5. Super Mario Bros. [Nintendo] - 1985
What is there left to say? If this game hadn’t existed, my childhood imagination may have shriveled up and turned to ash. And I wouldn’t have known that kidnapped princesses were worth saving.4. Tetris [Nintendo] - 1989Easily the most enduring puzzle video game ever made. Not only was it addictive and wicked fun, it actually made you feel like you were getting smarter every time you played it.3. Final Fantasy [Square] - 1990Long before Final Fantasy turned into the enormous franchise that it is today, you could tell there was something special about this Japanese turn-based RPG adventure. It was the stuff of classic quest narrative with a pile of cool armor and weapons to discover along the way.2. Blaster Master [Sunsoft] - 1988This late-‘80s classic incorporated some of the coolest vehicle upgrades that had seen to date. By the time your car was hovering across pits and climbing up walls, your mind was already blown.1. The Legend of Zelda [Nintendo] - 1987The second you pulled that gold cartridge out of the box, you knew your life would never be the same. I was so obsessed with Link’s first NES adventure that I still have a journal I kept during 4th grade with daily entries documenting every inch of my progress through the game. About a year ago, I played through it again on my cell phone. Even though I still had every dungeon map memorized, and knew intuitively which bushes I could burn with the candle to reveal stairways to more treasure, Nintendo’s action/adventure masterpiece felt like the best kind of video-game comfort food imaginable.
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