Submitted for your approval, in no particular order: 12 of my favorite RPG boxed sets. With each boxed set is a sentence or two of my thoughts on it. Enjoy.
Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules (aka The Red Box) (TSR)
My introduction to RPGs, bought for me by my father when I asked him real nice.
Stormbringer First Edition (Chaosium)
I inherited this boxed set from my friend Scott’s brother. Filled with plenty of Elric info and dark roleplaying. I had a twisted childhood.
Lords of Creation (Avalon Hill)
Bought for $10 at a long gone toy store at a lone gone shopping mall. This was my introduction to the zany world of Tom Moldvay, and an appreciation for the weird and bizarre.
Call of Cthulhu (Chaosium)
My aunt got me this on my birthday. I was reading Lovecraft by the 6th grade, so I was psyched to get the game.
Marvel Super Heroes (TSR)
One of my favorite superhero games, Marvel Super Heroes was simple to run and extremely flexible. One of the first campaigns I ran.
The Doctor Who RPG (FASA)
In the 80s and 90s I was a huge Doctor Who fan. The FASA game is dry and plays loose with the canon, but come on—I could be a TIME LORD!
DC Heroes Roleplaying Game Second Edition (Mayfair Games)
The box set is plain but don’t let that fool you. The second edition box is chock full of DC Comics goodness. It's worth picking up if only for the setting sourcebook included in the box.
Chill: Adventures Into the Unknown (Pacesetter)
I spent $30 at a GenCon auction but it was worth it. Chill is an underrated horror system. Fighting against classic monsters is fun.
Justice Inc. (Hero Games)
My first pulp game. This is an excellent introduction to the pulp genre by Aaron Allston utilizing the Hero System. I still have the books in the personal collection.
Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (TSR)
Probably the closest we will ever have to a Universal/Hammer Horror roleplaying game. Ravenloft is a great source for gothic fantasy roleplaying and horror gaming fun.
Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR)
One of my guiltiest pleasures. Take the idea of space travel and give it a fantasy twist, than spice it up with magic ships. Add giant space hamsters and mind flayers. Oh yeah.
Ghostbusters RPG (West End Games)
IMHO the greatest licensed RPG system ever created. The deceptively simple system hides a powerful engine of roleplaying. And it has a Ghost Die, too.
Ironically enough, I don’t own most of these anymore. Ah well, the folly of youth. There are a bunch of other boxed sets I could have name, but I only had room for 12 of them.
That’s my list. What about you?