The Defining Games of Classics

There are many long running series of video games. Of these auspicious lines of games there is always that one title in it that sets the pace that the rest try to live up to. These are the games that cast a long tall shadow from which only a truly great follow up can get out from under. These may or may not be the BEST in the series but they are the ones that defined what this stuff is all about for each one.

List items

  • This is sixth entry in the franchise but it is the first one where everything fires on all cylinders. From gameplay to graphics and on to story all of it just clicks for the first time. Other games in the series had great story or gameplay but it never meshed like it did here. This is the sum total of the sprite based Final Fantasy and it layed the basic blueprint for the next few to come. What amazes me to this day is that almost everyone of the many characters you can play as has a character arc and are changed by the events in the game.

  • This game was perfection for the series. It improved over the original in every single way while giving us an all new cast of Robot Masters to go up against. The most telling thing about MM2 is how every other standard series Mega Man has tried to get back to it's success.

  • Long before Symphony of the Night had you wandering around the castle, Dracula's Curse had you picking paths and finding friends to go kick Dracula's ass. This entry really set the tone of what a Castlevania should be.

    I remember being blown away by how you could play this game though over and over with different results. I would sit and plan out how to go though and which of the three companions would help me in my never ending goal to just get to the damn castle.

  • This is the greatest of the Mario games. Some give that title to Mario World but 3 is the game that layed the foundation for suits and over-worlds and all the things that you really associate with a true great Mario game.

    You can play though this game by going the traditional route or going crazy and skipping though in a funky time trial and still have a blast.

  • While Resident Evil 4 changed the game, Resident Evil 2 defined the rules.

    The original Resident Evil was an unexpected success, and Capcom knew they had something on their hands. It was so special that a near complete version of the game was totally scrapped (not the last time Capcom would do this for an RE) and the version of RE2 we know and love was created.

    This is the game that really put Resident Evil on the map. It perfected everything from RE1 and gave you more of what was already great. There were so many ways to play though this game and so much to discover.

  • For many, including me, this is THE Metroid. This is really the only one you need to play because any after it are just trying to replicate the feel of it. The Prime Series has done a great job of that but when you get right down to it this game was the shining moment in the Metroid series. It set the moody tone right from the beginning and never let up.