Composer: Ryuichi Nitta, Mayuko Okamura
System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Date: 1990

Ninja Gaiden II was groundbreaking, with complex plot twists, cinematic cut scenes, and hard ass game play to boot. Armed with a deadly katana, fireballs, and red doppelgangers that mimicked your every move, ninjitsu was just as cool as you hoped. Everything in this game was out to kill you, and in Act 2-2, the elements themselves became your enemy. Wind, which changed direction every few seconds, created some truly evil platforming, and the music was its jaunty counterpoint. With such an ironically cheerful melody, falling into a pit never sounded so good.