November 6, 2015
The Pantheon is where we enshrine games that we talk about way too much. So rather than talk about why they're so awesome every time they come up, we keep our thoughts here.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64)
Majora's Mask followed up what is largely considered the best game ever made not by retaining the same formula, but by audaciouslygoing off book for a unique adventure with a deep, lively world doomed to be destroyed.
Contra 3: The Alien Wars (SNES)
The infinitely replayable Contra 3 exemplifies everything we love about the SNES: well animated sprites, crazy and intuitive level design, pure fun factor, and a "look cool" button.
Final Fantasy IX (PSX)
IX took the best of what was new and made it old again. This SNES-era inspired entry in the legendary series was packed full of memorable characters, crazy settings, unique skills and a memorable and addictive upgrade system. They literally do not make them like these anymore.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica (Dreamcast)
Back when Capcom made good RE games, Code Veronica stood out as the purest refinement of the classic style. It maintained the lateral puzzle complexity of its predecessors, but felt less claustrophobic. With plenty of scares and a batshit nuts story, Code Veronica is RE perfection. Plus, you get to kill Steve.
Super Mario World (SNES)
A clinic in intuitive design, Mario World evolves from simple to complex/infuriating so smoothy that it's nearly unnoticeable. It masterfully teaches players the intricacies of the game, making seasoned veterans out of new players by the final world.
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GameCube/Wii)
In Twilight Princess, Nintendo perfected the A Link to the Past formula. A large, diverse world with a huge variety of new weapons and new takes on old weapons, this final GameCube masterpiece closed the book on the tried-and-true Zelda formula.