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NES Games - ranked by preference

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People who added this item 744 Average listal rating (837 ratings) 8.7 IMDB Rating 0
Super Mario Bros. 3 - Famicom and NES
Release Date: October 23, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

Super Mario Bros. 3 took what was great about the original Super Mario Bros. and improved on every single aspect of it to create an absolute masterpiece of a game. Spanning eight worlds that are all completely different from each other, and loaded with new enemies and power-ups, Super Mario Bros. 3 was a giant, wonderful game. The only real flaw with the original NES version is the lack of a save system. With a game this big, a save system would be nice. But, with two warp whistles easily obtained within minutes of starting a game, it's not too hard to continue where you left off even without anything saving your progress. Aside from that one, single flaw, Super Mario Bros. 3 may be the closest thing to a "perfect" game on the NES.
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People who added this item 579 Average listal rating (424 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
The Legend of Zelda - Famicom and NES
Release Date: August 22, 1987 (NA)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure

Perfection. The initial Legend of Zelda was Nintendo's first attempt at an action-adventure game and it was pretty much perfectly designed. From the vast overworld to explore, to the dungeons to conquer, to the second quest that unlocks after completing the game...It's all just designed in a near flawless manner. Later games in the series have had fancier graphics and various gimmicks added, but the original Legend of Zelda didn't need any gimmicks - it was, and still is, one of the best games ever created.
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People who added this item 283 Average listal rating (183 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man 2 - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 24, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Platformer

Mega Man 2 is often considered to be the best game in the Mega Man series. It's hard to argue that. The levels are all designed brilliantly, the bosses are all unique and fun to battle against, and the soundtrack may be the best in the series. It really is the total package in terms of Mega Man games. Later games in the series added new abilities and features, but even in its basic form, Mega Man 2 is still heads and shoulders above any other game in the franchise. It really is that good.
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People who added this item 172 Average listal rating (116 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! - Famicom and NES
Release Date: October 1987 (NA)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Fighting - Boxing

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! is a perfect game to point to when you hear the term "less is more." This game is so simple...and yet so deep. It's dang near flawless, honestly. The number of opponents with an ever-increasing difficulty and various weaknesses and flaws to discover and exploit make it a joy to work your way up the circuits to get destroyed by Mr. Tyson upon finally getting a shot at him. I'm proud to say that I beat Tyson (and the game) once...So my record against him is probably around 1-142-0. But I still won, dang it. This is the absolute best boxing game ever made...And it's so close to perfect that I don't think it will ever be topped.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Tetris (Tengen) - Famicom and NES
Release Date: 1989 (NA)
Publisher: Tengen
Developer: Tengen
Genre: Puzzle

Curse you, Nintendo. Tengen released a version of Tetris that was superior to Nintendo's version in nearly every way. When you take everything into consideration about a game, the only thing that Nintendo did better was graphics. Tengen featured multiplayer, which Nintendo did not, and it also included a lot of stats, which made for an interesting break between levels as you could see the statistics of how you had played thus far. Unfortunately, Nintendo went to court to make sure that this version of the popular puzzle game did not last long on store shelves and then proceeded to release their inferior version in its place. Whether Nintendo snuffed this game or not, it's still the better version of Tetris, and dare I say, the best version of the game ever released.
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People who added this item 47 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Tecmo Super Bowl - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 13, 1991 (JP)
Publisher: Tecmo
Developer: Tecmo
Genre: Sports - Football

Tecmo Bowl was absolutely awesome when it came out, but it lacked official NFL teams...Then Tecmo Super Bowl came out and changed that...And improved on the already great Tecmo Bowl in the process. With the NFL license, and several new modes, Tecmo Super Bowl created what I still consider to be the perfect football game. It may be an 8-bit game with 2D graphics, but I still haven't played a 3D football game that has given me as much enjoyment when I played as Tecmo Super Bowl has...And I say that as someone who really doesn't care about the sport as a whole.
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People who added this item 554 Average listal rating (540 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Super Mario Bros. 2 - Famicom and NES
Release Date: October 1988 (NA)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

