The NES System (Nintendo Entertainment System) is perhaps the best system ever released. Of course this is purely a personal opinion but many others must agree. I have nothing against the newer systems, I love my GameCube and PS2 and cannot wait for the Wii to come out (although I don’t like that name) but there is something about the older systems. It was a simpler time for gamers.
They games were very basic and straightforward. That didn’t usually translate into easier games, though. Some of the most difficult games are for the NES; games like Friday The 13th, Blaster Master, and Jackal. Of those 3, I have only beaten Blaster Master. Perhaps this love of all things NES is due to the fact that I was a child when the system came out in the mid 80’s. Everything is simpler when you are a kid, at least it is supposed to be easier then. So I now present to you my Top 5 favorite NES games.
5) – –EXCITEBIKE. This is the game that, for most of us, was the first entry into the world of racing, at least as it relates to home video games that aren’t named Pole Position. Excitebike is a game so simple that anybody can learn it on their first try. You are in control of a motorcycle and you can either race against other riders or you can race on your own. It is more fun in the 1-player mode. Another great feature is the ability to design your own tracks. I always make a track of just 2 pieces; the cool down the engine piece and the small ramp that blasts you the highest into the air. I place about 10 cool down pieces and then a ramp, another 10 cool downs and another ramp. I continue this spacing until the track is complete. Then I race it and try to go as fast as possible. If you do it right, you can go faster that the system can progress the graphics. It is totally awesome. This game never gets old and the replay value is tremendous. Highly recommended.
4) – –KID ICARUS. This game is one of the best adventure games, not only for the NES, but for any system. It is also such a refreshing thing that they haven’t remade it or updated it. Classics are best left untouched. In this game, you are Icarus. You have to search and conquer many different worlds before you reach the end. Along the way you get newer and stronger weapons. In the end, you can fly, just like the mythical Icarus. Look out Medusa, here comes pain. The game is hard but not too hard. It is the perfect difficulty level, enough to be a challenge but not so much that you give up. The worlds are so fun to traverse and the enemies you encounter are tricky, making you learn how to individually and differently beat them. Perhaps the biggest plus to this game is the music. It is so inviting, haunting, melodic, and varied. Each track fits perfectly for the world where you hear it. I still play this game from time to time and I love it.
3) – –SUPER MARIO BROS. This is where it all started. It is the first Super Mario game released. I know Mario was in Mario Bros for the Atari and in Donkey Kong in arcades, but this is the first actual Mario Bros adventure. What can I say about this game that hasn’t already been said? It sold more copies that any other game in history. There are 40+ million copies in existence. Many of them originally came with the NES system, a practice that today’s companies should remember. I remember trying to win the game in as short a time as I could. My best time was just over 8 minutes and that involved taking many warp zones. I’ve beaten this game hundreds of times and it never gets tiring.
2) – –SUPER MARIO BROS. 2. As good as the original is, this one is even better. The adventure is bigger, the worlds are more complex, the graphics are more varied, plus the ending is one of the best for the system. The fact that the whole thing was a dream is great. I know that today the dream explanation is cliched and pathetic, but in 1988 it was original. The music playing when Mario is sleeping during the credits is my second favorite video game music ever, only behind Super Metroid for the SNES (the part when Samus touches and gains a new weapon; those 5 seconds are the greatest!). I love the bosses the most in this game; Birdo, Fry Guy, Wart… I have a weird superstition that comes into play while playing this game. When I am at the final boss; Wart, I can not kill him with any other fruit than a tomato. It takes much longer to do it this way, but that is what I have to do. I think I have fonder memories of this game than any other that I have ever played.
1) – –R.B.I. BASEBALL. This is not only my favorite NES game ever, it is probably my favorite game ever, period. Either it, Super Metroid (SNES) or Worms Armageddon (N64). What makes this game stand out is the replay value. It certainly isn’t the music. There are only two different tunes and one is just played lower that the other. I love this game. I love this game. I love this game. Maybe it is because I love baseball so much, I don’t know. I hardly ever play any sports video games. I greatly prefer playing sports for real. My preferred game style is RPG’s. But this game is the greatest. For one thing, you get to use actual Major League players. They all look the same, and Andre Dawson, Dwight Gooden, and Kirby Puckett are white, but it still works.
My favorite team (in real life) is the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, this game has 1986’s rosters and the Phillies were not that good in ’86. So for the game, I play as the National League All-Stars. This way, I get to have Mike Schmidt on my team. My brother always plays as the American League All-Stars. We usually split the wins evenly. Even though we are both in our early 30’s now, we still play this game whenever we get together. We even have some records that we try to beat. 11 homeruns in one game is a record and 5 in a row is another. Numerous players have hit 3 or 4 in a game. The memories, the nostalgia, the fun, this game has tried and passed the test of time. It is as fun in 2006 as it was in 1987. Hopefully everybody has a game that means as much to them as this one does to me.
There it is, my list. Surely many of you must disagree but maybe some agree with me. I know that most people think that Super Mario Bros 3 is one of the best games ever, I disagree. I really don’t care for it that much. If my list were to include a few more games, Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, Pro Wrestling, Kung Fu, RC Pro Am, and Karnov would be included, but that is a list for another day and another time. Long live the NES.