My list of Top 10 Nintendo Entertainment System games

Once again I’m doing a list of my favourite games on a system with their replay value in mind. You should get used to these lists for a while as I intend to try to cover other platforms as well (such as Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube and Playstation 2). Please remember that I haven’t played each and every one of the great games in each system. This list contains games that I actually have played. Let’s do this!

#10:  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

This game makes the list because it’s kind of nostalgic to me and because it’s hard enough to have a decent replay value. And it’s a TMNT game for crying out loud!

Graphics: 6/10

The game could’ve looked better (just look at TMNT II: The Arcade Game) and that includes both the Turtles and the enemies. They kind of resemble who they’re supposed to be but still look a bit off.

Sounds & Music: 7/10

The music is catchy but the sound effects are worse (especially when you get hit) and might get on your nerves. But the sound that the weapons make when they slice/slash/smash/whack the enemies is very enjoyable.

Gameplay:  7/10

The game is very hard and if it wasn’t for the overly stressful and hard diving and bomb defusing level (which I always did dread as a kid and still do) I’d given the gameplay a higher score. Overall the controls are pretty solid but the level design can sometimes get in the way of your turtle when he tries to advance.

Replay value: 7/10

The game is worth replaying for nostalgia value or out of boredom if anything, that is, if you’re not a great fan of the game. But if you are one of the few who actually enjoyed and still enjoy the game then you’ll find yourself longing to play it again after a while.

Trivia:

There’s a much worse PC port of this game which I’ve tried to play. Even though it looks better graphically and the characters look better than the NES version I still can’t help to feel that it’s an inferior verison. The controls are worse as is the music which might cause finger and ear hemorrhage simultaneously. Play it if you want to present your GP with a mystery case.

#09:  Batman

This is one of the few movie based games that actually is good. No, wait, I actually think that’s an unfair “rumor” of sorts that people spread around to others who believe them way too easily. Movie licenced games have the same amount of spread crappiness that other games have, and I’ve got the experience to prove that to the only one who matters and that is myself. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone else. And yet here I am.

Anyhow, this game is great, looks great and feels great but is magnificiently challenging.

Graphics: 10/10

The game looks close to a SNES game in some angles. It’s beautiful and contains a lot of details that add to the atmosphere of Gotham.

Sounds & Music: 10/10

The music really rocks in this game and really fits the environment. The sound effects are great as well, especially that rewarding sound that’s heard when you hit an enemy character. You really feel that you’re doing damage.

Gameplay:  10/10

The game is challenging but that isn’t a negative trait as the controls are solid enough to make you the one responsible for getting Batman damaged or dead. You can use a variety of different weapons (the three disc weapon being my favourite) and it’s debatable to call Batman a Super Hero to begin with due to his over-use of gadgets in the comics. Maybe he’s a normal Hero (which is a lot to begin with) as a bullet can kill him if he doesn’t wear his suit, and sometimes he can do nothing without his gadgets. Anyhow, the weapons sure do make things easier in the game as even our buddy ol’ pal Batman is just human after all. Other than the fact that he can scale walls á lá Ninja Gaiden. Maybe he’s a Ninja Hero? An Adult Bat-fearing Ninja Human?

Replay value: 9/10

The game really doesn’t grow old and since it’s difficult to begin with each attempt to replay it will make you feel greater than before.

Trivia:

The game contains a lot of pretty cut-scenes from the movie of the same name. They look very good for being on the NES!

#08:  Wrecking Crew

This is one of those early games for the NES who are in the the “Black Label” series and that’s simply because they all have a largely black label.

They were categorized into several genres such as Action, Puzzle and so on. Which genre does Wrecking Crew belong to then?  The Programmable series! And that’s even though it’s kind of a puzzle-esque game since you can program levels but not save them (as the game doesn’t contain battery-back up since it was made for the Famicom Disk Drive).

You’re Mario, still a carpenter, who has to demolish buildings while being chased by monsters and robots from hell. You also have Spike racing against you and he’s a mean asshole and will try to knock you down into the path of the minions from hell so that you can meet your maker. Luckily you can knock him before he’s able to knock you out but, unluckily, he won’t die of it.

Graphics: 8/10

The game looks good but not great as it contains a lot of black space that’s characteristic for early NES games. That aside the sprites that do exist for the characters and some surroundings look great, bar the stairs who resemble doors to mobile toilets.