Most of you know the story - the real Super Mario Bros. 2 never made it to North America until Super Mario All-Stars was released on the SNES. It was deemed too difficult to be released on North American shores, and thus, Yume Kojo: Doki Doki Panic, a quality game in its own right, was modified with Mario characters inserted in and released as the Super Mario sequel out here. All that said, this is was my favorite game in the Super Mario Bros. franchise for the vast majority of my life and a game that I have to have beaten at least 40-50 times since I was a wee lad. I know every inch of this game by heart...And it's still a game that I enjoy when I play. It's the black sheep of the Super Mario franchise, but being a black sheep myself, that may be what I like most about it.
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People who added this item 186 Average listal rating (126 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Bubble Bobble - Famicom and NES
Release Date: November 1988 (NA)
Publisher: Taito
Developer: Taito
Genre: Action

I remember walking around at a Wal-Mart as a small kid with my mom and seeing a huge display for Bubble Bobble. In reality, it was probably just a few cardboard stands, but to a six-year old kid, it was huge...I remember wanting an NES so that I could play this game. A year or two later, I got my wish and Bubble Bobble became the first game that I ever got to play. It lived up to my expectations and to this day, Bubble Bobble remains one of my favorite games to pop in and play from time to time. With more than 100 levels to play through, a harder mode called Super Bubble Bobble to discover, and multiple endings to see, this was just an absolutely amazing game to play when it came out. I highly recommend it.
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People who added this item 65 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Little Nemo: The Dream Master - Famicom and NES
Release Date: September 1990 (NA)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Platformer

I LOVE Little Nemo. My parents got me it for my birthday shortly after it came out and it quickly became one of my favorite games on the system. With great, solid platforming action mixed with the ability to feed critters candy in order to "ride" them to previously unreachable areas, it was hard for me not to love this game. The level designs are pretty fantastic, too. The only real gripe I've ever had with the game is how drastically the game changes once you reach Nightmare Land...And even then, it's not done poorly, it's just not quite as fun as the previous seven levels in the game were.
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People who added this item 201 Average listal rating (135 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man 3 - Famicom and NES
Release Date: September 28, 1990 (JP)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Platformer

Mega Man 2 was great. Mega Man 3 doesn't quite capture the magic of 2, but it's dang close. With a few new features, like the addition of Mega Man's trusty robo-mutt sidekick Rush, a new rival in Proto Man, and the ability for Mega Man to slide around is a way to fit in small spaces and dodge enemy attacks. Heck, even the robot bosses from Mega Man 2 make an appearance in Wily's Castle, letting you try out your nifty new weapons on some old foes. The new additions and surprises are nice and all, and the game is fantastic, but the overall level design in Mega Man 2 was a tad better in my opinion, giving it the nod over 3, even with all the new bells and whistles added in.
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People who added this item 519 Average listal rating (563 ratings) 8.4 IMDB Rating 0
Super Mario Bros. - Famicom and NES
Release Date: September 13, 1985 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

Mario Bros. was a success in Arcades, but rather than stick with a similar formula for the sequel, Shigeru Miyamoto instead created a game that was absolutely massive for its time, with scrolling levels, power ups, and various enemy types and secrets to discover. He created such a solid game, in fact, that Super Mario Bros. is still just as fun to play today as it was in 1985...And few games have had such an effect on such a wide audience...My friend's mother knew where the hidden 1-up was in level 1-1, where the warp pipes were in level 1-2, etc. It was the greatest game ever made when it was released, and while it may or may not be number one any more, it can still more than hold its own in a debate over what the greatest game ever made is.
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People who added this item 324 Average listal rating (189 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Metroid - Famicom and NES
Release Date: August 15, 1987 (NA)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Action

Metroid was amazing when it originally released. Traversing through various locations of a planet with an emphasis on exploration rather than a linear path, discovering multiple power-ups, battling a large variety of bosses and enemies...this game was huge. Then you battle your way through the game, defeat the Mother Brain, and watch on in awe as you realize that the cool, intergalactic tough guy that just destroyed the end boss is really a cool, intergalactic tough girl...And then you're rewarded with the ability to play through a second time, but this time sans your spacesuit and with all of your power-ups still intact. Super Metroid improved on this game to near perfection, but for its time, the original Metroid was still absolutely incredible.
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People who added this item 39 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior II - Famicom and NES
Release Date: January 26, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Enix
Developer: ChunSoft
Genre: RPG

