The Top Ten Nintendo Games of All Time (Part 1)
Ramblingeveron.com is a team of adult male writers, editors and IT guys, all around the ages of 35-45. Which means we were the perfect age when Nintendo exploded onto the national video game scene and dominated for a few years. Yes, Atari, Sega and Playstation at various times and in various ways have had their turns in the sun, but is anything in this arena as classic as the original Nintendo? We don’t think so, which is why we voted on the best game of that system. These are the games we binged on for years in our youth.
Since we had so much to say about them, we have divided it into two parts. Today we blow into the cartridge, line this up just right, and proudly present games 10 through 5. Come back next week for the Top Four.
10. Duck Hunt
One summer my sister and I spent a couple weeks at my grandparents house in Ohio. I, of course, being the social butterfly that I was, brought along my NES and launched into a Duck Hunt marathon. I finally beat all 99 levels gaining access to the secret level 0, then pretty much never played again. (Nathan Patton)
9. Ninja Gaiden Franchise
Based on our voting, a good number of us liked these games, though based on how many people volunteered to write about it, it does not seem that anyone loved these games. Even though I only played the 2nd installment, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a fluid gaming experience. I always felt like I had good control over the character. One of my childhood dreams was to become a ninja, so all the jumping, sword stabbing, and star throwing were as close as I would ever get to fulfilling that dream. (Phill Lytle)
8. TMNT II The Arcade Game
At arcades across the country, TMNT was responsible for taking more allowance money than the local school bully. When the game was released on the NES it was like Christmas and your birthday every day. This was an era when beat ’em ups dominated the arcade scene and TMNT was one of the best. The game faithfully recreated the world of the Turtles in a way that both looked and felt like the popular cartoon. As a result, it was extremely entertaining and satisfying to chose your favorite Turtle and issue a beat down on the Foot Clan. (Mark Sass)
B, A, B, A, Up, Down, B, A, Left, Right, (hold down in sequence: B, A, start). No, this isn’t the Konami code, but this is really the only code I needed as a kid anyway. It’s the code to get nine lives in TMNT 2: The Arcade Game for NES, the game that I undoubtedly played more than any other one in my collection. I remember the actual arcade game sitting in the lobby of the old Dickson, TN Walmart. I never remember seeing it without at least one person playing. Donatello was unquestionably the best because of his reach, and I eventually leveled up my skills enough to beat it from start to finish with no cheats and no continues. This game is “the” picture of my childhood, and I’m so glad to see it make the list of top 10. (D.A. Speer)
I played Battletoads approximately a billion times and beat it once. The gameplay of Battletoads was so great, though, that the knowledge of certain failure was no real deterrent in continuing to play and enjoy the game. Co-op play was especially fun though inevitable always devolved into fighting due to the friendly fire (and may have devolved into fighting in real life a time or two). (Nathan Patton)
6. Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. was my introduction to NES gaming and the first video game I’d ever personally owned. For Christmas of 1989, my parents gave me an NES bundle with Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt (with zapper), and World Class Track Meet (with power pad). I was shocked and delighted. I eventually got around to playing the other two games, but Super Mario Bros. was first, well after I got my father to stop playing, that is. (Nathan Patton)
5. Tecmo Super Bowl
The first three stages of evolution of video game football in my house growing up were 1) Block Men on the Atari that were facing the wrong way and that you had to manually turn around with the joystick before every play 2) Ten Yard Fight on NES 3) John Elway’s Quarterback on NES.
Then came the future in the late 80s: Tecmo Bowl. Boy, was it the coolest thing since Elvis. And then a couple of years later they totally outdid themselves with an upgraded version called Tecmo Super Bowl. All 28 NFL teams with real logos. Eleven players on the field instead of nine. Real world weather like snow. Detailed stats just like in the real NFL. Eight – 8! – plays to choose from. You could reverse it to Sterling Sharpe or fake reverse it. You could air it out 80 yards to Jerry Rice. Or you could do what everyone longed to do and pick the Raiders so you could run Bo Jackson like a deer in the open field. He was stupidly unstoppable as seen here.
