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Your Essential Games

  • Bionic Cammando for NES. Totally different from the arcade game. Very clever gameplay mechanics. Totally epic ending, blew my mind when I was a kid. This game got a graphical upgrade and rerelease on XBox or PS a few years back but the original is surprisingly good after all these years.

  • Probably the most incomplete list

    Here is a short list of games I compiled for this thread, just because its fun to do. It is a tough question (or more precise, the answer is tough) and the result can change any minute. Home computers like Amiga or C64 are not covered, because they involve keyboards or even worse, a mouse sometimes. Also N64 and some Arcade games are problematic, so they are excluded too. The Arcade itself isn't a system and with Neo Geo included as a separate system, it feels like cheating. Just for the sake of this thread, I selected 7 essential games for 7 essential systems.


    1. Pac-Man
    2. Donkey Kong
    3. Bubble Bobble
    4. Puzzle Bobble
    5. Shock Troopers
    6. DoDonPachi
    7. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo


    1. Super Mario Bros.
    2. Super Mario Bros. 3
    3. Legend of Zelda
    4. Contra
    5. Punch Out
    6. Mega Man 2
    7. Castlevania 3


    1. Super Mario World
    2. Zelda - A Link to the Past
    3. Super Mario Kart
    4. Donkey Kong Country 2
    5. Final Fantasy 6
    6. Chrono Trigger
    7. Super Metroid

    Mega Drive

    1. Sonic the Hedgehog
    2. Street of Rage 2
    3. Earthworm Jim
    4. Micro Machines '96
    5. Mega Bomberman
    6. Devil Crash
    7. Thunder Force 4

    Game Boy

    1. Tetris
    2. Super Mario Land
    3. Zelda - Link's Awakening
    4. PokéMon
    5. Mario's Picross
    6. Wario Land 2
    7. Donkey Kong

    Neo Geo (only those with AES home console ports)

    1. King of Fighters '98
    2. Samurai Shodown 2
    3. Garou - Mark of the Wolves
    4. Metal Slug 3
    5. Sengoku 2
    6. Windjammers
    7. Super Sidekicks 2


    1. Final Fantasy 7
    2. Final Fantasy Tactics
    3. Metal Gear Solid
    4. Gran Turismo 2
    5. Tekken 3
    6. Resident Evil
    7. Castlevania - Symphony of the Night

    Note: The SNES would get easily 50 essentials on its own, but for this list I used the knife to cut it down (the SNES god may forgive me for this). In example, there are classics like Pilotwings, F-Zero, Actraiser, Super Street Fighter 2, Terranigma, Secret of Mana, Yoshi's Island, Uniracers, Super Bomberman 2 and 100 more not covered here! Same goes to the Arcade! On the Playstation I left out GTA, Ridge Racer, Wipeout, Tomb Raider, Soul Edge, Parappa the Rapper, Einhänder, Suikoden 2 and so on.

    I am also a little bit confused, that many of Neo Geo games aren't realeased as home version (known as AES), but use the same core as the console. I think Puzzle Bobble are one of those titles. If someone can bring some light to this, I would be happy. I saw that at

  • @m2306 said in Your Essential Games:

    Bionic Cammando for NES. Totally different from the arcade game. Very clever gameplay mechanics. Totally epic ending, blew my mind when I was a kid. This game got a graphical upgrade and rerelease on XBox or PS a few years back but the original is surprisingly good after all these years.

    I actually gave this a go and was totally surprised by the tight and unique controls, very impressive for it's time. Just a little too clunky to get too much in to without nostalgia to help back me up! Thanks so much though!

  • @thelostsoul I checked out everything you suggested and added ones I loved to my favourites! Thanks for the help! =D

  • Global Moderator

    @slipslot said in Your Essential Games:

    @mediamogul Certainly some lesser known ones there, would you say TM2 is the better of the series or just more nostalgic to you?

    Sorry, I missed your post somehow. In answer to your question, 'Twisted Metal 2' is indeed generally considered to be the best of the original PS1 series and there's a strong argument that it's the best all around, as many of the later games continue to borrow elements or outright copy the format. After the first two games, Sony had a contractual dispute with the developers, SingleTrac and as a result, TM3/4 were handled by 989 Studios. While they were a great team themselves, they were never able to capture the feel that the series had strongly established.

    Most of the guys from SingleTrac reorganized as Incognito Entertainment and returned to Sony, where they produced 'Twisted Metal Black' for the PS2 which bears a considerable resemblance to 'Twisted Metal 2'. In a surprising turn of events, instead of developing a sequel to Black, they talked Sony into allowing them to create one more TM game for the original Playstation based solely on their love for the system. That game ended up becoming 'Twisted Metal: Small Brawl' and is a pretty strong entry itself.

