#55 - Snake Rattle 'n' Roll |
Chosen by: Carmichael Micaalus, D-Mac
Carmichael Micaalus - I dunno, I just had fun playing this one. It was pretty straight forward, but it was also neat to find various hidden areas and stuff in the stages.
D-Mac - Super co-op isometric platforming action! This is my furthest recollection of going over to a friends house SPECIFICALLY to play one game. The objective is to slither your snake around the field and eat as many balls as possible, in the fastest time. Along the way, you defeat enemies such as giant feet by licking them with your long, forked tongue. ....Wait. WHAT?!
#54 - Super Dodge Ball|
Chosen by: wolf99x, BionicCommando83
wolf99x - The makers of River City Ransom create Prince of Tennis years before it ever exists. Only with a dodgeball, which as a tennis player I can say is infinitely cooler.
BionicCommando83 - Half battle game, half sports game, Super Dodge Ball is refined goodness. Easy controls, yet there is a surprising amount of depth in the game, particularly when each character has his own move set, strengths, and weaknesses. While it is a good single player game, its two-player mode is excellent, allowing you to go through several teams and even indulge in the chaotic fun of bean ball mode.
#53 - Adventures of Lolo (series)|
Chosen by: Genuine Fiber, Pitchfork
Genuine Fiber - Including all of them in one entry because two and three are almost identical to one. This is one of, if not the, best puzzle games of all time. Fun and unique, and some that will definitely twist your mind and leave you screaming in controller throwing anguish.
Pitchfork - Lolo is capable of only five actions: walking, pushing objects, shooting egg lasers, using items, and killing himself when things don't go the way he wants them to. Remember, kids: when the going gets tough, there's always Option Five.
#52 - The Goonies II|
Chosen by: RaiRaiRai, FreezingInferno
RaiRaiRai - Really, this game was excellentastic fun. Like Metroid, only the control was just a bit tighter, and you killed shit with a yo-yo.
FreezingInferno - Even though the means of progressing are sometimes obscure as fuck, it's still a great Metroid-style game.
#51 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III:|
The Manhattan Project
Chosen by: Vanor Orion, Mash
Vanor Orion - The first game sucked. The second was an arcade port that was infuriatingly hard as it was fun. I felt that the third one really got it all right: The graphics were better, the individual turtles had more nuance in their sprites and in their attacks, the game wasn't as hard as the prior one, the music was fucking awesome, and the stages had a lot more variety. Overall, this game just felt a lot more fun and fast-paced, and that's all that you could ask for in a game.
Mash - While Turtles II did a great job finally bringing the arcade experience home, this game further refined it, thus providing the best such experience on the NES. The fact that it was a whole new game instead of a port is also a plus.
#50 - Dragon Warrior III|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, ignorent spine
FreezingInferno - This one gets the nod over IV if only for creating a cyclic closure to the "Erdrick Trilogy" on the NES. Wrapped shit up nicely.
ignorent spine - I always liked how this game had an episodic feel to it, what with every quest feeling almost completely detached from each other. One minute I'm fetching the King of Portoga some pepper so I can have his ship, next I'm breaking into Edinbear to steal the dry vase that they stole from the villagers of Soo.
#49 - Dragon Warrior IV|
Chosen by: Genuine Fiber, Roger
Genuine Fiber - The only Dragon Warrior on the NES to really get it right, in my opinion at least. Five chapters with five converging stories to fight an overarching villain, in some great classic rpg action. My personal favorite is the chapter where you play the owner of a weapon store. Yes, it's more interesting than it sounds. As normal, they didn't use Akira Toryiama's artwork on the box or manual for the US release, but the American efforts weren't bad, for once.
Roger - II and III were good, but this game immersed me into its world for quite a while wanting to get everything I possibly could out of each chapter.
#48 - Nightshade|
Chosen by: Genuine Fiber, Mash
Genuine Fiber - Part puzzle game and part brawler, the amount of time and effort put into this game creating an exciting and immersing world makes it criminally unrecognized. Plus I am a huge fan of stupid puns, which this game has in spades.
