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2. Sonic & Knuckles
Sega Genesis (1994)
Sonic Team

Sonic & Knuckles takes the perfection of Sonic the Hedgeghog 2 and tweaks it so that the heavenly angels sing of its glory. Seriously though, Sonic & Knuckles adds minor tweaks and layers so that it reaches the tip top of gaming experiences. Honed and true gameplay, amazing level design, an amazing soundtrack, and some of the best pacing in gaming. From beginning to end it tells a masterful story of adventure, despair, hope, and ultimate victory in the face of impossible odds. All of course told entirely through the gameplay, something only this medium is capable of. I also have to add that this game not only was a stellar game on its own, but also enhanced previous sonic games through its lock on technology. Playing as Knuckles in Sonic 2 and 3 created a new, fresh take on each adventure, and combining it the latter game created a true epic of platforming goodness. In the end, Sonic & Knuckles is more than a childhood memory or a rose tinted good time, as it represents the best that gaming has to offer.