The Quick Ratings Reference Guide for the
NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM

All these and more!

All these and more!

Welcome to the Quick Ratings Reference Guide for the NES. Back in 2001, three of us got together and decided to create a handy reference guide for the games released for the Nintendo 8-bit system, originally with the intent of boiling it down to the best 25 games for the system. The Guide soon evolved into an ongoing labor of general pain...well, for one of us at least. But he started it, so he had to finish it. As you may have guessed, despite the "Nintendo Seal of Quality", there are quite a few wretched games out there. That makes the purpose of this guide all the more relevant, even if the machine itself is becoming less so. Simply put, this guide is here to help you separate the jewels from the coal, and everything in between.

The rating process was a simple, if highly unscientific, process. The games were plugged into the machine, and each of us played for a while, adding factors of graphics, gameplay, innovation, etc., into the mix. Then we each came up with a score, from 0 to 10 and involving half-points, that we felt best represented the game. Now, we admit up front that some games may be unfairly judged because they take some time to get going. We tried to factor in potential, but some games are just gonna slip through. Keep that in mind. Also, some games were just too complex, so that we simply did not feel justified in giving the game a rating; hopefully we can devote more time to the game later to properly rate it.

But it's not over. There are over 700 Nintendo games, and I think it's unlikely that we'll ever rate all of them. We have over 400 here, and we're always adding more, but we need your help! If there's a game you want to rate, whether it's on the list or not, let us know, either via Twitter or Facebook. The more people rating, the more accurate the score. If there's a game you feel isn't getting the credit it deserves, or isn't being exposed for the contemptable trash that it is, feel free to let us know.

We hope you enjoy this little guide, and find it useful too. And don't forget to read the Comments after the ratings!

A note about titles: Generally, this guide uses the complete title, usually as found on the end label of the game. This usually doesn't change things, but there are a couple exceptions (Super Off-Road becomes Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off-Road, etc.). So, if you don't see a game, there's a chance it's just listed under its complete title.

Click each column to sort the results by that heading. A rating in italics indicates a revised score.

