I don’t think I feel this way about any video games, but I definitely feel this way about certain board games.
e.g. if someone was new to hidden role/social deduction games, I’d recommend they start out with The Resistance or Avalon, because that’s a whole genre that has really become much bigger over the last few years and there’s almost a metagame there of strategies, and then new games being invented that invalidate those strategies or add a twist.
But as an introduction, something like Avalon is still great for your basic ‘there’s a good team and a bad team, the good team has to figure out who the bad team is’ introduction.
The closest I can think of with video games is that I think maybe there are better and worst intro games for the adventure genre. It’s a maligned genre, and I think sometimes unfairly - I think the puzzles do, more often make sense to people who are used to adventure games. Not to say there aren’t some examples of terrible puzzles, but they tend to be the exceptions and therefore memorable rather than the rule.
But if I was introducing someone to the genre for the first time I might recommend one of the more ‘pure’ examples of adventure puzzling. Day of the Tentacle would be good because of the satisfying way its puzzles interlock and fairly short length, and the fact that’s it’s sort of story-light for an adventure game. It can almost be thought of a crash course in how to solve adventure puzzles.
I wouldn’t give them Full Throttle because that has a few particularly bad puzzling sections that I think might give a poor impression to a first-timer, but I’d definitely recommend it once familiar. And Grim Fandango I would maybe leave a bit later. I think the puzzles are actually (mostly, with a few exceptions) good, but the odd interface and difficulty makes it tricky to start on, too.
I’d definitely avoid the old Sierra ones, partially to do with my personal bias, but also because I just think the death-is-rare-and-usually-for-a-joke approach that LucasArts used and think it’s more welcoming.