7. Metroid – Famicom/NES 1986
This is the one. This is the original. This is the dawn of the greatest Nintendo franchise that wasn’t made by Shigeru Miyamoto, but rather the late Gunpei Yokoi, mastermind behind the GameBoy. This was the game for people who owned an NES that enjoyed hard sci-fi films, and hard ass gameplay, and introduced us to gaming’s first HUMAN female protagonist, Samus Aran. Why do I rank it right in the middle, then? Honestly, because it’s no longer a pure experience. Like the original Legend of Zelda, our modern era of walkthroughs, youtube videos and web forums tarnishes the gameplay intended for this game back in the 80’s: by hard earned exploits and word of mouth. That matters here, because the gameplay and the password system are so challenging that nobody who didn’t grow up with the game really has the time to play through this massive 8-bit version of Planet Zebes in 2016. It’s still a great moment of gaming history, and blueprinted a gameplay genre, but it’s showing its age.