There's nothing quite like playing a video game and having a moment of reflective clarity, where you appreciate you're not only playing something truly special, you might be playing one of the greatest games of all time.
It's a rare occurrence, of course, and may ultimately lead to a bizarre feeling of melancholy when you finally finish the game and move onto something else, well aware that it hasn't got a hope in hell of matching the 10/10 brilliance you just played.
That's certainly the case with these 10 spectacular titles, which dominated, reinvented and deconstructed their genres with such thorough creativity that they made every subsequent effort feel a bit underwhelming.
That's not to ignore the achievements of the many great games that followed these titles, but when a genre reaches a peak this absurdly high, there's only one way to go, and it sure ain't up.
These games all represent the mechanical epitome of their respective genres, holding onto first place no matter the glut of glossy AAA outings that might try to dethrone them...