The first Dragon Warrior was a good, albeit short, RPG that wasn't the first in the genre, but was the first huge success in the genre by far. Dragon Warrior II really improves on the first Dragon Warrior in nearly every way. It also introduces a party system, so you can smush the slimes with some allies you meet on your quest, and it also brings vehicles to the Dragon Warrior series in the form of a boat you can use to sail around in. But be warned, especially towards the end, this game can be absolutely brutal in a hard-as-nails way. If you don't have the patience to grind levels and save up money, then this may not be the game for you...But in my personal tastes, I'm a pretty huge fan.
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People who added this item 151 Average listal rating (88 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
DuckTales - Famicom and NES
Release Date: September 1989 (NA)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Platformer

Duck Tales....Wooo-ooo! In my opinion, Duck Tales is the best Disney game available in 8-bits and, quite honestly, one of, if not the, best Disney games ever made. The only real flaw that Duck Tales has is in how short it is - Someone can literally beat the game in 15-20 minutes without attempting a speed run. But everything else about the game - the music, level design, controls, everything...It's all so wonderful. I'd give this game a perfect score if not for the absurdly short gameplay...It's over in a duck blur. See what I did there?
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People who added this item 125 Average listal rating (72 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Kid Icarus - Famicom and NES
Release Date: February 15, 1987 (EU)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

If you're playing a game where you might turn into an eggplant with legs at some point, then you're probably playing a worthwhile game, in my opinion. Kid Icarus is an amazing game for the NES with a blend of vertical-scrolling platforming from the bottom of the level to the top, exploring maze-like side-scrolling levels, and scrolling shooters as you fire arrows at enemies - all while also battling bosses, avoiding wizards that can turn you into a purple fruit with legs, and shooting arrows at grim reapers that get waaaay too excited when they spot you. It's one of the more charming games that Nintendo released for the NES, and one well worth playing if you've got access to a copy.
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People who added this item 217 Average listal rating (131 ratings) 7.9 IMDB Rating 0
Kirby's Adventure - Famicom and NES
Release Date: March 23, 1993 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Hal Laboratories
Genre: Platformer

Kirby's Adventure was such a good game that I'm fairly confident that I lost a friend due to the gluttonous, pink cream puff. I was a dumb kid in awe at this game, so when my friend stopped over, I refused to peel myself away from the adventure that Kirby had found himself in, and thus, didn't really hang out with him at all that day. I never really hung out with him again, actually...And I blame Hal Laboratories for creating such an addicting and fun platformer. Yes, I blame video games.
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People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (25 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Mother - Famicom and NES
Release Date: July 27, 1989 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Pax Softonica
Genre: RPG

For those of you familiar with Earthbound, this is the game that came out before it in Japan. In other words, Earthbound is Mother 2 in Japan. So, if you like Earthbound, you're bound to like the first game in the series as well. Don't speak Japanese? That's fine. It's been translated to English as Earthbound Zero and even programmed to some NES carts in case you want the complete NES experience. But anyway, with its solid RPG gameplay and some good humor tossed in, Mother is probably among the top five RPGs on the NES in my opinion. If you haven't played it yet, do it. You won't regret it.
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People who added this item 33 Average listal rating (19 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Pro Wrestling - Famicom and NES
Release Date: March 1987 (NA)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Human Entertainment
Genre: Fighting - Wrestling

Human Entertainment, the folks behind the Fire Pro Wrestling series, created this magnificent gem on the NES simply known as Pro Wrestling. Pro Wrestling is so simplistic, and yet the gameplay is deeper than it appears to be. Each wrestler has their own unique set of moves and a finisher, there are reversals, top-rope dives, dives from the inside of the ring to the outside, brawling on the outside of the ring...And this is all in a wrestling game from 1987, folks. If this game had more modes than just wrestling on a circuit fighting for, and later to defend, the World title, then I can't imagine this game could have been any better than that. But for what it is, it's still really good and a game that I proudly pop in an play on a regular basis even to this day.
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People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Astro Robo Sasa - Famicom and NES
Release Date: August 9, 1985 (JP)
Publisher: ASCII Entertainment
Developer: MTL
Genre: Action

