25 essential video games every gamer should know

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1. The Legend of Zelda

The start of this ongoing franchise is an NES classic and many of the in-game elements are used in the modern iterations. You play as Link, an adventurer who is on a quest to complete the tri-force and defeat the evil Gannon to save Princess Zelda. The original game doesn’t have much explanation or tutorials, leaving the player to explore and discover hidden temples and complete puzzles on their own. While lacking many of the classic RPG elements, it did feature an open world environment and non-linear story which were years ahead of its time.

Players control Link from a top-down perspective and have to find eight dungeons to complete the Tri-Force and rescue Zelda in the ninth dungeon. While players can visit the dungeons in any order they like, some of them require certain items to access or complete. Link can gather a variety of weapons or tools such as bombs, a boomerang, lanterns, shields, keys, bow and arrow, and more. There are numerous NPCs that can be found that will either sell items to Link, exchange one item for another, or provide a clue. If Link’s heart meter is full, his sword will shoot a glowing sword in the direction Link is facing, allowing the player to kill an enemy at a distance.

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Which of these games has been your favorite to play? Are there any games we missed that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments.