Top 10 NES (8 bit Nintendo) games

Top 10 NES (8 bit Nintendo) games

A list of my favorite vintage Nintendo classic games


10 : R.C. Pro-Am

R.C. Pro-Am is a quick and fun game. It’s fast paced action is picked up easily. The track is littered with opponents, power-ups, hazards (oil-spill/water), and letters, which ultimately spell Nintendo and change out your truck for a car.


The best thing about this game, you don’t need to be an Remote Control car fan, you don’t need to be a race-car fan, it’s just all around fun.

bubble bobble cover

9 : Bubble Bobble

If the mere mention of the game title doesn’t get that song stuck in your head, then I’m sorry but you had a poor childhood. Looping through 99 insane levels, this game is enough to drive you bonkers, and yet addictive enough to go back for more.

bubble bobble nes gameplay

8 : Contra

Contra, the crazy idea that you can navigate this entire game on 3 lives. This is the game that introduced the konami code, giving Bill and Lance 30 guys to complete this run and gun game. The nintendo version of this game offered eight stages of game play, with a mixture of side-scrolling and 2D levels. Levels scroll left to right as well as bottom to top. Contra is an absolute blast, and certainly an all nighter will some pizza and friends.


7 : Tetris

With a bidding war amongst many of the major players, Tetris was the first entertainment software to be exported from the USSR to the US. Nintendo’s NES version lacked the side-by-side 2-player option featured in Tengen’s previously released version named “TETЯIS”. Tetris was (and still is) such a blast to play. Strategically placing blocks to classical music, that progressively get faster as you advance through levels.


6 : Metroid

Metroid is a de facto action adventure game. Collecting power-ups to advance the main character, taking on mazes and bosses, the only thing that Metroid is missing is any type of a map so you know where you are, where you have been, and where you are going. This is a great game if you want to kill an afternoon.


5 : Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Just like E.T. for the Atari, this is a love it or leave it kind of game. Where-as a lot of players are put off with the non-arcade style game-play, and additionally the amount of difficulty and skill required to complete the game, I absolutely love this version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! You can select each of the 4 characters, allowing you to use their standard character weapon to handle different situations. Additionally you can pick up throwing stars as a side weapon, or pizza slices for energy recovery. This game really taps into the comic-book of the TMNT series, which shares similarities to the cartoon, however has enough uniqueness that it’s a put off for some players.


With no game-save ability, or codes to load direct to certain levels, clear your calendar. Completing this nintendo game is gonna take some man hours.

4 : The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is must-have classic. With its shiny, golden cartridge and beautiful imagery, this game is a crowd-pleaser both inside and out. The phenomenal music will help guide Link, the hero, through a magical world filled with dungeons, monsters, puzzles, and secrets to save Princess Zelda and all of Hyrule from the evil wizard Ganon. The game itself is a tile-based adventure game, using individual screens instead of tile-scrolling. Each of the nine dungeons get progressively harder as you fight your way to the end to collect the piece of the Triforce until you finally beat Ganon, complete the Triforce, and free Zelda from her prison.


Pros: You can actually save this game, map is relatively easy to navigate, puzzles are challenging but doable, and immeasurable other pros.
Cons: I’m writing this instead of playing it.

3 : Mega Man 2

Also known as “Rockman 2: The Mystery of Dr. Wily”, this sequel is an amazing extension to the original mega man nintendo game. This platform side-scroller allows you to freely select your level. However, choose wisely as the power-up you receive from the level can be used against specific bosses as a huge technical advantage. Dr. Wily builds a new fortress and army of robotic henchmen, led by eight new Robot Masters of his design: Metal Man, Air Man, Bubble Man, Quick Man, Crash Man, Flash Man, Heat Man, and Wood Man. Once each of the henchmen are completed, you face off against Dr. Wily’s castle, and eventually the evil Doctor himself!


Another great game, with a great sound track. Just mentioning Mega Man 2, and I can already hear the theme music start up in my head!


2 : Tecmo Bowl

Containing twelve teams of the then 28 total NFL teams, each was equipped with only 4 plays. The majority of teams have 2 running plays and 2 passing plays. San Francisco and Miami were the exceptions, who have 3 passing plays and only 1 running play. To choose a play, the player would use the directional pad and press the ‘b’ button. There were no defensive alignment calls, so when you were on defense you would guess which offensive play would be chosen. If you picked correctly, you would either sack the QB, tackle the running back for loss of yards, or if the QB was able to throw, you would intercept the pass.


Despite having player names, Tecmo was actually unable able to get the NFL’s consent to use real team names. As a result, the teams in the game are identified only by their city or state. Tecmo Bowl only used players from twelve of the best and then most popular teams.

The teams mimicked in the game are Indianapolis, Miami, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles (Raiders), Washington, San Francisco, Dallas, New York (Giants), Chicago, and Minnesota.


1 : Super Mario Brothers 3

Any list of top Nintendo games is going to include this classic : Super Mario Brothers 3. Arguably, this classic 2D side-scroller is the best game ever made. Expanding on similar gameplay mechanics with previous titles in the series, there are suites with power ups to change Mario’s abilities. Granting power of flight with the Super Leaf, the ability to throw hammers with the Hammer Suit, enhanced swimming with the Frog Suit, and of course the incredibly mysterious Tanooki Suit, which allows players to fly and additionally turn to stone.


Super Mario Bros. 3 also includes a multiplayer option which allows both players to cooperatively play. Each player takes turns in the map navigation world and accessing stage levels. Through this mode, players can also access several mini-games, including a remake of the original Mario Bros. arcade game, in which one player has the opportunity to steal the cards of another but may lose their turn if they lose the mini-game.

This game was even featured in the Fred Savage classic movie the Wizard before it was available.

Agree or disagree with this list? Think your favorite should have been included? Please leave your comments below!

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