TitleAlexAdamCharlieDan/OthersCompositeAvg
Abadox4.565.5165.3
The Addams Family4.54513.54.5
Adventure Island56.5516.55.5
The Adventures of Bayou Billy2.533.593
Adventures of Dino-Riki45.55.5155
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends332.58.52.8
Adventures of Tom Sawyer24393
After Burner3.55513.54.5
Air Fortress6.57.55.519.56.5
Airwolf34293
Alfred Chicken4.53411.53.8
Alien³6.56.5136.5
Alien Syndrome556165.3
All-Pro Basketball24.52.593
Alpha Mission2.5439.53.2
Al Unser Jr. Turbo Racing445.513.54.5
Amagon2.57.56165.3
American Gladiators42393
Anticipation88.58.5258.3
Archon8.598.5268.7
Arch Rivals4.55312.54.2
Arkanoid8.5715.57.8
Astyanax34293
Athena252.59.53.2
Athletic World44.53.5124
Back to the Future2.52.5272.3
Back to the Future Part II & III52293
Bad Dudes1.5337.52.5
Bad Street Brawler2.55512.54.2
Balloon Fight45.5716.55.5
Bandai Golf: Challenge Pebble Beach21362
Barbie0.51.52.54.51.5
Barker Bill's Trick Shooting354124
Baseball2.51.51.56.52.2
Baseball Stars676.51029.57.4
Bases Loaded562134.3
Bases Loaded II: Second Season77.5418.56.2
Bases Loaded 37.56.56.520.56.8
Base Wars665.517.55.8
Batman333.59.53.2
Batman: Return of the Joker4.56.56175.7
Batman Returns675.518.56.2
Battle Chess343103.3
The Battle of Olympus7.59723.57.8
Battletoads898258.3
Bee 525.564.5165.3
Bible Adventures01.50.520.7
Big Bird's Hide & Speak36.57.5175.7
Bigfoot3.598.5217
Bill & Ted's Excellent Video Game Adventure767206.7
Bill Elliott's NASCAR Challenge4.546.5155
Bionic Commando5.58.57217
The Black Bass211.56.5112.8
Blades of Steel99.59.59379.3
Blaster Master69.57.57307.5
The Blue Marlin10.523.51.2
Bo Jackson Baseball6.54.56175.7
A Boy and His Blob98.57.5258.3
Bubble Bobble1010103010
Bucky O'Hare5.57.58217
The Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout56.55.5175.7
Bump 'n' Jump6.586.5217
Burai Fighter77.514.57.3
BurgerTime89.57933.58.4
Cabal4.57.58.520.56.8
Caesar's Palace446144.7
California Games684186
Captain America and the Avengers554.514.54.8
Captain Comic4.548.54.3
Captain Planet and the Planeteers1.5225.51.8
Captain Skyhawk7658.526.56.6
Casino Kid6.53.52.512.54.2
Castelian686206.7
Castle of Dragon242.58.52.8
Castlevania8.577.5237.7
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest9.51081037.59.4
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse88.57.5248
Caveman Games386175.7
Championship Bowling44.5412.54.2
The Chessmaster97.56.5237.7
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers55.58927.56.9
Circus Caper2.56.54134.3
City Connection47.5617.55.8
Clash at Demonhead3.55311.53.8
Classic Concentration7.57620.56.8
Clu Clu Land1.5326.52.2
Cobra Command445.513.54.5
Cobra Triangle66126
Code Name: Viper3.54512.54.2
Commando266144.7
Conflict8.58.57248
Contra3.557.5165.3
Crash 'n the Boys Street Challenge576.518.56.2
Crystalis77.5822.57.5
Cyberball456.515.55.2
Cybernoid5.553.5144.7
Dance Aerobics1.5326.52.2
Darkman32272.3
Dash Galaxy in the Alien Asylum65.52.5144.7
DayDreamin' Davey443.511.53.8
Days of Thunder445.513.54.5
Deadly Towers22.537.52.5
Death Race2.5125.51.8
Defender of the Crown4.56.54.515.55.2
Defender II686.520.56.8
Déjà Vu57.57827.56.9
Demon Sword4.56.54.515.55.2
Desert Commander77147
Destination Earthstar-----
Dick Tracy834155
Dig Dug II7.59.57248
Digger T. Rock475.516.55.5
Dirty Harry3.545.5134.3
Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom262.510.53.5
Donkey Kong685.519.56.5
Donkey Kong Classics48.5618.56.2
Donkey Kong 3374144.7
Double Dragon3.53.548194.8
Double Dragon II: The Revenge5.54.57.517.55.8
Double Dribble7.574.5196.3
Double Strike86.57.5227.3
Dragon Power13.526.52.2
Dragon Spirit: The New Legend4.59.58227.3
Dragon Warrior3.57616.55.5
Dragon Warrior II47.56.5186
Dr. Chaos265134.3
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde1.535.5103.3
Dr. Mario878237.7
Duck Hunt777.521.57.2
DuckTales7.57822.57.5
Dynowarz385165.3
8 Eyes355134.3
Eliminator Boat Duel446144.7
The Empire Strikes Back77.56.5217
Excitebike999.527.59.2
Exodus173113.7
The Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy2543.514.53.6
Fantasy Zone354124
Faxanadu7.57822.57.5
Fester's Quest4.533.5113.7
F-15 City War3.547.53.8
Final Fantasy876217
Fire 'n Ice78.5924.58.2
Fisher Price Perfect Fit22.537.52.5
Flight of the Intruder66126
The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy6.56618.56.2
Flying Dragon: The Secret Scroll4594.5
Flying Warriors455.514.54.8
Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates3.547.53.8
Freedom Force778227.3
Friday the 13th61.5613.54.5
Galaga87.515.57.8
Gargoyle's Quest56.57.5196.3
Garry Kitchen's Battletank23.5510.53.5
Gauntlet II676196.3
Ghostbusters II4.552.5124
Ghosts 'n Goblins57.57.5206.7
Goal!634.513.54.5
Godzilla387186
Gold Medal Challenge '926.56.57.520.56.8
Golf52.56.59.523.55.9
Golgo 1333393
The Goonies II77.5923.57.8
Gotcha! The Sport33393
Gradius66.5719.56.5
Gremlins 2: The New Batch57.512.56.3
The Guardian Legend346.513.54.5
Guerrilla War6.57.58227.3
Gumshoe44.5917.55.8
Gun.Smoke79.5925.58.5
Gyromite887237.7
Gyruss6.59823.57.8
Heavy Barrel65115.5
Heavy Shreddin'373134.3
Hogan's Alley43.5512.54.2
Hollywood Squares6.564.5175.7
Home Alone2.52.5382.7
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York244.510.53.5
Hook334103.3
Hoops785206.7
Hudson Hawk3.5238.52.8
The Hunt for Red October7.54516.55.5
HydLide46.5717.55.8
Ice Climber79.59.5268.7
Ice Hockey8.56.57.522.57.5
Ikari Warriors3.58920.56.8
Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road364134.3
Impossible Mission II4.57415.55.2
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom4.56.55165.3
Infiltrator-----
Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II465155
Iron Tank6.57.56.520.56.8
Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off-Road8.59.59.527.59.2
Jackal77.56.59307.5
Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Championship Golf6.575.5196.3
Jaws5.54413.54.5
Jeopardy!109.5928.59.5
Jeopardy! Junior Edition98.5724.58.2
Jeopardy! 25th Anniversary Edition899268.7
Joe & Mac556165.3
John Elway's Quarterback322.57.52.5
Jordan vs. Bird: One on One2.54410.53.5
Joshua1.564.5124
Joust498.5186
Jurassic Park567.518.56.2
Kabuki - Quantum Fighter577.519.56.5
Karate Champ2.5136.52.2
Karnov365144.7
KickMaster576186
Kid Icarus5.57921.57.2
Kid Kool33393
King of Kings: The Early Years23162
King's Knight464.514.54.8
Kings of the Beach66.5517.55.8
Kirby's Adventure7.5981034.58.6
Klash Ball57.5820.56.8
Knight Rider3.55.55.514.54.8
The Krion Conspiracy56.5718.56.2
Kung Fu4.55.55155
Kung Fu Heroes56.56.5186
Laser Invasion43.57.53.8
The Last Ninja3.54.53.511.53.8
The Last Starfighter1.5359.53.2
Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf2.53510.53.5
Legacy of the Wizard53.5816.55.5
Legendary Wings2.53.52.58.52.8
The Legend of Kage575.517.55.8
The Legend of Zelda99.5101038.59.6
Life Force57.58.5217
Little League Baseball Championship Series663155
The Little Mermaid353.511.53.8
Little Nemo the Dream Master755175.7
Low G Man3.54.56.514.54.8
Lunar Pool78.5722.57.5
Mach Rider24.53.5103.3
Mad Max1.52.5262
The Mafat Conspiracy3.53.53.510.53.5
Magic Darts462.512.54.2
Magic Johnson's Fast Break66.5315.55.2
The Magic of Scheherazade45.5514.54.8
MagMax76136.5
Major League Baseball4.5318.52.8
Maniac Mansion978.524.58.2
Marble Madness8.59724.58.2
Mario Bros.8.59.58268.7
M.C. Kids353113.7
Mega Man6.56416.55.5
