Squaresoft - SNES
Although Chrono Trigger is a tad overrated, imo, it is still quite a marvelous RPG. It features a huge sprawling quest, multiple characters with different skills, excellent graphics and music, and an ATB battle system that features myriad spells and even combo attacks! The game has many different endings for replay value, and you can restart with all your items and experience from previous games.
Sunsoft - NES
Blaster Master is one of the few adventure games that never eschews challenge in favor of exploration. Some of the boss fights - particularly the infamous Level 5 Crab - are insanely difficult! The world was huge and somewhat non-linear, allowing players to search for power-ups before taking on the bosses. The graphics are really good and the music is excellent!
Sony Imagesoft/Software Creations - SNES
Taking the same basic concept of its predecessor, Solstice, Equinox explodes into complex dungeons full of traps, puzzles, monsters, bosses, and treasure. With greatly improved play control, the ability to fight with weapons, a save feature, and creative level design, Equinox is more than I could have ever imagined. The graphics are outstanding and the music is ambient and haunting.
Nintendo - NES
Kid Icarus didn't become quite as popular as other games from Nintendo, like Mario, Zelda, or Metroid, but it is an excellent game in its own right. Very challenging at the beginning of the game, its only true flaw is that it tends to get easier as you get farther into it, due the myriad power-ups you can acquire. Combining action stages, mazes, and even a shooter level all into one game, Kid Icarus is unique and addictive. It has good graphics, multiple endings, and great sound, too!
Nintendo/APE/Hal Laboratory - SNES
Shigesato Itoi's masterpiece of an RPG goes far beyond the simplicity that its "cutsey" graphics emote. A complex story and scenario system, topped off with button-pounding battles, bizarre boss fights, and a twisted modern-day setting, Earthbound is one helluva ride from start to finish. Earthbound is also chock full of humor and has an innovative roll-down HP counter in battles.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME
Nintendo - N64
Although it's not quite "Game of the Century", Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a thrilling adventure from start to finish. It has huge dungeons, hundreds of puzzles, fun boss fights, and many secrets to uncover, all enveloped in a gorgeous 3D environment. It may be cliche to say this, but Zelda 64 is easily my favorite N64 game.
STREET FIGHTER 2 TURBO
Capcom - SNES
SF2 Turbo is my favorite fighting game of all time. When I first got the original SF2 game for the SNES as a Christmas present, I became obsessed with it. It was hard at first, especially beating M. Bison, but eventually I learned every character's move and could beat the game with any character on any difficulty setting. Then, the following year, when I got SF2 Turbo, the obsession started all over again. Only this time, the play control was slightly improved, I could now play as the bosses, some characters had new moves, and there were turbo speed settings! In my experience I've played very few fighting games that lived up to the raw gameplay standards set by Street Fighter 2.
THE MAGIC OF SCHEHERAZADE
Culture Brain - NES
This was the first game I ever played that had menu-driven battles in it, and it still remains one of my top favorites! Magic of Scheherazade actually had both menu-driven and Zelda-style hand-to-hand combat, but that's where the fun only begins. You could select from one of three classes. Two of the classes were better with magic, and they could use magical rods to shoot across the screen. The other class was better with swords, so if you chose close-up combat, the Fighter class would have a longer sword. MoS featured a unique, Arabian game world, that was divided into five different chapters. You could explore the world of each chapter freely to find weapons, items, magic, and other characters who would join your party (there are 11 total). Eventually, you'd have to solve a complex situation in each chapter in order to move onto the boss (and some of those bosses are pretty tough!) The plot, on the surface, seems to be another "save the princess" thing, but it actually involves time travel (yes, even long before Chrono Trigger!), and there's even a surprise twist towards the end. Characters can even use combined magic spells in battle (also long before Chrono Trigger had them), and the music is superb. Overall, this is a very underrated and overlooked game.
