Best Original Nintendo (NES) Games

My picks for best NES games...It was a tough list to make, but here it is....

The Top Ten

1 Super Mario Bros 3

Even for an 8 bit system, there is a reason that the NES revitalized the gaming industry pretty much single-handedly. While I was born after the SNES had already been released, the NES is where I learned about video games from due to both my grandparents owning them. While I fondly remember the games of my youth like megaman, tetris, dr. mario, and duck hunt, there is one game the was the definitive game of my NES experience. Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda were close seconds, but neither of them managed to do what Super Mario Bros 3 did. This game pushed the system to the limits and took what the original did and multiplied it by 10. Everything felt so polished and complete that even by today's standards, this is still a great game and has stood the test of time very well. While games were still made for the system until 1994, I still consider this the game that showed the world what nintendo was capable of even back in 1990 and sent gamers across the world into the next ...more

This Basically took what made Super Mario Bros such a memorable and great game, and multiplied it 1000X over. I mean, it's considered the GREATEST NES game for a reason. There's just so much to it. The music, gameplay, power ups, level design, etc... It's 2D Mario at it's absolute finest.

This is probably the most amazing classic Mario game I ever played! There are awesome power ups like the super leaf and the tanooki suit. The boss fights are fun and its a big shame that they don't sell that and the nes anymore. If you want to play it get super Mario all stars on the wii or play it online when it's there.

One of my favorite Mario games ever. - TerryThe_NES_Owner

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2 The Legend of Zelda

Zelda is one of the best games I HAVE ever played and should be on number one in my opinion. Its sandbox element is truly awesome. Honestly I think its sandbox element is better than Grand Theft Auto and that's very impressive for being one of the first sandbox game.

It isn't so much this game, than the fact that it spawned a series full of masterpieces. Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword are all MASTERPIECES. The fact that this game started it all is a good enough reason to vote for it.

Zelda on the NES was the reason that we have a game with such an amazing story and adventure-filled fun. I pick up a Zelda game over any Mario game when given the choice.

I HAVE 5 REASONS WHY!
5. It has AWESOME music
4. I love how the cartridge is gold
3. It has some of the best graphics for the NES (My opinion)
2. It was made into a full franchise and this was it's beginning
1. The game play is really solid and will have sit there on hours on end trying to beat Ganon - TerryThe_NES_Owner

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3 Super Mario Bros.

I don't care much for 80's games, since they were all made long before I was born, but Super Mario Bros. is an exception; It's the first Mario game I ever played and one of the reasons I'm such a huge Mario fan today.

I vote this as the best Nintendo game. Kids today can thank this very game for a lot of the games that are out today. Atari started the video game craze when I was a youngster, but Nintendo made it take off like a rocket.

This would be my #1. This was the first one I played back in 1985, and is still my fav. - westofohio

One of my personal favorite games ever.
It saved the video game industry.
And was the first game many had EVER played.
A true classic. - TerryThe_NES_Owner

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4 Mega Man 2

Best music on any NES, and had great gameplay plus a variety of bosses with weaknesses to keep it interesting. Plus, it continued into 2 series, Mega Man X and Mega Man. Why is this not top 5?

Great platforming, smooth controls, fantastic music, amazing level design, simple (but appealing) graphics, and the right amount of challenge that gave you a decent challenge, yet unlike the other NES Mega Man games, a sane person could beat.

I can't describe all the love I have for the franchise. For me it's a tie between 2 and 3

good music - TerryThe_NES_Owner

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5 Mike Tyson's Punch Out

Granted, this game was borne out of the original arcade version (Upper cut! Right hook! ), at the time this game came out, Mike Tyson WAS THE MAN and this game was just a TON of fun to play.

I've wasted countless hours on the final boss. P.S who else thinks sandman is tougher than super macho man?

This is probably the first, and last GREAT game that was based around a celebrity. The soundtrack is super great, the characters are funny (but hard) and so on. - MUSHROOM

Ah the memories... - TerryThe_NES_Owner

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6 Contra

C'mon... Ya'll still remember the "Contra code"

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, B, A, Start. Booyah! 30 lives!

Every video game that has secret codes to enter in owes their existence to this game's 30 lives feature.

