Mega Man X
Original North American Release Date: January 19th, 1994
Mega Man X, unlike many of the titles listed here, is easily attainable on multiple consoles as part of the Mega Man X Legacy Collection. However, to simply omit it because of its inclusion in any type of compilation would be doing the game a great disservice, as it literally started a new legacy for the Blue Bomber.
Mega Man X still uses certain series staples, including the freedom to fight the eight robot masters in any order and gaining their subsequent weapons. However, new elements were also introduced, including the ability to upgrade X’s armor, increasing X’s lifebar by finding heart containers, and new abilities like scaling walls. Mega Man X also introduced newcomer Zero, who eventually became playable in the series many sequels as well as getting his own spin-off series of games.
Mega Man X features one of the best soundtracks in any Mega Man game, which for a series known for fantastic music, is saying quite a lot. The game still holds up today, 26 years later after its original release. Mega Man X is to the Mega Man X series what Mega Man 2 is the Mega Man series. It reinvigorated the Mega Man name, in addition to setting a high standard for action-platforming games.