Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

“Genre-defining” is not a term that should be thrown about lightly. Any game that truly defines a genre must have elements that, to date, were unique and special. Elements that made the game groundbreaking – that really stuck with players and made them excited to be playing the game.

Metroid has since become one of Nintendo’s most beloved franchises, with speedrun competitions still raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. But its humble beginnings were in this NES title, jam packed with exploration, frustration and… something else-ation.


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The Legend of Zelda

Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure

The Legend of Zelda! What can I possibly say about it that has not already been said more eloquently than I am able? The game has spawned numerous sequels that range from awesome to bizarre, (to the TRULY UNSPEAKABLE) but the original Legend of Zelda is the one that spawned it all!

This is where it all begins
This is where it all begins

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Ikari Warriors

Publisher: SNK
Year: 1987
Genre: Shmup, Top-Scroll

Old school top-down shooters are pretty generic – endless waves of faceless enemy drones trying to stall your efforts as you steadily plow your way across the battlefield. They’re more notable in their differences than their similarities. Ikari Warriors is one of the first, and has a number of features that worked very well, and others that were, perhaps, not so well considered.

Making Player One the pink one for example.
Making Player One the pink one for example.

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Publisher: Konami
Year: 1987
Genre: Platform Adventure

Few names in the video game world are associated with so rich a canonical history as “Belmont,” the surname of the vampire-hunting family from the acclaimed Castlevania series of games, and though the storied background and heroic legacy of the Belmont family has been expounded in the sequels, prequels, interquels and alternate timelines, this is where it all began.

Castlevania (U) (PRG0) [!]_001
Right here – at the least shitty NES title screen to date.
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Publisher: Data East
Year: 1987
Genre: Action

“In a world without sanitation regulations, one man stands ready to give the people what they want: delicious piping hot burgers. This master chef prepares his creations the only way he knows how: through the power of stepping on food. But when a group of rogue hot dogs and fried eggs threaten to put him on the grill, will he be able to turn the tables on the food rebellion, or will BurgerTime be seasoned… with death?”
-The back of the BurgerTime box, except not actually.

Alternately, this could be "Upton Sinclair's The Jungle: The Game"
Alternately, this could be “Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle: The Game”

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