Mega Man 265.58.5206.7
Mega Man 36.57.57217
Mega Man 45.58720.56.8
Metal Gear3.557.54.520.55.1
Metal Mech46105
Metalstorm8.58925.58.5
Metroid71010279
Michael Andretti's World GP334.510.53.5
Mickey Mousecapade465155
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!879248
Millipede45.5514.54.8
Milon's Secret Castle456155
Mission: Impossible454.513.54.5
Monopoly776.520.56.8
Monster Party5.57.58.521.57.2
Ms. Pac-Man (Tengen)59.5822.57.5
MTV Remote Control4336164
M.U.L.E.-----
Muppet Adventure452113.7
Mystery Quest4.565.5165.3
NARC465.515.55.2
NES Open Tournament Golf867217
NES Play Action Football987248
NFL3.52510.53.5
Nigel Mansell's World Championship3.554.5134.3
19422.56.58175.7
1943489217
Ninja Gaiden648186
Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos7.578.5237.7
Ninja Kid46.5717.55.8
Nintendo World Cup957217
Operation Wolf63.59.54.8
Orb-3D4.57718.56.2
Othello897248
Overlord-----
Pac-Man (Tengen)577196.3
Palamedes7.57519.56.5
Paperboy778.522.57.5
Pictionary61.5512.54.2
Pinball8.59.58.526.58.8
Pin Bot4.56414.54.8
Pipe Dream7.58722.57.5
Platoon3.53.533133.3
P.O.W.4.56515.55.2
The Punisher4.56717.55.8
Puss 'N Boots67410276.8
Puzznic79.58.5258.3
Pyramid77.56.5217
Q*bert477.518.56.2
Quattro Adventure
  • Linus Spacehead
  • Robin Hood
  • Boomerang Kid
  • Dizzy
  • 2.3
    2
    3.5
    3.5
    2
    4
    3
    4
    6
    3
    3.3
    2
    4
    4
    3
    9.5
    7
    11.5
    13.5
    8
    3.2
    2.3
    3.8
    4.5
    2.7
    Quattro Sports
  • Baseball
  • BMX
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • 4.3
    4.5
    1.5
    6.5
    4.5
    3.8
    2
    3
    7
    3
    4
    5
    1
    5
    5
    12
    11.5
    5.5
    18.5
    12.5
    4
    3.8
    1.8
    6.2
    4.2
    Racket Attack6.53.54.514.54.8
    Rad Gravity2.532.582.7
    Rad Racer2.553.510.53.5
    Rad Racer II4.56414.54.8
    Rambo15393
    Rampage3.577.5186
    Rampart7.58.59258.3
    R.B.I. Baseball878.523.57.8
    R.C. Pro-Am77.5822.57.5
    Renegade23.538.52.8
    Rescue: The Embassy Mission88.5824.58.2
    Ring King2.54410.53.5
    River City Ransom799.525.58.5
    RoadBlasters474155
    Road Runner76136.5
    Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves7.56.5147
    RoboCop2.54511.53.8
    RoboCop 365115.5
    RoboWarrior46.54.5155
    The Rocketeer235.510.53.5
    Rocket Ranger3.53.53103.3
    Rock'n' Ball5.567.5196.3
    Roger Clemens' MVP Baseball33393
    Rollerball577196.3
    Rollergames4.56.54.515.55.2
    Rolling Thunder45.59.54.8
    Roundball: 2-on-2 Challenge433103.3
    Rush'n Attack3.54.54124
    Rygar679227.3
    S.C.A.T.86.5822.57.5
    Section Z35.5715.55.2
    Seicross7.57721.57.2
    Sesame Street ABC3.534.5113.7
    Sesame Street Countdown2.5349.53.2
    Sesame Street 12326.55.814.34.8
    720°4.57516.55.5
    Shatterhand777217
    Shinobi766196.3
    Short Order/Eggsplode!5.36.56.3186
    Side Pocket5.55.57186
    Silent Service5.55.55165.3
    The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man7.565.5196.3
    The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants8.58.564276.8
    The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World97.56.58317.8
    Skate or Die677.520.56.8
    Skate or Die 21.5337.52.5
    Sky Kid7.57721.57.2
    Sky Shark777217
    Slalom3.554.5134.3
    Smash T.V.9.58.59279
    Snake Rattle n Roll567186
    Snake's Revenge33.5511.53.8
    Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular2.55.54124
    Snow Bros.5.576.5196.3
    Soccer66.56.5196.3
    Solar Jetman737175.7
    Solomon's Key766196.3
    Solstice8.57.59258.3
    Spider-Man: Return of the Sinister Six666186
    Spiritual Warfare0.573.5113.7
    Spot The Video Game665175.7
    Spy Hunter8.53718.56.2
    Spy vs Spy69.55.5217
    Stanley: The Search for Dr. Livingston2.56.55.514.54.8
    Star Force56718.56.2
    Star Soldier565.516.55.5
    Star Trek 25th Anniversary67.5720.56.8
    Star Trek: The Next Generation7.57620.56.8
    StarTropics8.58.58258.3
    Stealth ATF23.538.52.8
    Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight4.544.5134.3
    Super C77.58628.57
    Super Cars6.566.5196.3
    Super Glove Ball675186
    Super Jeopardy788.523.57.8
    Superman6.56.5136.5
    Super Mario Bros.109.59836.59.1
    Super Mario Bros. 29109.5634.58.6
    Super Mario Bros. 3101010104010
    Super Pitfall7.57.53186
    Super Spike V'Ball636155
    Super Sprint4.56.56.517.55.8
    Super Team Games34.5411.53.8
    Swords & Serpents434113.7
    Taboo: The Sixth Sense30.514.51.5
    Tag Team Wrestling43293
    TaleSpin3.55614.54.8
    T & C Surf Designs444124
    Target: Renegade2.5349.53.2
    Tecmo Baseball7.55719.56.5
    Tecmo Bowl8.545825.56.4
    Tecmo NBA Basketball8.54.54175.7
    Tecmo Super Bowl105.57.510338.3
    Tecmo World Wrestling3.55412.54.2
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles9.56.56227.3
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game868.51032.58.1
    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project9.5, 918.59.3
    Tennis4.543516.54.1
    10-Yard Fight20.52.551.7
    Tetris (Nintendo)998268.7
    Tetris (Tengen)9108.527.59.2
    Tetris 2777217
    3D WorldRunner222.56.52.2
    The Three Stooges452113.7
    Thundercade386175.7
    Tiger-Heli455144.7
    Time Lord4.585.57.525.56.4
    Tiny Toon Adventures 24.55.55.515.55.2
    Toki76.513.56.8
    Tom & Jerry33.539.53.2
    Tombs & Treasures5.57618.56.2
    Top Gun2.52.5382.7
    Top Gun: The Second Mission242.58.52.8
    Top Players' Tennis3.54714.54.8
    Totally Rad353.511.53.8
    Total Recall2.52.55103.3
    To the Earth435.512.54.2
    Touchdown Fever3.522.582.7
    Track & Field II4748.523.55.9
    Trog!4.56.56.517.55.8
    Trojan454134.3
    Ultima: Exodus54.59.54.8
    Ultimate Basketball5.5229.53.2
    Ultimate League Soccer435124
    The Ultimate Stuntman887.523.57.8
    Uninvited46.5717.55.8
    The Untouchables44.55.5144.7
    Urban Champion41.549.53.2
    Vegas Dream42172.3
    Vindicators464.514.54.8
    Volleyball4.55413.54.5
    Wall Street Kid454134.3
    Wally Bear and the "No!" Gang122.55.51.8
    Wario's Woods332.58.52.8
    Wayne Gretzky Hockey23.549.53.2
    Werewolf345124
    Wheel of Fortune4.57617.55.8
    Wheel of Fortune: Family Edition5.57618.56.2
    Wheel of Fortune featuring Vanna White666186
    Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?7.57721.57.2
    Where's Waldo?4.5329.53.2
    Widget133.57.52.5
    Wild Gunman87.58.5248
    Willow77.5822.57.5
    Win, Lose or Draw378.59, 8.5367.2
    Winter Games44.5614.54.8
    Wizards & Warriors68.58.5237.7
    World Championship Wrestling61.54.5124
    World Class Track Meet87.57.5237.7
    World Games4.56.56175.7
    Wrath of the Black Manta47.57.5196.3
    Wrecking Crew3.58.54.516.55.5
    Wurm: Journey to the Center of the Earth87.56.5227.3
    WWF Wrestlemania312.56.52.2
    WWF Wrestlemania Challenge635144.7
    Xenophobe23382.7
    Xevious789248
    Xexyz688.522.57.5
    X-Men3.54310.53.5
    Yo! Noid4.55312.54.2
    Yoshi798248
    Yoshi's Cookie7.597.5248
    The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles6.578.5227.3
    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link7.57923.57.8
    Zen Intergalactic Ninja444124
    Zoda's Revenge: StarTropics II5.57719.56.5
    Games rated: 463