  • I wouldn't say these are "essential" as much as "my favorite games for each system", but hopefully something in here will catch your eye. :)

    Atari 2600: Either Pitfall game
    NES/Famicom: Kirby's Adventure
    SNES: Super Mario World
    Satellaview: BS Zelda no Densetsu
    N64: Super Mario 64
    Game Boy: Super Mario Land 2
    Game Boy Color: Shantae
    Game Boy Advance: Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald
    Virtual Boy: Virtual Boy Wario Land
    Sega Genesis: Sonic 3 & Knuckles (or Sonic 3 Complete if you don't mind some QOL modifications)
    Sega Saturn: N/A, Saturn doesn't perform well enough on the Pi to list anything
    Sega Dreamcast: Rez
    Playstation 1: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
    Playstation Portable: N/A, PSP doesn't perform well enough on the Pi to list anything
    Arcade: Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga Class of 1981 [you get two games + a secret third in one!]
    Neo Geo: Windjammers
    Neo Geo Pocket Color: Sonic Pocket Adventure
    ScummVM: Secret of Monkey Island
    ResidualVM: Grim Fandango
    Commodore 64: Monty on the Run
    Sharp x68000: Bosconian

  • @mediamogul If I could only have 5 games, I'd want ones with near infinitely replayability for variety.

    1. MechForce (Amiga) - The most accurate and complete Battletech sim ever. With random arena, patrol, and mission modes. A very tough and competent AI as well.
    2. Ancient Domains of Mystery (Rasbian Native, Amiga) - An extrememly difficult solo character rougealike RPG. Several infinite random dungeons add to replayability
    3. Advance Wars (GBA) - Highly challenging campaign, set war room scenarios, as well as random battles vs. multiple CPU opponents.
    4. Starcraft Broodwar (PC via DosBOX, N64) - Though challenging to get running, some HAVE got it working on DosBOX using Win95 emulation. The N64 version is almost as good and has a very large selection of the original game maps. This game has legendary replayability and still has a large fanbase of active players.
    5. The Speed Rumbler (Arcade, MAME 2003) - A great game to just let off steam and actually have some FUN. The action devolves into total chaos and you have to fight your way through the mayhem. YES, the game does have an end, but there doesn't seem to be any end to how much fun this game is to play, and with the 'heavy' games on this list a palette cleanser is definitely needed.

    BTW MediaMogul, it says in your .sig that you use a 128gb USB drive with your pi, is that just to store files to move onto the SD for easier management in the menus, or do you retropie-mount with it?

  • @supercatfooz I'd disagree on the psp argument. On my non overclocked Pi I play my favorite tennis game on there (Virtua tennis 3) and also Metal slug XX runs very well.. great game.

  • @mediamogul said in Your Essential Games:

    Sorry, I missed your post somehow. In answer to your question, 'Twisted Metal 2' is indeed generally considered to be the best of the original PS1 series

    Thanks for the history lesson. :) My best friend and I loved TM2 on PS1 back then, but man, did we miss a coop multiplayer mode. We had much fun playing PVP, but coop appealed to us much more (and does so up until today).

  • Global Moderator


    Advance Wars (GBA)

    You've got some good selections there and I could easily switch out 'Dragon Warrior Monsters' for 'Advance Wars' myself. I'm slowly working my way through the whole 'Wars' series. I finished 'Famicom Wars' a few months back and I'm currently about half way through 'Super Famicom Wars'. However, even with its sequels, I have yet to find one that I like better than 'Advance Wars'.

    or do you retropie-mount with it?

    I retropie-mount it.


    My best friend and I loved TM2 on PS1 back then, but man, did we miss a coop multiplayer mode.

    There's a lot to like about that first game. While I prefer the second and was very good at it, The first TM was one of the few games I can claim to have "mastered" to the point where no one I knew would play me one-on-one. I knew Roadkill's handling and the maps so well that I could easily drive anywhere backwards at full speed. Seeing as how, for the most part, all weapons are launched from the front, I would use this familiarity and intentionally drive past a street where I knew my opponent was, as if I couldn't find them. They'd see me pass, give chase and just when they had a big smile on their face, I would perform a "Rockford spin/moonshiner's turn" and unload everything while driving backwards and mirroring their path. I would then cut down the first available side street where they would either already be turning anyway to desperately get away, or I would use it to flank them from behind if they went straight. Great memories, great times.

