The best NES games of all time

Here are the best NES games of all time to play on the classic console. It will always be more authentic, more enjoyable, to enjoy them on the original console.

 The best NES games of all time

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is the first console of our beloved Nintendo, launched shortly after Atari (almost) destroyed the industry, at a time when the West did not fully trust products from the East. 

But contrary to what many thought, Nintendo, an old company that previously specialized in Hanafuda Cards, managed to break into the American market, launch a console that looked more like a first-rate electronic device (for the time) than a toy, and revive the video game industry.

It is for all this —and more— than the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) is so important, but also because it has a magnificent game catalog, a library full of must-see classics in any collection of someone who calls himself a gamer. 

Yes, most of these games are available on other consoles, and even in digital format for the super popular NES Classic (but hey, not all ), but it will always be more authentic, more enjoyable, to enjoy them on the original console.

In any case, today I have to present to you what are, for me, the ten best games for the NES. 

Remember, as always, that it is my list and my opinion, so if you do not agree, you can always write your opinions in the comments section. With love, please!

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Here are the 10 best NES games are

  1. Ninja Gaiden
  2. Final Fantasy
  3. Duck Tales
  4. Contra
  5. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out !!
  6. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
  7. Mega Man 2
  8. Metroid
  9. Super Mario Bros. 3
  10. The Legend of Zelda

1. Ninja Gaiden

Most games for the NES are quite difficult by modern standards - this is because, at that time, each game had to last as long as possible, it had to present enough challenges to the players that they did not get bored easily, since they did not They had options such as online multiplayer, among others. 

But among the NES catalog, Ninja Gaiden is still one of the most difficult. Starring Ryu Hayabusa, it is a story of revenge in which we control said ninja in side-scroll- type worlds. 

It's an entertaining, violent, addictive, and challenging game with primitive anime-like cutscenes which, in the mid-1980s, was the best one could see in a video game.

2. Final Fantasy

Developed and published by Square (now Square-Enix), Final Fantasy for the NES is the game that started it all, the title to which the countless sequels now owe all the gratitude in the world. 

It is an undeniably ambitious RPG for the time, in which we control four young men called the Warriors of Light, who must find the Four Elemental Orbs in a fantastic world to defeat a new evil. 

With stunning graphics by NES standards and a battle system that works very well even today, Final Fantasy is the classic that popularized the RPG genre in the West. 

Yes, it has a lot of grinding—It takes a lot of random battles to level up — but other than that, there's not much to complain about here.

3. Duck Tales

Duck Tales is such a popular game that it was remastered relatively recently for the Wii U, in an HD version - with new graphics and voice acting - that turned out to be surprisingly entertaining and full of passion. 

The original version for the NES, where you control the great Scrooge McDuck on one of his adventures, however, is still one of the great platform games of our time, a title that shows that cartoon-based or license-based games Famous don't have to be bad; in fact, Duck Tales is a masterpiece! 

The graphics are excellent, and they respect the designs and charm of the cartoon, and Scrooge is very well controlled, as he boasts attacks as memorable as the jump with his cane. 

If you have never tried it, I recommend playing the remake, yes, but also this original version. It has stood the test of time very well.

4. Contra

Contra, developed and published by Konami in 1987, is another classic of classics, a run and shoot game that is incredibly difficult today, but in the eighties, it was a great challenge for those who were willing to try it, and which happened to be a proof that not all games for the NES had to be aimed at the smallest of the house. 

You control Bill or Lance - you can play alone, or with a partner - in some of the most difficult levels in a video game, in which you can use a wide variety of weapons, in very colorful scenarios that have different prospects. 

Action-packed, Contra isn't the best installment in the series — to me, it would be Contra III: The Alien Wars for SNES— but an excellent video game.

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5. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out !!

As you may be realizing, the NES featured many early franchise installments that would later become much more popular. 

That is the case, too, of Punch-Out !!, which featured famous boxer, Mike Tyson, in its first NES installment — he was the final boss! But that wasn't all the game had to offer. 