Astro Robo Sasa was one of the first import video games that I fell in love with. It's one of those games where it takes a while to get used to, and until you do, you'll be horrible at it. But, it's also a game where you can notice your progression of mastering the game...You'll noticeably get better the more you play...That feeling of accomplishment was one of the best rewards you could get out of a game back in the 80's, and Astro Robo Sasa provides a good example of it.
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People who added this item 277 Average listal rating (184 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Contra - Famicom and NES
Release Date: February 9, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Contra is notoriously difficult...Until you begin to notice and memorize patterns of the enemies, that is. After you catch wind of the patterns, it's not too bad. But anyway, the run-and-gun gameplay is a blast still to this day and the variety of weapons helps make each playtthrough a little different...Unless you're the guy that sticks only with the spray gun like my neighbor. If you want a great third-person shooter for the NES, Contra is one of the best you can get.
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People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0
Hello Kitty World - Famicom and NES
Release Date: March 27, 1992 (JP)
Publisher: Character Soft
Developer: Pax Softonica
Genre: Action

Ever want a sequel to Balloon Fight? Hello Kitty World may be the closest that you'll get. In Hello Kitty World, you got from level to level trying to stay afloat via your balloons, while also popping any stray balloons you find. The game starts out easy, but the difficulty increases substantially from level to level, and by the end, every movement has to be precise or you're gonna pop your balloons very quickly. Also neat is the ability to ditch your balloons in order to enter doorways or nab extra lives in areas that you normally wouldn't be able to reach while clinging to your helium-filled means of transportation. You can then quickly blow up some more balloons to continue floating around. This game really is fantastic and easily one of my favorite imports on the NES.
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (13 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 0
Baseball Stars - Famicom and NES
Release Date: May 19, 1989 (JP)
Publisher: SNK
Developer: SNK
Genre: Sports - Baseball

Baseball Stars doesn't have an MLB license. It doesn't feature star baseball players of the time. What it lacks in name value, it makes up for in everything else that you could imagine. Baseball Stars was, by far, the deepest baseball game ever created when it came out in '89. Create a team if you want, hire and fire players, take a rookie and develop them into one of the star players of the league...Or if you're content just playing a game of baseball and don't want to worry about any of that stuff, Baseball Stars hit the gameplay and controls out of the park, too. For its time, Baseball Stars could not be touched. 25 years later, it still holds its own as a great baseball game.
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People who added this item 169 Average listal rating (106 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Ninja Gaiden - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 9, 1988 (JP)
Publisher: Tecmo
Developer: Tecmo
Genre: Action

Ninja Gaiden is fantastic. Some folks complain about its difficulty, which picks up drastically after a few levels, but it's a game that the more you play, the better you get. Spend a while playing this non-stop and you'll soon be on your way to do battle with the final boss. I think the second game in the Ninja Gaiden series is the best, but the original here is quite solid in its own right.
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People who added this item 408 Average listal rating (318 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 0
Tetris - Famicom and NES
Release Date: November 1989 (NA)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Puzzle

Let's face it, Tetris is probably the most popular game of the 80's and 90's. Even people who wouldn't normally play a video game found themselves in love with this Russian puzzle game. It's widely believed that Tetris was the major reason for the success of the Game Boy, and while Nintendo's NES version doesn't get a lot of love due to the vastly superior Tengen version of the game on the same system, the Nintendo version is still a very fun and addicting game in its own right. To this day, its hard to find a puzzle game better than Tetris. It was the first, and it still may be the best.
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People who added this item 274 Average listal rating (169 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Castlevania - Famicom and NES
Release Date: May 1987 (NA)
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Genre: Action

The original Castlevania may have been surpassed in quality by some of the later games in the series...But it's still a very solid title in its own right. Using a whip to neutralize the large variety of undead enemies that attack you is good fun. The later levels can get a tad difficult - especially when they involve platforming...But everything in this game can be overcome with practice...Even Death...No matter how much of a jerk he is. If you're a fan of the Castlevania series, the initial entry is a must-play title that's still fun to this day.
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People who added this item 260 Average listal rating (147 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Final Fantasy - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 18, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Squaresoft
Developer: Squaresoft
Genre: RPG

