My retro experience started with Ultima 1, and moved right up through Bard's Tale. Spending nights hunched over the keyboard, my room sweltering from the heat given off by the massive 286 machine (with 1mb of RAM, top of the line).
Jethro Tull would be cranked up on my cassette deck as I slew demons and saved damsels, all with cutting edge EGA graphics.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then I just really dated myself.
Ultima's 1-3 were great, but 4 is when the series found it's stride and purpose. 5 (Warriors of Destiny), will always hold itself as one of my all time favorite gaming experiences.
After the Ultima's I'd move on to the AD&D and Forgotten Realms goldbox games. Pool of Radiance, Dragonlance, etc... Hero's Quest set the stage for action/adventure, and who can forget Pirates!