How about flawless gameplay, charming and cartoonish graphics, and funny and memorable characters? Punch-Out !! is one of the best sports games ever created, and a type of game that survives so far thanks to its gameplay that is easy to learn but difficult to understand 100%. 

The reboot for the Wii is great, but nothing beats the charm of this first title (with Mike Tyson!)

6. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

The first two Castlevania games aren't bad - well, there are people who always complain about Simon's Quest, but that's another story - but it's with Castlevania III that Konami really got the hang of it, and was able to create a work Mistress, a truly memorable side-scroll game, filled with amazingly designed enemies, and with a palpable gothic horror atmosphere that owes much to various vampire movies of yore. 

The context in which the game takes place is great - it's a prequel to the first title, in fact - and the sound design allows one to get into in the game, which very few titles of the time were capable of doing. Truly one of the best installments in the franchise.

7. Mega Man 2

The first Mega Man game for the NES is a classic as well, but it is from the second installment that the franchise began to mature, introducing graphic and gameplay changes that would remain in the saga for years. 

In fact, every technical aspect of the title is superior to what we saw in its predecessor; the graphics are more detailed and have more personality, the audio design is more complex and the background songs more memorable, and the gameplay more precise. 

It is an action and platform game where the way one controls the character —Mega Man—  it is consistent with the level design, and the final boss confrontations, Dr. Wily's Master Robots, are some of the best ones can play on the NES. 

There are new items, a save password system, new levels, and new robots… what more could we want?

8. Metroid

Metroid is one of the most beloved Nintendo games of all time, and we owe that to the first installment of the franchise, a side scroller that had a lot in common with titles like Castlevania, but that greatly favored exploration and atmosphere. over action and violence. 

In fact, Metroid is difficult not because it has hundreds of super-powerful enemies at the same time, but because it makes one truly feel alone, because it challenges the player to explore, and because it makes every life count as if it were the last. 

In addition, its importance in the world of video games should also be mentioned as an exploration of the changes in gender roles: at the end of the game, it is revealed that Samus was a girl, something that at that time nobody expected. 

Yes, she was a girl, but a very strong and capable and brave one. It may not sound like much today, but at the time, Metroid was pretty progressive.

9. Super Mario Bros. 3

It was obvious that I had to include a Mario game on this list. The question was: which one? The first installment that revolutionized the industry? 

The sequel that, being a remake of another Japanese game, had little to do with its predecessor? Well, no. Super Mario Bros. 3 is the true masterpiece of the series up to this point, an adventure and platform game that refined everything that Miyamoto included in the two previous games, and that would serve as an influence for later titles, such as the great Super Mario World for SNES. 

There are more worlds, there is a hub world, there are more moves, and yes, there are new outfits like Tanookis. The level design is PERFECT, the challenge level is adequate, and the graphics are lovely. 

Mario is superbly controlled, and the game exudes creativity and imagination. What else could we want from a video game?

10. The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is the true masterpiece for the NES, the first true adventure game, the first open-world type game (yes, seriously!) 

The Legend of Zelda gives you a magical and different world without telling you much, without giving you many clues, and without introducing too complicated mechanics. 

It makes you live an adventure like no other, where the dungeons are difficult but entertaining, where the enemies are memorable and well designed, where the gameplay it works perfectly, developing a simple but effective story. 

It was the first NES cartridge with a battery to record, and it was the first title to show us a huge world where anything was possible. 

It's a long game, full of obstacles, full of memorable music and mechanics that would influence subsequent sequels. 

Because of all this, the Legend of Zelda is definitely the best game for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

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Legendary games

The NES is the perfect proof that you do not need complex graphics or online modes to develop memorable titles, full of legendary characters, and simple but fun plots. 

If you have never touched this console, or even if you haven't played it in a while, I definitely recommend that you try these games. 

They will not be comparable to today's experiences in certain respects, but they will definitely have a good time with them.