My 5 favorite NES games

Tonight, I wanted to show a little love for my favorite video game console ever..the Nintendo Entertainment System, or the NES.  I remember that when my dad brought it home, we were like, the second family in the neighborhood that had one.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what the hell Nintendo was until the day my dad brought it home(this was in 1985).  Ever since my first turn at Super Mario Bros. I was hooked!  Now, I always read stories about when people were younger, played this with their friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I played this by myself, with my friends, and…With my dad and stepmom?  Yes, this is true.  My dad was just slightly less addicted to this machine than my younger brother and I were.  In my family, Nintendo was a BIG thing.  For about the first six months after we had the system, we went out every weekend and my brother and I would alternate choosing what game to buy, and my dad would make a selection as well.  The first game I chose was Excitebike(very fun game, not in my top five).  After those initial six months, video stores began to rent them, and my dad was hip to that, so we rented many a game from “Bob’s Video”(seriously, that was the store’s real name!).  Anyways…being how huge Nintendo was to me growing up(and to some extent now), I figured it would be fitting to showcase my top 5 favorite Nintendo games.  There were alot of hard choices to make.  I based my choices on memories of the game, how much I played it, and the fun factor and the playability of the game, even to this day.

Now, this list might not suit everyone.  I’m pretty sure they’re all classics.  I wanna get this out of the way before we start…Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles(the first one), almost made this list.  I know alot of people cite this game as being to hard and hate playing it.  I too believe it is hard as hell.  But, Everytime I play it, I end up enjoying myself playing it.  I don’t even want to hear about the under water bomb-disposal stage being to hard.  If you take your time, it’s not so bad.  However, after that it’s a bitch!

Let’s get down to business.

Coming in at number (johnny) five is…Metroid.  I remember getting extremely frustrated with this game when we first got it.  I would get the initial power-ups, and then I would get stuck, and than I’d play something else instead.  After I got over sucking at it, I decided to give it my all.  Friends helped me.  Nintendo Power helped me.  And I finally beat it.  This was one of the most satisfying video games I have ever beaten.  Nowadays, this would take me months to beat.  But I guarantee you one thing, if you can make it to Mother Brain with missles, I can beat it from there!  Here is a picture of the cartridge from my collection(all of the games within are my own), as well as a screen shot(all taken from Google images) from the game.

Coming in at number four, we have everybody’s favorite 8-bit shooter.  Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Select, Start.  Ring any bells??  I hope at least 85% of you knows what this is.  This is the classic 30 lives code for Contra.  Out of all the gun upgrades in this game, I’m a fan of the spread gun(Matt over at X-E prefers the laser).  This was a game that my dad would play with me and my brother.  I remember one time I said that I wanted to get the flame thrower that just came on screen, and my dad was pissed saying that he needed it, and I expressed how I needed it.  Then, it came down to him telling me to take it…awww.  I refused, and he said to take it or he would turn the system off.  Me, being the hard-headed person I am and was, still refused and he turned it off.  I think I went outside and played with toys and dirt and he watched a baseball game.  Another fond memory I have of this game is…My dad had acquired a gun upgrade that he didn’t want and said, “I needed that like I need a hole in my head.”, and immediately got shot.  We laughed about that every time that game was played.  And yes, I can beat this game.  Haven’t tried it recently withhout the 30 life code though.

The next game on my list is what started my obsession, of course it’s Super Mario Bros.!  I used to play this game non-stop.  When I discovered the warp zone to levels 6-8, I had my older brother, who was babysitting us at the time, call my dad at the restaurant he was at with my stepmom to tell him the good news.  It stands the test of time in my book.  I will play this game and beat it anytime it’s in an NES.  There’s nothing much I can tell you about this game that you already don’t know.  Well…maybe…Before Mario Bros., Mario was known as Jumpman.  Long story short, at Nintendo’s office in New York, their landlord was an Italian man who looked like Jumpman, his name was Mario.

I played Duck Hunt alot too…Fuckin’ dog!!

The next game is a game that I consider, a game that I’ve mastered.  I only consider Super Mario Bros. and this next game, games that I have mastered.  Meaning 10 out of 10 times i will beat the game with one life and no continues, without warping or passwords.  Sometimes it’s 9 out of 10, but hey, we all drink sometimes!  This was a game where I got my tips from school before I got my subscription to Nintendo Power.  This was a game before the ear-biter, was an ear-biter(Mike, you were the shit in The Hang-Over!).Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!  All of your opponents were racial stereotypes, this shit wouldn’t fly nowadays, but I guess Punch-Out for the Wii proved me wrong, in a way.  Some of the shit your rivals say in the original wouldn’t be on the Wii version, right(I don’t own a Wii)?

And, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, my number one NES game of all time(any game for that matter), The Legend of Zelda.  This game was all I played for quite awhile.  I’d wake up early on weekdays so I could eat and get dressed before school, and play some Zelda.  I would wake up before cartoons on Saturdays and play me some Zelda.  For some reason, I was the only one in my family to really like this game.  We all played for a little while and then, it was just me.  I have a few questions like Matt…Why did that Moblin give us rupees?  Why were we only allowed to carry a maximum of 255 rupees?  And why was the cartridge gold?  I love the gold cartridge version.  The only other gold cartridges for the NES were The Adventure of Link, unlicensed games, and the NWC gold cart(of which only 26 were confirmed to be produced).

Well, those are my top 5.  Discuss your top 5 in the comments.

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8 Responses to “My 5 favorite NES games”

  1. Metroid — Believe it or not, never played it. Not once. My friends all had it though.

    Contra — That’s my shit! And yes, spread gun is where it’s at. I still don’t think I could beat it without the 30 lives though. I remember my best friend in the 4th grade got it and we stayed up all night playing it because someone at school told us about the code. It will always be one of my favorites.

    Super Mario — That same friend and I used to call each other and start the game at the same time and play our way through because we were both good at it at different parts. I guess that was our version of co-op play. Kids today don’t know how easy they have it.
    Duck Hunt — I still hate that fucking dog.

    Punch-Out — I can always get to Mike but have never beaten him. I know there’s a trick to it just like all the other guys, but I’ve never been able to pull it off.

    Zelda — I know it’s blasphemy to say this around people our age, but I never liked it. I played it maybe 2 or 3 times as a kid and never really got into it. It seems like it just never ended and you were just running around throwing daggers at people. Even now, I honestly just don’t get what the big deal is. I must be missing something.

  2. Nice Top 5! I can’t argue with any of the selections–all are worthy and great games. TMNT’s inclusion would have started a war, however. One of the most disappointing games ever. I can’t believe you guys got a game a week for awhile! That’s the advantages of having a dad that plays games. My dad played 2 minutes of Duck Hunt, wanted to kill the dog, and never looked at the Nintendo again. My top 5:

    5 – Super Mario Bros 2: The oddball of the series. Somehow it has the most charm of the NES Mario games. We scoured the city to find this thing during its release.
    4 – Dragon Warrior: My first RPG. I was obsessed with this game. I had a map hanging on my scribbles of where the best loot drops were.
    3 – Legend of Zelda: Classic. Playing this game at a friend’s house convinced me that I HAD to have a NES.
    2 – Tecmo Super Bowl: Love football and this game was simple fun. NFL Football, the other game with an NFL license, might be the worst game ever made.
    1 – Mike Tyson’s Punch Out: Still play it to this day. Toying with the idea of writing a screenplay.

    • Good choices! Super Mario Bros. 2 is a great game. And I would say it’s probably top 10 for me. Dragon Warrior is a great rpg, I got it for free because we renewed our subscription to Nintendo Power(ahh, those were the days). Tecmo Super Bowl is sweet! I always try to do a majority of my running plays during the first half of the season. If I don’t I’ll be almost last in the league. I use Green Bay, and back in the day they didn’t have a great running back, so even using the zig-zag motion down the field, I didn’t get the huge rushing yards you could, with Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Thurman Thomas etc.

  3. Nintendo is a true classic console

  4. Great list. All classics. LoZ is my all-time favorite game, but it’s not my favorite Zelda game. (Doesn’t make sense, but that’s the way it is.) As for the 255 rupees, it has to do with bits in computer programming. Contra is my #2. Metroid is great, and I need that game. I have Metroid II for the Gameboy, though.

  5. Thanks for the compliments, Jason.

    That’s a pretty good list.

    Metroid–Don’t feel bad DJ D, I’ve never played through the original Metroid either. I want to but can’t seem to find the time. I played Metroid II to death on Game Boy though, it’s amazing. Metroid Prime is awesome too.

    Contra–A classic. Definitely deserves to be on the list. I usually use the Konami code though.

    Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt–An icon of gaming. Absolutely belongs in a top 5 list.

    Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!–I love that game so much. I loved playing it as a kid and finally bought it in 2002. Still play every now and then.

    The Legend of Zelda–Easily one of the best games ever. My personal favorite is A Link to the Past. As much as I like the 3D Zeldas (I have the collector’s editions of both N64 Zeldas), I’m not a big fan of watching 20 minute cutscenes and reading page after page of dialogue. I kind of miss the action and simplicity of the early titles. Never a dull moment.

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