Continuing our listings of the best Nintendo games of all time, we venture further back into gaming history to give you our rundown of the finest titles NES had to offer. Let the arguments commence!
Super Mario Bros 3
What more can we say about Mario Bros 3? It was so far ahead of anything else on NES that our distant predecessor Total! felt moved to give it 99%. (It would have got more, but for an ancient sacrosanct rule that forbids any magazine from giving a game 100%). Mario Bros 3 is platforming perfection. It was the game everyone else ripped off, and plays as well today as it did 20 years ago.
Nintendo did well to draw this much atmosphere from a cartridge boasting fewer kilobytes than a Word file listing decent episodes of Pan-Am.
Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse
Castlevania I was too simple, II too obtuse. But like so many third things, Castlevania III was just right. An adventure packed with variety and excitement.
Mega Man 3
The original 8-bit Mega Men were tough but resolutely fair (unlike the WiiWare rehashes). They’re all of a muchness, so, um, here’s MM3.
More a historical curio nowadays, but there’s no denying this RPG heavyweight’s early influence.
Encase enemies in airtight bubbles, and then pop ’em with your dino spikes. ‘Cute’.
RPG. You awaken from your cryochamber into a post-apocalyptic world. It is 1997.
The American equivalent of Zelda 1 is a bit ‘dude!’, but it’s also a fair bit more fun.
Super Mario Bros
Basic and bodged together with memory restraints – yet it’s somehow incredible.
Coffee kings Kemco brew up a classic text adventure. [That’s Kenco, you imbecile – Ed]
The first true stealth game. Sneak into a compound without setting off too many exclamation marks.
Frantic shoot-’em-up. Its customisable powerup system distanced it from the competition.
Point ’n’ click prototype. Hapless teens have a real bad time in a regulation spooky mansion.
Mike Tyson’s Punch out!!
Cartoon brawler where you KO boxers three times your size. Mario’s the ref.
Original run and gunner is surprisingly advanced for its time, but remains unsurprisingly brutal.
The Legend of Zelda
A green and beige dreamland perfectly ripe for Triforce- plundering.
Meet Jack, your trusty bomb defusal expert. He can jump nine times his height. Gosh.
‘No news is good news’, or so they say. So that’s why this street is trying to kill their paperboy.
Chirpy platformer where Scrooge rides his walking cane like it’s a pogo stick. Benefit fraud?
Super Mario Bros 2
This enjoyable adventure introduced us to Bob-Ombs, Toad and (shiver) Birdo.
Horribly tough (but compelling) platformer with a curious wraparound action area.
Overhead racer was one of the first to feature weapons, and was a direct influence on Mario Kart.
Blades of Steel
Slick three-on-three ice hockey slap-off with fighting (of course!) and a cheeky Contra reference.
Solstice Quest For The Staff Of Demnos
Find the Staff Of Demnos to defeat the wizard in this isometric puzzler.
Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll
From the ‘before they were famous’ file: Rare’s isometric snake- ’em-up. Tricky!
Any thoughts? Agree/disagree?