I like the first Final Fantasy a lot. The story isn't the best, but it doesn't need to be - the gameplay is good. Simplifying the gameplay mechanics found in the Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest games (like the need to select "open" from a menu to open a box), Final Fantasy made playing an RPG feel a little less tedious. The game is kind of short by later Final Fantasy standards, but this is still a very solid entry in a game franchise that basically single-handedly transformed Square from a financially-struggling game company into a money-absorbing juggernaut.
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People who added this item 66 Average listal rating (45 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Balloon Fight - Famicom and NES
Release Date: January 22, 1985 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Action

Balloon Fight has two modes of gameplay - one involves you on a single screen, floating around trying to pop the balloons of enemies around you while also trying to prevent your own balloons from being popped. This mode is pretty fun and makes Balloon Fight a worthwhile game for its time in its own right. The second mode is simply called "Balloon Trip" and is a side-scrolling game where you try to last as long as possible and rack up as many points as possible before your balloons pop and/or a giant fish eats you. The addition of this mode really makes Balloon Fight shine, in my opinion. Hello Kitty World later improves on the "Balloon Trip" concept, but Balloon Fight did a dang good job debuting it to the world.
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People who added this item 24 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 0
Tecmo Bowl - Famicom and NES
Release Date: February 1989 (NA)
Publisher: Tecmo
Developer: Tecmo
Genre: Sports - Football

Tecmo Bowl, even after all these years, may be the ultimate football game. The simplicity in the gameplay and controls made it easy for anyone to pick up and play, but it's also extremely fun...So once you do start playing, it's hard to stop. I'm not a football fan in the slightest, but I adore Tecmo Bowl. Give me this over a Madden title any time.
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People who added this item 53 Average listal rating (35 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 0
Ice Hockey - Famicom and NES
Release Date: March 1988 (NA)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Pax Softonica
Genre: Sports - Hockey

Make a team of four players - choosing either the skinny guy, normal-sized guy, or the fat guy (my favorite being four fat guys - they hit the hardest) and have at it with friends or the computer. Regardless of who you're playing against, Ice Hockey is a blast. The little touch of you also controlling the goalie as you play adds just enough strategy to always keep things interesting. Will you focus on your skaters and try to get the puck, or will you focus on the goalie to make sure you're ready for a potential scoring attempt? Ice Hockey is proof that despite all of the neat new features in many modern sports games, keeping things simple can still be a ton of fun, like in the case of Ice Hockey where nearly 30 years after its release, it's still a blast to play.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (31 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Pac-Man - Famicom and NES
Release Date: November 2, 1984 (JP)
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Genre: Action

North America got two versions of Pac-Man on the NES, and both are identical aside from the title screen, with one having the Tengen logo and the other having the Namco logo. Anyway, that little bit of trivia aside, when Pac-Man hit the Famicom in Japan (and later the NES in Europe and North America) the yellow, ghost-eating blob was still popular in arcades...So, to get an arcade-perfect version of the game in your home was a pretty big deal. Heck, it should still be a big deal - Pac-Man is just as fun today as it was back when the arcade original first released.
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People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Eliminator Boat Duel - Famicom and NES
Release Date: November 1991 (NA)
Publisher: Electro Brain
Developer: Sculptured Software
Genre: Racing

Eliminator Boat Duel doesn't seem to get mentioned much when listing off some of the best NES games. I think that's a shame because this is one of the best racing games of the 8-bit era, in my opinion. Mixing the top-down racing style of Micro Machines with upgrading your boats between racing like in RC Pro-Am, and a few of their own, unique game aspects tossed in, Eliminator Boat Duel is just tremendous. If you haven't played it, go get a copy and give it a try. If you're a fan of racing games, I bet you'll have a blast here.
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People who added this item 11 Average listal rating (7 ratings) 8.9 IMDB Rating 0
Kickle Cubicle - Famicom and NES
Release Date: June 29, 1990 (JP)
Publisher: Irem
Developer: Irem
Genre: Puzzle - Action

