But if you wait for the axe's power to fully recharge between swings, the individual swipes will pack more impact. You could upgrade its engine, increase the rate of fire of its bullets, increase the number of its bullets, give it the power to fire secondary missiles and even wrap it in a force field. Snake parachuted into the jungle fortress of Outer Heaven with nothing but his courage and a pack of smokes, and skillfully avoided detection while sneaking through the enemy encampment to find and destroy the titular weapon of mass destruction – or, if sneaking didn't work, he beat the snot out of the soldiers in his way. What stuck out most for me about Double Dragon II was how varied the game was. Sunsoft's Batman, released Stateside in 1989, bucked convention, both old and new, and provided gamers with what proved to be an awesome action-oriented experience full of deep gameplay and immense difficulty. You'd leap off the peaks in your path and go flying through the air, and have to adjust the angle of your descent in order to maintain your momentum and keep from crashing – and you'd also have to keep an eye on your engine's temperature gauge all the while, as overheating would cause lengthy cool-down delays that would likely keep you from claiming first place. It should come as no surprise that the man behind the rock is Yoshihiro Sakaguchi, a composer that worked on the Mega Man series, also distinguished for its 8-bit anthems. Play the games. Little Samson is one of the most technically impressive NES titles, featuring eye candy like rotating character sprites and colossal bosses in what was ultimately a futile effort to try and entice 16-bit-smitten gamers back to their NES. Not too bad for a couple of sweaty, shirtless Rambo clones. Skateboarding continues to be a sport explored in new and unique ways in video gaming today, with EA recently revisiting the concept with Skate and Tony Hawk's series adding the new Ride peripheral, but Skate or Die got it all going. Seriously, those Turtles love eating pizza. The NES Willow game is better than George Lucas' movie. You were fighting the clock, too, and if you ever ran out of torches then it was Game Over for you. Super Mario Bros. 3. Pit is a fledgling winged angel who is tasked with working his way out of the Underworld and to the Sky, where the evil Medusa has taken control. The heroes of Ikari Warriors, Ralf and Clark, even went on to cameo in several of those later games, you can play as them in several King of Fighters sequels, as well as the most recent Metal Slug installments. Platformers were my favorite genre during the 8-bit generation thanks to Mario and Alex Kidd, so why wouldn't I fall for Castlevania? Alternating both horizontal and vertical scrolling levels with cool 3D-imitating third-person view stages, Contra was designed with short attention spans in mind. A thinly-veiled plot about the resurrection of Adolf Hitler and an epic soundtrack go a long way towards making Bionic Commando a totally unique experience on the NES. Kirby's Adventure was an epic, beautifully colorful swansong for the NES that focused on that new power for its vacuum-suction hero, as Kirby sucked up his foes, swallowed them, and then found that he could wield their signature weapons and powers himself. And I get to hit him with a whip? It was a solid companion for the early Zelda games, and perhaps a factor in why Capcom was later approached to develop some portable entries in the Zelda series for Nintendo. It featured actual cut-scenes in an era when such things were considered extraordinary. You had sniper shooter levels, like those you might remember from The Adventures of Bayou Billy. This was his debut – hiding inside a jetpack-equipped flying spacesuit and advancing against the forces of auto-scrolling space invaders out in the darkest reaches of the galaxy. Note: the Power Glove will not enhance gameplay, but you'll look pretty darn rad, we promise. But when Sunsoft had the license stripped at the last minute, it made due with what it had, and with limited editing, Journey to Silius was released. There are over a hundred single-screen levels to conquer in Bubble Bobble, clear all the enemies before you timer is up and you are safe to move on. These are the exact kind of games my stupid ass would get my parents to rent from Blockbusters for the weekend. Batman taught me the meaning of "envy;" I went to a neighbor's house and played it all day, mastering the diabolical wall jump platforming challenges, and I wanted the game for myself. What were they thinking? Just like Mega Man 4 pulled a bait-and-switch with Dr. Cossack, Protoman served the same function in Mega Man 5. Crap… I should really get this awesome gem of a game back to him. Some of the islands' giant eggs pack ferocious – but adorable – dinos who will let you hitch a ride until they take damage. But after the Wonder Boy series went in the direction of RPG-lite, I was happy to have Master Higgins keeping the flame alive on his trusty skateboard. None of those games ended up having the lasting appeal and addictiveness of one of its other contemporaries, though – the first-party Nintendo sports sim known simply as Ice Hockey. We're on our way. I might just pretend I have the rights. Two guys with a knife and a suicide complex decide to invade Russia. 