Year released: 1987

Released in Japan at almost exactly the same time as the first Final Fantasy game on the NES, Sega's Phantasy Star is possibly the first game to cement the classic JRPG formula for Western gamers, with its epic, story-driven quest and random battling.

Phantasy Star is primitive by today's standards, but its graphical style has arguably aged better than those of its aforementioned rival, with its proto-Dungeon Master first-person monster slaying and colorful cutscenes helping it stand out as one of the Master System's most iconic games.

It's also notable for its use of a strong female protagonist, Alis Lansdale, in a time when few games really bothered trying; Metroid, released on the NES one year prior, still referred to Samus Aran as a male in the manual, while Square wouldn't get round to it until the release of Final Fantasy VI in 1994.