy amount of playable characters (each with their own goofy dialect) and branching paths encouraged multiple playthroughs of the trippy and whimsical story. Fans are so attached to the plot that even today they'll yell at anyone who spoils the part where you switch bodies with Lynx, the transmogrified version of the hero's father. To be fair, that would be kind of a dick move.
The mack-daddy of PSOne Resident Evil games, the second entry in the franchise took the zombie outbreak to a whole 'nother level. Players got to choose between Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy, and afterwards were forced to play as the one that they didn't pick if they wanted to finish the game. The locations, story and grisly enemies all a huge improvement over the first game. That Brad Vickers wasn't around Bradding up the place was just a nice bonus.
Back when people still cared about video game mascots, Sony had a pretty big vacancy. Sure, they had Lawnmowe-- I mean, Polygon Man, but next to Sonic and Mario he might as well have been Bubsy. When Crash Bandicoot hit the scene, he was relevatory. Not as dopey as Mario, not as 'tudetastic as Sonic, Crash was just a goofy dude doing his thing. As it happened, that involved a lot of running towards the camera away from danger.
Final Fantasy has seen a lot of terrible spinoffs -- you know something's wrong when a Chocobo kart racer is better than a game starring Vincent from FFVII -- but Tactics is a great exception. Just as meaty as a mainline Final Fantasy game (maybe longer if you include sidequests), FFT introduced an entire generation to strategy RPGs. More importantly, it was many gamers' first experience with permadeath, teaching the important lesson "Everything you love dies."
That's funny. This is the first Final Fantasy game on the list. Guess the others didn't make it. Oh well. On to what's sure to be a diverse and balanced top five!