Kickle Cubicle is likely a delightful surprise for anyone lucky enough to stumble across it for the first time. Basically, it's similar to the Adventures of Lolo games in terms of gameplay, but this game is better overall than all of the Lolo titles, in my opinion. Basically, it's an action-based puzzle game where you have to create a path to your destination while also avoiding enemies and fighting the occasional boss fight along the way. It's such a good game and it's a crying shame that so few have heard of it.
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People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Egypt - Famicom and NES
Release Date: May 31, 1991 (JP)
Publisher: Human Entertainment
Developer: Human Entertainment
Genre: Puzzle

I first discovered Egypt a few years back when rummaging through some old Famicom games to make videos for. I didn't expect much when I popped it in, but I got a solid puzzle game that I'm surprised that nobody tried to port overseas. In Egypt, your goal is to move tiles around the room and match up two of the same image. Once everything has been matched, you go onto the next round. It's a fun, simple brain teaser of a game that will likely have you coming back for more. It sure did with me.
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Release Date: December 13, 1991 (JP)
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Genre: Action - Brawler

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project is a very long name...But long name aside, this is more of the same in regards to TMNT 2: The Arcade Game. It's a side-scrolling brawler with new enemies to battle, new environments to traverse, mildly improved gameplay and graphics, and just an overall enjoyable time whether you're playing solo or with a friend. If you weren't a big fan of the Arcade Game, then you'll probably not enjoy this game, either...But, on the flip side, if you liked the Arcade Game, then you'll find plenty to love here. In my opinion, it's one of the better brawlers on the NES.
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People who added this item 190 Average listal rating (127 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 0
Mega Man - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 17, 1987 (JP)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Platformer

Within a few minutes of playing the original Mega Man, defeating Bomb Man, and realizing that I had just obtained the powers of the boss I had just beaten, I fell head over heels for the game. Mega Man's formula is just plain great - wonderfully designed, fun-to-navigate-through levels with an enjoyable boss fight waiting to greet you at the end. Later games in the series surpassed this game, but the original is still a very solid game in its own right.
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People who added this item 25 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Gun.Smoke - Famicom and NES
Release Date: February 1988 (NA)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Gun.Smoke is an interesting scrolling shooter in that it doesn't take place in outer-space like most of them seem to...And you're not controlling a space ship, but a regular human being with a pair of guns at his side. In Gun.Smoke, you walk around the wild west and try to take down wanted criminals and fill them and their followers full of bullet holes. The game is unique in that each level will simply loop endlessly unless you talk to a specific person in the level during the gunfights and buy the wanted poster they're selling, which will allow the boss to spawn. You also have the ability to purchase other firearms and even obtain a horse, which kind of doubles as armor, making this a scrolling shooter that doesn't just stand out due to its setting - it stands out because it's a very good game.
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Arkanoid - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 26, 1986 (JP)
Publisher: Taito
Developer: Taito
Genre: Action

Arkanoid takes the concept of Atari's Breakout and improves upon the formula in pretty much every aspect. With power-ups to help aid (and hinder) your progress as you destroy the colored blocks, it gave players plenty of reasons to play what could have otherwise been labeled as a Breakout rip-off. It even came packaged with a unique controller, which was nice for those nostalgic from playing Breakout in the arcades.
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Adventure Island 3 - Famicom and NES
Release Date: July 31, 1992 (JP)
Publisher: Hudson Soft
Developer: Hudson Soft
Genre: Platformer

Adventure Island was an okay game. Adventure Island II was better. Adventure Island 3 was even better, improving on everything fun from the first two games. It also introduced new weapons, bonus stages, and dinosaurs to ride. The levels also feature a lot more variety, which just makes this seem like a better overall package in comparison to the first two games in the franchise.
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Release Date: 2005 (CHINA)
Publisher: ShenZhen Nanjing Technology
Developer: ShenZhen Nanjing Technology
Genre: RPG

Created for the SUBOR entertainment system in China, which is an NES clone, this port of Final Fantasy VII really is done amazingly well. The entire story is covered here as you play, and many of the gameplay elements, like the materia system (which is slightly different from the original game, but still impressive)...Which really makes this game an amazing feat. It's not without its faults - it's INCREDIBLY hard. Expect to die shortly after you start playing. The random battles also take quite a long time to finish, which can make things kind of boring at times....But the rest of the game is well worth playing through. If you've got patience and are willing to sit down and try to master the game, you'll be rewarded with an amazing 8-bit RPG that is well worth playing, flaws and all.
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Release Date: October 19, 1990 (JP)
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Genre: Platformer