FINAL FANTASY 4
Squaresoft - SNES
Also known as Final Fantasy 2 in the US, FF4 is the stuff that great RPGs are made of! Setting a new standard for storytelling, music, and gameplay in RPGs, FF4 influenced every modern RPG to come after it (and paved the way for the masterpiece FF6). It introduced the Active-Time Battle (ATB) system, in which enemies could continue to attack you, even if you didn't make a move. Aside from that, FF4 had many useful spells (especially those wondrous summons!) and items galore (even secret items and weapons). Add that to a cast of charming characters, a huge world to explore, and one of the most dramatic final boss fights, ever, and you have a true classic!
SECRET OF MANA
Squaresoft - SNES
Secret of Mana was a game that truly captivated me in such a way that I would never look at video games the same way again. All new standards for what I would expect from adventure games had been set. Secret of Mana's brilliant and heartfelt story is backed with fluid gameplay that has you slashing at enemies with various weapons and spells, and solving complex conundrums. The graphics are gorgeous and the soundtrack is probably still my favorite video game soundtrack of all time. With lots of dungeons and a huge world to explore, Mana always stays entertaining. Its only flaw is that many bosses can be overcome by attacking repeatedly with spells, but there is more than enough to make up for this, including, what is quite possibly the most dramatic final boss fight in history.
SUPER MARIO KART
Nintendo - SNES
No other racing game, not even Mario Kart 64, has come close to Super Mario Kart in terms of pure gameplay, fun, challenge, and longevity. The one-player game gave us a variety of courses that become increasingly more difficult the farther you progress. Track obstacles include ice, deep water, oil slicks, thwomps, and even areas where you can fall off the edge! And let's not forget how you could pick up and use various weapons to knock out the other racers, and that they could do that to you, too! The two-player battle mode, in which players try to knock each other's balloons off, is probably the single best two-player game ever made. Mario Kart also has excellent play control and high speed Mode 7 graphics.
Tecmo - NES
One of my favorite games of the past, Ninja Gaiden features pulse-pounding action, a complex story that unfolds with dramatic cinema cutscenes, good music, and excellent play control. Although the game starts off relatively easy, the action really heats up in the final level. The final boss fights can be tough, but Ryu has many different ninja arts at his disposal. An action game you won't want to miss, Ninja Gaiden can still raise my blood pressure, especially when I've been out-of-practice with it.
Nintendo - NES
I remember when I first got Metroid, it was a game that preplexed me for quite some time. Most games I had played beforehand seemed pretty straight-forward and even those that had puzzles were often easy to solve. But in Metroid, it seemed like I couldn't go very far...until the day I learned that you could bomb through floors and walls! Then suddenly, a whole new world opened up to me - I could explore practically anywhere I wanted, finding hidden power-ups and searching out the bosses, all in preparation for the final climactic battle against the Mother Brain! As far as sidescrolling adventures go, Metroid is only surpassed by Super Metroid.
FINAL FANTASY 6
Squaresoft - SNES
Also known as Final Fantasy 3 in the US, FF6 is the pinnacle of the Final Fantasy series. Taking the basic gameplay of FF4, including the Active-Time Battle system, FF6 added a wide range of new features and levels. FF6 featured a huge cast of unique, yet customizable characters, and dungeons with clever design. There are dungeons with ceilings that drop, door mazes, timers, and even a mine cart ride! There are dungeons with multiple paths in which you have to use more than one party in conjuction with each other to make your way through. Due to the variety of characters, you can take a different party with you almost every time you play, adding replay value. FF6 also has excellent music and gorgeous graphics that are so much like a painting that playing this game is like moving across a virtual canvas.
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST
Nintendo - SNES
The third game in the glorious Zelda series, A Link to the Past is my favorite! The game balances a myriad of dungeons with clever level design and fun bosses with non-linear exploration. The plot is simple enough, although it adds a new twist - Link can now warp back and forth between Hyrule and the Dark World, which is a warped reflection of Hyrule. Only by completing some tasks in one world can goals in the other world be accomplished. The puzzle-solving is as fun as always, and Link has many new items, like the hookshot, hammer, and a cape that makes him invisible! The Dark World, imo, is one of the most moody and atmospheric game environments, ever, from the dangerous streets of the rundown Village of Outcasts to the eyes of the trees that follow you as you walk.
