The 1987 game of the year is Phantasy Star.
The runner up is Final Fantasy.
The master thread for all of these contests can be found here.
There were enough "Other" votes for a runoff. The final results of the runoff will be decided tonight, Thursday, Sept 21 at 11:59 PM EST. Here are the list of candidates.
First are the games that made the cut:
Konami released this classic into the arcades in 1987. It was an arcade hit, although many consider the definitive version of the game to be the NES version released a year later.
Maniac Mansion (C64/Apple II)
Maniac Mansion innovated Adventure games in a major way. This first self-published game from Lucasfilm Games was also the first game to use the SCUMM engine. Maniac Mansion was designed by Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick with Tim Schafer getting his first credit as being a play tester for the NES port.
TV Show Intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njj-t-WNdag
Final Fantasy (NES)
The first entry in the most successful JRPG series of all time. Final Fantasy would sell 1.3 million units on the NES and (unlike Dragon Quest) would sell more copies in North America than in Japan.
Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (NES)
Minoru Arakawa, president of Nintendo of America, happened to be attending a boxing match of a promising heavyweight boxer named Mike Tyson. Arakawa was so impressed with Tyson that he immediately made a deal to use his likeness in this game for a mere $50,000. When the game released in 1987, Mike Tyson was the heavyweight champion of the world. The fight with him in this game is known to be one of the hardest boss fights in all of gaming. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! went on to sell over 3 million copies and is arguably the most beloved entry in the Punch Out!! series.
Super Mario Bros 2/Doki Doki Panic (NES)
In Japan SMB2 was a difficult Mario game using the same game engine of the first SMB game. But for the North American release of SMB2, they decided to reskin Doki Doki Panic using the characters Mario, Luigi, Toad and Princess Toadstool. The North American version of Super Mario Bros 2 went on to sell over 7.4 million copies continuing the Mario Madness of the first game.
Here are the new candidates based on suggestions from the comments:
Mega Man (NES)
First entry in Capcom's iconic Mega Man (or Rock Man) series. Mega Man was an extremely innovative game for 1987. You could pick to complete the 6 main stages in any order, although some bosses were much easier to do earlier than others. When you defeated a boss, then you got his powers. The game design on the original Mega Man was next level, although most agree that this first game lacked polish. Also the box art for the North American version was wtf terrible.
Phantasy Star (Master System)
First entry in Sega's classic RPG. The graphics displayed in Phantasy Star were beyond what you could see on the NES, particularly in the dungeons.
Sid Meier's Pirates! (Home Computers)
The first game to include Sid Meier in the title. Pirates was doing some amazing, next level stuff in 1987. It's a huge open world game that wasn't an RPG. Gameplay involved attacking ships, trading spices, sword fighting, romancing the governor's daughter and other piratey stuff like that.
Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished (Japanese Home Computers)
Adol Christin begins his adventures with Ys, the longest running series from Nihon Falcom. Ys I originally released on home computers in Japan in 1987. It was ported to the Master System and Famicom in 1988, but North America didn't get Ys on the NES. The most common way to play Ys today is probably bundled together as Ys I and II Chronicles.
Games in the first poll, that didn't make the cut to the runoff:
Double Dragon (Arcade)
Nethack (Home Computers)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)