    Comments:

    The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends
         "Wow, this is in the running for most annoying video game theme song of all-time. That aside, 'Rocky & Bullwinkle' is a rather poor platformer, and Bullwinkle is so big that collisions are almost inevitable." -Adam

    Alien³
         "The only game I've ever played where falling down the stairs to your death is a valid strategy." -Charlie

    Anticipation
         "This is a surprisingly good multiplayer party game. For how childish it looked, we really got a lot of distance out of this title." -Charlie

    Back to the Future Part II & III
         "Wow, this game is exactly like the movies! It's particularly effective at capturing the post-apocalyptic green wasteland feel of Hill Valley in 2015." -Adam

    Baseball Stars
         "This is one of the most fun sports games of all time in my opinion. Not only was it extremely ground-breaking in the fact that you could CREATE players and teams, but you could improve your players' ratings (stamina, power, etc.) the more you played and won. Also, it kept stats for you." -Dan

    Bible Adventures
         "Even God doesn't know what Wisdom Tree was thinking when they created this game. Most disturbing is their very loose interpretation of the word 'Adventures'. This is for masochists only. I am a lesser man for having played. Stay away if you have any regard for yourself or loved ones." -Charlie

    Big Bird's Hide & Speak
         "Excellent voice emulation, considering it's a classic Nintendo game. I think kids could learn from this, which is more than I can say for most 'educational' games." -Charlie
         "Clockwise movement only: lame. Voice: good! Replay: low." -Alex

    The Black Bass
         "As fishing games go, this one's decent." -Joe M.
         "A fishing game without fish...yeah..." -Alex
         "The key to fishing is patience...you may have to wait a few hours while playing this game to catch a fish." -Charlie

    Blaster Master
         "I had this game as a kid...it takes a little while to get into, but it's a great game when you do." -Adam

    Bubble Bobble
         "An arcade masterpiece. Damned if I'll ever beat it correctly, but a solid all-around game." -Charlie

    BurgerTime
         "Hours of burger-making fun." -Alex

    Caesar's Palace
         "Nice realism factor." -Alex

    Captain Comic
         "It looks pretty good and moves decently, but it seems awfully repetitive." -Adam
         "I might have given this game another point if the enemies didn't keep regenerating while you stood still." -Charlie

    Casino Kid
         "Just like Vegas, but with fake money, pixelated women and no booze. Some potential, but the crappiness of gambling games bogs it down." -Charlie

    Castle of Dragon
         "All you do is hit forward and slam on the B button for 10 minutes, then attempt to jump over a cliff, at which point you die." -Charlie

    Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
         "Hands down, my favorite game for the NES. A great storyline, awesome gameplay, and the transitions from day to night were cool too. A fantastic game, no matter what genre you like." -Adam

    Championship Bowling
         "'Championship Bowling' is much more fun and exciting than 'Wii Sports Bowling'. 'Championship Bowling' is the one with the motion sensing controller, right?" -Alex
         "At one point during the game I had taken the controller, put it facedown on the floor, and smacked the whole thing with my thigh. I went on to win. I don't think that's right." -Adam

    Classic Concentration
         "Once there was a picture of something that looked like a cane or club, between the letter 'M' and a gun. Both Alex and I cleared the board and had no idea what the answer was. So I guessed, 'Harry McCanegun'. The game responded with, 'Harry Morgan' is correct!" -Adam

    Contra
         "This is a solid, challenging game. Each level is unique and the differing scrolling and perspective on each level keeps it from being becoming tedious the longer you play." -Charlie

    Cyberball
         "This IS the future of football." -Adam
         "Obviously I could play it for a while, but the beeping did get annoying." -Kara H.