CASTLEVANIA 3: DRACULA'S CURSE
Konami - NES
The best Castlevania game ever made, Dracula's Curse was the pinnacle of the game series and set a new standard for challenging level design. Multiple paths, three spirit helpers, and ferocious bosses added muscle to what was already an excellent game. Topped off with realistically-detailed graphics and a haunting soundtrack, CV3 is a game that few have equaled and even fewer have surpassed.
MIGHT AND MAGIC
American Sammy/G-Amusements/New World Computing - NES
This is my all-time favorite RPG! There are no sappy love stories and no convaluted plot twists, Might & Magic focused on what really mattered to RPGs back then - pure simple strategy, exploration, puzzle-solving, and fun! As a grid-based, first-person perspective RPG, Might & Magic offers one of the largest game worlds ever, from its sprawling overworld of forests, mountains, deserts, and oceans, to its many caves and castles with their labyrinthine dungeons. It will take many hours of playing before the solutions to the game's deepest mysterious become apparent, but even if you don't stay focused on the main goals, there is so much to do on the side, that you may never be able to see and do it all. The battle system is very fast and requires lots of strategy, and there are hundreds of different types of well-drawn monsters to slay. Might & Magic delivers all this along with an auto-mapping function, customizable characters, and a stellar soundtrack!
SUPER MARIO BROS. 3
Nintendo - NES
For me, this was the game that started it all! It was the first NES game I ever beat (sorry, I was a little late with getting an NES), and it drew me back into the video game world that I had long since abandoned after years of lackluster Atari games. Even when playing it today, I still think it is one of the greatest games of all time. SMB3 has a multitude of levels with varying, but always creative, obstacles, loads of secrets, special suits (like Tanooki and Hammer Bros.), lots of new enemies, and Kuribo's Shoe! Although much of the game is relatively easy, SMB3 does have its moments of difficulty, and World 8 is a real challenge!
Nintendo - SNES
Metroid had quickly become one of my favorite game series with Metroid 1 and 2, but this was the mother lode! A larger, more detailed world unlike anything I had seen before came to life, and Samus now had more moves and weapons than ever before - all of them useful and necessary to survive and progress. The challenge of solving a maze-like game world without any clues and defeating huge bosses makes Super Metroid a very satisfying game. And, if that's not enough, there are multiple endings that encourage you to beat the game as quickly as possible to get them. Super Metroid is topped off with great graphics and a brooding soundtrack to make this game one that very few could compete with.
Nintendo/Argonaut - SNES
Here it is, folks: My number 1 favorite game of all time! Star Fox is a masterpiece rail shooter that was the first game to utilize the Super FX chip, which allowed the Super NES to display and manipulate polygons to create 3D effects. Star Fox has three difficulty levels divided into three separate "paths". Although Paths 1 and 2 are easy once mastered, path 3 is always a challenge. You have to absolutely know what you're doing to beat Path 3. The play control is quite fluid, though takes some getting used to. The level design is superb. The music is excellent and underrated - one of my favorite soundtracks on the SNES. And although the graphics may look simplistic, I somehow think a simplified polygonal world looks better than many later games that tried to create complex detailed worlds out of polygons. And the explosions are spectacular! But my favorite thing - Star Fox has some of the best boss fights, ever! Some that really stand out are Monarch Dodora (the 2-headed dragon), Blade Barrier (that reflects your shots while spinning), Phantron (and its many forms), Great Commander (the infamous "boss from Hell"), Plasma Hydra (you had to keep blasting off his regenerating hands to make him vulnerable), Professor Hangar (yes, it's easy as pie but I nearly cracked up when it said "BYE-BYE" and took off), the HUGE core inside the planet MacBeth, and of course, Andross (especially on Path 3). I also like that the game has both deep space and over-planet levels. Even once the game is mastered, it has great replay value because I can try to get a score of 100% on each level. For me, there is no other game that is both a hardcore, "thinking-man's" challenge, and a decent quickplay quite like Star Fox is.
BACK TO PART 4
That's it for my Top 100 Favorite Games! I imagine this list will go through many changes as I play more games and they earn spots on here. Maybe, I'll create an archive for old entries that get bumped off.