Level Up's Favorite NES Games

Level Up's Favorite NES Games

Posted by Aaron on 23rd Mar 2022

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was released in the United States in 1985, and has sold almost 62 million systems. It holds a special place in the hearts of retro video game fans around the world. Here, in no particular order, are our favorite NES games. And remember, you can shop for all of your favorite NES games online at our website by simply clicking HERE.

Super Mario Bros 3: This is the game that defined what a “Mario” game is: useable items, skill-specific costumes, open-world map, mini-games, airships…it’s all here. Every Mario game since can trace its roots back to this one, and it more than deserves its title as one of the best games of all time.

The Legend Of Zelda: The original open-world adventure game that started it all! With 19 entries in the series and spanning more than 35 years, it is no wonder that for many people this is THE game for the NES. It certainly is for us!

Metroid: The opening theme to Metroid is one of the most haunting and foreboding tunes on the NES. Combined  with genre-creating gameplay, there is little doubt why Metroid has spanned innumerable clones and homages since it was first released in 1986.

Blaster Master: Boy's frog jumps into hole. Boy follows frog. Boy finds giant tank and fights mutants to get his frog back. Blaster Master was one of the first games to have two entirely different styles of gameplay; side scrolling tank-based exploration and top-down shooting action.

Mega Man 2: While this may have been the Blue Bomber”s second outing, it is considered by many to be the best in the mainline series. It most definitely has vastly superior artwork compared to the original and it has probably the most iconic and popular cast of evil robot masters.

Castlevania III Dracula's Curse: This game is certainly no curse, and there is little doubt that this is the the best game in the pre "Symphony Of The Night" era of Castlevania. In fact, the highly popular Netflix adaption of the series is based off of this game.

Contra: The iconic run and gun game that is known not only for its ground-breaking cooperative gameplay, but also its cheat code. Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.

Ninja Gaiden: Considered by many to be one of the hardest NES games around, Ninja Gaiden is more than simply a difficult game; it is the game that popularized the idea of cinematic story telling in games, and remains a popular franchise to this day

Tecmo Bowl: Before Madden, there was Tecmo Bowl, and it will forever be the greatest football game of all time. Blue 32, Blue 32, Hut, Hut, Hike!

Punch-Out: Whether you are a fan of the Mike Tyson or Mike Tyson-less version, Punch-Out's cast of colorful and unique characters has helped cement it as one of the best and most memorable games on the NES.

River City Ransom: We will go to our graves arguing that the bicycle chain is THE greatest weapon in the history of video games. Don't make us get our gang of Japanese high school delinquents to convince you otherwise!

Tetris: Blocks. Falling Blocks. Falling faster and faster. You can play Tetris on just about every single platform in existence now-a-days, but there is something special about playing the original on the NES. 

Kirby's Adventure: While Kirby may have not originated on the NES, that little pink ball of cute certainly found his way on the NES. Much like Super Mario Bros 3, Kirby's Adventure defined what a Kirby game is and how it plays, even to this day.