23 Years Later and Still Hard As Hell
An good plot, hordes of enemies, and learning the art of timing your moves and jumps/jump attacks are a must for this game. 23 years later and this game is still hard as hell. One of the toughest to beat I've -ever- played. For it's time the graphics, sound, and music were all amazingly done and the cutscenes were an awesome touch to an already amazing game. The landscapes change but the challenges remain the same throughout. The ability to time your jumps is crucial and that "almost died" panic and not freaking out and doing the "finger twitch, hit jump button!!!" when you almost get hit by something are very much a challenge in this game. Over 2 decades of play later and my anus still puckers during certain jumps... sad but true. I've made it as far as the final boss and just still can't beat this damn game. That anger and frustration at this concept still doesn't stop me from believing this game is one of the all-time classics of gaming.
This was the first NES game I ever owned. Granted there were others I had played but -this- was the first in my collection. Other games are good, but you'll be hard pressed to find one that's better.