My brothers and I played this game for so many hours they add up to weeks. Even with further evolutions on other systems, notably the John Madden series, this is still my favorite sports video game of all time. (Gowdy Cannon)
I am still disappointed (furious) that this game didn’t make it higher on our list. It’s the best sports’ game ever. It was fun to play in the season mode, trying to rack up stats and wins, and it was fun to play against other players, in our very own round robin tournaments. It’s still fun to play, all these years later. It holds up just fine. Graphics have improved, and games have become more “realistic”, but no game has ever captured my imagination like TSB did.
Did anyone else run out of bounds to keep the stats more realistic or was that just the Lytle boys that did that sort of thing? (Phill Lytle)
The original Tecmo Bowl was unlike anything we had seen before. Then Tecmo Super Bowl came along and improved upon it in every way. More plays, season stats tracking, Barry Sanders!, QB Eagles (aka Randall Cunningham), Houston’s run and shoot offensive plays, the list goes on and on. For my money, it is the best NES game ever and maybe the best video game ever. The only reason it did not finish higher on our list is that a few members of our esteemed panel do not have the proper appreciation for sports games. I can neither confirm nor deny that my brothers and I threw our controllers at the TV when the game decided that we were going to lose no matter what. (Mike Lytle)
Opinions? Let us know below. And please check back next week for the rest of this list! While you wait, check out these other articles that might interest you.
Part Two is out now! Check out the Final Four by clicking here.
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25 thoughts on “The Top Ten Nintendo Games of All Time (Part 1)”
We welcome and strongly encourage feedback. Seriously, if you disagree with the games on this list, let us know. Obviously, we won’t unveil the top 4 until next week, so your favorites might be on there, but 10-5 might include some games you really hate. We can take it.
I do not recall stepping out of bounds to preserve realistic stats but that is a GREAT idea.
We hated the idea of having a running back who averaged 40 yards+ per carry.
One time, just to see if I could do it, I ran a running play from the red zone backwards all the way into my own end zone, and then all the way back down the field and scored a touchdown. Against the AI, of course. If you timed it just right you could predict the patterns.
Daniel, have you watched that play with Bo Jackson I linked above? It’s kinda like that. Though I assume you did it with another RB, which makes it impressive. A gorilla could probably do it with Bo Jackson.
I never owned Battletoads so I didn’t get to play it much, but when I did, I really enjoyed it. Glad it made our list.
Dunno about Battletoads and Ninja Gaiden (I never played those), but I’m also surprised that Tecmo Super Bowl is just #5. I won’t put forward too many other choices until I see 1-4, but I would say that RC Pro-Am was underrated among my group of fellow game-players in the 80’s, as was Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Off-Road, with its 4-player capability.
Tecmo Super Bowl not being in the Top 2, much less the Top 4, will probably go down as the most controversial vote in REO Top Ten history, or at least close (only because I’m sure there’s something I’m forgetting). Rarely do you see an entry with three people convinced it’s #1 and then it goes down in the Round of Eight. I’m still seething with anger.
Gowdy said: “I’m still seething with anger.”
“I can feel your anger.”
It didn’t even deserve to be in the top ten, so be happy it made it as far as it did.
Every comment on my Facebook share today was about why it was so low. All by men.
That’s just silly. It clearly deserves to be in the top ten. Debating that is just irrational.
Tetris. That is all. Nothing else.
I was never really into video game which is why I didn’t contribute to this article, but I did really like Tetris
My boys,taught me how to save the princess in Super Mario Bros. by showing me how to do the shortcuts. I played a little Tecmo Bowl, and that’s about it of these games.
Tecmo Bowl and Mike Tyson’s Punchout.
That’s really all you need to know about classic Nintendo games.
Those were my two favorites. But there were some very worthy sidescroll games back then too.
Oh, I agree. Contra, Dodgeball, and Kung Fu were 3 of my personal favorites. I also enjoyed Duck Hunt, Legend of Zelda, Excitebike, RBI Baseball, and WWF Wrestlemania.
Man that takes me back. Excitebike and Kung Fu were two games we played a ton and they were things we’d never be interested in on TV or real life. (Well, unless the Kung Fu is by Jackie Chan and Will Smith’s son.)
Part Two – with the Top Four Games – comes out tomorrow!
Part Two is out now! The Final Four!
I thought that Battletoads was Sega, I enjoy Double Dragon 2, Contra, Castlevania, and Castlevania 2 Simon’s Quest.