Mash - I just have a soft spot for old adventure games with a cheesy sense of humor. To think that I'd missed out on one on the good ol' NES for so many years. And published by Konam...err, Ultra no less.
#47 - Bubble Bobble|
Chosen by: Spyda K, Rhete
Spyda K - Another game that was exponentially better with 2 players. In fact, you couldn't get the good ending without a buddy. But with 100 stages, it took a long time to get to the ending. This was great way to spend a whole day with a friend.
Rhete - So ridiculously addictive, hundreds of levels, co-op two player mode, and that theme song that will never get unstuck from your head, even 20 years later.
#46 - Mother|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, ignorent spine
FreezingInferno - The simple "what if?" of putting Dragon Quest in a modern-day setting creates a wonderfully silly yet engaging precursor to that one SNES game everyone on the Internet loves but nobody in real life does.
ignorent spine - For all the acid trip madness this game has, I'm still rather surprised at how sad the game could make you feel (pretty much everything involving your Great Grandfather, that one village where all the adults are gone and the children are wondering where their mommy's and daddy's are). Plus it had some totally bitchin' music.
#45 - Batman|
Chosen by: Polly, RaiRaiRai
Polly - In all honesty it had fuck-all to do with Batman (though I DO love the color blue!) and could have been a platformer by any other name and it wouldn't be any less awesome. The precision action is absolutely intense and the soundtrack is legendary.
RaiRaiRai - I think Polly's already reviewed this one, but I loved it when I was a kid.
#44 - Captain Skyhawk|
Chosen by: Polly, wolf99x, Carmichael Micaalus
Polly - Played the shit out of this game. Back in the day, after receiving this for my 10th birthday it was the fastest I'd ever beaten a game, coming in at just over three days. But I still continued to play the hell out of it. Great top-down shooter with a simple upgrade system and holy fuck were those later levels ridiculously fast.
wolf99x - Take Zaxxon, turn it so that you're looking behind your craft, and make your craft an F-14 tomcat that can go into space. That's pretty much this game, a real technical marvel for its time.
Carmichael Micaalus - I remember the graphics on this one always stuck out with me... I didn't have any other games that looked quite like it. The way you had to line yourself up to dock in the space station thing was kind of interesting, too.
#43 - Faxanadu|
Chosen by: Genuine Fiber, BionicCommando83, Carmichael Micaalus
Genuine Fiber - I'm a sucker for old school RPGs and Action RPGs. Elves and Dwarves, world dying, nebulous evil blah blah. Point me to where I can grind XP and gold. Actually, this is one of the few older games where the story actually unfolds in game. The setting is pretty neat too, you start at the bottom of the World Tree and work your way up to the highest branches as you progress.
BionicCommando83 - Falcom's epic side scrolling adventure has you navigating the World Tree to restore dried up Fountains, stop an invasion of mutated Dwarves caused by falling meteorites, and finally, defeat the Evil One (One of the goofiest end bosses ever) to restore peace. The game's soundtrack and graphics create a unique and exciting world for you to explore. The controls can be stiff at times, but the game's strengths more than make up for this.
Carmichael Micaalus - Oh, Faxanadu... may your king always be kind enough to hook me up with cash when I run out. I remember a couple of things about this one... like how some of the shopkeeps would stand up when you got close and sit when you started to leave, so I'd stand in the sweet spot and move back and forth, making them dance. Also, a spell called Death that made you shoot a giant spiked ball. Awesome.
#42 - Castlevania|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Miller
FreezingInferno - MAN, YOU GET TO WHIP THE SHIT OUT OF MUMMIES AND FRANKENSTEIN AND THE GRIM REAPER. HELL YES.
Miller - Not a big fan of Castlevania-games but this one brings back a lot of memories.
#41 - Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers|
Chosen by: Spyda K, Serafita, Rhete
Spyda K - Single Player was average. Two-player was great. If you played with nice people, you could use the 'pick up and throw' mechanics to reach areas that you couldn't get to alone, and do things that were pretty amazing. If you played with not-so-nice people, it became a cutthroat race to the finish, with both players throwing boxes and trying to chuck each other into bottomless pits.