    Darkman
         "If I were a kid, and I got this for Christmas, I'd be very disappointed. Yet another example of why movie licenses don't tend to make good games." -Adam

    Death Race
         "<whimper>" -Adam

    Defender II
         "Perhaps better known as 'Stargate' (well, that's what they called it in the arcades), 'Defender II' is the sequel to the pioneering shooter, and as such it comes with the usual changes, advancements, etc...and in this case they're generally an improvement. The stargate itself is a fun touch. It's still hard as hell, but it's also a lot of fun. A reasonable translation to the NES." -Adam

    Déjà Vu
         "A reasonable adventure game, hampered by two problems: one, this game is clearly designed to be played with a mouse, and the NES version suffers as a result; and two, it's simply too short. We were able to complete the game in a night, even with wandering back and forth doing things we should have done the first time. I like a little more mileage out of my adventure games, but that said, there's nothing wrong with this one." -Adam

    Demon Sword
         "Wheee! It's like 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'! Look at him jump! This is a decent, though not outstanding, action platformer. It's fun - just not a classic." -Adam
         "The Nintendo's answer to "Sonic the Hedgehog." -Alex

    Dig Dug II
         "Hmm...this isn't exactly the sequel most people probably expected after the brilliance of the first 'Dig Dug'. However, in its own way, 'Dig Dug II: Trouble in Paradise' is just as addicting and fun as the first one. There's a new element of strategy, and it's as much fun placing cracks in just the right place as it was to line the Pookas up under that rock...A fun, innovative game." -Adam

    Donkey Kong 3
         "Donkey Kong 1 minus Donkey Kong 2 equals Donkey Kong 3." -Alex
         "A port of a lesser-known arcade title is always welcome, and 'Donkey Kong 3' is an interesting gameplay mechanic. That said, there isn't a lot of variety and it does become slightly repetitive - but am I the only one who'd like to see Stanley appear in a Smash Bros. game? I am? Oh." -Adam

    Dragon Power
         "One of the most unintentionally funny games I've ever played...I think Bandai should have hired some better translators." -Adam

    Dragon Spirit: The New Legend
         "Fantastic." -Adam
         "Great shooter. The story's a little confusing, but who cares? Blast away." -Charlie

    Dr. Mario
         "A fun variation on the 'Tetris' theme. One does have to question the subject matter of this game though, which seems to imply that it's ok to play with drugs. For a system (and therefore game) generally aimed at the youth, this seems highly questionable, and I'm a little surprised that (as far as I know) this wasn't mentioned in the Senate hearings on video games.
         To digress for a moment, 'Dr. Mario 64,' this game's successor, was responsible for one of the funniest moments in my time playing video games. It was a four-player mode, and Alex, John, Charlie, and I were going head-to-head. After a while of competition, Alex cries out, 'Who keeps combo-ing me?!' And Charlie says, 'I uh-oh.....'
         You probably had to be there."
    -Adam
         "It's a little known fact that this game was originally developed to train medical students, until lawsuits were filed years later by patients complaining of 'being hit in the head with large pills.' Luckily for Nintendo, the game was fun too." -Charlie

    Excitebike
         "The real joy of this game is making your own horrible tracks and subjecting your friends to them." -Charlie

    F-15 City War
         "Why are there TIE Fighters in level 3? Did they just assume no one would get far enough into the game to consider suing them? 'Cos that is totally a TIE Fighter wearing a hat." -Adam

    Final Fantasy
         "Fairly solid. Unfortunately, it is hard to play such a linear game after playing the rest of the series." -Charlie

    Fire 'n Ice
         "A surprisingly simplistic and addictive puzzle game. Well worth a look." -Charlie

    The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy
         "Remind me, why do we want Dino and Hoppy back...?" -Charlie

    Flying Warriors
         "It's a nice attempt and an interesting concept, but 'Flying Warriors' fails on execution. Sluggish controls and bad collision detection hamper this martial arts-cum-RPG." -Adam

    Godzilla
         "Ah, many hours were spent in front of the TV (or in my case, the Commodore 1702 monitor) trying to conquer this game. The storyline's whacked (save the solar system as Godzilla?), but it's still fun to play. Plus, how cool is it to actually be Godzilla? Well, not as cool as it is to play as Mothra! Still a fun - though challenging - game." -Adam

    Gold Medal Challenge '92
         "A fairly fun Olympic events game, but there's a little too much intense button mashing for my liking. The marathon's a nice change of pace, however. A lot more fun with some friends." -Adam

    Golf
         "Although I do believe this is a great game, I must admit that I am very biased, as this was the first game that I ever owned, as my dad didn't get the NES package that included 'Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt'." -Dan

    The Goonies II
         "I've beaten this game at least 15 times, but it's still great fun. 'Ow, what do you do?' " -Charlie

    Gradius
         "This side-scrolling shooter is better than most. Dependence on power-ups makes it a bit of a pain when you die, so practice makes perfect!" -Charlie

    Guerrilla War
         "The game that punishes you for dying...is not this. Very entertaining top-down shooter." -Adam
         "Wow..." -Charlie

    Gumshoe
         "Yet another game I used to own and am probably biased for having owned. I dunno, I like it. It was also pretty tough, which I enjoyed." -Charlie

    Gun.Smoke
         "One of the best shooters for NES. You can buy different weapons, like a shotgun or a machine gun, which is cool. The one downside is that since you spend your money, there really is no running tally of your score. A separate counter for overall score would have been nice." -Charlie

    Heavy Barrel
         "Basically just an inferior 'Ikari Warriors' clone." -Adam

    Home Alone 2
         "I can't quite place my finger on it, but there's something just fundamentally WRONG about 'Home Alone 2'. Maybe it's the fact that Alex DeMeo had a hand in such a wretched game. This platformer does try, but it frustrates too quickly and is not nearly as intuitive as it should be. The graphics, however, are some of the best ever seen on the system." -Adam

    Hook
         "This game really makes me want to swear." -Charlie
         "It's a game based on a movie, and it's not 'Lord of the Rings.' What more do you really need to know?" -Adam

