[dropcap size=small]T[/dropcap]here will always be the debates as to which is the greatest console of all time. But, when we will be judging on the basis of pure nostalgia, it will always be the legendary Nintendo Entertainment System, or the NES. Whether it was finding the warp zone in Super Mario, shooting that moron dog in Duck Hunt, spending days on Battletoads or beating Contra with your friends, NES has been an integral part of everyone’s childhood. Here is Crizic’s list of the 10 best NES games of all time:
10. Mega Man 2 (Representing Mega Man series on the NES):
Thereís no doubt the Mega Man franchise hasnít shined brighter that it did on the NES, and Mega Man 2 is the pinnacle of those 8-bit years. Thereís barely anything to complain about: The controls are dead-on, the level designs are immensely distinct, and the glorious music has drilled its way into our collective hearts. To shun Mega Man 2 is to deny everything that makes games fun.
9. River City Ransom:
River City Ransom was a bit like Super Marios Bros. meets The Wire, featuring two high school protagonists that were much like Mario and Luigi had they been born on the wrong side of Mushroom Kingdom. Dubbed Alex and Ryan, the characters set forth on a quest to rescue Ryanís girlfriend Cyndi from their nemesis Slick, while bashing nine gangs a la Double Dragon in the gameís non-linear, open world. Players gained new fighting techniques along the way, such as Grand Slam and Stone Hands, and a password system ensured charactersí stats, skills, possessions, and money always remained intact. Seeped with humor and iconic animation, it became an instant cult classic.
8. Duck Hunt:
Hardly anyone went out and bought Duck Hunt. Nonetheless, it managed to find its way into peopleís homes thanks to it being packaged with Super Mario Bros. The game was a mindless and repetitive time-killer in the Angry Birds kind of way, requiring players to shoot a set number of ducks in a single round in order to advance. Aside from the dog that would appear onscreen and laugh at your face if you failed to shoot any ducks, the title was most famous for being one of the first ó and only ó games to utilize the bundled NES Zapper light gun. Damn that dog man, damn that dog!
7. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (Representing Castlevania series on the NES):
For the third installment of the Castlevania series, and the last one to be developed for the NES, Konami took the best elements of the first game (i.e. atmospheric music, side-scrolling mechanics) and combined them with hallmarks of the second game in the series (i.e. multiple endings, nonlinear gameplay) to create the king of the Castlevania saga.
Years after playing Bomberman for the first time, weíre still not entirely sure what the hell is going on. A man dressed in white is trying to demolish his way through a handful of areas with giant bombs as living balloons, onions, and other strange enemies stand in his way. Itís not something we can easily explain, but back in those days it didnít matter; Bomberman is a really fun romp of destruction, and thatís why we like it so much.
5. Contra (Representing Contra series on the NES):
Perhaps the best example of the NES’s capability at adapting and even improving on arcade games of its era, Contra offers the best shooting action on the NES and is also the console’s definitive multiplayer experience.
You sped through a scrolling track, weaving up and down into and out of four parallel lanes filled with obstacles, traps and humongous hills. You’d leap off the peaks in your path and go flying through the air, and have to adjust the angle of your descent in order to maintain your momentum and keep from crashing ñ and you’d also have to keep an eye on your engine’s temperature gauge all the while, as overheating would cause lengthy cool-down delays that would likely keep you from claiming first place. Damn! That was an amazing era of video gaming.
3. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! (Representing Punch out!! series on the NES):
The game simply used the convenient foundation of boxing to construct a deceptively deep, endlessly addictive gameplay design that’s all about pattern recognition, fast reaction times and comically over-the-top cartoon personalities. it also gave us Mike Tyson’s video game form as one of the toughest video game boss of all time.
2. The Legend of Zelda:
Few franchises in Nintendo’s storied history are as famous as The Legend of Zelda. And back in 1987, the franchise started off with a bang with one of the most ambitious replica-gold-plated cartridges to ever grace the NES. What’s funny about The Legend of Zelda’s title was that the gamer played as a character named Link, who was in turn trying to save the famed princess named Zelda. But that didn’t matter. Zelda was one of the biggest console games of the time, and that got gamers excited.
1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (Representing Mario series on the NES):
The original Super Mario Bros. might be the game that the world associates with the Nintendo Entertainment System, but while it defined the platformer genre that dominated 8-bit gaming, it didn’t perfect it. Super Mario 3 took everything you loved about 2D side-scrollers and expanded on it with new abilities, stages, and genre conventions that developers still use today. With power-ups, enemies, music, and graphics that are just as memorable now as then, no other game is more deserving of being named the best NES game of all time.