1 The NES 1.1 The NES List Often called the machine that resurrected a dead industry, the NES was the uncontested winner of its generation. Few franchises in Nintendo's storied history are as famous as The Legend of Zelda. And woe is the gamer who forgot to hold down the Reset button when turning off his NES. Brawling brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee were once again playable in both single-player mode, but for the first time on the 8-bit Nintendo you and a friend could team up to punch, kick and hair-pull your foes to death simultaneously through an all-new set of side-scrolling beat-'em-up stages. No other NES game ever earned that honor, but it's easy to see why Crystalis did – this post-apocalyptic tale of thermonuclear aftermath skillfully blended fantasy and science-fiction into one dynamic story. You can't beat that. The Nintendo character Kirby has appeared in over thirty video games, usually as the main character but sometimes with less significant roles (including cameos). The NES version placed 69th in the 200th Issue of GameInformer's "Top 200 Games of All Times". Half RPG, half Ghosts & Goblins-inspired gameplay Gargoyle's Quest is another hard to beat, yet totally memorable experience. Though Nintendo didn't develop Faxanadu in-house, it's easy to see why the company decided to grab publishing rights for it in America – it was a unique side-scrolling action/platformer with RPG elements reminiscent of the company's own Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Each world in SMB3 features a unique style, and Mario's quest takes him through desert, grasslands, above the clouds and below the sea – there's so much to explore that we still make discoveries every time we dust off the cartridge today. Goonies never say die! The game, presented in a manner similar to Epyx's popular California Games, came to the Commodore 64 and the NES. In Kid Icarus, gamers take the role of Pit. With classic titles ranging from Batman to Journey to Silius (which was originally supposed to be a licensed Terminator game), Sunsoft had the skills necessary to take even the most unusual licenses and make them into compelling adventures. And this time Mario doesn't steal the spotlight. Contra deftly captures the spirit of the testosterone-fueled '80s summer blockbusters, with obvious nods to the Alien and Rambo series. It was essentially a late generation Mega Man-esque science-fiction platform/actioner at its best. Thankfully, unlike Nintendo's release of Tetris, Dr. Mario reveled in its two-player glory, and Nintendo's new hit proved not only to be a favorite among puzzle fans, but a game consumed by multi-player purists as well. What Top 100 NES Games list would be complete without Duck Hunt? Even before the used market took off, Nintendo made some moves to make sure that purchasers of a fresh version got a better experience than someone who borrowed a pre-played one. This game of skating and slap shots was perfectly balanced, simple fun with just the right touch of planning and strategy to keep things interesting match after match. Instead of focusing on just one character or one group of characters, Dragon Warrior IV tells its fragmented story in chapters, which the gamer takes on one at a time. Mega Man 6 is considered by many to be the last worthwhile NES release in the catalog, and though that's not saying much when looking at the title's contemporaries, Mega Man 6 is still as good as it gets in many respects. And that doesn't even begin to mention the game's three unique endings, a rarity in its day. Created by Sunsoft, which was at the top of its game in the late 1980s with classic release after classic release, Journey to Silius was originally supposed to be a licensed Terminator game. The pseudo-3D levels that broke up the side-scrolling action in Contra are replaced with vertical-scrolling levels, but the graphical style, gameplay and even the guns all remain identical to the original. Having more in common with Metroid or The Legend of Zelda than NES era brawlers, Rygar must find equipment upgrades – a grappling hook, pulley, crossbow etc. This is a list of Pac-Man video and arcade games, sorted by date of release. If you fully power up your weapons you turn into a flaming, butt-kicking phoenix. I couldn't stand the cartoon (I was a DuckTales sort of guy), but to my surprise the game was an addictive platforming masterpiece. It's a good thing, too, since this was the last Dragon Warrior game to appear in the United States for nearly a decade. Go back and grab it, either on cartridge or through the Wii's