Akumajou Special is basically a Castlevania game made in a more child-friendly style. As a result, it's got less action and more platforming than your usual Castlevania game...Not to mention, much more comedy. It's also a very solid game, but in my opinion, its difficulty is often so easy that it almost takes away from the enjoyment one can have from the game. But, it's still a worthwhile game to play, just don't expect it to take too many attempts before you complete it.
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Wizards & Warriors - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 1987 (NA)
Publisher: Acclaim
Developer: Rare
Genre: Platformer

Until the last few years, I was never a fan of the Wizards & Warriors games...The idea of having a guy with a sword who can barely swing it, and mostly only kills enemies by jumping into them with their non-swinging sword...It just didn't make sense to me, nor was it fun. But, one day I gave this game the ol' college try and it won me over. Once I began to realize that it was more of a platformer than an action game, I was less focused on trying to slash at things and more focused on jumping on platforms and trying to discover treasure (one of which is a boomerang-like throwing dagger that was a nice substitute for not swinging a sword). The game gets insanely difficult towards the end...mostly in the final area where I feel I got myself through it due to luck more than anything else. But anyway, despite my initial complaints about the game, after playing through from beginning to end, I've come to appreciate Wizards & Warriors for how different it is. It's a game I now look at rather fondly.
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Donkey Kong - Famicom and NES
Release Date: July 15, 1983 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

Donkey Kong was, by far, one of the most popular arcade games of all-time. While it had been ported to just about every home console prior to the NES (with the Colecovision version being the closest to matching the arcade), it was only natural that when Nintendo created its own console, that the big ape was one of the launch titles, which no doubt, helped initial sales. This, in my opinion, is the most arcade-perfect version of the game that you can find. It only has three levels to play on repeat until you lose all of your lives, but for its time it was absolutely amazing. It's easy to see why, too. It hasn't aged a bit.
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Silk Worm - Famicom and NES
Release Date: June 1990 (NA)
Publisher: American Sammy
Developer: American Sammy
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Silk Worm is basically two versions of the same game in one - you play the same levels with the same enemies, but you've got an option of shooting from the skies in a helicopter, or shooting from the ground in a jeep. Both vehicles play differently giving you a different experience in each mode of transportation and firepower that you use. It's not a perfect shooter by any means, but the unique choice of totally different vehicles and how you need different strategies in the level depending on which vehicle you choose is enough to really increase the replay value in Silk Worm as well as the overall enjoyment as you play.
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Release Date: April 20, 1990 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Genre: Strategy - Turn-Based

The thing I like about the original Fire Emblem is that even if you don't know Japanese, once you know what commands do what, you can play the game just like if it was in English. After figuring out which command ended my turn, which allowed me to attack, etc. I really enjoyed my time with this game. It's kind of basic in comparison to more modern Fire Emblem games, but the original is still quite nice, especially when in comparison to other games of its time.
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Mappy - Famicom and NES
Release Date: November 14, 1984 (JP)
Publisher: Namco
Developer: Namco
Genre: Platformer

The concept of Mappy is simple - you control a mouse in a police outfit that jumps from trampolines and avoids cats while opening doors and collecting items. Collect all the items, and you've completed the level. Mappy never made it out of Japan on the NES, and that disappoints me. It's a simple, addicting game and I think North American audiences would have adored it just as much as Japanese audiences did.
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People who added this item 132 Average listal rating (70 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon Warrior - Famicom and NES
Release Date: May 27, 1986 (JP)
Publisher: Enix
Developer: ChunSoft
Genre: RPG

Dragon Warrior, while not the first RPG to exist, might be the most influential game in the history of the genre. Today, the game seems extremely basic, with no vehicles to ride and no party to join you in your quest...But when this was released, it was awesome. The second game in the franchise improved on the formula found here in pretty much every possible way, but this is still a fun game to go back and play today, whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer who wants to see what RPG's were like back in the 80's.
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Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers - Famicom and NES
Release Date: June 8, 1990 (JP)
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Genre: Platformer