Serafita - It was the music which first drew me in. And then the gameplay. But two players OH GOD WHY DID YOU PICK ME UP FUCK PUT ME DOWN WITHOUT THROWING ME INTO ENEMIES OR A HOLE PLEASE
#40 - Maniac Mansion|
Chosen by: wolf99x, Pitchfork, Carmichael Micaalus
wolf99x - Often frustrating due to UI and Control issues and I never beat it, but the memories I had of the somewhat quirky humor caused me to later search out Day of the Tentacle. I was not disappointed.
Pitchfork - I would have never had a semi-popular webcomic or lost my virginity were it not for this gem.
Carmichael Micaalus - My brother actually played this one a lot more than I did, but it was still fun. The way they had multiple endings for the game that varied a lot was also really cool. I had the version where you could stuff the hamster into the microwave with two of the characters, heh.
#39 - Duck Hunt|
Chosen by: Spyda K, ignorent spine, Serafita
Spyda K - The iconic Light Gun game. It was beautiful in its simplicity, yet dreadfully challenging. And I know that you would cheat by putting the gun right up to the screen. You should feel ashamed of yourself.
ignorent spine - A simple premise really, shoot the ducks so the dog won't laugh at you. Plus you got to use the Nintendo Zapper which is alway a plus (the KL-KLANG helps drown out the dogs laughter).
Serafita - Genocide on a massive scale against the poultry menace! Also, FUCK YOU DOG STOP LAUGHING *BAMBAM*
#38 - Rad Racer|
Chosen by: Genuine Fiber, D-Mac, Rhete
Genuine Fiber - The second game I owned, and the first legitimately good one. A racing game where you had to make it from checkpoint to checkpoint before you ran out of gas. Unique to this game is that you race a different car every level, starting off with either a Ferrari or an F1 car and then changing as the levels went by. This one actually came with a pair of 3d glasses, and if you pushed the select button it went into (supposedly) 3d mode. All it ever did was give me a fucking headache, though. Also, when I was six my dad used to come into my room after I was asleep and play it, frequently waking me up with him cursing...usually at the Lamborghini level as it was his stumbling block for awhile.
D-Mac - Gooooooood graphics! If only I had -this- as a kid instead of STUPID Days of DUMB STUPID Thunder.
#37 - Gradius|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, wolf99x, ignorent spine
FreezingInferno - Hard as hell, but in a way that has you coming back for more.
wolf99x - I knew of "The Code" from this game before Contra, and arguably with a game like this it's either needed or you need to spend a lot of time learning pattern-recognition on the first level even (guilty).
ignorent spine - Words cannot describe the feeling one gets when they fully deck out their ship with force fields and three different lasers. Nor can they describe the crushing despair one feels when the lose it all in the middle of a level.
#36 - Dr. Mario|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, wolf99x, Spyda K
FreezingInferno - Great puzzle game, great music. FEVER IS NOW STUCK IN YOUR HEAD HAVE A FUN DAY.
PILLS HERE I'm pretty sure that the good Doctor's qualifications are suspect seeing as all he does is cram multicolored meds down your throat, but this fun puzzle game made it a worthy contender to Tetris even today.
Spyda K - This was the first game I ever had for the NES. I even had it before I got the machine itself. At age 5, this was what my parents got me for Xmas. Even at that age, I was pretty confident that my parents were smart enough not to buy a game for a console that I didn't own without buying the console itself. After all, they owned a computer store. They sold Ataris. They knew how this shit worked. But there it was: A game without a console to play it on. And there stood my parents looking confused. That was almost the worst holiday ever. Then we went to Grandma's and I found out that SHE had the console and that they were playing stupid this whole time. Way to go guys; you pulled a practical joke on a 5-year-old. Can I play my damn Nintendo now? ...The game? Oh. It was a lot of fun. I loved the music.
#35 - The Guardian Legend|
Chosen by: Polly, Pitchfork, Rhete
Polly - She's a girl that turns into a space ship! COME ON! At first, this game was confusing as fuck, but I liked the shooter segments enough to keep playing through the adventure portions too.
