12 - Super Smash Brothers Brawl (Wii)
I know it's going to sound weird, but Smash brothers has always been one of those games I can pick up any day and play for hours. I was once a tournament player, but instead opted to be more casual with my gaming so I'm given this: an amazing game in every right. The combat physics are (in my opinion) the best in the series, there are more characters, secrets, and unlockables than ever before, a level creator, and above all else a co-op campaign mode that's honestly worh the price of the game on its own. This game fires on all cylinders and is one of the only games this generation I find myself returning to on a regular basis. you have no idea how much this excites me for the announced Smash brothers 3DS game.
11 - Donkey Kong Country (SNES, GBA)
Platforming at its best. the original Donkey Kong Country was what some would say the perfect blend of gameplay and presentation (and in its day it was more than worth the money you paid for it.) Dozens of unique levels, hundreds of bonuses and collectibles to find, and all along the backdrop of what was at the time the best music and graphics any system had ever seen. The remarkably well-rendered backgrounds and characters still look better than many games today, not to mention the game itself is still as fun as it ever was. this is how you make a classic.
10 - Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time (PS3)
If you've been paying attention, you'll see that I absolutely adore the Ratchet and Clank series with a passion. Its blend of platforming, action, shooting, puzzling, and even RPG elements has really made what I Feel is one of the best examples of genre-blending in histoy, and A Crack in Time is the best in the series for many reasons. The story is better and longer, the weapons are more fun, the action is greater, the comedy is better, and the extra content/exploration elements are welcome addition. So much to do, so much fun, and in spite of being a relatively cheap game, production wise, has proven to have more polish and sheen than most. Awesome game.
09 - Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble (SNES, GBA)
It may have had its fair share of detractors due to the saccharine aesthetics and the minor changes in enemy design, Donkey Kong Country 3 still proved to be an amazing game and in many ways superior to its prequels. In addition to all the things the previous entries introduced (bonus levels, kong letters, bananas, spending money, hidden worlds), this time we also get the banana birds, vehicles, and the brothers bear miniquest to conquer. Plus, in spite of the enemies being silly and not what you've come to love, the level design was easily the best in the series up to that point. Now that you're older, I urge you to give a shot and ignore the aesthetic changes, you'd be surprised how well it's held up.
08 - Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
Here we go...hooo boy. I just want everyone to know that this entry and the next two are tied equally in my books, but I had to order them so I did so chronologically. anyway, WOW what a game! I really don't know what to say, really, I mean, the characters (save Vaan and Penelo) were some of the best developed in the series, the sheer scope of the world, accent on exploration, and volume of content/sidequests meant that even for the most eager of gamers, truly completing this game was remarkably challenging and a hell of a fun time. The story is peculiar in that the plot that's fed to you is pretty basic, but if you're the type that likes to explore and unearth more (through sidequests or whatever), it proves itself to have one of the richest stories of any game, ever.
7 - Final Fantasy X (PS2)
I didn't like that they took away the world map, but everything else about this game fired on all cylinders! The plot was moving and poignant (religion is bad, yo), the characters were deep and had meaningful character arches, the combat made for some incredibly tactical decisions, and there was just SO much to do, in spite of the fact that exploration wasn't really all that viable due to the lack of worldmap. Plus there's Blitzball (what is arguably one of the best minigames ever), and stuff like deciphering a language, and you have one hell of a game. also: Tidus being whiny was his character arc, he went from being a spoiled brat to a mature adult. That was kind of the backdrop of the whole story.
6 - Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
What can I say? It's overrated but it's still phenomenal in every way! sure the graphics haven't aged well (See: Donkey King Country for graphics that aged well), but the story is as powerful as it ever was, the characters still as nuanced as ever, and the world as fleshed out as any game. Yeah, the game has its detractors, but the the combination of what was the most impressive visuals at the time and a scope far beyond what anyone had accomplished really shows that there's something special about this game, and it will always have a place in my heart. I have this on my PSP and still play it from time to time!