I still remember the day I bought Contra 35 (yikes!) years ago. It is one of my favorite games of all time. AVGN did a great analysis of what made this game so great : it was tough but fair.
Back in the day I managed to get to the last level until word of mouth about the “Konami code” made it to my school. I still remember the thrill of reaching the winter level on my first continue.
While so many games we thought were great don’t hold up today this one actually gets better with age.