Virtual Console, and experience for yourself the defining console debut for one of the Big N's biggest mascots. Could you get past the bee-throwing enemy on stage four without losing a life? Dumb, I know. The car is called the G-6155. I first played this in arcades with relatives manning all four joysticks–calling dibs on pizza for health was futile as everyone else was older (and bigger) than me. And so the Battletoads – Rash, Pimple, and Zits – were born (kids love acne, right?). Even though I was completely taken with the new 16-bit game systems by the time this came out, Dragon Warrior IV was still one of my most anticipated games at the time. Viewing it from afar, I was disappointed, thinking she bought Track and Field. Let's be honest – if you are going to play Maniac Mansion, you really should try the uncensored Commodore 64 version. These mysterious monoliths eventually became a series standard. Pro-Am – without it, racing games might have just been all about steering and accelerating. Gargoyle's Quest II was the sequel to the Game Boy original Gargoyle's Quest, a game that was itself a spin-off of Capcom's Ghosts 'n Goblins starring that series' infamous flying red demon as its hero. In it, there's a Qix-inspired mini-game, and in that instant, I remembered how much fun I had with the NES port during my childhood. Overworld puzzle-solving was equally as important – there was even a riddle that you couldn't solve unless you opened up the physical game box and read a piece of paper packaged with the game. Watching elaborate slams and suplexes in the glorious 8-bit cinematics captured my imagination immediately. Thankfully, Rad Racer turned out to be a great racing game that was my second-favorite racer of the generation, right after OutRun on the Master System. It was like memorizing pi but the password was completely useless beyond this game. Nevertheless, I spent many hours with this awesome sequel – in the game, the cover model was substituted with a protagonist tastefully clad to the nines in iron plating. Demon Sword's ninja is surprisingly agile, with the ability to hop to tree tops in matter of seconds. This game eats 8-bit novices for breakfast to this 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. You have to deal with enemies galore and traps aplenty; the game even gave the player the option to kill his or her character off by pressing the Select button if they found themselves trapped or unable to proceed, a true testament to Lolo 3's deep and difficult gameplay built on a deceivingly-childlike facade. I bought my own cart off of eBay and experienced the wonders of this influential grinding J-RPG without the help of my peers. The inability of the NES to more accurately render detailed animations continues to be one of the system's greatest charms, though, so it's no real negative against the game, just a chuckle-worthy aside that might leave you just a bit embarrassed today. My earliest forays into the Cave of Monsters were rarely solo. I was blown away by how complete an experience Crystalis was. My best memories of Ring King are the epic fights I had on the higher difficulty levels. Being the first Mega Man game with tangible secrets within, Mega Man 4 got a lot of playtime when I was a youngster. And that's exactly the plot here – Astyanax is a 16-year-old Greenview High student who just so happens to be named after the figure from Greek mythology and also just happens to be swept away to a distant magical land called Remlia where he's asked to, of course, save a kidnapped princess. The care gameplay is right on, the visuals aren't bad at all, and it stinks of Mega Man inspired robot blasting. Gamers' apprehension quickly dissipated, though, when what resulted was an amazing game full of an inordinate amount of depth. You could choose from three different player body types, and outfit your team with any combination of them; fast but weak Skinny Guys, brawny but slow Fat Guys, or well-balanced, middle-ground Normal Guys. The Guardian must thwart the planet's demise by setting off Naju's self-destruct sequence before it reaches Earth. This page is powered by a knowledgeable community that helps you make an informed decision. Enlist a second set of wheels and you'll be nuking twice the whatever-the-hell-you-want-to in no time. My greatest memory of this game is trying to convince a dozen IGN editors why this game was so awesome nearly 20 years ago. I found it hilarious that Nintendo had to shrink down Little Mac to a third the size of his replicate the arcade version's over-the-shoulder effect on the NES hardware, but even with the compromise, the game was better on the NES! Primitive by today's standards, sure, but I remember being blown away when I first set eyes on it. The unique Castlevania II was a popular game, but when it came time for Konami to begin working on Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, the developers felt it was best for the series to