One of the unsung heroes of the NES era. Faxanadu was released to US markets in 1989, but was pretty quickly forgotten about. If you've played it, you know how great it is. If you haven't... you need to pick up a copy.
One of the greatest action games of the NES era. Based on a 1987 arcade game of the same name, Bionic Commando was released to US markets in 1988. The game holds up so well that they actually reskinned it for modern consoles in 2008.
Released to US markets in 1987, Metroid gave us the amazing combination of atmostpheric score, open-world layouts, exploration, and speed running that continues to influence the way games are made to this very day.
Although a strong player could get to the end of the game and be treated to the visual proof that Samus was actually female... as a child, I never thought of Samus's gender. Based on the sprite, this is how I imagined Samus would look in the non-pixelated world.