Pitchfork - Overlooked, regrettably, because the phrase "shooter with RPG elements" had not yet been coined in 1988.
Rhete - It's a game about a GIRL that turns into a SPACESHIP. That's AWESOME. The game is a weird combination of shoot em up stages, and Legend of Zelda style overworld, but a lot less cryptic in where you need to go.
#34 - Metal Gear|
Chosen by: Polly, ignorent spine, decoy octopus
Polly - Back in the day, we didn't know just how gutted this game was and some of us were kinda too dumb to realize that it really wasn't all that great of a game either. Still, it never deterred me from finishing it multiple times, and just like I did with Metroid, I mapped the game out on graph paper as best I could so that future playthroughs would be a bit easier.
ignorent spine - This game taught me a whole new way to play video games, I can still remember how bad-ass it felt to sneak up to each guard on screen and punching them out one by one. Despite its many faults the NES version is still my favorite entry into the Metal Gear franchise. Also "I FEEL ASLEAP">>>>>"I need scissors 61".
decoy octopus - Fuck the haters. This shit was amazing, I love the music and why do people say it was gutted? Oh lawd it doesn't have Metal Gear in it. GUESS WHAT THE MSX VERSION DOESN'T HAVE YOU FIGHT IT EITHER you lay plastic explosives on his feet in a certain order which is only revealed to you if you save Pettrovich's daughter. Kojima hates it but you know what I'm revoking his rights since he made the shit that is Metal Gear solid Touch. Learning that the tranciever makes things reappear and closes trap pits was all part of the grind that eventually led me to beat this game. I did not make it through the pit trap alley to fight the flamethrower boss nor did I know they place a tranciever in your stuff after you are captured that alerts each screen nor did I know about the oxygen tank and swam through the underwater area using rations LIKE A MAN and then I beat Coward Duck and died :( If you think that's bad Pitch didn't play Metal Gear Solid 1 until last year he's worse hate him.
#33 - Excitebike|
Chosen by: wolf99x, Serafita, Roger
wolf99x - A fun motocross game and track editor? I'm there.
Serafita - Excitement. On a bike. More better than it sounds, really.
Roger - This game has more sentimental value than anything, because it reminds me of when my grandmother was staying with us and would wake me up at 3am cursing at the thing.
#32 - Mega Man|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Mash, Serafita
FreezingInferno - Because we wouldn't have rampant Mega Man 2 love without this one.
Mash - Was awesome for starting the whole shebang off. Also, if you lack the skills to beat this game without resorting to the pause trick, then know that I am laughing at you right now.
Serafita - Blue Bomber forever!
#31 - Double Dragon II: The Revenge|
Chosen by: Polly, FreezingInferno, Serafita
Polly - Great two-player beat 'em up action...until the fucking 100% platforming stages near the end of the game. Regardless, I still managed to squeeze a hell of a lot of fun out of this one. The sound of enemies getting hit by the Cyclone Spin Kick and Flying Knee From Hell are still fucking awesome.
FreezingInferno - The best beat-em-up on the NES. It's so goddamned satisfying to Hyper Knee the first boss off a building, presumably making him a stain 10 stories below.
Serafita - Despite it turning into a platformer halfway through, it was awesome.
#30 - Zelda II - The Adventure of Link|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Pitchfork, ignorent spine
FreezingInferno - All the adventure of Zelda, now with less obtuse hints, and it's a challenging action/platformer? NO STOP HATING IT THIS GAME IS AMAZING
ignorent spine- This has got to be the most frustrating games I have ever played, and yet for some reason I am still completely enamored by it. I think it's mostly due to the simple fact that I never ended up wandering around aimlessly for weeks on end like its predecessor had me do.
Pitchfork - Adventure of Link was the last video game my Atari-enthusiast father ever really liked.
"Son, it took me all night, but I finally beat Link!"
"What?! Are you serious? Wow! I can't even get past Death Mountain! What was the last boss like?"
"This real big mean guy with a horse's head and a club, and let me tell you he was tough."