  • @mediamogul Checking out Dragon Warrior Monsters now. I really loved the monster arena modes in the other Dragon Warrior games. So what is the plan here, do I just keep warping to the next area through the gates and level up this slime until something else happens?

    As for mounting the USB drive, while it obviously greatly increases the available storage for a much lower price, does your performance increase or decrease?

  • Global Moderator

    @victimrlsh said in Your Essential Games:

    do I just keep warping to the next area through the gates and level up this slime until something else happens?

    Even though there's the goal of saving your sister, 'Dragon Warrior Monsters' is really a never-ending RPG. With that in mind, you could say that the ultimate goal is to obtain the most powerful group you want through the intricate breeding system. I've had the same game going since 2001, when I used to emulate it on my Cassiopeia E-100. The monsters I'm using now are the great, great, great... etc grandchildren of the monsters I caught seventeen years ago, bred with newer monsters I've caught and bred along the way. You can even breed to get the end bosses from previous 'Dragon Warrior' games. Each generation becomes more powerful than the last and the offspring will learn the skills of both parents.

    If you know what you're doing, you can also breed in resistances from the parentage that make the offspring immune to many common attacks. Altogether, the possible breeding combinations are incalculable, making for an infinitely customize-able experience. The warps you mentioned are randomly generated, also allowing for an infinite amount of dungeons to level up in. Some prefer dungeons that have a set design, so the sequel kind of has a mix of random and designed dungeons. Many, maybe even most, consider it to be the superior game, but I've never been a fan of breaking a game's content into two cartridges, which is what DWM2 does. You really can't go wrong with either game and only in the later sequels do the design choices become questionable.

  • @mediamogul Just got into the Temple of Starry Night and can breed now, but also learned about losing BOTH parents. That is going to be rough if you bred one parent from select traits from ITS parents. Guess I would have to go back to square one. NO WONDER YOU HAVE BEEN PLAYING THIS FOR 17 YEARS...

  • Global Moderator


    I've gotten into a routine to where I can breed the monster I want, with the skills I want in only a few short generations. I also have a trainer monster that I bred so I can take two more monsters along, level them up and keep them safe by healing or resurrecting them when they need it (basically a cleric). Something to keep in mind is that a monster can have up to 18 skills. It will always get the skills of the type of monster that it is, but it will also get the skills of the two parents, so long as they actually possess them. so make sure they're leveled up and have the skills you're looking for before you breed them. Leveling up the parents also makes for stronger offspring overall.

  • @mediamogul So if I make the Healer-type slime you get early in the game the 'pedigree', the egg will be a slime-type with healing ability + whatever abilities the other parent had? I'd like a healer with a bit more HP and a lot more willingness to actually fight.

  • Global Moderator


    There's so many possibilities, but if I remember correctly, I bred the healer slime as a pedigree with a mimic that I found in the wild. Mimics are the monsters that appear to be treasure chests at first and then come to life to attack you. The pairing gave me a Box Slime who was pretty tough, a healer and had Blazemost, which packs quite a punch, as well as Defeat, which will insta-kill a surprising amount of enemies if the caster is a high enough level.

    I did a quick search and found a thread below, discussing different approaches to breeding the healer slime, Hale. I also found a two other useful links for breeding information and skill descriptions.

  • I did an experiment when I cut my Pi library down to exactly 50 games per major console. It was really damn hard and I felt like I was missing out still. So, then I didn't pay attention to the number and just put what I considered mandatory on it. It worked out to be something close to 90 NES games, 100 SNES, 80 Genesis/MD, and about 40 PS1. That wasn't even a list of what I considered good games, just the bare minimum for each console.

  • @beldar Seeing 1000+ games available on your Emulation Station menus might be neat, that many games can clog up the works. Linapple will outright fail if there is too much there and you go to swap a disk. ALL emulators that support a disk swap benefit from a lean file selection. I keep my Apple directory down to JUST the game I'm playing at the time if it needs disk swaps. Amiga and C64 benefit from this as well. VIC20 not so much since multi disk games are extremely rare, as there were very few disk based games even though the VIC20 could use the same disk drive the C64 did.

  • @mediamogul I leveled up Hale and then bred him with a female SkyDragon, the dragon being the pedigree. Turning out to be a very tough customer. A bit more leveling up and this will be my trainer monster for a while.

    You were right about this game. I've wasted my whole day playing it, and I really needed to build some shelving in the garage. LOL...

  • @beldar I don't even think any of my systems have 50 games in total. :x

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