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Top 5 NES Games to Play Before You Die

posted by Zara on 2008/4/10 (Lists)

There's a lot of games out there. But there's definitely some that are better than others. To fit only 5 of them into a single list, I found was impossible, so I decided to break them up. Rather than try to pick from all the games, we'll start with the Nintendo Entertainment System. Now, I'm not saying that the following games are the best ones ever made, not by a longshot. I'm just making a point of listing 5 NES games that I think everyone should play before they die. So here we go:

#5. Metroid

Just as Mario made platforming what it is, Metroid just helped perfect it. Non-linear gameplay, RPG elements, and the inclusion of the now famous JUSTIN BAILEY cheat code. And when all is said and done, we found out that Samus Aran is a woman?! Dude! No one can really deny that Metroid is a landmark of gaming, and one that definitely deserves to be played.

#4. Contra

Considered today as one of, if not the hardest game in existence, Contra is evidence of a great game. At the time of its release, multiplayer gameplay was an uncommon thing, and Contra pretty much took it up and made it work from the very beginning. Of course, it took a fair bit of teamwork to ensure one player didn't screw over the other, but once two people could get it down, it was just plain awesome.

#3. Duck Hunt

Although repetitive, I'll never forget the fun of pointing a plastic handgun at my TV and mindlessly firing at pixelated ducks. This was the first game I played at home that really showed me a new level of interactivity with video games. Nintendo tried to use this idea again and again, with mixed results, until finally hitting it out of the park with the Wii. You have to honor the roots, though.

#2. The Legend of Zelda

The first game that appeared in the US that had a built in battery pack to save your progress, Zelda was a huge game. It was one of the first times where a player's focus turned from racking up the most points, to simply exploring an epic world. Not to mention how it sports one of the most recognizable theme songs in video game history. Legend of Zelda is a classic, and nothing will change that.

#1. Super Mario Brothers

You probably saw this coming, but hey, it deserves the spot. The original game in the now massive franchise, Super Mario Brothers made platforming what it is. Sure, the Metroid games added some great features to the genre, but this game is what made the framework. At the time, being able to control your jumps in mid air, or slide underneath obstacles was just plain great. Although the content of the game was entirely off-the-wall, it didn't matter. The game was just that much fun to play. If you've never played this game, then get out from your rock and play it. Now.

EDIT: Holy crap, I forgot about Mega Man! Well, I'll say it gets an honorable mention, though it's close behind Metroid. Mega Man II, that is, since it's one of the better games in the series.


Yeah, this list is probably pretty whack to some readers, but this is my list, so I put what I want on it. Besides, the NES isn't really my field of expertise, since I didn't really get heavily into games until I got my hands on an SNES, but I did my best. However, don't think this is the end. The massive library of the SNES is calling me to make another, and I shall answer.

Just not right now.

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