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Best NES Games - Greatest Games for Nintendo Entertainment System

Best NES Games – Here are the greatest games for the
Nintendo Entertainment System Classic:

Nintendo harbors some of the most popular games for kids and adults. Whether you are looking at classics or new releases, Nintendo video games are characteristic of their action-packed adventures and irresistible feats. However, it is the classic Nintendo Entertainment System that has shaped Nintendo and video games to what they are today. A few of the classics in this list of best NES games are some of the most unique ones ever created. From unexpected storylines to unique characters, these games stand out in Nintendo history. They have transformed what platformers and RPGs used to be and have formulated the ultimate gameplay for all players today.

Super Mario Bros.

Photo credit: Flickr.com Coleman https://www.flickr.com/photos/freshyill/3219638385

Many people automatically associate the Nintendo Entertainment System with Super Mario Bros. The iconic plumber character belongs to arguably the best classic NES game of all time. While playing as Mario, your goal throughout the game was to save Princess Peach from your enemy, Bowser, while collecting items such as power-ups and gold coins along the way. Despite such a straightforward storyline, Super Mario Bros. transformed the gaming world and Nintendo as a company. With the numerous locations and levels available in the video game, you were kept challenged. The varying levels of difficulty throughout this classic game kept both the inexperienced and experienced players entertained which is a feat not many games are able to do which asserts it as one of the best nes games of all time. Not to mention, the iconic visuals and recognizable music of Super Mario Bros. has also helped it become a huge fan favorite.

The Legend of Zelda

Photo from Wikipedia Commons

One of the best NES classic games is The Legend of Zelda. In this game, you played as a character named Link who strove to save a princess named Zelda. This was not a typical fighting game, however. It consisted of challenging and unique puzzles and obstacles that kept you thinking about your next move. With such a large virtual world to explore and numerous challenges to win, it was difficult to get bored. The Legend of Zelda’s level of interactivity has kept people playing for many years. Compared to the other games of its time, The Legend of Zelda brought a new level of complexity and variety that outcompeted the others which were rather simple and generic. Because of such creativity in a Nintendo video game, The Legend of Zelda has become a role model when it comes to action-adventure gaming and RPGs. To prove its popularity, this video game remains relevant as it is also available on the Nintendo Switch Online.

Mega Man 2

Photo credit: Flickr.com Dusan Vlahovic https://www.flickr.com/photos/dusanvf/1891428770/

Mega Man is one of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System games; however, it was not well received by the public. Mega Man 2, on the other hand, was a different story. In the sequel, gamers played through a series of battles, with a boss battle at the end of each series. If you defeated the boss in the end battle, you obtained the boss’ weapon which meant better chances of winning in future battles. The strategic use of incentives throughout this game constantly encouraged players to continue battling in order to advance and to receive more. In Mega Man 2, new weapons were available, more levels were offered and the aesthetics supported better quality gameplay. It was such an upgrade from the first version that it was difficult to resist trying out. In addition to the quality features, this classic NES game was the only game to have a difficulty setting at the time. This allowed players of varying skills to enjoy it. With its high-energy music, unforgettable details and top-notch design, Mega Man 2 exceeded its own original version as well as many others in the 1990s and forward.


Photo credit: Flickr.com Charles Williams https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlesonflickr/368744037

Most games during the 1980s consisted of a single goal that players aimed to complete in order to advance. However, Metroid was different. This classic NES game was the first to revolve around exploration in addition to defeating your enemy, a space pirate leader known as Mother Brain. Players were encouraged to go about exploring the virtual world at their own pace, making every player’s experience different. One of the notable features of this video game that supports the idea of exploration was that all locations in the game were interconnected into one complex network. This made the adventuring aspect seemingly endless and always unpredictable. The collection-based missions and upgradable features of Metroid actually laid down the foundation for future RPGs that we know of today. With these innovative features, the sequel, Super Metroid, was expected to be even greater. Super Metroid did not disappoint as it has been known for its improved upon controls, detailed environmental visuals and even more adventures for all players.

Dragon Warrior (also known as Dragon Quest)

Photo credit: Flickr.com BagoGames https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/14057922752

Dragon Warrior, also known as Dragon Quest, was not a reckless fighting game. Although you fought to save the kingdom of Alefgard from the Dragonlord, this Nintendo Entertainment System classic game required patience and skill to succeed. As an RPG of technique, Dragon Warrior was more for strategic players. This video game required attention to detail, strategic moves and resource management in order to level up and advance. Dragon Warrior was a NES game that laid the foundation of RPGs today through its in-depth narrative storyline feature. Games nowadays typically utilize storylines to not only make the experience more interactive but to create life within a virtual world. This technique is known to effectively draw in players which explains the popularity of Dragon Warrior.