return to its action-platforming roots; a decision that proved to be the right one the day the game was released in the fall of 1990. I used to apply the Konami code to every game from Konami just to see what would happen. Fester's Quest was an amazing game that was both deep in its delivery and excruciatingly difficult in its execution. It's a shame the character known as Kickle has died with history, as well. The Big N's amazing 1980s home console reinvigorated the videogame market with classic, genre-defining games including Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. This category includes any of the main Mario games: platform games (2D and 3D) that feature Mario as the main character. I came back the next day to challenge Joker, but I don't think we ever beat him. This was a defining day for my brother and I, though I'm sure neither of us knew it then. As the name of the game suggests, the idea of Ice Climber is to climb, climb, climb. Oops. You take direct control of the samurai's giant head in a sort of side-scrolling shooter that's too deliberately loony not to check out. Their next door neighbors' kids ended up being me and my siblings' friends as time passed, and they had a basement dedicated to NES gaming. But while action games on the NES are a dime a dozen, it's this very fact that made Batman stand out amongst the competition. How did we pick the games? Although it's actually the second entry in the predominately Japanese TwinBee series, the re-branded Stinger was the only entry that saw release on the North American NES. Konami's classic NES hockey sim started out with exactly that, which was incredibly impressive for the time. Sure, Duck Hunt's gameplay was as simple as pointing-and-shooting, and one could easily cheat by standing an inch from the television. Turned off? You have to go back and read that title again, a couple of times, and imagine it being spoken by a scratchy, synthesized 8-bit voice clip. I think I've got the same fond memory for this one as everyone else does: skinny dude, medium dude, and fat dude. The four greatest NES platformers... Close. The nameless Boy and his pet Blob would overcome obstacles, defeat enemies and progress through the game by way of using special Jellybeans that would allow the Blob to become different objects and perform different feats. I played Super Mario Bros. 2 for the first time while in the hospital following open-heart surgery, so I have very personal feelings about the game. Dragon Warrior IV, released in the US in 1992, tried to buck this trend with a unique approach to unraveling the game's overarching narrative. Well it wasn't. When I first encountered Zombie Nation it was love at first sight: the disembodied head of a samurai destroying buildings with what appears to be vomit? In Klax, a conveyor belt feeds tiles that can be stacked in columns. Or you can just skip the work and enter the Konami Code to get fully powered up in a matter of seconds. One of the few games I remembered beating without the Game Genie (but done on an NES Advantage for sake of the turbo function). When the game culminates on the sixth and final stage, Scrooge is a force to be reckoned with. Gamers could then figure out which boss was weak to that weapon and attempt to use it against him. We'd head to Mr. Movies in Minnesota, I'd see the box art, freak out, and he'd pick up something else. (Note: variations of the same game are listed beneath the original version.) – to aid him in reaching new areas. This was just the beginning of the Tengen/Nintendo feud. Sweet game. Simon earned experience points for killing enemies and collecting money to buy new goods. He's hidden himself inside the enormous, Tower of Babylon-esque World Tree – a massive, multi-leveled living structure that holds the entire game's worth of town, fortresses and enemy lairs within its roots, trunk and branches. Amazingly enough, this game still holds up too. It's flashy, it's clever, and it's one of the few puzzle games worth revisiting on the NES. Happily, this fine action platformer broke with the stereotypical dungeon crawlers, allowing you to hop around, bashing enemies with your Wand of Whatever without a single roll of multisided dice, virtual or otherwise. Dozens of Castlevania games have come and gone over the last two decades, but the series started for American gamers on the NES. Alternately, you can put Toad's speed to use in plucking coins for the game of chance at each level's end. One of the most successful RPGs on the NES, the first Final Fantasy improves on many aspects of Dragon Warrior, a game it very clearly attempts emulate. When Simon's Quest dropped on the NES in 1988, many gamers were confused. I'm a lifelong boxing fan, so being able to "sim" matches this early was something of a breakthrough for me. I happily rediscovered Stinger despite its unfortunate title and packaging (A space ship with boxing gloves? Nintendo's little pink powerpuff got his