80. Mother 3 (Nintendo/Brownie Brown/APE, 2006 in Japan)
79. Startropics (Nintendo, 1990)
A rare example of a game never getting a Japanese release despite being created by a Japanese development team. They were missing out, though, as Startropics is a high quality title. Essentially an Americanized Legend of Zelda, the game features a more modern environment replete with a lot of Zelda's puzzle-oriented dungeons, giant bosses and action-driven gameplay. Further matching the theme, your weapons included things like baseballs and yo-yos, and you were given a submarine to patrol the game's environments (navigated by a character who bears a strong resemblance to ROB), all in a quest to rescue your uncle from an alien overlord who seeks to conquer Earth and destroy the last of a race called the Argonians. It's a bit outlandish and fiendishly difficult at times (particularly the final dungeons), but the sheer charm of it makes Startropics into a memorable experience nevertheless.
78. Tyrian 2000 (Eclipse Software, 2000)
75. The Simpsons (Konami, 1991)
74. Lunar 2: Eternal Blue Complete (Game Arts, 2000)
I never could afford a Sega CD as a kid, so the groundbreaking Lunar games went completely over my head at the time. Thankfully they got two very high-quality remakes on the Playstation, and when I played them I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. Lunar 2, while I consider it the weaker of the two games, is still an extremely compelling experience, combining the feel of a good animated movie with some solid RPG mechanics and surprisingly good animation and voice acting for its era, not to mention a very strong love story as the focus of its plot. Oh, and an absolutely stellar soundtrack, of course. I may not have had exposure to its original iteration until many years after the fact, but Lunar still stands as proof that the CD format could do a lot for the genre that the old memory-limited cartridges simply could not.
73. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Konami, 1997)
72. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Rare, 1995)
Another example of a groundbreaking game getting an equally groundbreaking sequel, Donkey Kong Country 2 had more of everything to offer. Stage variety, hidden secrets, animal companions, sharper visuals, better music... it really was a step above the first DKC in every respect. Hell, it even took a page from Super Mario World's book and had entire hidden worlds to discover if you found enough special coins to unlock them, and these stages were among the toughest the game, so your skills had to be honed to a T just to stand a chance at making it through them. There were even some clever cameos from other Nintendo characters if you managed to collect enough hidden DK coins before the ending. Now if only they could get their act together and make another sequel even half as good as this...
71. Final Fantasy V (Squaresoft, 1992 in Japan)
There has been (and always will be) a lot of debate about which 16-bit Final Fantasy is the best, and to me, that answer will always be "Mystic Quest". I kid, I kid; put down the torches and pitchforks. The answer to me is V (keep them down), and that comes in large part due to the sheer genius of its gameplay. Returning to the choice-based system of Final Fantasy III, letting you pick any of thirty or so classes and change them at almost any time, it also allowed you for the first time in the series to mix-and-match abilities from those classes, letting you customize your party to an insane degree. Want a monk that can equip armor like a Knight? You can do it. A summoner that can use white magic? You can do that too. A thief who can wield axes? Yep, it's possible. It was even the debut of my favorite Final Fantasy class, the Blue Mage, who copies powerful-but-usually-expensive monster spells for later use. But most fun of all, your base Freelancer class keeps bonuses you've earned from classes you've mastered, becoming an uber-powerful juggernaut class at the end of the game. Sure, it's a bit uneven difficulty-wise and certainly not the best SNES RPG in terms of storytelling, but I was having too much fun with it to care. Final Fantasy V was great, is great and always will be great.