3. Contra III: The Alien Wars (1992, Super Nintendo)
Contra was always the most convincing picture of alien invasion to a generation of kids drunk on the high-octane Alien and Predator films, twitching fingers on the fire button. The huge, grotesque creatures, two lone-wolf soldiers plowing through increasingly screwed-up levels... there's a lot to be said for atmosphere, and when the giant boss creatures burst through walls or vomit fire, Contra III delivers.
Shiny and slick, and full of massive challenge and endless carnage, it perfectly boils the steroid-addled '80s vision of an alien invasion down into an intense blast-fest.