When a lot of people think of good Disney games, they generally think of the batch of Capcom-made platformers that, more often than not, were really good. Chip 'N Dale: Rescue Rangers is one of the more beloved Disney titles of this time period. The single player experience is fun, but where Chip 'N Dale shines is the multiplayer, with two players on the screen at once, hurling boxes and the like at Fat Cat's minions. Games like this make me wish that Capcom and Disney could come to an agreement to make some more 2D platformers for Xbox Live, Playstation Network, or the Nintendo eShop.
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Legends of the Diamond - Famicom and NES
Release Date: January 1992 (NA)
Publisher: Bandai
Developer: TOSE
Genre: Sports - Baseball

Legends of the Diamond is a baseball game that I absolutely adored as a kid. The gameplay is solid, but as a baseball fanatic as a young'un, the ability to play as all-time greats like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and Cy Young just added to the fun. Legends of the Diamond is also the game that had me go out of my way to bean the batters when pitching, just so I could watch the batter rush the mound and the dugouts clear as a giant brawl erupts. Games like Baseball Stars and RBI Baseball may be better overall games, but Legends of the Diamond is still a solid baseball game with plenty of novelty fun.
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Nightshade - Famicom and NES
Release Date: January 1992 (NA)
Publisher: Ultra Games
Developer: Beam Software
Genre: Adventure

When I saw the cover of this game, I kind of avoided it...It didn't pop out to me as something that I thought that I'd enjoy. I was dead wrong. After playing it for seconds, and discovering the quirky humor found within, I was instantly a fan. Not only is this an adventure-style game, but you'll occasionally find yourself in fist-fights and always trying to increase your popularity since some people only talk to cool kids like you have the potential to be. In real life, playing this game may actually increase your popularity...Or not. Well, I'll think that your cooler, if that matters any.
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Joy Mech Fight - Famicom and NES
Release Date: May 21, 1993 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Fighting

How this game was never released in North America is something that I'll never understand. Nintendo created this unique fighting game in the later days of the Famicom, which has you pick a robot that has no limbs (kinda like Rayman) so that you can battle another robot that has no limbs. It sounds weird, and this game is a little weird, but it's very fun and pretty innovative to the genre with its story and "capturing" of robots after beating them in battle. It's a quality game on all levels and one well worth checking out should you ever stumble across a copy.
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As I re-play NES games, I'll add them to the list. If I'm missing a title that you think should be on here, like Legend of Zelda or Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular, it'll be on here eventually. Just be patient.

I'll be doing lists like this for all systems eventually. As I play games for the system, I'll add them to the list. They're ranked by my own personal preference, so keep that in mind if you can't figure out why game A is ranked above game B.

For release date info, I took the first release date and included the region the date comes from. Here's the key for that: NA - North America, JP - Japan, EU - Europe, AU - Australia

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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 3 months ago at Apr 29 9:11
I haven't played Kid Dracula, but I'm very happy to see it on this list. That Air Fortress image looks like a screen capture from the fight with Mother Brain in Metroid. Armadillo does look like my type of roadkill as well.

Being a big fan of Athena the goddess from Greek mythology, I find it strange that she's dressing all showy and has descendents in the SNK games. I have the utmost respect for SNK, but Athena is a virgin goddess. Also, a Dungeons and Dragons shooter? Teh weirdness.
Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at May 5 12:11
This list is really filling out! It's great to go through it again and see a more complete assessment of the NES library.

Quick fact: during the marketing team's brainstorming for the name of the Western version of the Famicom, there was a lengthy discussion about adding a 'W' at the end of the acronym because they feared 'NES' would never catch on. It just so happened that children outside of Japan lived and breathed those three little letters, and completely forgot which way was North, or... Is there another?

...well, that might have been a consideration, at least. Reality is relative since, after all, a well-told story is imperative.

Keep up the awesome job on these lists, pal!
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Posted: 4 years, 3 months ago at May 5 21:26
Gracias, kind sir. And that's a nifty little fact you had there...Almost went over my head, though. I'm a tad slow at times, but I usually get there in the end. :)

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