Now for a fun post. Let’s see what people decided! (Doesn’t this remind you of the old Community Picks lists in the Nintendo Power? I loved those!)
Above: We’re bringing this back… after a fashion.
Here we go:
Tier 1——-Super Mario Bros. 3Wrecking Crew (my mother and I used to fight over the controller. No, really)Doki Doki Panic!Super Rescue Solbrain (Shatterhand JP version)Dragon Spirit: Aratanaru DensetsuHighway Star (Rad Racer JP version)CastlevaniaSuper ContraTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2Life ForceTier 2——-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: The Manhattan ProjectThe GooniesB-WingsDouble DragonAkumajou Gaiden: Boku Dracula-kun! (Kid Dracula JP version)Batman ReturnsContraG.I. Joe 2: The Atlantis FactorAdventure Island 2Don Doko Don 2Tier 3——-GalaxianTeenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesArkanoidGalagaArmadilloS.C.A.T. / Final MissionKage DensetsuBatmanMario Bros. (the VS. arcade one)GradiusToo bad my Famicom no longer works, but I won’t be surprised if it springs to life after opening it up for some cleaning after around three decades.
Here is my list of top 30 NES games in order from best to 30th best. Most of these I haven’t played in over 20 years, so I am just going by memory. A few of them like Zeldas and Marios I’ve played very recently and I know they still hold up to the test of time.1. The Legend of Zelda2. Super Mario Bros. 33. Ultima 44. Zelda 25. Final Fantasy6. Super Mario Bros.7. Metroid8. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out9. Contra10. Super Mario Bros. 211. Castlevania12. R.C. Pro Am13. Life Force14. Ducktales15. Blaster Master16. Ninja Gaiden 217. Tetris18. Duck Hunt19. Pro Wrestling20. Rad Racer21. Double Dragon 222. Mega Man 223. Gauntlet24. Dragon Warrior25. Ninja Gaiden26. Nobunaga’s Ambition27. Ghosts and Goblins28. Wizardry29. Double Dragon30. Metal Gear
Super Dodge Ball
River City Ransom
Wrath of the Ninja
Super Mario Bros. 3
Mega Man 3
Mega Man 2
The Legend of Zelda
Skate or Die
Skate or Die II
Ninja Gaiden II
Batman: Return of the Joker
Tecmo Super Bowl
Tiny Toon Adventures
Mega Man 4
Mega Man 5
Mega Man 6
Had trouble coming up with the list, but these are the ones that had the most impression on me, the ones I found most memorable.
I have fonder memories of my SNES and almost added some of those games to the list.
We might do a SNES tier list later. The problem with SNES/Genesis going on up is that production budgets differentiated the games and the lists become too predictable. The NES games are more competitive. Like that guy who put Wrecking Crew as a top tier 1 game, I can agree! Even though Wrecking Crew has shitty graphics with a black background being an early NES game, it is a CRAZY FUN game. I can say that the original Mario Brothers rivals the three Super Mario Brothers games in fun. NES didn’t have graphics and production efforts as a major differentiation compared to later generations.
Hello Master Malstrom,My lists are small because I limited myself only to what I played on the original hardware and then only to what I truly enjoyed. I like Mega Man 3 but never played it on the NES. I’m more of a Mega Man X man. I’ve played dozens more than what’s below but you’ll only find games listed that used to, and still would, place a big grin on my face due ot nostalgia and the actual merits of the game being played.
