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I suspect Mike will have something to say about the guts of this list of Top 10 NES Games. First, I’ll just say: this is what journalism has become? Create a slideshow of ten things and then copy and paste, directly from Wikipedia, the description of the games? Does the writer actually get paid for this?

Their list:

1.Bionic Commando
3.Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
4.Metal Gear
5.Tecmo Bowl
7.Mike Tyson’s Punchout
8.Ninja Gaiden
9.The Legend of Zelda
10.Super Mario Bros. 3

Not bad, but I can do better.


The No-brainers
  • Super Mario Brothers beats out all other games to the end of existence. The list really should start and end right here. Well, maybe start right here and end at Halo 2, multiplayer. But since it can’t…
  • Contra. Okay, so the list really should stop right here. SMB and Contra.
  • The Adventures of Link beats out Legend of Zelda, I think. Maybe. At the time, I liked Link better than Zelda. I’ve beaten Zelda as an adult and it still plays well. My copy of Link hasn’t made it so well through the years and so I can’t see how it holds up.
  • Kid Icarus beats out Metroid. Metroid was fun, even if you couldn’t shoot down. I played it and beat it once. But Kid Icarus was the game I always wanted to play.
  • The NES version of Gauntlet was graphically poor. But fun.
The Surprise Contenders
  • Rygar. No saves. Lots of fun.
  • The Goonies II. I don’t remember this game well enough to really describe it. All I know is that it was one of my all time favs.
  • Ghosts N Goblins beats out Castlevania. Castlevania had worse joystick control than Metroid. Ghosts N Goblins had a knight running around in his underwear…
  • Karnov beats out Strider. Strider was fun for the five minutes it took to beat it. But how can you not go with the fat, fire breathing Russian?
  • Ultima III Exodus: aka My First RPG.


The Driving Games

I’m forced to stretch the criteria a little in this category. NES games really couldn’t compete with the arcade when it came to the driving games.

  • RC Pro AM beats out Excitebike for first spot on the podium. Loved ’em both, but RC Pro AM was better.
  • Spy Hunter: This game would be higher if it actually had an ending. Or maybe there is one and nobody has ever seen it. Its just an impossible game. Unlimited deaths for the first 999 seconds and then after that its two deaths and game over?
  • Special shout out to the arcade version of Ivan Ironman Stewart’s Super Off-road: There was no feeling like using all seven of your remaining Nitros to squeak over the finish line into first place…
  • Arcade Outrun easily knocks off the supposedly 3-D version of Rad Racer.
You Are Ninja Warrior!
  • Kung Fu beats out Bubble Bobble. Kung Fu was a great port, even if it did leave your left hand hurting. Bubble Bobble was better at the arcade than NES.
  • Double Dragon beats out Renegade.
  • kage-ss-1

  • Legend of Kage beats out (overhyped) Ninja Gaiden. Ninja Gaiden, along with Strider, was one of only two video games I ever returned to the store (back when you could do such things: “No ma’am, I never opened it.”). Strider because I beat it in a night. Ninja Gaiden because I had other things to spend fifty bucks on.
  • Punch-Out: Never beat it. I think I made it to Tyson once.
  • Track and Field: I learned more about angles from Track and Field than I ever learned in school. 37.5 Degrees.
  • Double Dribble: Too much fun. Until you saw the exact same dunk for the 1000th time.
  • Ten-Yard Fight: Everyone remembers Techmo Bowl and Techmo Super Bowl. But for me, Ten Yard Fight, in the arcade, was the best. The game was so slow that it took approximately forty-five seconds in real time for a guy to run 100-yards. The NES port of Ten-Yard Fight was pretty true to the original. Oh yeah, and pretty boring now too.
  • Super Dodgeball: Has to be on here.


  • Duck hunt or Hogan’s Alley? I’d choose Gotcha.
Special Bonus Mentions
  • Arcade version of Icari Warriors. The NES version was impossible.
  • 1942. Did they make an NES version?
The Omissions
  • SMB3: showed up mostly after I had stopped gaming.
  • Mega-Man and Metal Gear I just never got into.