I don’t have to say much about Contra, since it’s still famous nowadays…
The original NES Contra, much like it’s sequels, was FREAKING HARD.
And yeah… wait for spread shot, pick spread shot, ignore all others. xD
I don’t remember if I actually beat it, but I got very far… and was one of the few Contra games I actually played a lot, because back then I still had lots of patience to play hard games like that.
Source: Memories, and NESguide