Sounds & Music: 7/10

Not much to say here, nothing remarkable and nothing that’s head ache inducing. Maybe it’s a little bit catchy even.

Gameplay:  9/10

This is where the game shines. The controls respond well and the challenge is given in small increasing doses. Wrecking stuff has never been this fun! Well, maybe it has but never on the NES!

After some wrecking you get the opportunity to race against Spike in a Bonus level to find a coin behind some wreckable stuff. You really have to plan the wrecking well: if you destroy stairs too early then you might block off access to where they’re going and since you have to destroy every single piece of walls/stairs etc. that’ll mean you have to restart the level.

Replay value: 9/10

Since there’s a plethora of levels you really can’t grow tired of this game, and the multitude of levels also makes it harder to remember how you’re supposed to beat them. These two factors gives the game a new-ish factor and makes it very much replayable. If you can’t stand the sight of the game you will have a problem though (all that blackness and other stuff).

Trivia:

In the Japanese version Spike was called Blackey. I wonder why they changed his name. Hmm…

#07:  DuckTales

This game is a very good one as expected since it’s made by Capcom. Back then the movie/TV-show licenced games that were handled by Capcom were destined to greatness (but the destiny of TaleSpin didn’t really come through though). This game is, as you might’ve already guessed, based on the DuckTales cartoon. I won’t review the 2nd game since it’s pretty much the same, but I chose the 1st one since it has slightly better music.

Graphics: 10/10

As with most games developed by Capcom, this one looks great. The sprites look crisp and represent their cartoon counterparts fairly well.

Sounds & Music: 8/10

“Why didn’t he give the game 10 points?!” Well, the music is very catchy and contains a lot of great tracks but the sound effects can be a little too high pitched or annoying at times and do unfortunately drag the score down a few notches.

Gameplay:  9/10

You can choose your destinations through the map and Launchpad will take you there without questioning your sanity. You’ll have to save your nephews and Gyro Gearloose will present himself in more or less hidden areas to give you equipment that will make your quest easier and pave the way to more money.

The controls are great in the “if you die it’s your own fault” kind of way (if you count out the cart-and float-riding parts) and the task of killing various enemies to make the world’s richest duck even richer is a pleasurable one. Finding all the hidden treasures also gives the game more depth and forces the player to leave the linear path of regular gameplay to search the levels for them. The bosses are also means to get more money and present themselves at the end of each level. Some are easier and some are harder than others.

Replay value: 8/10

You can always get all the treasures, gears and cash possible for Scrooge and re-playing the game is enjoyable even though you know everything by heart.

Trivia:

DuckTales was the first American animated TV series to be officially broadcast in the former Soviet Union.

#06:  Bonk’s Adventure

This game is often very overlooked and is actually a port of the game with the same name for the  Turbografx 16 (the PC Engine in Japan) featuring their mascot Bonk the caveman. It didn’t sell that well so if you have the game consider yourself lucky.

Sounds & Music: 6/10

The music is kind of generic in character and the sounds are pretty mediocre. It’s a port of a game from another system but I know that the NES can make better music to match the original game.

Gameplay:  10/10

The game is addictive and intuitive to learn to play with Bonk smashing his head into everything he comes over. After eating enough meat you’ll go into  a caveman-rage mode and then a temporarily invincible mode. You’ll fight yourself through dinosaur land to rescue the reptile Princess Za. That’s enough reason for anyone to smash everything in their way with their head.

Replay value: 9/10

The game is very fun to play if you don’t have a headache (due to the music and sound effects). I really recommend this game.

Trivia:

There’s a second game called Bonk’s Revenge that never saw a release to the NES.

#05:  Mega Man III

Of all the Mega Man games for the NES I find this one to be the best. This is the first time you don’t have to be alone on your quest as Rush the robo dog will be there to help you on your way. The plot is simple as always: Dr. Wily the butt is back and you’ll have to defeat his 8 robot monsters to reach him. This game also introduces Proto Man, the unstable prototype and also the “brother” of Mega man and Roll, who tests your capabilities as some kind of mini boss at certain points of the game.

Graphics: 10/10

The game is developed by Capcom which means that it has a very high probability to look great, which it does by the way. The enemy and boss designs are great too and shows both great imagination and esthetics in design. Bar Hard Man (nice name, huh?) who looks like a metal egg with a head on top.