Fun game. Really good, hard and a little bit short but so much fun. Great music, nice graphics, very good controls and gameplay, the sounds are also very good. The cooperative two player mode is just make it even better, it's great, when you play it with a friend.

Excellent NES game released in 1988. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone (Bill & Lance). They fight monsters in a clear spin-off of the films Aliens and Predator. Great game, I recommend to any gamer and/or fan of the 80's action superstars!

Love this game. - LarryLarrington

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7 Metroid

Not only was the gameplay and plot outstanding for it's time, but the music (BRINSTAR! ) was extremely well composed. Years ahead of it's time.

Yet another legendary game franchise that to this day, still inspires millions of gamers with its numerous sequels. And to find out Samus was a GIRL!? haha

Everything in this game is 10. Play it and find out yourself.

ROBOSEXUAL LOVE

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8 Tetris

Both the official Nintendo version AND the rare Tengen version easily wasted countless number of hours of my life, and I loved every second of it. I can still school my kids at this game, despite their best efforts to beat their Dad.

The best selling game of all time! EVEN TODAY. come on, it causes people to see shapes after playing for so long. What's not to love? - John_Q_Normal

the reason we have puzzle games - bendanna

Best puzzle game in my opinion. And them the hillarious fact of the unofficial version being the better 10/10 thinking of the time it was made in and if it was released today 9/10. If it was released today that meant: no puzzle games. AMAZING!

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9 Castlevania

Awesome music, great graphic and really smart game design. This game is one of those Jewels that took the basics of platformers and make it their own, shaping it on an entire experience, al based on design. It is really hard to create such a horror/action/adventure ambiance within the limitations of the Nes, but Castlevania nailed it. The whole experience indeed made you feel this brave warrior that got challenged again and again by relentless army of evil but you want to keep going at it one more time. An all time classic!

Haters... This is top 3 no matter what...

Ha! I don't know if I'd rank it that high, but it's certainly outstanding. - LarryLarrington

Castlevania is by far my most favourite game of all time. The story, characters and villains are much awesome. Literally the best franchise ever!

I love Castlevania. Absolute classic. - The8Bit

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10 Kirby's Adventure

Yip! This games made me play it over and over again trying to use every power up I could use to beat a level. The animation is so lively, and let's face it, the graphics pushed the engine to the max. Simply love it!

This should at least be in the top ten.. I loved this game so much when I was a kid, I beat it over and over and its still better than most games today. The graphics were amazing for the console and movements were so smooth. I LOVE THIS GAME!

Sorry, but 26 is unacceptable. This game is awesome. The gameplay and soundtrack are still phenomenal and don't get me started on the remake. But as far as NES games are concerned, this is one of the greats.

Number one. Far better than the Mario games.

I disagree. It's fun don't get me wrong, but I don't like it as much as the Mario games. Either way, it probably still shouldn't be #1, clearly it's Castlevania III hands down. - LarryLarrington

The Contenders

11 Tecmo Super Bowl

The best sports game ever. A timeless classic that plays as well today as the day it came out. One of the FEW NES games that can say that.

12 Ninja Gaiden

Seriously, this game is a masterpiece. It was the first to include cut scenes, its music is highly memorable and the smoothness of its gameplay, as well as its high level of difficulty, should be really revisited by today's gamemakers.

I used to hate this game, until I realized how cool it is. Sure jumps can be difficult to time, and enemies will more often than not re-spawn. But I'm happy that they give you unlimited continues, and there are great graphics and music throughout he entire game.

greatest game ever.

awesome story, graphics, music, controls, difficulty, weapons, levels.

Even though this game is pretty difficult, I still find it enjoyable

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13 Super Mario Bros 2

Don't care if it wasent original SMB2, it still was awesome.

Stop complaining about peach you haters..!

So underrated, it's great though - Keb

Sure it's not a true Mario game but that doesn't mean it;s not fun. It's so much fun. Thebest on the NES. - evoxpisces

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14 Final Fantasy

Though Dragonwarrior 3 probably wins overall in pure game comparison, Final Fantasy was an awesome game with a great fold out map with monster list on the back and I probably played it more than any other game. Especially since it allowed access to high level monster grinding fairly early in the game.

The best Final Fantasy series is Kingdom Hearts.