Final Fantasy

Photo credit: Flickr.com BagoGames https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagogames/23883758541

Final Fantasy is a Nintendo classic, but it was also known for having tried to emulate and improve upon Dragon Warrior. It replicated the idea of turn-based combat embedded in unique storylines. Final Fantasy also required strategic planning and gameplay, which was huge in Dragon Warrior. Although this NES classic game shared many similarities with previous games, it also set the groundwork of future RPGs with some key features. Final Fantasy allowed players to choose characters of different classes to fight with. This brought a new dynamic by allowing gamers to assemble teams of varying skills and strengths. New and varying challenges kept people entertained and wanting more. In addition, Final Fantasy featured new methods of navigating through the virtual world. At the time, aerial transportation in video games was a new concept and this ability in Final Fantasy made the NES classic stand out amongst the others. Many of the unique features in Final Fantasy are now common in video games which proves how much of a game-changer it was.

R.C. Pro-Am

Photo credit: Flickr.com PlayStation Europe https://www.flickr.com/photos/playstationblogeurope/6877679212/

The Nintendo Entertainment System classic R.C. Pro-Am changed the nature of racing games. Before it, racing video games were about coming in first place by sheer speed and by dodging your opponents. Thanks to R.C. Pro-Am, the attack features we are familiar with in such games exist. This NES classic was the first to feature the ability to use bombs, missiles and their signature speed-boosting strips to attack opponents. Racing games were not just about speed and acceleration anymore. R.C. Pro-Am introduced the ability to strategically utilize weapons to advance your place. These features went on to inspire many other Nintendo games, notably Mario Kart. Aside from the unique attacking abilities, the great controls and high-energy music made the video game even more addictive for all players.


Photo credit: Flickr.com C-Monster https://www.flickr.com/photos/arte/2423977915

Contra was known to be one of the best shooting action video games. In the NES classic, players had 3D-like views and third-person perspectives which gave it a more holistic experience. No other game at the time featured such angles which only made the video game more intriguing. As a shooting game, Contra also offered various levels of difficulty that catered to both the inexperienced and experienced players. Overall, the game was a good challenge. However, for those less skilled, Contra offered the Konami Code which gave you thirty lives to play with which was especially favored by many players. On the more difficult rounds, playing with a friend was recommended. Team plays allowed gamers to communicate, cooperate and plan which are always good skills to work on even through a NES game. This multiplayer feature was very popular as it brought new entertainment and challenge that was heavily influenced simply by who you play with. This was a smart asset of Contra as it constantly brought new experiences to players without much effort on the company’s end.

Bubble Bobble

Photo credit: Flickr.com Bryan Ochalla https://www.flickr.com/photos/bochalla/14815194620

Bubble Bobble is an iconic Nintendo Entertainment System game. In this classic, you played as a dragon in the Cave of Monsters. Your objective was to trap all enemies with your bubble gum and to collect food and trinkets along the way. At the beginning levels, Bubble Bobble may have seemed like children’s play. However, the many levels up ahead progressively got more challenging and required deeper strategizing to complete. There were many hidden aspects of this game that not many people realized but were quite exciting if you did figure them out. For example, your score was indicative of different bonuses you could unlock in each round. The great depths behind a seemingly simple classic has kept players entertained and addicted for years. In this NES game, you also had the option to play in single-player mode or multiplayer mode. However, it was recommended to play with a friend as it gave you access to extra stages and alternate endings which meant there was always something new to discover in Bubble Bobble.


Jackal was a NES classic. It was also one of your well-known combat video games where destruction solved all of your problems. In this game, your character drove a Jeep and you utilized an array of weapons to rescue prisoners of war while defeating enemies along the way. What made this NES classic game different was the strategy required to win. You were able to upgrade your weapons, but doing so strategically made all the difference. Having the patience to upgrade your tanks into larger and more destructive tanks or for your grenades to upgrade into missiles at the right time allowed you to rise over your opponents. This aspect of Jackal brought strategy and planning into play. Another notable aspect of this NES game was how cooperative gameplay with a friend meant larger and more effective destruction of your enemies. The multiplayer mode required you and your teammate to strategize complex rescue missions and destruction plans in order to secure a win. Carrying out your own role while supporting your team was crucial in effectively attacking the enemies and in rising to the top.

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