SUPER MARIO 64
I can tell this one is going to be close and/or divisive, but I have to go for Super Mario 64. Feels better in my hands, and the first 3D platformer to really nail the joy of jumping, at least in my experience. Ikaruga is good but not my jam.
FINAL FANTASY VI
I’ve not played Ico, but I have heard @HOBO complain about Ico, and it does not look like my kind of game regardless. It just seems a little too try-hard-y for me, and I just don’t care for games with that kind of muted palette. I also hate feelings, so.
Portal is a perfect little gem of a game. It says what it wants to and then it gets the fuck out of town. I can respect that.
KANE & LYNCH 2: DOG DAYS
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: LINK’S AWAKENING
Can’t believe I’m voting for The Gritty Gunboys over Himbo Walks The Dog, but that’s where I’m at in my life. Kane & Lynch 2 took me 3 attempts to get into, but once I was in I was in. Similar to Portal, it says what it has to, and then has a really stupid helicopter mission, but THEN gets the fuck out of town. I love it, I love the aesthetic and the bad shooting and the viscerality and the voyeurism. Great game.
DOOM / DOOM II
DOOM fucking rules, Outrun seems fine. I have not played DOOM II and don’t really plan on it, but I played Chex Quests 1-3 so I think I’m fine.
DONKEY KONG '94
Abstain. Have not played Nier, and DK '94 doesn’t do it for me somehow? Probably because I played it on a keyboard when I was a kid and never revisited it. I’m sure both of these are really good but I have no solid opinion!!
I’m clearly picking the blockbusters here because Chrono Trigger is another game that does not outstay its welcome. Bubble Bobble on the other hand seems to be filled with cool secrets but I’m just not good enough at it, and that song grinds my gears after about 5 minutes.
Abstain, haven’t played either long enough to form solid opinions
SUPER MARIO BROS. 3
I feel like this is the ultimate, like…Nintendo-feel vs. Genesis-feel. And I’m sad to say that I’m a Nintendo Person and I love SMB3 even though it’s a really uneven game.
Actually both of these are really uneven, come to think of it, and I find it charming in both. But I just love SMB3 so much!!
STREETS OF RAGE 2
I have played both of these games, and who woulda thought I’d be going for a belt scroller, but Streets of Rage 2 is one of my favorite memories from the last meet(em)up, and I can’t deny that. It made me understand belt scrollers!!
Quake is really good though!! I can’t say anything bad about it, it just…doesn’t excite me, I guess. I like DOOM better!!