    Hudson Hawk
         "The competition is admittedly stiff, but this may be the worst movie license game I've ever played." -Adam
         "The jumping could have been worse." -Charlie

    Ice Climber
         "Simplistic, yet awesome nonetheless. The hardest part is seeing if you can resist the urge to kill your partner." -Charlie

    Ikari Warriors
         "This game is fun because you get to blow things up. Also people. Hooray for violence and tanks." -Charlie

    Impossible Mission II
         "I've never been able to tell if my copy is just messed up or if the game is actually supposed to look the way it does, but in any event the NES version of 'Impossible Mission II' isn't actually all that good. The original's playability is missing, and instead there seem to be a lot of jumping puzzles instead of thinking ones. The colors are hideous as well. It's entertaining enough in its own right though; it's just not as great as the first one." -Adam

    Jaws
         An actual conversation during the playing of this game:
    Adam: "I hope points are worth something in this game."
    Charlie: "Sorry, crabs and starfish aren't a valid form of currency. Only conch shells!"

    Jordan vs. Bird: One on One
         "A follow-up to the computer game 'One-on-One', where Dr J and Larry Bird duke it out, 'Jordan vs. Bird' is a less-than-worthy successor. The play mechanics are a little off (especially dunking), and it seems to be very foul-prone. But what's more, most of the charm that was in the first game (such as breaking the glass after a super dunk) is missing from this version. Not recommended." -Adam

    Joust
         "Not the best home version out there (that honor goes to the Atari 7800 version), 'Joust' is nevertheless an awesome game. There's nothing really wrong this version - I mean, it's still 'Joust' - so what are you waiting for? Go play one of the best games of the '80s...Buzzard Bait." -Adam

    Kid Icarus
         "Practice makes perfect. This game is a little tough for the beginner, but take your time and you'll see this game's charm. Damn the Eggplant Men!!!" -Charlie

    Kirby's Adventure
         "One of my favorite games of all time, I personally put it above 'Super Mario Bros. 3', and here's why:
         1) The method of advancing to higher levels is completely similar, but in 'Kirby's Adventure' you are allowed the option to travel back to previous worlds.
         2) Secrets are ear-marked in this game, so that if you miss any you can go back and find it, and you won't receive a '100% Finished' status until you find everything.
         3) Kirby was Yoshi and Mario rolled into one person.
         4) Kirby, like Mario, had many, many different guises."
    -Dan

    The Krion Conspiracy
         "Well, the folks at Capcom have done it again, turning out another fine 'Mega Man' game...wait, what? It's not by Capcom? It sure LOOKS like it is...I wonder if Vic Tokai got in trouble for this game." -Adam
         "If I wanted to play 'Mega Man', I'd play 'Mega Man 2'. I admit it is pretty decent, though." -Charlie

    Legendary Wings
         "Before there was 'Dragon Spirit' (like a year before), there was 'Legendary Wings', which did it worse. Although it's nice that there's a two-player simultaneous option, the severe slowdown that results when you and your friend attempt to shoot down the enemies is simply unforgivable. Not recommended." -Adam

    The Legend of Zelda
         "My favorite Nintendo game of all time. Period." -Dan
         "One of the first games I played for NES - and still one of the best - 'The Legend of Zelda' provides for many hours of timeless, tantalizing fun and frolic." -Jason
         "In the wake of later 'Zelda' games such as 'A Link to the Past', 'Ocarina of Time', and 'Twilight Princess', the first 'Legend of Zelda' game is a frustrating experience, and progress in the game comes about from dumb luck as much as any skill. Still, it's the pioneer and, although you may no longer have the patience that you had when you were 11, 'The Legend of Zelda' nevertheless still deserves our attention." -Adam

    Maniac Mansion
         "Great game, terrible port. The control is sluggish and awkward, the graphics are limited by the Nintendo's technology, and so it all looks a little off. Ideally, hunt down a copy for your computer instead, but this'll work in a pinch." -Adam

    Marble Madness
         "This is a good game with a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the part I get stuck at is a ways into the game and it's hard to play knowing you're only going to get a minute or two of practice and ultimately die at that one part. Still, 'Marble Madness' is considered a classic and rightly so." -Charlie

    Mega Man
         "'Mega Man' is fun." -Charlie

    Metal Gear
         "The game is so hard that it's almost unplayable. And the awkward controls make the game unnecessarily harder." -Alex
         "If you can find the patience to get past the first few screens, the game gets better. A bit. Ish. Except for the stupid pit that opens up out of nowhere!" -Adam

    Metal Mech
         "I like the concept, I like the idea, but the jumping mechanic was awkward, both inside the machine and out." -Charlie
         "This game seems very similar to 'Blaster Master', and I'd rather play that." -Adam

    Metalstorm
         "Not only highly innovative, but well made. The level/enemy design on this game is excellent. Give it a go, just try not to disorient yourself." -Charlie

    Mickey Mousecapade
         "See, this is why I never go to the ocean." -Adam

    Monster Party
         "A seriously messed-up game, but fun in its own way. The level designs are whacked and the monsters have to be seen to be believed...an innovative, enjoyable platformer. Plus, Mark pioneered the baseball bat as an offensive weapon long before Ness showed up." -Adam

    MTV Remote Control
         "I changed the channel." -Adam

    Mystery Quest
         "It's kind of fun, though it seems to change what kind of game it is halfway through, from straight platformer to puzzle platformer. But man is it an ugly game." -Adam

    1942
         "This is the worst music ever. The first Atari 2600 game had better music than this atrocity." -Adam

    Ninja Gaiden
         "I get 'Ninja' but what the hell is 'Gaiden'? Perhaps we'll never know...Annoying pitfalls and reappearing enemies keep this from being Top Ten material, but definitely worth a look." -Charlie

    Pinball
         "A classic game, this one is always entertaining, and it's great to pick up for a quick game. It's not really too much more than pinball, but it's done so well that you can't help but enjoy it." -Adam