Sounds & Music: 10/10

The music really gets you going and adds to the game a lot in terms of feeling awesome.  The sound effects are great too, such as the rewarding sound that you hear when you hit enemies or when you defeat bosses.

Gameplay:  10/10

Juts as in Mega Man 2 for the Gameboy there are a lot of ways of trying to defeat bosses with Rush. Otherwise it’s pretty much the same formula as before: get the weapon that the boss is weak against á lá Rock-Paper-Scissors and defeat him easily. Or if you’re one of those who loves great challenges you can use just your Mega Buster to defeat them. In any way you’ll have a great time rushing through the stages and presenting the Robot Masters their bitter defeat. And as usual you’ll have to get through Dr. Wily’s levels in the end and battle him to save the day.

Replay value: 10/10

It’s just so fun and Rush adds diversity to the game. The difficulty level of some stages also add to the replayability which is a plus.

Trivia:

Wikipedia states that Proto Man was introduced in Mega Man 5, but that’s not correct, he was introduced in this game.

Mega Man, Roll Woman and Proto Man are called Rock Man, Roll and Blues respectively in Japanese. See the pattern?

#04:  Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers

As a single player game this game stands well on it’s own, but it’s as a multiplayer game that this game shines. You’ll control Chip and Dale as you team up against Fat Cat and his minions through a lot of stages.

Graphics: 10/10

This game… was ALSO made by Capcom! And it looks sexy as it should! And you walk around in a world of giants since you’re small, being a chipmunk, which is a very awesome thing itself! ‘Nuff said, ’nuff said!

Sounds & Music: 9/10

The music and sound effects are of high quality and are enjoyable. There are unfortunately some sound effects that are a little bit too high pitched and can be bothersome, which is why I gave this department a lower score.

Gameplay:  10/10

If you only count the singleplayer game then I’d give this game an 8 out of 10, but since I focus mainly on the multiplayer game (which is the best way to enjoy the game) I will give it a solid 10.

The controls feel great. You can pick up most items and throw them at enemies or your team mate including, but not limited to: apples, boxes, metal boxes and Chip or Dale. Sometimes your other team members will show up and help you in your quest. Well, except for Gadget as Fat Cat kidnapped her and plans to kill her in warm blood.

Replay value: 10/10

With a friend the game tends to be very much replayable and enjoyable while doing so. There’s little that can match the pleasure one feels when knocking his friend temporarily unconscious (leaving him open to enemy attacks) or simply throwing him into the enemies. Good times.

Trivia:

Fat Cat, while you battle him, is HUGE. I mean, he’s bigger than Fat Cat actually is supposed to be  in comparision to Chip N’ Dale in the cartoon and comics. Also, he flicks cigar ash at you which is a very insulting move.

#03:  Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!

This game is one of the most entertaining games for the NES. You’re Little Mac, an aspiring boxer which is coached by Doc Louis (a man that tries to psyche your opponent at ringside with his staring and creepy eyes) into a fighter worthy of fighting Mike Tyson (or Mr. Dream in the later versions when the license ran out).

Graphics: 9/10 

While the boxing ring doesn’t look very well it really doesn’t matter in the end as focus is on your character and his huge opponents of diverse looks and comical quality. I mean, your eyes are on the opponent all the time, right? No? Then that’s the reason you aren’t winning!

Sounds & Music: 9/10 

The music is very good throughout the game but truth be told there aren’t all too many tracks. Well, those who do exist are great nontheless and the sound effects portray the boxing in a satisfactory way. Sometimes I can’t help to feel that the opponents’ punches pack more power than yours (bar the “Star Punch”) as the sound of yours are puny in comparision. Maybe that’s the point? That your punches sound as a pea shooting gun and the opponent’s as cannons?

Gameplay:  10/10

This game is very good control-wise and challenge wise. Most likely you won’t be able to defeat your opponents on the first try (except for Glass Joe, if you can’t beat him you have serious problems man) and will have to try over and over again to see their patterns. Their patterns are key for victory and secondary to that are your reflexes in response to the small signs that warn you for the upcoming attack. The game is also enriched with comical opponents who trash talk you between the matches and all have their own personalities.

I like Don Flamenco the most and Bald Bull the least. The first one is a balding ladies man and the latter a balding asshole. Bald Bull equals bullshit.