I think there is about 125 Final Fantasy games now but the original is the best, in my opinion. I remember going to Hollywood video or blockbuster to rent VHS movies before the digital age killed all the brick and mortar video stores. aaah the good old days...

Higher? Maybe? Only one of the greatest RPGs ever! - CityGuru

15 Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

If it wasn't for stage 7 on Alucard's path, this would be a borderline perfect game for sure. Amazing level design that rewards careful planning. Catchy, but detailed music that shows the best that the NES can offer. The spirit helper system that gives the game an extra layer of depth. The colorful, detailed graphics that look good even today. And of course, the multiple paths. This is my favorite game on the system. - Zach808

I see that not many have played this. Easily a top 5 NES game. Castlevania 1 is also top 5. But really Catlevania 3 is THE BEST NES of all time

Great game and quite a challenging one. Remember the first time you beat grim. Mom I beat grim. Woops no I didn't!

Castlevania III went back to the roots of the series with classic platforming action game but it also included more adventure elements to make the game more interesting, so now you could gain allies (that you had to defeat/save first)and choose alternate paths through the cursed land of Transylvania.
Just like the original, the game is shaped entirely by clever game design, but the whole experience is more than ever shaped like you are part of the story in a movie, starting by the genius opening sequence.That was not something we were used to back then, it blew my mind when I was a kid. Of course the music was even better than in the original, so were the graphics and overall graphic design, all this transported you into this gritty, dark, horror setting were every challange is just wont let you catch a breath, so the new allies' help is most welcomed. The story was also given much more depth and significance, also not something that was a common fact at the time.
This game was ...more

I've seen people say "This > Contra", and for the most part it's wrong. This game however is actually better than Contra. - LarryLarrington

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16 Mega Man 3

Best one of the ENTIRE SERIES so why is everyone playing mega man 2 this one is better so play this one. 91% of the people in the world are playing this even I am so play mega man 3 please come on everyone listen

I haven't played NES in ages but when I did play as a kid, Mega Man 3 was my favorite game... I wasn't a big fan of the revisited stages, but once you had completed them, Dr Wiley's castle seemed easy. Also, the music was outstanding!

Mega man 3 is the best mega man game ever even better than Mega man 2

Mega Man 3> All Other Mega Man Games - Rafazelf

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17 Donkey Kong

Great port of the arcade game to the NES. Only missing one level though. Kinda hard to find too, $30 or over on eBay during 2015 or longer.

Great and all, but it's missing a level from the arcade version

Donkey Kong Country is my favorite video game of all time.
It is hard but fun.

18 Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Best nes game ever. I don't understand why people hate it so much

Other than SMB, SMB3 and the original LoZ I would have to say this is my next favorite NES game. Never beat that last castle though, haha.

As a kid, it took me forever to find Bagu and to figure out that you had to use Thunder in order to defeat Gannon near the end, but for reasons such as these, I loved the game, it was definitely one of my favorites, should be ranked higher!

I like this game a lot but it gets too hard near the end I think. not the best one but still really good - areyoutse33s

19 Duck Hunt

Really good but I hate the dog. Although then again who doesn't.

Not a bad game, but not really one of the best NES games. It's fun though.

I know this didn't age too well, but I think it should be higher.

super fun - YOSHIA2121

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20 Dr. Mario
21 Mega Man

The original which spawned 5 sequel games (all of which were equally as cool) was simply a fun and yet frustrating game to play. 20 years later, I still love to get mad about having to start a level all over again when I die.

22 Excitebike

One of the original cartridges that was available when the system came out in 1985, this game was not only fun for it's various courses, but especially fun because it was the first game I can recall that allowed you to design your own levels... VERY cool!

Excite bike is not as fun as I expected it to be I looked up on the internet and almost all of the top 10 and 20 nes games list excite bike was always and so I decided to buy the game it was pretty expensive and then I finally played it no music annyoing motor sound effects the stages are just switched color palletes and the game gets boring very quickly but that thing with designing your own levels was cool besides that I don't like the game at all

23 Metal Gear

The first of the series and still the best. The game is epic and is truly one of the greatest games of all time.

Metal Gear Solid for PS1 and GameCube are better. This is still a good game, but very HARD.

