The Top 20 NES Games Ever (Top 50 continued)

Wow, the top 20! Now we are getting into the real masterpieces. The NESessities? Wow I'm awesome...

20. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

So I remember being super disappointed when I realized that the totally awesome TMNT arcade game I had been playing in the arcades was not the same game I had just acquired for my NES on my birthday. But then I actually played it and it was a lot of fun! Also... probably the most difficult game I had ever played at the time. That damn dam stage! And it was only the second level... It just gets worse (I mean better!). While probably not a “better” game than many of the games lower on my list, the pure nostalgia factor and the fact that it was a Ninja Turtles game skyrocket this game into the top 20!

19. Rampage

Yeah the game gets repetitive, but destroying city after city as a towering ape or lizard was one of the most satisfying gaming experiences of my young life. And of course the game included the simple but sadistic ability to attack your ally which is still included in games today (i.e. throwing your “friend” down a pit in The New Super Mario Bros.). Many gaming marathons were had where I watched the country slowly get conquered by the destructive duo, only to have the NES glitch or freeze up near the very end of the game. :(

18. Bionic Commando

So taking the jump button out of a platforming game should have been a mess of an idea. And in less capable hands than Capcom it probably would have been terrible. But alas they pretty much had the genre down into an art form at the time, and Bionic Commando with his grappling hook arm was a fun and creative play. Also, apparently you got to fight Nazis in the Japanese version which must have made this game even cooler.

17. River City Ransom

It should be a general rule that when someone dies or is defeated in a video game (or real life) they drop coins. Coins that can be used to buy super moves and weapons to defeat more enemies! Made by the team who would go on to make one of my other favorites Crash 'N The Boys, it was mostly better as it had more focus as a straight brawler.

16. Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest

I'm sure this is probably most gamers least favorite Castlevania on the system, and it probably only ranks so highly on my list because of the nostalgia factor, but darn it I had fun with this game! It was the first with a non-linear approach that I played, where I was basically just thrown into the action and could choose for myself which way to go. I really liked the day night cycles, and the mystery of how to progress through certain parts of the game intrigued me as a kid.

15. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Arcade

Finally, the “real” Ninja Turtles game was released and it was almost as good as the arcade version (minus the four player mode of course)! It was so much less difficult than the crazy first one, and looked and played so much better. I fell in a lot of manholes (manholes being something I avoid with a passion in real life), but still had a great time. As with all beat em ups, it is best played with a friend. Now if only they had released the Simpsons Arcade game on NES...

14. Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers

Such an innovative game for the time. A cooperative platformer, decades before New Super Mario Bros? Yep! And it was fun too, albeit a bit easier to play/beat than many other NES platformers. It was so much fun hiding in boxes, throwing boxes at mechanical bulldogs, throwing your friends at mechanical bulldogs...

13. Excite Bike

This is still one of my favorite racing games to this day. Not only could you race around on your bike with a turbo button and ramp over crazy obstacles, but you could also create your very own race tracks with the level editor. How innovative was that? Games like Trials and Joe Danger owe a little bit of their success (and royalties again?) to this early pioneer of the genre.

12. Super Mario Bros. 2

Wow, the “sequel” (of course, later I realized it really wasn't) to The Super Mario Bros. Which looked and played nothing like it but just happened to have Mario characters thrown in! But... it was still a lot of fun to play, and there were still warp zones darn it! And I have to admit that having four playable characters (with Mario possibly being the most useless), each with a different ability, made for some fun gameplay. Finally Luigi and Peach got their moment to shine in a Mario game!

11. Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link

I know it was a pretty controversial move to change the top down gameplay (well, it's there sort of) from the first Zelda game into a action RPG sidescroller (a fantastic combination), but it was still a lot of fun to play. It was like Castlevania, but with more RPG elements like experience points and leveling up. In this game you learn what a stand up guy Link is, because even though Zelda is obviously passed out drunk in her bed after what must have been an awesome party, Link doesn't even try to take advantage of her! Though I guess he does Triforce her later...

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