Replay value: 10/10

Since there’s always room for improvement, fun characters to revisit and quite easy  to recall the game mechanics, this game is in the top of great replayable games for the NES. It’s easy to pick up and it takes not too long to beat for the hardcore gamer.

Trivia:

Press Select between the Rounds for Doc Louis patting you faster on the shoulder for a larger amount of HP replenished. This is a very helpful, but also well known, tip.

#02:  The Legend Of Zelda

This game is contrary to popular belief not a real RPG game. It’s an action/adventure game which is shock full of mysterious dungeons and land to explore. You’re Link, a boy who is send to defeat Ganon and retrieve the Triforce to salvage the Princess Zelda and your homeland Hurule.

Graphics: 7/10

The game isn’t that pretty but it avoids looking like complete crap. You can almost see what everything is supposed to be and the rest is up to your imagination. Needless to say the graphics aren’t the games forte and the reason behind why it sold as well as it did. Maybe I’ve got problems but the dungeons could get very confusing at times when everything looked the goddamn same. Especially Ganons Dungeon, man did that one infuriate me to no end!

Sounds & Music: 9/10

Again a game that gets a lower score due to the sound effects. While the music is legendary and unforgettable the sound effects are unspectacular at most times.

Gameplay:  10/10

Here’s where the game gained its most praise: the gameplay. You’re presented with a vast terrain which hides the dungeons which you’re supposed to conquer. There’s mystique, adventure, exploration, heroism, exploitation and a lot of dirty little secrets.

Replay value: 10/10

The game is fun and huge for it’s time which makes it very much replayable. Also you can unlock the Second Quest which presents items and dungeons in another order and basically makes everything a lot harder. This is great for hardcore gamers but actually nothing I’m interested in partaking in at the moment.

Trivia:

The Second Quest was put in since half of the calculated memory space was left in the cartridge after the completion of the game. If you choose the name ZELDA when starting a new game you’ll skip to the Second Quest.

#01:  Super Mario Bros. 3

I don’t know if this game even requires an explanation, but I’m going to do it anyway. Once again you’re supposed to save Princess Peach from Bowser but this time you’ll have to defeat his kids. Yeah folks, Bowser ain’t no virgin unless he’s had someone give several virgin births.

Graphics: 10/10

This is one of the most well designed games for the NES. The colors are vivid and the designs very likeable. The map, stages and characters look majestically splendid.

Sounds & Music: 10/10

As with any Mario game the sound effects are great (not counting spin-offs, I’m not so sure about that) and the music is catchy and very likeable indeed.

Gameplay:  10/10

The maps are vast and the challenge just enough not to make you throw your controller, NES system and TV into the wall. The game does have its very challenging moments and they do become more frequent as one advances further into the game but still it doesn’t cloud the experience that much since there are many factors alleviating your periodical pains.

These factors are: an ability to save items you get when you open chests’ of Toads’, items from the memory game and as prices from defeating Hammer Bros. that keep moving around on the map.  If you find the hidden flutes remember that they can help you skip entire worlds.

There are so many power-ups that the game becomes very diverse and fun. You can’t really blame the game if you happen to kill off Mario since the controls are solid to the point of self-blameage in those cases.

Replay value: 10/10

This game never turns old. Period.

Trivia:

According to Mariowiki.com: “The Nintendo Entertainment System version of the game was released twice in English. In the re-release, the names of the worlds were changed to (theme of world) Land, while the first English version used the original Japanese names. Other changes include a slightly different set of instructions from Toad’s N-Spade game and a slight rewrite in one of Toadstool’s letters, changing “Kuribo’s Shoe” to “Goomba’s Shoe”.”

Nice!

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5 thoughts on “My list of Top 10 Nintendo Entertainment System games

  1. I cannot see Guardian Legend on your list. 😡
    It would be in my top ten list, anyways.
    The music is wonderful and even beautiful at times. The opening song must be the greatest one in the NES library.
    The mix between a space shooter and an RPG is also something that makes it great.
    My thoughts at least.

    Like

    • I completely agree with you, and I’d like to have the game in the list. But the only reason why it didn’t make the list is that I suck at playing it, thus it diminishes my enjoyment of the game a wee bit (even though I greatly enjoy the game as whole).

      Like

  2. It’s pretty epic when you read the first message from the fallen hero and there is epic music in the background. And you have to fill his shoes and take on the quest to save them all.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Review: Chip N’ Dale: Rescue Rangers | The Martian Oddity

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