My Top Ten NES Games #5: Punchout

Mike tysons punch out nes boxart North America

This is easily going to be a favorite on anyone’s NES list or list of great boxing games. However while later post-SNES boxing games made it feel like real boxing, Punchout made it feel like the Rocky movies almost, which I think was pretty darn awesome. 

Mike tyson boss battle nes Punchout Nintendo

Punchout is more of a puzzle game than a boxing game. Each boxer is different, and they use their own different attacks, and counters. You really only have a left and right jab, with a super uppercut you have to build up. Little Mac can hold his own, as long as you got the skill to read the opponent’s moves, anticpate their next strike, and have the reflexes to carry it out. Once you get past our Soviet vodka soda drinking friend, it’s no easy task. 

Mr dream replaces mike tyson Punchout nes Nintendo

In a later re-release on NES, and much later in the Animal Crossing/Virtual Console versions; Mike Tyson is taken out of his own game. He is replaced by Mr. Dream, and rather odd choice who looks kinda bland, but yet has the same moves as Tyson. Many thought it was due to Tyson’s criminal charges, but Nintendo’s official statement was because he lost the Champion title. I’m sure the whole ear biting thing is never going to help matters either. Still a great game, Tyson-less or not.

My Top Ten NES Games #6: Tetris

Tetris NES Boxart North America

Man do I love Tetris. Really the only puzzle game, I really really enjoyed. I first got into the game after playing the NES version on an emulator. 

Original nes tetris version

It’s actually quite ridiculous how long I spent playing the NES Tetris ROM. I used to spend hours in my room, just playing and playing even on a crappy keyboard control set-up. But I loved every second of it. I later bought the Gameboy version, Tetris DS, and Tetris Party for WiiWare, and I think I might pick up a XBLA version if they have it.

Tengen tetris boxart

Now some people actually say the NES version is kinda crappy, and that the Tengen version is superior to it. For those who don’t know; Tengen was Atari’s cheap pirate name used for illegally publishing games on the NES. Tengen Tetris was pretty popular back in the day. 

Tengen tetris version nes

I’ve played the version, and I really don’t dig it. For one, I hate when they don’t make the individual squares visible on every tetris piece. And number two, multi-player wasn’t a big deal to me now (but I’m sure back in the 80’s it was really the only way to play with a friend) since by the time I played it I had Tetris DS. I feel a little weird putting Tetris on the list since better versions have come out on later systems, but the NES version will always have a spot in my heart. 

My Top Ten NES Games #7: MegaMan

Mega man worst boxart in history nes Capcom

Probably the first game to really put Capcom on the map as one of the greatest game developers. Long before Street Fighter, and Resident Evil came along we had our favorite blue bomber. Or at least in the American boxart our favorite middle aged man dressed up in a blue-yellow outfit with a pistol. Pew pew.

Electric man level Mega man 1 nes Capcom

It may lack Rush, powerslide, or a charge shot, but it does feature the special power-feature that came in every single sequel. You also had to use a lot of skill to beat Megaman. It’s one tough cookie.

Yellow devil boss battle nes Capcom Mega man 1

Unless of course you use the “select trick” which can cause extra damage by rapidly hitting select when a blast hits your target. Mr. Sand-monster guy? Almost impossible without the select trick, and a boss rush with no heals followed up by Dr. Wily? Get real. Get the NES version or Virtual Console release. The PS2 anniversary collection took out the glitch. Despite it’s tough challenge, MegaMan 1 really put it’s spot on almost anyone’s list, and it’s no surprise how many great games followed.

My Top Ten NES Games #8: Kirby’s Adventure

Kirby's Adventure NES Boxart Nintendo

My last game on the list Ninja Gaiden is one of the hardest games on the NES, however this title may be one of the easiest. Kirby’s Adventure was the first and last Kirby game on the NES, and broke him free of his Gameboy cage, added a dash of color, gave him the ability to suck up enemies and take away their powers. 

Kirby vs waddle dee Kirby's Adventure Nintendo nes

Kirby is pink and cute, but he has some of the best abilities in all of gaming. I believe this was the first game where he actually had real powers, and the abilities in Adventure were pretty darn good.

Waddle dee vs Kirby Kirby's Adventure NES Nintendo

It’s a shame it’s so short though, I played the GBA remake many years back, and beat it in a day. Still a great game even all those years since I was little.

My Top Ten NES Games #9: Ninja Gaiden

Ninja Gaiden boxart NES tecmo

After debuting with a forgettable Double Dragon clone in the arcades, the NES version took a downgrade in graphics but made up for it with gameplay.

First level ninja Gaiden Ryu Hayabusa NES Taito

Ninja Gaiden on NES is almost like Castlevania but much faster and with ninjas; instead of whip-cracking Europeans. You move like lightning, use ninja stars, sword slashes, and some decent power-ups among your epic quest. 

Ryy Hayabusa takes on the castle ninja Gaiden nes Tecmo

And it’s an epic quest indeed. Harder than you could ever imagine too! Once you get to this scene where Ryu Hayabusa reaches the castle; prepare to give up all hope because those stupid eagles, and other hell-spawn will give you a run for your money. Even if you get stuck here; the levels prior to it are still fantastic, and can almost feel like a whole game themselves.