"Got some bad news for you, dad."
#29 - Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos|
Chosen by: Polly, Pitchfork, BionicCommando83
Polly - I played Ninja Gaiden II before the first one, so I had no idea what to expect when I rented this game one dreary winter weekend. In the coming weekends, me and this game would tangle until it was finally defeated. Some of the smoothest action, one of the most even challenges, and the single greatest NES soundtrack of all time all in one cart.
Pitchfork - After being unable to get past NG1's second level because it somehow never occurred to me that I could make Ryu climb that ladder lookin' thing on the wall, NG2's less discriminating wall-crawler mechanics were very much appreciated.
BionicCommando83 - Arguably the best of the NES trio, it's an easier game than the first, having a few potentially breaking, though fun mechanics such as the phantom double. It has a more refined cinema set as well, though it lacks the gripping storytelling of the first. Never the less, it edges out the original by being more accessible for casual players and some more innovative level design.
#28 - Ninja Gaiden|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Mash, Spyda K
FreezingInferno - Introduced gaming to cutscenes, and is the perfect balance of hard but fair... except for the penalty for dying to the final boss, that can bite a big one.
Mash - Ah, the good old days. When ninjas were real ninjas. CIA agents in distress were real CIA agents in distress. And killer birds that drive you crazy by making you repeatedly fall to your death were real goddamn annoying.
Spyda K - A game that beat you so hard, your co-workers called the police to come in and check up on you after you came in with two black eyes. But despite the domestic abuse you would always come back to it. Ninja + Sword + Wall jumping + Infinite continues = Love. And no amount of broken bones could come between you.
#27 - Dragon Warrior|
Chosen by: Carmichael Micaalus, Roger, Rhete
Carmichael Micaalus - "But thou must!" I remember having loads of fun with this one. Not sure why we never got 2 or 3... I guess there was always something else that had our attention at the time or something. Ah well. I remember how freaky the destroyed town and the Dragonlord's castle was. The pseudo olde english was a nice touch, too.
Roger - The game of all games. It kicked off my obsession with story-based games.
Rhete - Ahh, my first RPG. I named my guy BART. I played this game all the way until the final boss, got bored and quit. What the hell.
#26 - Shadowgate|
Chosen by: Genuine Fiber, BionicCommando83, decoy octopus, Roger
Genuine Fiber - Essentially the same game as Uninvited, except one takes place in a haunted castle and the other takes place in a haunted mansion.
BionicCommando83 - Admittedly, this game is a port, but it had an ambiance that few other games on the NES could meet. Castle Shadowgate, haunted and lethal was one of the best adventure games for the system, accompanied by Deja Vu, Uninvited, and the unrelated by excellent Maniac Mansion. The puzzles in the game were sometimes a little obtuse, and while it's fairly difficult to put yourself into an unsolvable situation, it can be done. All in all, the game's solid, and combined with its horror atmosphere, is the NES' paramount adventure game.
decoy octopus - Back before strategy guides and gamefaqs games like this really made you sit down and try to figure out what the fuck to do. I always got stuck on the potion you had to get out of the floor in the lab.
Roger - A nice little dark atmospheric choose your own adventure tale....with the ability to burn almost anything with the torch.
#25 - Little Nemo: The Dream Master|
Chosen by: Spyda K, Carmichael Micaalus, Roger, Rhete
Spyda K - Based on an animated movie that you probably didn't see, which was based on a newspaper comic strip made by a guy who died WAY before you were ever born. If a game like that were to come out today, it would be a recipe for disaster. But back in the day, Capcom would actually produce licensed games that were... good. (Also see Duck Tales and Rescue Rangers) The basic mechanic of the game involves pacifying animals by throwing candy down their gullets in order to ride them. Each animal that you could control brought something unique to the table. Some could jump, some could climb, some could dig. Every new animal that you found was an exciting event as you shove sweets in their mouth in order to see what they do. Then in the last level, you got a laser staff. That was a nice bonus to an already sweet game.
Carmichael Micaalus - You feed certain monsters candy to ride or become them. Come on, that's just cool!
