My top 50 NES games.
Nintendo was an amazing home console from the 1980s that reinvigorated the video game market with tons of classics. From The Legend of Zelda to Super Mario Bros along with a full complement of third party titles to add to the robust library. This list is my in my opinion the top 50 NES games. Some of them were tough choices to make as to where they fell on this list! Your list might be slightly different. Please comment below where games might fall in you list!
41-50 NES games
50 – California Games – 1987
California Games consisted of some sports purportedly popular in California including skateboarding, freestyle footbag, surfing, roller skating, flying disc (frisbee) and BMX. You had the choice to compete in all the events or just some and go for the high scores. I was pretty good at most the events.. but had some trouble on flying disc. It was followed up by a California Games 2, but that didn’t go as well as the original.
49 – Pro Wrestling – 1986
Pro wrestling was released originally for the Famicom Disk System in 1986. It was later released in North American and Europe on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was the third wrestling game on the Nintendo Entertainment System (after M.U.S.C.L.E. and Tag Team Wrestling).
The player chooses a wrestler with unique skills and presses various combinations of buttons to use different wrestling moves. It is possible to leave the ring; however, a player who does so must re-enter the ring before the referee’s 20-count. Failure to do so results in a loss (via count-out) or a draw (double count-out), if both wrestlers fail to re-enter in time. (Note: The referee’s count is broken only after both wrestlers have re-entered the ring. That is, as long as at least one wrestler is outside the ring, the referee’s count continues. Moreover, it is possible for a wrestler to be counted out while executing a “plancha” if he has crossed the ring ropes by the count of 20.
The roster was pretty small and only had 6 wrestlers. My fave was Starman, what was yours?
48 – Skate or Die 2: The Search for Double Trouble
Long before there was Tony hawk Electronic Arts was innovating on the NES with the impressively diverse Skate or Die. Skate or Die brought us downhill races, freestyle ramp competitions and a joust match fought in a drained swimming pool. Then, Skate or Die 2 came along and trumped its predecessor in many ways, offering a full story line adventure in addition to the standalone skating events as well as adding in the “Double Trouble” half pipe, a massive structure that spanned two full game screens and let you pull off highly stylish (for the time) vert skating tricks.
47 – Zombie Nation – 1990
The original zombie game! Just kidding… Zombie Nation arrived in the latter days of the NES to smash the zombie barrier. Depending on the version of the game, the player controls the giant levitating disembodied samurai head Namakubi “severed head” or a giant Tengu mask. The player can destroy structures and enemies by shooting rapid-fire eyeballs and vomit at them. Enemies include zombie snipers, zeppelins and lava monsters. The player can upgrade their firepower by rescuing zombie hostages that leap out of structures when destroyed
This game is catching quite the price tag these days as well. I’ve seen them listed between $500 and $1500! If you have a copy laying around you might want to hold on to it!
46 – Dr. Mario – 1990
In this falling block puzzle game, the objective of the player is to destroy the viruses populating the on-screen playing field by using colored capsules that are tossed into the field by Mario, who assumes the role of a doctor. The player manipulates each capsule as it falls, with the goal being to align similar colors which removes the viruses. The player progresses through the game by eliminating all the viruses on the screen in each level.
Dr. Mario offers a multiplayer gaming mode in which two players compete against each other in separate playing fields. I really liked this mode as it gave me a chance to destroy my friends in a little 1v1 action.
45 – Dragon Warrior III – 1992
Dragon Warrior III, the third game in the long-running RPG series from Enix, a game that came only a couple of years after the original landed in the U.S. A hit among the RPG crowd that was being created around Nintendo’s 8-bit console. Dragon Quest III is noted for greatly expanding upon the gameplay of the original Dragon Quest and Dragon Quest II. In the original Dragon Warrior, the hero was on his own. Fighting enemy parties that never consisted of more than one enemy, the original was about narrow-minded preparedness. Dragon Warrior III continued to open up both the gamer’s party and the enemy parties to more than one per side, creating for the first time in the series a real feeling of strategy.
Dragon Quest III featured an even more open-world experience. It also allowed the player to freely swap characters in and out of their party and introduced the day/night cycle in which certain items, characters, and quests are only accessible at specific times of the day. RPG parties with role characters, like healers and fighters, were brought to the forefront of Dragon Warrior III, and just about every J-RPG made ever since.
44 – Mega Man 4 – 1991
Mega Man is one of the few franchises on the NES that made it to four games. The fourth game in the franchise had little to offer fans that was different, other than a new cast of interesting Robot Masters, a new character (Eddie) and a new ability for Mega Man to exploit (charging your arm cannon). Mega Man 4 dove deeper into the storyline than the past three iterations in the series. Capcom seemed to remove Mega Man’s classic foil, Dr. Wily, in lieu of a new creator of evil robots, Dr. Cossack. But when it’s revealed that Wily is indeed behind Cossack’s deeds, Mega Man is forced to trek through not one end castle, but two, a trend that is kept up in Mega Man 5 and 6 as well.
43 – Double Dragon II: The revenge – 1988
The first Double Dragon for the NES was a capable and compelling coin-op conversion, but this sequel was superior to that original in many ways, primarily because it kept a core feature of the franchise, co-op play, intact on the home system. he sequel involves Billy and Jimmy Lee in a mission to avenge their girlfriend Marian after she is shot to death by the Black Warriors leader Willy, who is retaliating against the Lee brothers after his defeat at the end of the previous game. Double Dragon II was initially developed as an upgrade kit for the original Double Dragon, but evolved into a stand-alone game due to an increase in memory size, resulting in the developers reusing assets for both games.
The game also offered the sibling heroes an upgrade to their fighting repertoires, with several impressive new skills like the unforgettable Cyclone Spin Kick, and some iconic new set pieces in which to do battle, like a stage that took place aboard a helicopter in-flight thousands of feet above the ocean.
Like in the original game, the arcade version of Double Dragon II is divided into four missions: a heliport, a lumber storehouse, a farm, and the new hideout of the boss. Each stage has its own boss character with his own theme. After defeating Willy (the final boss from the original game) in the fourth stage, the player will confront a double of their own character for the game’s final battle. If two players reach the end together, then both will each to have to face their own clone.
42 – Duck Hunt – 1984
So the clay pigeons were the best part of this game. Duck Hunt is a shooter game in which the objective is to shoot moving targets on the television screen in mid-flight. The game is played from a first-person perspective and requires the NES Zapper light gun, which the player aims and fires at the screen. Each round consists of a total of ten targets to shoot. Depending on the game mode the player selects prior to beginning play, one or two targets will appear on the screen at any given time and the player has three shots, or attempts, to hit them before they disappear
Everyone remembers the annoying snickering dog that you can’t kill, or how you can just hold the gun against the screen so you were sure to hit your target? Man I was good at that game.
41 – Chip ‘N Dale: Rescue Rangers
Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers is a platform game featuring single and 2-player cooperative modes, allowing players to choose which levels to access via a map of various locations throughout the city. Each individual stage is set up as a side-scrolling action game where Chip and Dale can walk, jump, duck, and pick up objects such as acorns, crates, barrels, and balls to throw at enemies and bosses. Each character can withstand only three direct hits before they lose a life, and there are no passwords. In two-player mode, Controller 1 is Chip, Controller 2 is Dale.
I enjoyed the cartoon as a young lad. This game was fun to play and pretty addictive as well.