3: Tetris (Gameboy)
Tetris is one of the most ageless of all video games. From its early incarnations in the 80s up to today, Alexey Pajitnov’s puzzle game is an ever-present force in the gaming world. But it’s the 1989 Gameboy version that helped it gain mainstream fame (not to mention putting the Gameboy, and handhelds, on the map).
It’s the pure, addictive gameplay that makes Tetris endure today, and it’s what made Gameboys fly off shelves in 1989. Few games have the impact and influence of Tetris, and its appeal could be epitomized by the effect it had on the Gameboy.
2: Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)
Super Mario 64 was a revolution. Developers had tried for years to bring the concept of 3D gaming to life, but it was Super Mario 64 that finally got it right. So very, very right.
But being revolutionary is only half of Super Mario 64’s appeal. The timeless game design is the other half of this story.
From the moment Mario emerges from the warp pipe onto the grounds of Peach’s castle to the final battle with Bowser in the Sky, and everything in between (and afterwards), Super Mario 64 is pure gaming magic. It’s a joy just to move Mario around those castle grounds.
To believe this was Nintendo’s first attempt in bringing one of their beloved franchises to the realm of 3D. Today’s games are still trying to keep up.