In the video game industry, the Nintendo Entertainment System is one of the most important things that has ever been made. It was the Atari 2600, a home console that had interchangeable cartridges and let people bring the fun of arcades into their own homes. This led to a huge rise in home console sales. Many great games were made for the Atari 2600, like Pitfall! and Raiders of the Lost Ark. It also had two games that were so bad that they almost wiped out home consoles.
Pac-Man and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial were the two games that were on the list. Both sold very well, but are thought to be two of the worst games ever made. The bad port of the arcade game and the bad movie tie-in caused the industry to collapse. People started going back to the arcades.
Because of this, the NES had a hard time even before it came out. The console had to do something special to win back people who felt let down by the Atari 2600 games. The NES got off to a great start with its first game, Super Mario Bros., and kept up the good work with games like Metroid and The Legend of Zelda. You wouldn’t be able to play games like these today if it weren’t for NES games like the 10 on this list. The sales numbers come from VGChartz.com, which is a site that tracks games.
1. Excitebike (4.16 million)
In the Excite series, Excitebike is the first game. Other games in the series are Excite Truck for the Wii and Excitebike 64.
A game called Excitebike isn’t one where people race on gentle, smooth pieces of land. It’s a lot more exciting than that. There are ramps, sand, and shallow water on racetracks that players must either avoid or ride over to get to the finish line. Excitebike, which came out in 1984, has a Design Mode in which players can make and modify their own tracks.
2. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (4.17 million)
Konami’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is one of the NES’s many side-scrolling action games, like Contra and Double Dragon. It’s based on arcade games like those. There are four turtles in the game. You can switch between them in the pause menu. In this game, the four characters each have their own health bars and weapons that are different in power, speed, and reach.
People didn’t like the game very much. Gamespot gave the game a 2.7 out of 10 because it didn’t like how the levels were made. A former gaming magazine called Your Sinclair gave the game an impressive 9 out of 10, praising the game’s visuals and stage variety.
3. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (4.38 million)
They probably haven’t played Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, so they think Breath of the Wild is the least Zelda-like Zelda game out there.
The second game in the Legend of Zelda series is almost unrecognisable from the first one on the same system. Experience points, limited lives, and a lot of platforming are all things that weren’t used again in other Zelda games. This game is very different from other Zelda games.
4. Dr. Mario (4.85 million)
Mario has had a lot of different games over the years. From Mario Kart to Mario Party to Mario Strikers Charged, we went from one game to the next. When he left his job as a plumber to become a doctor was one of the weirdest things he’s ever done.
The game was a lot like Tetris and almost sold more than the game on the system. Dr. Mario has been re-released on many Nintendo consoles over the years because it was a big hit and was very fun to play.
5. Tetris (5.58 million)
When the NES came out in 1989, the classic block-building puzzle game was there for the first time! It’s one of the most played and most recognizable video games ever made.
All the best games are easy to learn and hard to master, said the founder of Atari, Nolan Bushnell. Tetris is one of the few games that show this better than any other. With Tetris 99, Nintendo is still making money off of Tetris today.
6. Ghosts n’ Goblins – 1.64 million
Capcom has never been known to make their games easy. So far, it has never been more clear than in Ghosts n’ Goblins.
One of, if not the most difficult NES game ever made (See our list of hardest NES games here). But the jury is still out on whether this game is really hard, or if it’s just broken. Honestly, the main reason the game is hard is because the controls are hard to use and enemies keep coming back.
Because Ghosts and Goblins is so hard, I don’t think it’s fun at all. It may have sold well because it had a dark, edgy look and was a port of a game that was popular on arcades. The arcade game wasn’t easy, either, but the NES game takes it to a whole new level. A challenge is what Ghosts n’ Ghouls is all about.
7. DuckTales – 1.67 million
Disney’s “DuckTales” came to life in 1989 when the NES game came out.
Take on the role of Uncle Scrooge and cane-hop your way over enemies and traps to get the ultimate prize: smelly moon cheese. A thing like that.
Isn’t it great that DuckTales for the NES was just as good as the show? It was easy enough for people of all ages to play, and it was the second game I ever beat.
8. Kirby’s Adventure – 1.75 million
I love Air Fortress. It was made by a company called HAL Laboratory. Later, they would help with games like Pokemon and Smash Bros.
In Kirby’s Dream Land, he was born on the Game Boy. Let us not forget that. Even so, the people asked for more Kirby, and they got it! Kirby’s Adventure is a step up from the original Game Boy game. It takes the titular hero, Kirby, out of his Game Boy adventure and puts him in a much bigger NES game where he can explore and unlock new levels, as well as backtrack to find secrets.
Kirby came out at the end of the NES’s life cycle, when the technology for that console was almost at its limit. Everything that could be done on the NES was right in front of developers, and they could do it.
When Kirby’s Adventure was made for the NES, it was one of its best games because it was very colourful, strong, and interesting. It was still a little unusual for platform games to let you save your progress at the time. Platform games were either meant to be done in one sitting, or they used a password system. But HAL knew that Kirby was different from the other people in the group. People love this game because it’s fun to play and it keeps you coming back for more.