With the announcement of the Nintendo Classic Mini this morning (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, check the link) and the list of games that will come built-in, I was surprised at how many of them would probably be on my personal top 30 NES games, which got me thinking: what is my top 30 NES games list? So, here’s my attempt figure that out.
I’ll start with some honourable mentions:
- Blades of Steel
- Ice Hockey
- Shadow of the Ninja
- Adventure Island
- Adventure Island II
- Super Mario Bros.
- The Legend of Zelda
- The Punisher
- Adventures of Lolo 2
- Kabuki: Quantum Fighter
- Kirby’s Adventure
Dishonourable mentions (overrated or I just don’t like them):
- Kid Icarus
- Bionic Commando
- Blaster Master
- Punch Out!!
- All the TMNT games
Alright, here’s my list.
30 – StarTropics
This is the kind of game that would’ve been much higher if I’d played it as a kid, but since I only played and beat it a few years ago, it’s just a really good game that has no memories or nostalgia attached to it.
29 – River City Ransom
I hate beat ’em ups, but I love RPGs. Apparently, I love them so much that adding RPG elements to a beat ’em up is enough to make me love a beat ’em up. I’m still kinda shocked by this.
28 – Power Blade
Cool, fun game. Can’t believe Schwarzenegger didn’t sue over the box art.
27 – Metal Storm
It’s kinda like VVVVVV, but with guns and on NES.
26 – Mega Man 4
To me, this is the last good Mega Man game outside of the Legends series that I’ve played.
25 – DuckTales
I still don’t think the Moon theme is a great track, but the rest of the game’s music is great.
24 – Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers
You could switch this one with DuckTales. They’re pretty much equal to me, as I played them back to back as a kid. I even confused some parts.
23 – Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
The worst NES Castlevania game is still great.
22 – Castlevania
This one edges out III because I feel like III is pretty much this game with very few changes or improvements.
21 – Shadow of the Ninja
Feels a bit like Ninja Gaiden with some Castlevania and Mega Man elements.
20 – Super C
If you like Contra, which is a perfect game, then you should like Super C.
19 – Adventure Island 3
The skateboard is gone, the difficulty is toned down, and a bunch of items and dinosaur friends you can ride are added. Such a fun game.
18 – Ninja Gaiden
I could list this game for the cutscenes and the 1-1 music alone.
17 – Déjà Vu
I can’t believe I had the patience to beat this as a kid. I’m not sure I’d have the patience to do it now, especially without a guide. Still, a genre that I don’t play enough and a game that’s surprisingly fun.
16 – Adventures of Lolo
Probably my favourite puzzle game ever.
15 – Shinobi
I might like the Master System version a little more, but the NES version is excellent as well.
14 – Gauntlet
This is the only game on this list that I’ve never beaten. Still love it.
13 – Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
Betten than the first, but not as good as the second. At least not to me.
12 – Dragon Warrior
I love JRPGs and this was the 2nd one I ever played. It’s got its flaws, but for a game that kind of started the genre so many years ago, it deserves all the credit it gets.
11 – Maniac Mansion
I borrowed this from a friend about 25 years ago. I still have it.
10 – Super Mario Bros. 3
Ok, this might be “technically” better than SMB 2, but I just don’t like it more.
9 – Mega Man 3
I don’t know what it is. I just don’t “feel” that this is better than Mega Man 2, except for the Gemini Man stage. I love that stage.
8 – Super Mario Bros. 2
“It’s not really a Mario game!”
“Did you know it’s just…Doki Doki…”
Shut up. Just shut up. All of you. No one likes you people, but I like this more than Mario 3.
7 – Faxanadu
Possibly the most criminally underappreciated NES game.
6 – Contra
This game is perfect. No improvements can be made to this game.
5 – Final Fantasy
And I’ve loved every Fanil Fantasy game I’ve played since…
4 – Mega Man 2
My favourite Mega Man game. The music, weapons, stages, Robot Masters…perfect.
3 – Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
I could probably beat this game with my eyes closed. Well, maybe not, but I’ve played this game so much, I feel like I could.
2 – Castelvania 2: Simon’s Quest
I don’t care about how ridiculous and bad a few parts of the game are. To me, this is the best horror game I’ve ever played. As a kid, the visuals and music just perfectly created an unfortgetable atmosphere I love to this day. Plus, it’s an action-platforming RPG: the best genre.
1 – Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Ever since I first played it, this has been my favourite game ever. I don’t think this will ever change.
So, it appears I may have a some kind of bias against the third game in a series and favour the second game. Anyway, what do you think of my list? Disagree with my choices? Keep in mind, there’s a good chance my list woould look a little different tomorrow morning, maybe even tonight if I were to do it again from scratch. Anyway, what would your list look like?