What are the Best NES Games NOT Super Mario Bros!
Super Mario Bros is an absolute smash at the box office! After taking in the magic I began to wonder what the best NES video games are? (I know, weird segue, but welcome to the inner workings of my mind.) The love that went into creating the Super Mario Bros movie obviously came from a genuine place. A place of nostalgia. A place that remembers the joy of reading Nintendo Power and has experienced the frustration of blowing into an 8-bit game cartridge.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), is a console that left an indelible mark on the world of gaming. The NES originally released in Japan in 1983 under the name Famicom Systems, which stood for “Family Computer”. It released in North America in 1985 and became an instant hit. The NES has a lockout chip that prevents unauthorized games from playing on the system. With that, The “Nintendo Seal of Quality” was born. Third party publishers need meet certain standards before gaining approved for release. The Nintendo changed the way people viewed the Video game industry.
Where do your favorite NES games rank on this Best of list?
With The Super Mario Bros movie fresh in our minds and the NES about to celebrate its 40th anniversary, it’s time to reflect on the best games the system had to offer. Here are the top 7 NES video games that have stood the test of time:
The Legend of Zelda
Released in 1986, The Legend of Zelda was the first game in a long-running series that would become a staple of Nintendo consoles. The game was revolutionary for its time, offering a sprawling world to explore and an open-ended gameplay style that allowed players to tackle dungeons in any order they chose. It’s still a beloved game to this day and is a must-play for any fan of adventure games.
Mega Man 2
Mega Man 2 is often considered the best game in the Mega Man franchise, and for good reason. Released in 1988, the game refined the gameplay of the original game and added new features, such as a password system and a variety of new power-ups. The game’s music is also a standout, with some of the most iconic tunes in NES history.
Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse
The Castlevania series was known for its challenging gameplay and spooky atmosphere, and Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse is the pinnacle of that formula. Released in 1990, the game introduced new playable characters with unique abilities and a branching level system that allowed players to take multiple paths through the game. It’s a must-play for fans of classic horror movies and challenging platformers.
If you’re looking for a game that’s all about action and explosions, then Contra is the game for you. Released in 1988, the game was a run-and-gun shooter that had players blasting their way through waves of enemies and huge bosses. It’s a challenging game that requires quick reflexes and precision aiming, but the satisfaction of completing a level is well worth it.
Based on the popular cartoon of the same name, DuckTales is a platformer that follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck as he travels the world in search of treasure. Released in 1989, the game was praised for its tight controls, clever level design, and memorable music. It’s a fun and charming game that still holds up today.
This was one of the last games released for the NES, but it was also one of the best. Released in 1993, the game introduced Kirby’s trademark ability to inhale enemies and copy their powers. The game’s colorful graphics and catchy music make it a joy to play, and the ability to explore hidden paths in levels adds to its “replay value”.
Super Mario Bros 3
Alright… this is technically a Super Mario Bros game but it also SO MUCH MORE. The third installment of the Super Mario Bros. franchise is often considered the greatest NES game of all time. Released in 1990, it introduced new power-ups, new enemies, and an overworld map, which added a new dimension of exploration to the game. With its challenging levels and memorable music, Super Mario Bros 3 is a classic that still holds up today.
These are a biased representation of just a few games in the rich NES history of fantastic games. That’s the beauty of the NES! There are hundreds of great games available for the NES. The games that built my childhood most likely differ from yours. The NES sold over 60 million units worldwide, making it one of the most successful consoles of all time. It paved the way for future Nintendo consoles like the SNES, N64, Game Boy Advance, Wii U and Nintendo Switch. The NES was discontinued in North America in 1995, but its legacy lives on through classic gaming collections, retro competitive play events, and the continued popularity of many of its games. And did I mention the Super Mario Brothers movie? I did, didn’t I?
What’s Best for me may not be Best for Thee
With the success of the Super Mario Brothers movie there are growing hopes that many other classic video games get the silver screen treatment too. There’s no need to wait for Zelda to hit theaters! Just dust off your NES console and pop in one of these classic games! Prepare to be transported back to a simpler time in gaming history. Power Glove Sold Separately!
Which game did we miss on our list? Maybe Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong, Double Dragon or Metal Gear? Let us know in the comments below!
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