start on the Game Boy with Kirby's Dream Land, but it wasn't until this late-generation NES sequel arrived that he gained his trademark trait – absorbing enemies' abilities as his own. A port of a graphically superior arcade version, Konami gave Super C lots of love to help it make a successful transition, including the addition of several unique levels. Final Fantasy also offered new ways to navigate its sprawling overworld. Your character's primary weapon is a common yo-yo, and his secondary items are equally ordinary – baseballs, baseball bats and spiked cleats are all notable entries into your arsenal. Back in the day of the NES, the now-common occurrence of franchise flooding was seldom a problem. Castlevania was not only a brilliant vid, but the music too is timeless – I can still hum it on cue. The cover communicates Nintendo fun, and it housed one of the industry's very best platformers inside. First off, screw you Nintendo Nerd. I never got into Journey to Silius as a kid (my brother may have rented it once?) The Big N's amazing 1980s home console reinvigorated the videogame market with classic, genre-defining games including … The NES had a handful of memorable wrestling sims, including Nintendo's own Pro Wrestling and WWF WrestleMania, the first wrestling game to ever license the use of real world performers, but from a gameplay standpoint, none of them ever trumped Tecmo World Wrestling. But those few weeks I spent with Metal Storm remain precious. Another epically popular franchise to this day, Nintendo's Metroid came to the United States in 1987 and immediately floored gamers not only with its slick presentation, interesting protagonist and open world, but from the fact that it was non-linear in nature. It was sort of like Mega Man meets Strider, which I thought was spectacular for the time. Taking cues from open-ended adventure games like Metroid, you'll need to find certain weapons and equipment to progress in Bionic Commando, and that sometimes means returning to area you've previously visited to take care of unfinished business. It wasn't until a decade or two later that I finally understood that a poor localization was responsible for the game's extreme weirdness. Section Z was a forced-scrolling shooter made by Capcom, one of that company's few entries into a genre more closely associated with Konami in the 8-bit era. Each blade offered a different ability, like the Sword of Wind that shot small tornadoes and the Sword of Water that could create bridges of ice. As a kid, Shadowgate was straight spooky. I can remember looking at the Rad Racer flap at Toys R Us (remember the old system of flaps and slips?) Even though Dragon Warrior IV approached the act of storytelling in a unique way, most of Dragon Warrior's gameplay conventions remained unchanged. One main way in which cinematic platformers are distinguished from other platform games is that their game mechanics and visual style have a greater degree of realism, closer to that of Beat 'em Up games than other platform games. Unnecessary, sure, but so necessary. Before Baseball Stars was released in the summer of 1989, the NES wasn't looked at for its ability to simulate real sports. Once again I say "screw you Angry Nintendo Nerd" with this one. Zelda II's entire system suggested it was trying to be more of an RPG, and in many ways, it was a huge success. No sooner would an unprepared adventurer leave a town and cross a bridge into a new area than he would find himself smashed by an enemy much stronger than he. The Ninja Turtles do love their pizza. It was the gameplay that was at the heart of Castlevania's epic rise from unknown brand to Konami flagship. Cruising the skies unhampered by the copious random battles of surface travel is truly exhilarating. Ignoring Nintendo's claim to the Tetris name in the US a year later, Tengen released its own version of the world's most famous puzzle game on an unlocked, unofficial cartridge. But when one of my favorite childhood icons, Mario, appeared in his own variety of puzzle game, I was hooked. Something about Adventures of Link scared me–maybe the dark backgrounds in the forest stages, or the increased detail in the enemy designs. While not nearly as deep or polished as Ninja Gaiden, as you progress you can amass new skills, weapons and powers befitting of a ninja. My initial exposure to what would become a gaming obsession in my life happened down there, when I played Mega Man for the first time. It may strike some as strange that one of the NES's very greatest platformers dispenses with jumping – that essential component of Mario's repertoire – entirely. Rad Racer doesn't disguise its arcade origins; in fact, it unabashedly rips off SEGA's arcade contemporary, Out Run. In the realm of 8-bit graphics and extremely limited storage space, Nintendo RPGs (and other RPGs of the time) had a difficult time telling expansive, immersive stories. But Slumberland is an unexpectedly dangerous