24 Ghosts 'n Goblins

Usually not a fan of games that are designed to piss you off on purpose but this game in my opinion was outstanding! The hardest game even today cause even when you beat the game you have to do the whole thing again to get the ending! Try it its almost impossible!

The only bad thing about this game other than the difficulty is the fact that you have to beat the game twice just to get a very cheap ending. It still has its charm, I don't consider it one of the best, but it's good to say the very least.

Pretty good game, I don't think I'd rank it this high, but still pretty good. The only real bad quality in this game is the fact that you have to beat the game twice, and the ending has horrible grammar.

And they say Battletoads is hard?

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25 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game

This is on here twice

26 Battletoads

Needs to be higher... SO VOTE!

Although it's hard as nails it's such a fantastic game that I can't stop playing. Without a doubt one of the best games for the console. - DamnFineCupOfCoffee

Those who don't like the game haven't gotten past the 3rd level, the game is stupidly difficult, but it is varied and aesthetically amazing. The first boss of the game is also a unique idea that is a blast to fight the hundreds of times it will take you to finally get to the end of this game. - kempokid

I agree, despite that level being hard for rather the wrong reasons. It still doesn't stop it from being fun. - LarryLarrington

Whatever you do...NEVER play this game with two players. - LarryLarrington

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27 Mother

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this game is that good. I thought this game would be low on the list/relatively obscure. - ryanbuchanan

This game is my second favorite game of all time! (Mother 2 is my favorite! ) It's a hard game but it's still extremely fun!

Awesome game lovE mother games

I haven't played this game in Y E A R S

So much nostalgia looking at that word, MOTHER ;O;

Personally this is my favorite video game of all time, I especially love the sound track, and the cute characters (personally, I like Jeff the most CX)! ^^

but I can't believe it's a CONTENDER! ;-; *pushes it to top* - xiidra

28 Batman

Should be higher

29 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The game only takes 20 - 30 minutes to defeat and it's sequels were awesome too. It can be annoying and frustrating but it's cool to kill things and you can walk over and not jump over some hole.

I know some people don't like this game. While I do agree that it has its flaws, I absolutely love it.

Eh, difficulty is good, but the difficulty in this is the cheap kind.It isn't bad, but it really isn't that good - kempokid

As a die hard tmnt fan, I have mixed feelings about this game. It's frustrating, hard, kinda bull, but I like it OK.

30 Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II
31 Bubble Bobble

My friend and I love this game. We would spend hours playing this game over and over. We still have yet to completely defeat it together but we constantly quote it; forever and ever being "bubble buddies".

Your a dinosaur the blows bubbles - lopedogg55

A great game with music that will never leave your head, EVER - kempokid

32 Double Dribble
33 The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout

Whoever put this here is drunk

34 Mega Man 4
35 Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!

Gotta get this game...This is one of the best. - asantalo

36 R.B.I. Baseball
37 7 Grand Dad 7 Grand Dad

Does the title have Mario?

38 Wild Gunman
39 Mega Man 5

Good mega man game

40 Spartan X
41 TMNT 2: The Arcade Game

Best beat them all of the NES. I loved this game.

Awesome game but not as good as the first one.

42 Blaster Master

How is this and LifeForce not ranked HIGHER?!?!?

43 Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos
44 1943: Battle of Midway

Great game as long as you have a turbo controller, don't even think about making it past stage 10 with a non turbo controller

45 Itchy and Scratchy

This is SNES, but whatever

Best NES game on the SNES!

46 Blades of Steel
47 Bomberman

Bomber man 4 smash!... sorry, that was irrelevant - Keb

48 Kid Icarus

Kid Icarus should not be this far down on the list. Incredible game that tested your jumping abilities tremendously. Thank the divines for angel feathers! I have a lot of things to say about those eggplant men! They made me a little angry!

Should be no. Five

49 Elevator Action
50 Gyruss
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List Stats

1,000 votes
165 listings
9 years, 336 days old

Top Remixes (30)

1. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
2. Mega Man 2
3. Mike Tyson's Punch Out
LarryLarrington
1. Mega Man 2
2. The Legend of Zelda
3. Super Mario Bros.
ILiekTurtles
1. Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!
2. Super Mario Bros 3
3. Star Wars
asantalo

WRemix
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