Roger - Journeying through one of the most fantastical worlds I saw as a kid where your weapon is CANDY!
#24 - StarTropics|
Chosen by: FreezingInferno, Pitchfork, BionicCommando83, decoy octopus
FreezingInferno - Another "what if?" that combines a modern-day setting with Zelda. Challenging and a blast to play. IT EVEN HAS ROB THE ROBOT IN IT!
Pitchfork - Best of the 8-bit Zelda clones and a close runner-up to Battletoads for the distinction of being the NES game with the steepest difficulty spike. The Level 8 engine room has brought friends of mine to tears.
BionicCommando83 - A tough, tough call between this and its sequel Zoda's Revenge. It's set apart from the second game with some dedicated puzzles- be it the infamous 747 code (innovative, but a pain if you got the game used or lost the letter), or the Captain Bell Memorial. The game moves in a grid like pattern a la Zelda, but unlike the second, you know firmly where you are and where you'll land. This game has a bit more atmosphere and challenge, culminating with some amazing final battles aboard an alien spaceship.
decoy octopus - Nintendo makes a lot of games and forgets about them even quicker but Star Tropics was a good zelda-ish clone that a lot of people forget about. It had tons of charm and was pretty hard too.
#23 - Tetris|
Chosen by: RaiRaiRai, Spyda K, BionicCommando83, Roger
RaiRaiRai - This was Kiddie Kokaine when I was 5 or 6 years old.
Spyda K - I shouldn't have to say anything about Tetris. It's synonymous with 'Puzzle Game.' Almost every other puzzle game follows the same pattern of putting pieces into place to make them disappear. I think that the Game Boy version was more responsible for the infamy that the game has earned, but the NES version certainly was a strong contributor.
BionicCommando83 - In some regards, the ultimate video game with a simple concept, universal appeal, sliding challenge based on skill and desire, and smooth execution. The Tengen version gets extra props for its two-player mode, edging out the Nintendo version by a hair.
Roger - Why is it a person could play this game for hours upon hours and never get tired of it? I don't know, we just do. Also hearing my mother play and mubmble about Tetris in her sleep was funny.
#22 - Blades of Steel|
Chosen by: Polly, FreezingInferno, wolf99x, Spyda K, Carmichael Micaalus
Polly - It's not a lot of fun against the computer, but games against human opponents are so ridiculously fun. Again, this shit gets points because whoever gets their shit handed to them in a fight gets sent to the penalty box.
FreezingInferno - It's better than Ice Hockey because you get to A) Play a Gradius minigame and B) BEAT THE SHIT OUT OF GUYS
wolf99x - Still the only hockey game where the loser of a fight goes in the Penalty Box, and still awesome because of it.
Spyda K - A fighting game about hockey players. As a child, I learned almost everything that I know about sports from video games. For a long time, I honestly thought that the actual rules were that if two players got into a fight on the ice, the loser of the fight had to go to the penalty box. I was severely disappointed when I found out that this wasn't the case. Also wins points for NES-era voice samples. I can still here the announcer shouting "BLAAADES OF STEEL" on the title screen. That was huge in 8-bit days.
Carmichael Micaalus - We never played too many sports games, but I remember this one being pretty fun. The little fight mini-game was always fun to initiate.
#21 - Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse|
Chosen by: Polly, Pitchfork, Mash, Spyda K
Polly - The finest 8-bit iteration of the series, hands-down. This game was fucking huge! So many stages and extra characters to play as kept little Polly busy for quite some time. In fact, she'd borrowed the game from a friend for so long that he actually forgot about loaning it to her and she still has it to this day.
Pitchfork - Whip and toss. Freeze and whack. Climb and poke. Flap and fling. Die and yell.
Mash - It was a tough decision for me to choose between this and CV1. This one ultimately won by an awesome pirate sidekick. Yar!
Spyda K - Castlevania was a classic. Castlevania II had some great moments, but dragged its feet in other areas. Castlevania III went back to its roots and improved the formula. The multiple paths and new characters were a delicious cherry on top of an already delicious sundae.