1st Tier.Super Mario Bros. 3 (I finally beat this game for the first time last year. No cheats, no save states, no stage skipped, no whistles used, no Kuribo’s tooth used and only 1 p-wing used. It’s my favorite game period, I will never stop replaying it).Super Mario Bros. 2 (never beat this but it’s fun to jump into).Anticipation (Think pictionary, it’s very fun with a group of people. I played this with my family a lot and plan to use it to help my daughter learn simple vocabulary words early on.).The Legend of Zelda (I originally hated Zelda as a kid, I didn’t get it but got it after I played Ocarina of Time)..The Legend of Zelda II (I have always loved this game, the combat draws you in perfectly).2nd Tier.Super Mario Bros. (Haven’t beat this one either. I like it and play it a lot but then I quickly stop around world 6 because I want to play something meatier).Tetris (No sliding, very simple, great music and it lets me deal with real-world frustration in a positive way by moving it all to this game before you lose. This is one of the few games you play just to lose.).Yoshi (not Yoshi’s damn Cookie, Yoshi. Simple game but it gets surprisingly intense the longer you play. You become one with the Mario hatching Yoshi’s and matching enemies after a while. This game plays on your sense of greed well, you want to get the best Yoshi stack possible each time.).Wheel of Fortune (It’s licensed, doesn’t use complicated words but it’s fun. It’s still fun. It’s not too difficult for anyone yet it has enough challenge and randomness to not let anyone railroad their way to instant victory).Kirby’s Adventure (I’m a big Kirby fan. I like the simpleness of the game yet I appreciate the jutaposition of Kirby and his duty in the world. That and it’s just fun taking powers and becoming a different person. It’s the opposite of many games in one sense. You start off with a few lives and die and you have to change your one guys approach after dying. In Kirby, you become different guys and can change strategies much more easily and often while playing. It’s much more versatile and diverse than even Mario’s power-ups.).Smash TV (get a friend and go crazy. SNES version is much better but this isn’t a slouch either)..3rd Tier.Metroid (I love Metroid Prime but hated Metroid as a kid. I didn’t get that you were supposed to explore and build up. I was stuck, there were no stage endings or obvious goals. As an adult I dig this game. I’m not fanatic over it but I like it).Blades of Steel (don’t really care for hockey, I just love the little fight sequences. They’re so bad but funny).Dr. Mario (It’s a decent little time waste. Some days you just want an easy mode game and this is it).Duck Hunt (Shooting stuff is fun, using a real gun and having your real-life dexterity matter really helps this to stand out)..The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino and Hoppy (This is a decent little platformer with a bit of diversity in stages and character changes. I liked it as a kid and liked it the same as an adult a few years ago. I never played Duck Hunt and doubt most people that rave about it now did either. I played this and it was fun. It’s a bit like the original SMB but with an SMB3 like world that’s obviously Flintstone themed.).
Here is my list
Kid Icarus (First NES game I played and it got me hooked)
Journey to Silius
Super Mario 3
Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!
Battle of Olympus
Metal Gear 2 Snake’s Revenge
Super Mario 2
Die Hard (Big fan of the movie and the game is OK)
Wizards & Warriors
Spy vs. Spy
Nintendo World Cup
Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Seems like everyone hates it haha)
Wizards & Warriors III: Kuros: Visions of Power
Ohhh, Spy Vs. Spy. I loved it on the Commodore 64 (as well as Spy Vs. Spy 2 and 3). Great multiplayer game. I plan to pick it up on the NES sometime.
Interesting how Kid Icarus made your tier one list let alone top spot. I actually bought the game recently, but that game is pretty challenging. I can’t wait to chip away at its difficulty!
.Quite a challenge to cut the list down to thirty, and then put them in order. I’m not very good at ranking things to such a degree, I usually consider only about four or five stars, so I tried to combine my opinion of fun quality with how much time I have played each game. I still don’t think the order is very accurate, but it doesn’t matter much. Aside from the top 3 I wanted to pick some lesser-known games which is the only reason why Zelda 1 and Super Mario 1 aren’t here. They are great games but I enjoy their sequels a little more.
.So here is my “top 30” NES games.