    Platoon
         "We learned a valuable lesson from this game: Vietnam was not fun." -Adam

    The Punisher
         "A fairly average, mindless shooter, but at least it's better than either movie version of the character." -Adam

    Puss 'N Boots
         "It's got a lot of variety, I'll give it that. That having been said, it's kind of dumb." -Charlie
         "It's a decent enough game, and it's designed for children, so I don't think realism was high on their list. Charlie's just an ass. The ending has to be seen to be believed." -Adam
         "This game is obviously designed for small children with mental handicaps. Nevertheless I got a huge sense of accomplishment and self worth when I finally beat it. It took me all of 5 minutes but it never stops being hilarious. The ending is well worth having to go to gamefaqs.com to learn how to beat the last boss. You thought I was going to tell you how, didn't you? Not a chance. Best ending to a videogame EVER." -Jason Alt

    Rampage
         "It looks better than the Atari 7800 version (probably one of the few games that does), it has better control...and yet in my mind it's not quite as good. There are certain elements that aren't in this version, such as Ralph, certain ways of destroying buildings, and the lovely newspaper headlines. Therefore, probably the weakest of the home console versions. Ideally, you'd want the Sega Master System version, but this is still mindless, entertaining fun." -Adam

    Rampart
         "Imagine mixing 'Tetris' with medieval warfare. It's really a great game, hours of multiplayer fun." -Charlie

    Ring King
         "Is that trainer doing what I think he's doing? And even if he's not, what is he actually meant to be doing there?" -Adam
         "Hours and hours of fellatious fun!" -Alex

    River City Ransom
         "Ah, is there anything better than making punks with names like "Biff" and "Rocko" scream for their mothers? Yes, throwing a lead pipe at the back of your partner's head. I love this game." -Charlie

    Road Runner
         "I like that this was a bit of a different arcade game - it had enough variety to maintain my interest." -Adam

    Roundball: 2-on-2 Challenge
         "Let's see, where to begin...how about with simplistic graphics, annoying music (though it can be turned off), poor collision detection, and a lack of any real fun? This game can be summed up by the fact that I can line free throws up absolutely perfectly, so that the little target thing is in the middle of the net, and still have it bounce back off the rim. A fun basketball game this is not." -Adam

    Rygar
         "This game quite simply kicks ass. A classic action/adventure game, with a decent leveling system. I have yet to beat the last boss.....someday." -Charlie

    Shinobi
         "Nice try, but no. There's a reasonable attempt here to do this awesome game justice, but this version of 'Shinobi' simply blows. Poor graphics (if you die, you fall prone right where you are, even if it's in the middle of the air), bad control, and some lousy collision detection make for a disappointing port. Do yourself a favor: go buy a Master System and its version of 'Shinobi' and leave this one to the dogs." -Adam

    The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man
         "A rather average game. Simpsons games tend to suck, and this one isn't much of an exception." -Charlie

    Skate or Die
         "Ah, is there anything better than knocking your friends on their asses with giant bats? How about doing it on a halfpipe, while you snicker at them? This game brings back good memories for me, as most games I used to own tend to do. Except for the creepy guy at the skate shop... *shudder*..." -Charlie

    Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular
         "Just remember: Charles Schulz was still alive when this game came out." -Adam

    Solar Jetman
         "When I was younger a friend of mine lent me this game. I tried it out. 'Wow,' I thought to myself, 'this is pretty hard - it must be good later on, right?' Wrong. It turns out that the game isn't much fun, and the gravity feature, although a nice idea, is ultimately annoying. Of course, I have the same problem with 'Gravitar.'" -Adam

    Spiritual Warfare
         "This game makes me wish I were Satan." -Alex
         "Probably the best of Wisdom Tree's games, 'Spiritual Warfare' is a reasonably entertaining Zelda-style adventure. It's a fairly original concept, and it's not drawn exclusively from the Bible, which is nice. Oh, and don't listen to Alex. He just doesn't like games that try to teach him anything." -Adam

    Spy Hunter
         "Pales in comparison even to the C-64 version..." -Adam

    Spy vs Spy
         "A port of the First Star computer game, 'Spy vs Spy' is a delightfully sadistic game. The premise is simple: collect a certain number of items before time runs out. Of course, the other spy is trying to collect the exact same items. It's full of traps and deaths and such things that are highly reminiscent of the cartoon in 'Mad'. Highly entertaining, especially with a friend." -Adam

    Stanley: The Search for Dr Livingstone
         "I laughed when I heard the title of this game. Searching through the jungle for Dr. Livingstone is certainly an odd premise. Still, the action/adventure elements make this game seem fresh, and I expect it may have even got a higher rating if I had more time to play it." -Charlie

    Star Trek 25th Anniversary
         "An adventure game which does a good job of capturing the flavor of the original series. While some people won't like it, it's a good buy for anyone seeking a good 'Star Trek' game or something beyond the standard platformer. The music sounds like it comes from a Colecovision, though." -Adam

    Super Jeopardy!
         "The music gets annoying and the point system is seriously messed up. What the hell? And Alex Trebek is noticeably absent. That said, this is decent enough, but I prefer the original." -Adam

    Super Mario Bros.
         "If you're like me, chances are good you don't even need me to tell you about this. You've played it a thousand times before, and you know how it good it is. So it's time to reveal my secret shame: I've never actually beaten this game. Got to Bowser a few times in 8-4, but I choked every time. Oh, the disgrace!" -Adam

    Super Mario Bros. 2
         "The odd one out, but it's still a great game. I actually prefer some of the mechanics in 'Super Mario 2' to the regular series, like picking up stuff and throwing it. Hmm, I must have an affection for the slightly different Mario games, since I love 'Super Mario Sunshine' too! This then is very very close to my favorite Mario game ('SMB3' just edges it out - for the moment, at least)." -Adam

    Super Mario Bros. 3
         "Finally, all the planets align and perhaps the best platform game of all time is created. Play it once, play it a thousand times. It don't get much better than this." -Charlie
         "Greatest video game ever. Period." -Alex
         "Rightly praised, it's somewhat difficult now to see just how innovative this game really was. Free movement, lots of options and hidden stuff...what's not to love?" -Adam

