Negator - [SECTION REMOVED BECAUSE REASONS]
Ninja Gaiden (Tecmo, Tecmo Koei) - Another franchise originating with side-scrolling action. The original trilogy, released on the NES from 1988 to 1991 are arguably some of the hardest titles on the NES. And the hardest titles on the NES are arguably some of the hardest titles PERIOD. [Here's a video of the Angry Video Game Nerd attempting to beat Ninja Gaiden. Content Warning: Adolescent cursing is rampant in this and every AVGN video]
Every boy loves ninjas. I was no exception. These games awoke the stealthy assassin in my imagination. I've never beaten any of the first three (as far as I can remember) but that didn't stem my infatuation. In middle school I drew a comic strip based on the cut scenes from this game.
The franchise slumbered from 1995 until 2004, when a reboot came out for the Xbox. Of course I played it. And it was as hard as a petrified Tyrannosaur turd. I don't think I made it past the first boss. But it didn't catch me and keep me... not like the classics.
Excellent soundtracks, by the way.
Special Mentions: New Super Mario Bros. - While we're on the subject of reboots, this one was excellent!
Nobuo Uematsu - I have to stray from my typical rock band mentions today. Uematsu is a Japanese music composer most famous for the Final Fantasy series. In fact, for fourteen years, he was their sole composer and made the music for the first eleven games. This is not to mention the other twenty or so games he composed during that time. The first video game soundtrack I ever bought was Final Fantasy III (VI in Japan) and to this day, it's still one of my favorites. It's because of Nobuo Uematsu that I ever started attempting to compose music, some fifteen years ago.
For those interested, here's a link to the tunes I've made (or remixed) in the past couple of years. (link goes to Soundcloud)
Special Mentions: Nirvana - One of my greatest influences as a guitarist (not sure what this says about my talent level!). We cover some of their tunes.
Nine Inch Nails - Trent Reznor is an amazing composer as well