9. Super Mario 64
Nintendo 64 (1996)
Super Mario 64 was one plumber's step into an unknown dimension (hah). Mario had traversed the Mushroom Kingdom, battled evil turtles, worn a bunch of animal suits, rode a dinosaur, and saved princesses... but only in the second dimension. How could a platform icon like Mario transition to the world of 3D gaming? Well, apparently really, really (really!) well. Instead of linear, left to right "reach the flagpole" level design from earlier Mario titles, Super Mario 64 adopted a more open world design in one giant world gave us multiple goals to achieve. These were literal platformer playgrounds, in which Mario could test his skills and the player could have endless fun. Each challenge was diverse, engaging, and more importantly fun... and it showed us that Mario was just as comfortable in the 3D world as he was in the 2D World. One small step for Mario, one giant leap for gaming kind.