Bringing a nongamer from NES to NextGen.What are the games we have to play?

Hello my fellow Polynauts! I decided to take up a project where I am going to attempt to convert my non-gaming girlfriend into a full fledged videogame lover. Keep in my mind that she has nothing against videogames, just that she barely ever played them since she never grew up with them being in a house full of other girls that didn't play either. But she does have an open mind. She's not completely clueless she just hasn't played that often.

Here's the thing though, I want to try and do this the right way and start her from the basics. I feel like a lot of times people stick a 360 controller in someone's hand who's never played before and it immediately turns them off because they have no idea what to do with it. Most of us started sometime around the NES generation and over time became exposed to more complex games and eventually became the gamers we are today. So I'm going to try the same thing with her!

Here's where I need your help, what are some of the games that you believe are crucial for someone learning about how to play videogames and its history to play? Think about your favorite games growing up, the ones that made an impact, those are the ones I want to hear about.

The rules are were gonna start from the NES era and work our way all the way up to the present day, assume all systems and games are in play (avoid iOS and PC games for now, not hating but trying to teach console based games first). All genres are welcome, platformers/rpgs/shooters whatever, remember this is a part history lesson as well. Once I get her started I'm going to be keeping a written log/blog about it so it should be a fun project and hopefully its successful so we can have fun playing old and new games together!

I'll get us started with couple quick obvious/some of my favorites. Obviously not a master list. PS: I haven't owned a Nintendo system since N64 so I'm a little behind on that, but that's ok assume all systems are in play. Thanks for your help everyone!

NES Era:

Super Mario Bros (1,3)

Ice Climbers


Super Nintendo/Genesis Era:

Donkey Kong Country

Sonic the Hedgehog (2-3Knuckles)

Final Fantasy 5/6

Nintendo 64/Playstation Era:

Banjo Kazooie

Mario 64


Twisted Metal

Crash Bandicoot 2

Final Fantasy Tactics/Tactics Orge

Mario Kart/Crash Team Racing

Mario Party

Gamecube/Dreamcast/Playstation2/Xbox Era:

Dark Cloud


Grand Theft Auto 3 (vice/SA)

Final Fantasy X

Skies of Arcadia

Speed Devils

Current Gen:



Uncharted 2

Valkyria Chronicles

Red Dead Redemption

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