place, and the game's advanced difficulty level no doubt took some unsuspecting youngsters by surprise. (which also just so happens to be placed at the bottom of that hole in his yard). One of the counter-examples to this argument is Mario Bros., an NES port that's not perfect when compared to the 1983 arcade original, but one that is about as close as can be expected, with smooth gameplay and crisp graphics that do the original proud. The Super Mario Bros. games began as side-scrolling platformers, but have evolved into grand-scale adventures that span multiple perspectives, including 2D, 3D, and even first-person. But while the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were starring in lame TV and movie spin-offs on the NES, Rare actually spent time crafting Battletoads into a surprisingly arcade-like beat-'em-up. Gameplay is balanced between controlling The Guardian in humanoid form during overhead exploration and shooting sequences and faster-paced forced-scrolling shooter sequences where she transforms into a fighter jet and blasts, and among other things, gigantic robotic alien crustacean creatures. It was followed by Vampire Killer (1986, MSX) and Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (1987, NES) which experimented with non-linear adventure gameplay, before the series … The gameplay is of the classic action-platforming variety. Thank god. From a technical standpoint, Metal Storm is something of a tour de force. 3. By 1990, Capcom was churning out quality 2D platformers at frightening rate, making it entirely possible for the gamers of yesteryear to have missed this strangely licensed gem. Armed only with a brick-zapping raygun, your only defense in Lode Runner is the ability to bury your opponents alive, thus freeing them of an enticing pile of gold. 1 Arcade/console games 2 Mechanical/redemption games 3 Mobile games 4 Flash/HTML online games 5 LCD handheld games 6 Others 7 Unreleased games These are games that were originally released in arcades or for dedicated game systems. To make things interesting, at one point in your quest, your original classes undergo a change, making it advantageous to lug around a useless Thief just so you'll end up with a badass Ninja. Unlike its source, the NES version is an exploration-focused game with both side-scrolling platforming levels connected by a top down overworld-like area. 13021 downs / Rating 61%. Fighting enemy parties that never consisted of more than one enemy, the original was about narrow-minded preparedness. Over the years though Bionic Commando is a game I keep going back to, and it wasn't until I really realized the RPG-lite experience in there (trucks lead to 1Ups, kills equal strength and RPG-like leveling) that I was able to really dominate the game. Others called Nintendo's own hotline for help or consulted a magazine. Everyone remembers the simple, but effective cinematic in which series hero Ryu Hayabusa stands atop a mountaintop and stares off into the distant landscape. Tengen's tetris was pulled from shelves almost immediately when it was revealed that Nintendo's hold on the Tetris name stateside was legitimate. Just be careful writing down those passwords! Punch-Out!! May meet, because Castlevania III allowed gamers multiple paths as they progressed through the game. I was too ADD / illiterate as a kid to ever get that Zelda was the princess in the first game. It wasn't even that compelling. Excitebike was one of the 18 launch titles for the NES here in America, and distanced itself from the pack by offering truly addictive motocross gameplay. Welcome to the 80's. ... A subreddit dedicated to the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom. While a clipper ship and canoe allow you to access new areas of the map, it's the airship that's worth holding out for. If you like platformers that aren't so fast-paced with some light puzzles and extra item collecting thrown in, Yoshi's first platformer is a must-play. Oh, wait – wrong wrestling game. Excitebike was also the first game to offer a user-created content feature, through its track editor – for a game that hit on October 18, 1985, that was way ahead of its time. Perhaps. Rescue Rangers also ratcheted the difficulty down quite a bit, making it a good experience to share with a less-skilled partner. Also, it was the closest thing to "Gleaming the Cube: The Game" as I could find. And what gamers found in Mega Man 2 was something seen in few games since – a title that was virtually flawless. Nintendo was pretty heavy handed about content on the NES, so some of the ribald stuff in MM was yanked. But when something isn't broken, you shouldn't attempt to fix it, and Capcom released what was in essence the same experience from the three earlier titles in the series. If there was ever a more perfect title for an NES game, we don't know what it was – Kid Niki: Radical Ninja got it exactly right. 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