The Legend of Zelda!!! - I'm going to refer to the franchise as a whole. We're supposed to keep it short for A to Z. I get it. That said, feel free to skip ahead cause I'm goin nostalgic!
Action, adventure, puzzle-solving at it's first and finest!I can't tell you exact years or even my age at the time but I'll tell you of my history with the pointy eared fellow in green. I played Zelda II: The Adventure of Link first at a friend's house. I realize it's the black sheep of the franchise... But for those of you who don't know, your friend's games are ALWAYS better than yours. Probably because you never got the chance to play them into the ground like you do your own. I didn't make it far in the game. I didn't have the patience. Then I rented The Legend of Zelda. It was hard. It was confusing. There was no internet for me to pester for answers. I didn't make it far. Next, I get a Super Nin for my (12th?) birthday. A Link to the Past was one of the first games I bought and I got the strategy guide to go with it. It was at this point in my life (special thanks to the Lord of the Rings trilogy) I realized I needed to create my own warrior... and my own kingdom and quest and princess...My own world. I played this game until my thumbs fell off and regenerated and fell off again. Then I used my ears. I learned every secret. I discovered every heart piece. I drew my own Legend of Zelda fan-comics (which have thankfully been lost since). I've probably played this game through more times than any other game and I'll probably turn it on immediately after posting this.
After Link to the Past, I played others, notably Link's Awakening, Ocarina of Time (my second favorite of the franchise), and Phantom Hourglass (no love for this soundtrack, it wasn't Koji Kondo). There have been others I've tampered with but none were in the golden years of my childhood the way a Link to the Past was. As usual, I own most of the soundtracks. Let it be said here, if I can create with Silexare half of what Nintendo made with Legend of Zelda, I'll camp happy.
Special Mentions: Legend of Legaia, Lemmings!
Linkin Park - Slightly odd choice, I know. But what can really follow Legend of Zelda? These guys seemed so original when they came out... And maybe they were, I'm no expert. But my friends and I loved them. Especially this jam right here! I'm not going to lie, I still liked their music for years... then they married Michael Bay to go make Tranformer scores. Meh.
Special Mention: Lynard Skynard - Because who DOESN'T love it when someone shouts, "Play some Skynard!" while you're on stage?, Live (we actually do "Play some Live")
I'm freakin' stoked about Monday