.1. Megaman 22. Zelda 23. Super Mario 34. Defender II5. Klax6. Kung Fu7. Galaga8. Pacman9. RBI Baseball10. Gunnac—–11. Kabuki Quantum Fighter12. Metal Storm13. Super Mario 214. Excitebike15. Castlevania III16. Ninja Gaiden II17. Little Samson18. Kid Niki Radical Ninja19. Donkey Kong20. Joust——21. Bomberman 2 (for 2 player)22. Battletoads23. Jackie Chan Kung Fu24. Rolling Thunder25. Contra26. Holy Diver27. Journey to Silius28. Tiny Toon Adventures29. Burger Time30. Bucky O’Hare——
I gave away my NES when I found an emulator for Dreamcast. I understand what you say about original hardware. I miss the cartridge experience a little, but for actual playing I think the controls are just as tight, you might disagree but I can’t tell the difference. My one problem with this is I can’t play Duck Hunt even with an old TV..Many games came to mind which were iconic in my youth (such as T&C Surf Design), but being honest I have not played them much so they don’t qualify..A lot of these games are hard. I have never got past the second or third level on Metal Storm. Rolling Thunder is absolutely brutal. Yet I keep playing them because, like Pacman which can’t actually be completed, they are still fun. And of the games that I can beat, I still play them over and over. I can’t say that about Skyward Sword!
Here are my personal top 30 arranged in order and including a small handful of Famicom/Japanese exclusives..First Tier:1. Contra2. Recca (Famicom, see also FASTEST SHMUP OF ALL TIME)3. Super C4. Super Dodge Ball (even moreso the superior Japanese version [Nekketsu Koukou Dodge Ball Bu] which lacks the slowdown and has 4-player Bean Ball mode)5. Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt (I seriously play Duck Hunt even more than Mario nowadays)6. Super Mario Bros. 37. Tecmo Super Bowl8. L’Empereur9. Vegas Dream10. M.U.L.E.—Second Tier:11. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!12. Little Nemo: The Dream Master13. Hogan’s Alley14. 1943: The Battle of Midway15. The Blue Marlin16. Wild Gunman17. Castlevania III18. Marble Madness19. North and South20. Daisenryaku (Famicom strategy game)—-Third Tier:21. Nekketsu! Street Basket: Ganbare Dunk Heroes (Famicom, see also Most Insane Sports Game Ever)22. Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu (4 player Famicom fighter)23. Double Dragon II24. Cabal25. Mini-Putt26. Gun*Nac27. Joy Mech Fight (Famicom fighter from Nintendo with 36 playable characters)28. Dr. Mario29. Jackal30. Iron Tank: The Invasion of Normandy.Honorable mentions for Golf, Centipede, Millipede, 1942, Gauntlet I & II, Bomberman II, Castlevania, Rock ‘n Ball, Snow Brothers, Crisis Force (Famicom shmup), River City Ransom, Excitebike, Lifeforce, Magic Darts, Conflict, Fleet Commander, Famicom Wars (predecessor to Advance Wars), and any KOEI strategy game. I left off SMB2, Zelda 1, TMNT 2 & 3, and the Mega Mans because I played the snot out of those as a kid, but don’t really ever play them anymore and you specifically asked for “the ones you enjoy playing today”..Man, that’s a lot of games. Come to think of it, the NES must have had the most “classics” of any system in history. I really can’t think of anything that could surpass it in that regard. There’s just so many great games that listing 30 is only scratching the surface.
You asked for lists, so here is mine. I haven’t played enough NES games for a full 30 game list, though..
The games within each tier are in no particular order, except the first three games in Tier 1, which are my absolute favorites.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game (The main reason I ever bought a used NES console, never having owned one as a kid. Oh, and the music is just incredible: )
Super Mario Bros (Just an overall great game, what else can you say?)
Nintendo World Cup (I think not trying to be super serious made it age really well. Those weird overpowered bicycle kicks are still fun, the music still works and tackling half the opposing team unconscious on the field is amusing.)
Mega Man 2
Super Mario Bros 3
The Legend of Zelda
Super Mario Bros 2
Arkanoid 2: Revenge of Doh
Kid Icarus (I prefer the later Gameboy “sequel” even without colors)
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Track & Field
/NES loving reader