1997 – PaRappa the Rapper
Behind The Music: A far cry from what was going on with PCs at the time (see: bizarre adventures like Peter Gabriel’s EVE), this quirky PSOne Japanese import challenged players, as the titular paper doll pooch, to bust-a-move by pressing buttons in time to featured beats. Do it correctly and you drop mad science on onion-headed martial arts masters, moose driving instructors, Rastafarian frogs and chickens that pass for chefs. It’s still one of the freshest interactive approximations of MCing hip-hop heads will find.
Why It Rocks: PaRappa brought the "rhythm game" category home to North American shores, which eventually gave birth to countless hip-wiggling rivals from Unison to Bust-A-Groove.
Did You Know… PaRappa The Rapper creator Masaya Matsuura was previously the head of a Japanese progressive rock band (or "pop unit" as he labels it) called Psy•S. Formed in 1983, they had a number of hit records before disbanding in 1996.