    Taboo: The Sixth Sense
         "Not really a game, this is just tarot for the NES. I guess it's executed reasonably well, but what it boils down to is a series of prepackaged computer responses that are unaffected by the player's choices and question. Not recommended, except as a laugh when you're bored, tired, and have exhausted all other means of entertainment, including self-inflicted Chinese water torture." -Adam
         "Apparently the only thing 'taboo' in this game is giving a straight answer to your question." -Charlie

    Tecmo Super Bowl
         "The only NES sports game that was better than 'Baseball Stars'. Although you couldn't create players or teams, it came complete with every starting player in the NFL as well as many offensive back-ups. Also, it kept *very* extensive season stats. It even distinguished between black and white skin tones." -Dan

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II
         "Many, many nights were spent at Charlie's house in elementary school playing and beating this game over and over." -Dan

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III
         "This game was very much like 'TMNT II', but it lacks the sentimental value." -Dan

    10-Yard Fight
         "Makes 2600 Football look good." -Adam

    Tennis
         "I would play it for a bit." -Kara H.

    Tetris (Nintendo)
         "One of the most addicting puzzle games ever created, 'Tetris' still brings the gamers in droves. The more common of the NES versions, Nintendo's 'Tetris' is solid, but the lousy color scheme and the lack of a head-to-head mode (like in the arcade) hinder this one a little." -Adam

    Tetris (Tengen)
         "It may be very hard to find, but Tengen's version of 'Tetris' is the superior one. Great colors, good music, and a head-to-head mode to take your friends on with. This is the 'Tetris' to play, and it's a shame Nintendo had to kill this one off. A bona fide classic." -Adam

    Tetris 2
         "'Tetris 2' takes elements of 'Tetris' and 'Dr. Mario' and mixes them together into a 'new' game. Essentially it's nothing more than 'Dr. Mario' with different graphics, but at least it's still fun." -Adam

    The Three Stooges
         "I don't know what to make of this game. It's essentially a collection of somewhat amusing minigames. It doesn't really have much in the way of replay value, but the voices are reasonably impressive for Nintendo, and the beginning is moderately amusing. However, it's really just a pretty average game." -Adam
         "Eww." -Charlie

    Time Lord
         "Would be higher [than 7.5], but it was really damn hard in some places." -Dan

    Toki
         "Sometimes you just gotta wonder what these video game designers were on...a port of the 1989 TAD Corp. arcade game, in 'Toki' you assume the role of a caveman-turned-ape who's off to rescue his cave-princess. A fun platformer, though the graphics suffer somewhat in the downgrade." -Adam
         "A decent game, but it gets a lower rating since I was able to make it most of the way through on the first pass." -Charlie

    Totally Rad
         "An average platformer, but deserves special mention for the amazingly silly cutscenes. Totally gnarly, dude." -Adam
         "Dude, this game, like, totally sucks ass." -Charlie

    Total Recall
         "Warning: Contains quotes not from the movie 'Total Recall': 'I'll be back.'" -Alex

    Touchdown Fever
         "This game gave me the fever to play something else." -Adam

    Track & Field II
         "Was no fun unless you had a turbo controller, but then it was great! Also carries sentimental value." -Dan

    Uninvited
         "From the people who brought you 'Deja Vu' comes another adventure game, this one set in an old house. It's the same style of game, but the annoyingly frequent deaths and the significantly greater backtracking make this the lesser game." -Adam

    The Untouchables
         "There are some nice ideas here, and the variety of styles is appreciated, but the controls feel too mushy, which is a real drawback." -Adam

    Wally Bear and the "No!" Gang
         "HA HA HA HA! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!" -Adam

    Where's Waldo?
         "Take the classic fun of finding Waldo, convert the rich illustrations to blocky 4-color graphics, and then spend all of your time clicking around the screen in an attempt to distinguish Waldo from all the other red and white blobs on the screen. I think you get the picture." -Adam

    Widget
         "This game is too hard! How they expect their target audience of young kids to come even close to enjoying this game is beyond me. The game is cartoonish and moves well, but that's about it." -Adam
         "The only thing I hate more than a bad video game translation of a bad cartoon is a bad video game translation of a bad cartoon that is FRICKIN' IMPOSSIBLE!! Buy a copy, then destroy it to relieve the world of the misery it will inevitably cause." -Charlie

    Win, Lose or Draw
         "It doesn't matter what you draw, it ends up looking like a triangle. One time the answer was 'triangle'. It took forever to guess it. However, with a group of friends this game is surprisingly fun." -Adam

    World Class Track Meet
         "As I recall, we spent more time trying to find ways to cheat (beating the Power Pad with our hands, jumping off for the long jump) than playing this correctly. But, as Power Pad games go, this is one of the better-made ones." -Charlie

    Wrecking Crew
         "An interesting, fun little game, 'Wrecking Crew' has unfairly been relegated to the ranks of obscure Nintendo releases. It's basically a puzzle game, but it's well-designed and surprisingly fun. The fact that Mario and Luigi can't jump may be initially off-putting to some people, but spend a little time with 'Wrecking Crew' and you'll see how fun it can be." -Adam

    Xexyz
         "The game with the unpronouncable title, 'Xexyz' is a fun, largely successful merging of the platform and side-scrolling shooter genres. Never less than entertaining, colorful, and definitely a sleeper title worth checking out." -Adam

    Yo! Noid
         "Ever want to play a crappy video game, but afraid you'll miss shameless corporate advertising in the process? Well, look no further!" -Charlie

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
         "It's an RPG, and it's an action [game]. Plus, you have a save feature. The main reason it doesn't get a 10 is because the last level was always impossible for me to beat. Getting the hammer out of Death Mountain was kind of frustrating too, because it would take at least 45 minutes to get there, and I would often die right in front of it, and have to start over again. Grr..." -Charlie

    Bonus! Our NES Top 25 List

    Site last updated: February 9, 2017

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