Nintendo has managed to put Mario and his eclectic cast of friends and foes into just about every scenario a person can imagine at this point, but if you ask me I’ll tell you that the Mario Kart series easily trumps the rest. Super Mario Kart is not only the first in the series, but the game that showed how well this formula could be applied to just about anything.
Before the Elder Scrolls franchise evolved into the titan of fantasy that it is today, there was Daggerfall, a remarkable game with even greater ambition and scope than those that followed it.
These days racing games are predominantly about realism. You can easily spend more time buying parts for your cars than actually driving them, and when you do get out on the road you tend to be bound by the laws of physics. This was definitely not the case when San Francisco Rush was released in the mid 90s.
Most gamers will name Kid Icarus as one of the classics for the NES, but its sequel on the GameBoy was largely overlooked. Of Myths and Monsters takes the original formula and seeks to improve it across the board–not with drastic changes, but with a number of great tweaks.
Descent could have been a revolution in gaming, but the idea never really took off. It supplemented what was then the quintessence of the first-person shooter experience with the ability to fly, often upside-down and thoroughly lost, through truly 3D environments. Even today it stands alone as a unique video game experience.