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The 25 Best NES Games Of All-Time

Ah, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). Do you remember how excited you were to open up that groundbreaking system? How about the time you made it to the final boss of Rygar and the power went out (true story)? Maybe you enjoyed the sports side and had to defeat the Lovely Ladies in the amazing Baseball Stars game.

SHOP AT AMAZON: All the NES classics!

In any event, what’s old is new again, as folks are feeling nostalgic and want to go through the oldies to play what they did as a kid. With that, we’ve broken down the 25 games you absolutely must replay.

25 Best NES Games Of All-Time

  1. Super Mario Bros. – This groundbreaking platformer introduced players to the Mushroom Kingdom, the iconic plumber Mario, and set the standard for countless future platform games.
  2. The Legend of Zelda – A pioneering action-adventure game that offered an open world and introduced players to the heroic Link and the epic quest to rescue Princess Zelda.
  3. Super Mario Bros. 3 – Building upon its predecessor, this game introduced new power-ups, varied worlds, and memorable level designs, making it a beloved classic.
  4. Mega Man 2 – Known for its challenging gameplay and exceptional music, Mega Man 2 features the Blue Bomber battling a variety of Robot Masters.
  5. Castlevania – A gothic action platformer where players take on the role of Simon Belmont and battle hordes of monsters, including the infamous Count Dracula.
  6. Contra – This run-and-gun shooter is famous for its intense co-op action and the infamous Konami Code for extra lives.
  7. Metroid – An atmospheric sci-fi adventure that introduced the world to Samus Aran and the concept of exploration-based gameplay.
  8. DuckTales – Inspired by the popular animated series, this game follows Scrooge McDuck on a treasure-hunting adventure with tight controls and memorable levels.
  9. Final Fantasy – The start of the renowned RPG series, this game featured a rich fantasy world and turn-based combat, setting the standard for future RPGs.
  10. Punch-Out!! – A boxing game that offered memorable characters and challenging fights, culminating in a showdown against Mike Tyson.
  11. Kid Icarus – Players guided the angelic Pit through challenging platforming and action gameplay on a quest to rescue the goddess Palutena.
  12. Super Mario Bros. 2 – Though different from its predecessor, this game introduced unique characters and gameplay elements, making it a classic in its own right.
  13. The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link – A departure from the original, this game combined action-adventure with side-scrolling RPG elements.
  14. Ninja Gaiden – Known for its fast-paced action and cinematic cutscenes, this game follows ninja Ryu Hayabusa on a quest for vengeance.
  15. Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) – One of the earliest RPGs on the NES, Dragon Warrior set the stage for the RPG genre’s growth in the West.
  16. Bionic Commando – Featuring a unique grappling hook mechanic, this action game had players navigating enemy-infested terrain.
  17. Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse – Building on the original, this game offered multiple playable characters and branching paths.
  18. Gradius – A classic shoot ’em up known for its challenging gameplay and the ability to customize your ship’s power-ups.
  19. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! – A boxing classic where players aimed to defeat a series of increasingly challenging opponents, culminating in a bout against Mike Tyson.
  20. Double Dragon II: The Revenge – A co-op beat ’em up that improved upon the original with smoother controls and more intense action.
  21. Excitebike – A fun motocross racing game where players could design their own tracks and compete against the clock.
  22. Tetris – The iconic puzzle game that had players fitting falling blocks together in a race against time.
  23. Kirby’s Adventure – Featuring the lovable puffball Kirby, this game introduced his ability to inhale and copy enemies’ powers.
  24. Blaster Master – Combining side-scrolling and top-down gameplay, players controlled a tank to explore a vast, interconnected world.
  25. Bubble Bobble – A colorful and addictive platformer where players trapped enemies in bubbles and popped them to progress through levels, all while searching for a way to rescue their girlfriends.

What games are we missing? What would you add to the list?

Listicled Staff
Listicled Staff
Listicled staff covers everything from sports to entertainment, politics to parenting, and everything in-between.

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