Point is that video games accomplish different goals. Therefore, choosing top tens are difficult. And that's what I have to say about that.
One of the best qualities a game can have is allowing players to create and be innovative. I believe that The Sims did this well and that is why the franchise has been so successful. What is also impressive is how wide of an appeal it has, thus being able to be different things to different people. The HGTV crowd can spend hours designing what they wish they could afford and the sadists can live out certain fantasies. No achievements were necessary back then. You made your own goals (such as having an entire lot full of tombstones or trying to start the pizza guy on fire), did them, and took a picture to prove it. To me, it provoked the need for more autonomy in what we play and set the bar for open ended sandbox-like games.
Vectorman 2 (Genesis), Jet Moto (PS1), Rayman 2: Revolution (PS2)