What? I think that super Mario world is such a classic that someone always enjoys. It's still perfectly playable and has aged really good.
My childhood game #1 was and still is Terranigma. And it will never be dethroned. Of course it has its flaws but the story and topics about life it covers couldn't be matched by any other game. Huge nostalgia factor and ir will always have a special place in my heart.
I always thought my most impressionable years was between the ages of 8-18. In this decade i experienced games that have had the longest impact on my life and certainly scratch the itch of nostalgia. Those years for me are 1991-2001, so include the 16bit-32bit eras. Only super mario bros 3 before and resident evil 4, half life 2, SOTC and dark souls after, have had the same impact as the titles i played during those formative years. Some of those games are link to the past, chrono trigger, super metroid, super mario rpg, metal gear solid, FF VII, RE2, super mario 64, ocarina of time, goldeneye 007, blast corps, conkers bad fur day, soul caliber, star craft, command and conquer, rogue squadron, and grand theft auto 3. Plus a few others. Surprisingly most hold up well enough, and i would like to see full on remakes for most of them, hence why the upcoming re2make and ff7 remake are my most wished for games.
I was also 15 in 1998, which is still the greatest year in gaming i had ever encountered, it landed at a perfect time aswell as i had access to all the systems and a PC, to play that years incredible line up.
Age of Mythology, I think it's probably my favorite RTS of all time.
What do I like, the greek mythology and gods, the setting, the era, the mysticism, the music....To my 2002 brain it just carried me away to another more magical place. I wish the stars would align for a sequel in a modern engine. Arkantos...Awaken.
It's still FFVII, nothing I've played in recent years can really change that, as AAA games have mostly become about the atmosphere. The stuff I currently play on PC are mechanics-focused evergreen games like Crusader Kings and the Division, where the core experience has a lot of variety, both depending on what you play and the tweaks from periodic updates and DLC. It's fun endlessly planning strategies and crunching numbers but it's never going to displace my favorite all time game.
Link to the past is still a mandatory play at least once a year, for me. Still hits all the right notes: level design, exploration, soundtrack, tight gameplay. Fell in love when I first saw it. Still in love.
Honourable nostalgic mentions:
-Super Mario 2
-Monkey island 1-3
-Quest for glory 1-4 (these have aged the worst, and a tough sell to gamers who didn’t experience them when that first came out)
-Day of tentacle
-metal gear solid
Diablo and Diablo II were easily the best gaming experiences of my life.
I loved the chaotic and hack filled nature of Diablo. The game itself was fun to play (I'm a loot whore gamer through and through), and all the insane shit like duping and hacking really energized my brain. I was a lot younger, so the idea of breaking the game or messing with people was tip top for me.
Diablo II came about and it was like the more mature version of the game I'd already fell in love with. The graphics were better, the loot grind was as good as ever, the hacking element was largely gone, but I'd still spend hours upon hours grinding for that chance at getting those sick drops.
They just felt like largely cooperative games with really great systems in place.
Today's games have these kinds of elements, but none of them have really captured the essence of those games for me in the same way.
I still consider them my favorite games of all time, but it's a retrospective love. I don't think they'd hold up very well, but I'll always remember them fondly.
Chrono Trigger for me. The art, the music, the characters, the story!
Not to say it can't be replaced, it just hasn't. Judging by new rpg's like FF15, it'll never be replaced.
As far as RPG's go, honorable mention to Persona 5 which recently entered my personal favorite RPG list. The way the artwork pops against the vibrant red colors and the acid jazz soundtrack are just amazing!
I've spent the last 30+ years trying to recapture the feeling I got from the original Legend of Zelda. The closest I got as an adult was Demon's Souls and Dark Souls 1.
Zelda is still good, but it doesn't work as well today in the days of internet and with so many games that built upon the open-world fantasy that it laid the framework for. Back then, the secrets were really hidden and the only cheating their was discussions you had with your friends who all were wrapped in the same game.