Super Mario Bros., often merged with Donkey Kong. It's wholly possible to meet people who think they're the same game. And good luck finding anyone who knows that there was a Mario Bros. arcade game before there was SUPER Mario Bros., or that Donkey Kong arcade had not one, but two sequels.
Mario Kart is the only kart-racing game. Non-gamers also tend to refer to the entire franchise as "Mario Kart" as if the series only consists of the Kart series, specifically Mario Kart Wii.
You're lucky if you get a reference to a game past Super Mario 64 and the Nintendo 64 era.
On the topic of Halo; all weapons are from the first game, except for the Battle Rifle and Energy Sword (which are from the second game), and the Gravity Hammer (from the third game). Same thing goes for all the vehicles.
Similarly, DDR is the only BEMANI game in the West, due to being the only BEMANI game to see more than a small handful of Western releases, unlike other games such as jubeat and Sound Voltex which are arcade success stories but have only seen very limited releases outside of Asia (an under-the-radar tablet version for the former, limited export runs to specific arcades in the case of the latter).
And there's those who see DDR as the only property Naoki has ever had a major hand in, ignoring Dance Masters and his departure from Konami to work on CROSS×BEATS and later SEVEN's CODE. It gets worse on Facebook where he regularly posts about the latter game and people still demand BEMANI-related things to him in the comments anyway as if he's in any position to do so.
Pick any longtime BEMANI composer, particularly ones who left Konami at some point to make songs for other rhythm games such as SLAKE, NAOKI, or Tatsh. Only their BEMANI works will be referenced.
Rhythm games with plots are usually not on the radar, however if they are referenced it's probably Parappa The Rapper considering how it is.
Do not expect any Americans to be acquainted with any rhythm games that aren't BEMANI, a dance game, or a band game. Even if the game in question is not a victim of No Export for You.
Sonic the Hedgehog, known among non-gamers only for the classic Mega Drive/Genesis titles, and maybe the Dreamcast games, and chances are if a classic Sega game is brought up, you can always expect Sonic the Hedgehog to be mentioned, and a few other significant Sega classics like Golden Axe or Columns if they're really, really on the ball.
Tomb Raider. The only thing that non-gamers know about the game series is that it features a certain very busty heroine.
Doom; in fact, people used to call the First-Person Shooter genre "Doom clones". Mostly because there was a short period after its release where almost every FPS was a Doom clone.note And this is despite the fact that Wolfenstein 3D actually predated the original Doom.
Even though there are at least 150 basic Pokémon species, the great majority of non-game/anime fans have only heard of Pikachu, most likely because of its mascot status. Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Charizard, Jigglypuff, or Eevee might also be mentioned. Pokémon introduced after Gen 1 mentioned would be the Pokémon that were in Super Smash Bros. like Lucario, Greninja, and Incineroar. It's also not widely known that Pokémon evolve and that Pikachu's "upgraded" form is Raichu, who is orange instead of yellow.
Some 'mons are based on mythical beasts that would be well-known to those in parts of Asia, but are totally unknown in, say, the United States. For example, Pokémon "God" Arceus is possibly based on a hoofed chimera called a Qilin, but Westerners have memetically compared it to a llama or a goat.
Call of Duty and Modern Warfare. Remember the aforementioned "Doom clones" example? If you're a first-person shooter, let alone a 'modern' or 'near future' shooter, expect to be called out as a Call of Duty clone.
On the topic of Call of Duty itself, there weren't any installments before the fourth game.
Dungeons & Dragons or a Brand X version thereof—Sometimes this is assumed to be the title of a video game, by people who have heard the name and have no idea that tabletop roleplaying games exist.
Pitfall!. Few non-gamers might know the game's name, but the basic image of a stick figure-like man swinging on vines over lakes and pits seems to be rather familiar to people in general.
If you're lucky enough to find a work that references a fighting game, it's Street Fighter or Tekken. Otherwise it's a generic anime-styled combo-fest. Mortal Kombat, too, if people remember that it's a fighting game and not a gore simulator.
As for the Street Fighter, all characters from Street Fighter II. Ryu and Chun-li are practically household names. Ken, Guile, and Zangief are well-known too, though not to the same extent. Blanka, Dhalsim, and E. Honda aren't so lucky. While all the original bosses are well-known, only Cammy of The New Challengers is widely recognized. And last but not least, Akuma of Turbo. Of the Alpha sub-series, only Sakura and Dan are known by all.
