Top Ten NES Games
Updated June 2020
When I made my initial Top Ten NES game list a few years ago, I put some great games on my list. However, as time as gone on and I have exposed myself to more games, I had to reevaluate my list. While this list still only contains games from my childhood and none that I acquired as an adult, I feel this better represents my favorite games for the system. To be honest, I could have easily made this into a top twenty five list.
M.U.L.E. is probably never going to win an award for the best looking NES game. It probably is never going to win for best gameplay either. I still find this to be a great game for the system. The game involves you and three other players (human or computer) settling a planet and trying to make it prosper over a set period of time. Between the different races, options for each plot of land, random events and trading, for the NES this was something different. My brother and I used to put some time into this one.
9. Tiny Toon Adventures
OK, if I have a guilty pleasure game for the NES this is it right here. Admittedly, I don't remember much about the cartoon series. I did like the gameplay and the characters in this one. Buster and Dizzy Devil where my go to choices. I always wished Little Beeper was a playable character. This is one I still like to pop in every so often if I get bored.
8. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
A side scrolling game with some RPG elements, Simon's Quest was a game I got very good at back in the 90's. Between the setting and the music it was a game a sunk many hours into. While I never got into the rest of the Castlevania series, this one will always remain as one of my favorite NES games. Even now, I can come back to this game and enjoy it just as much as I did as a kid.
Crystalis is an action RPG that has grown on me over the years. To be honest, I don't remember much about the overall story. But there is one part in this game I do remember and at the time I couldn't believe it happened. It sounds a little stupid to say that now, but it stuck with me all these decades later and it is a big reason this game is on this list. It also helps the game had good graphics, music, gameplay and interesting NPC characters.
6. Tecmo Super Bowl
Even now, decades after it was released and countless football games to come after it, this is one of my favorite football games. The ability to take my favorite team and play a whole season with them as I tried to take them to the super bowl was always a fun time. The game was simple to play and racking up a big score or getting a sack were easy. But there is so much to enjoy about this game. The fact there is a dedicated community that keeps this game updated even today goes to show how great this game is. The half time shows were always fun too.
5. Double Dragon
This was the first arcade game I ever played. When I got it for my birthday, I remember jumping around like an idiot in excitement. This is a simple beat'em up game that I can play any day of the year and enjoy. You would think after so many years with this game I would be a master at it, but I still struggle to beat the game. I love this franchise so much that the intro theme is my ringtone I use when my brother calls me.
4. Operation Wolf
This game is still fun to play over thirty years after it was released. An auto side scrolling shooter, all you have to do is shoot everything in sight without dying and running out of ammo. This is easier said than done, since you are basically fighting off a whole army. This is a game that can be beaten in twenty minutes, but will probably take you hours to get that good at it. This is another game I can play anytime I get bored.
3. Star Trek 25th Anniversary
I am not going to sit here and say this is a great game. But as a life long Star Trek fan and with the original Star Trek series being my favorite from any current Star Trek show, I really enjoy this game. It has a good story, the gameplay was fun and we even got a space ship battle in there. I always liked how the game looked and how it used characters from the original series. While this may not be my favorite Star Trek game ever, it is high on the list and certainly the best one on the NES.
2. Die Hard
This is one of my favorite movies of all time. While the gameplay is stiff, the game does have some elements from the movie and depending how you go about playing the game different events happen that mirror the movie. The game is short though, it only took me 18 minutes to beat the game the last time I played it. Even with it being short, there is a lot to do here and one of the many reasons I come back to it again and again.
1. Bionic Commando
Between the story and gameplay, I have always enjoyed this game. For me, the game provided a good challenge without ever being too hard. Whenever I get bored and want to play a game, I can always throw this and have a fun time. Time has not made me change my mind on this one. This is, and probably always will be, my favorite game for the NES system.