As for Tekken, it's a little better since Tekken 3 is widely considered to be the best of the series and introduced a plethora of new characters including series protagonist Jin Kazama, so there's more characters that can be referenced. Also, the Updated Re-release of Tekken 5 introduced Lili, who quickly became one of the most popular characters in the series. Other than that, expect possible references to Heihachi, Kazuya, Yoshimitsu, Nina, King, Paul, Law, Xiaoyu, and Hwoarang, but anything else however will go over most people's heads.
Fighting games with fanservice? Obviously Dead or Alive. That is, assuming people remember that it is indeed a fighting game and not a Jiggle Physics simulator. Also, there are no males characters in the series (except for Ryu Hayabusa, by virtue of being the star of the well-known Ninja Gaiden series). The Soul Series is also starting to head in this direction for its increasingly infamous fanservice. Other than that, it's best known for its many guest characters.
Hero Shooters? You obviously mean Team Fortress 2. As of 2016 however, Overwatch can seriously become a contender as well. If a character from either game is referenced, it's very likely to be Heavy and Tracer, respectively.
For landmark puzzle video games, Tetris will always be the go-to reference point, and sometimes Dr. Mario or Puzzle League will be mentioned.
Within the Tetris series, only the Game Boy version or current versions will be known.
Morrowind was the first Multi-Platform (XBox and PC) release in the series, and at the time, was one of the very few Western RPGs to receive a console release in many years. It introduced a massive Newbie Boom to the series in addition to being the Breakthrough Hit for the series.
Oblivion built onto Morrowind's success, being one of the first major RPG titles of the the 7th generation of consoles, making full use of the Xbox 360's and Playstation 3's technical capabilities.
Skyrim's massive popularity brought the series into a place among video game royalty, just behind legendary series including Mario and The Legend of Zelda. Skyrim also arguably put the rest of its own series into this category, especially among younger audiences. It's not uncommon for someone to have heard of Skyrim without having heard of any other game in the series.
Super Smash Bros.: Because of the female Wii Fit trainer's memorable reveal for Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U, many people forget that the game also had a male trainer. Despite the fact that he was an alternate costume for her in the series, it has still yet to fully reverse these perceptions.
Mainstream fan works seem to be tailor-made to kids growing up in The '90s and exclude any post-90s franchises while treating dead franchises as if they're still relevant. For instance, F-Zero and EarthBound are front and center while Splatoon is nowhere to be found. Animal Crossing is the sole exception.
Ace Attorney. Phoenix Wright is the only protagonist of the series, in fact they're often called the "Phoenix Wright games". Also, don't expect a non-fan to be able to tell you anything else about the series besides the Objection!meme. If another character will be referenced, it'll be Edgeworth and nobody else.
Darkstalkers. The only thing people can remember about that game is the Morrigan Aensland, the sexysuccubus who has appeared in more Capcom vs. games than her own. The only other characters people might remember are Lilith (by virtue of being Morrigan's moe sister) and Felicia (who is a near-naked cute monster cat girl). Good luck finding a non-fan who can name another character, or can remember that the actual protagonist of the series is Demitri Maximoff. As you can tell, Darkstalkers is Best Known for the Fanservice, and almost nothing else.
"All video games are violent/inappropriate and are therefore a bad influence. Therefore, they must be subject to more regulation than movies/TV/music/books/the internet." And remember kids, if a game promotes religion it should get an immediate E-rating. Violent video games promoting Judaism/Christianity/Islam/Buddhism... don't exist.
On the topic of Touhou arranges, the only arranges that exist are IOSYS arranges and "Bad Apple!! feat. nomico". This is particularly evident on arcade music games, where any time a game gets Touhou arranges for the first time it will almost always be those songs that appear before any other arranges.
Shooters that don't scroll: Defender.
The only reputable PC game distribution platform is Steam. DLsite? Playism? GOG.com? What are those? If a PC game has been released, but it's not on Steam (yet), as far as the general public is concerned it doesn't have a release at all.
Nippon Ichi games and RPGs with ridiculous stat and damage numbers? The only thing that will likely come to mind is Disgaea.
Mega Man is only ever portrayed as the 8-bit incarnation, most notably in Super Smash Bros., where he's in-line with his 8-bit proportions, but every other character from the franchise (Including Protoman and Bass from the Classic series) is shown with standard proportions.
In a strange twist, the mid-2000s had fan works mostly use Mega Man X as "Mega Man" despite being a different character.
Due to it not being as popular in the West, most references to the Kirby series in Western fan works will be limited to whatever is represented in Super Smash Bros. or maybe Kirby Super Star, much to the ire of fans.