30 Iconic NES Games Still Being Played

NES Games That Marked An Era

Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) has more than 700 titles. Following the failure of Atari in producing video games, this number of titles is quite a feat. NES has created well-known video games from the 1980s to early 2000.

Following is the list of the 30 best NES games still being played. There is no particular order in which games are listed so less-known games get their deserved exposure.

30. Balloon Fight

Balloon Fight nes coverThis game has overly simplistic graphics, but it’s one of the most exciting games we played as kids. The gameplay is rather straightforward. Pop the bad guys’ balloon while trying to avoid obstacles that’ll burst your balloon. One or two players could play this game simultaneously.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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29. TMNT 3: The Manhattan Project

TMNT 3 the Manhattan Project nes game coverWe are avid fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. When NES introduced this game, it was a big hurray for us. The game features ten stages with amazing visuals. Although the game borrowed some elements from its arcade counterpart, it still is one of the best brawling games with many challenging opponents.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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28. Metroid

Metroid nes coverThis game is a total upgrade in the NES series of games. It features a complex role-playing concept where players can save the progress of the character. Not the stats related concept similar to the RPG of today’s games however. Back then, a constant exploration and character’s upgrade were enough to make a player  get excited every time they finish a stage.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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27. Pin•Bot

Pin Bot nes coverWho could forget Pin•Bot, the digitized version of pinball? We could play this for hours back then, even scoring a million points if we got lucky enough to unlock a specific feature. The game is essentially a physics-related one. The excellent mimicry of an actual pinball digitized in the screen is amazing.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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26. Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Double Dragon II The Revenge coverDouble Dragon 2 is legendary brawl game with two players mode where you can team up as Lee brothers. With punches and kicks, it feels like you could conquer the world (at least in the game). Each stage is visually appealing compared to its predecessor.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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25. Blaster Master

Blaster Master coverThis game features a tank that can swim, fly, jump and climb walls. However, the tank can’t traverse all types of spaces. Here comes the humanoid mode named Jason. In Jason mode,  character is agile but vulnerable to attacks. You can find many power-ups to upgrade both the tank and my weapon. Those will come in handy once you stumble on swarm of enemies.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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24. NES Open Tournament Golf

NES Open Tournament Golf coverNES nailed it again when it introduced this game. For just few bucks you could have endless hours of golf-like experience. Golf lovers at that time were thrilled. Of course, nothing compares to the actual playing but NES Open Tournament Golf proved to be a great alternative.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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23. Double Dribble

Double Dribble nes coverDouble Dribble is intuitive game that allow players to control the characters and compete like a real basketball team. Back in the days every basketball fan with NES spend endless hours with this game. Even though the animations and flashy exhibitions are poor compared to the basketball video games of today the game is still fun to play.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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22. Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos coverNinja Gaiden 2 comes with an upgrade from the previous version. The action is still the same, fun and endless. Test your abilities and defeat the boss at break-neck speed. Addition compared to predecessor is that Ryu, the main character in the game, has a new ability of summoning a shadow ninja. With this your chances of survival are much higher.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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21. Baseball Stars

Baseball Stars hd coverGame features the US most favorite sport, baseball. Baseball Stars allow players to save progress. Creating and editing team members is also available, which was rarity at that time. It tracks personal records that you can view. 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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20. Adventures of Lolo 3

Adventures of Lolo 3 hd coverThe Adventures of Lolo 3 introduced Lala, Lolo’s girlfriend as a playable character. The gameplay is essentially similar to its predecessor. Solving puzzles while dodging enemies. Game has more than 100 stages that’ll keep you entertained for hours. Since Lala is a new playable character, rather than an NPC, you can switch between them.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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19. River City Ransom

River City Ransom hd coverRiver City Ransom is a hybrid game featuring RPG and arcade concepts. It features two characters who are delinquent high schools. Player can snatch up cash from defeated enemies and use it to buy goods and upgrades. One of the most beloved game from NES era. Needless to say it’s being played by many even today and it just never gets old.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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18. Crystalis 

Crystalis CoverCrystalis is a role-playing game based on the widely popular Legend of Zelda. Despite its core of the popular game, Crystalis pace is much faster. It introduced grinding to gain experience points. Another addition is that you can move the character in eight directions as opposed to Zelda and its four directions.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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17. Contra

Contra 1987 coverGame features two characters who were sent to defeat Red Falcon, organization of alien invaders. The caveat is that one single hit can kill you. Game is ridiculously difficult but that’s what made it so popular. That and endless hours of fun it provides, especially in co-op mode. An additional character in the game adds more adventure to this already adventurous bullet-fest, run-and-gun Konami masterpiece.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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16. Tecmo Super Bowl

Tecmo Super Bowl nes CoverTecmo Super Bowl is the only NES game that is still updated, allowing loyal fans of Super Bowl to experience the latest game season and playoffs. It has great soundtracks, features the NFL license, and includes player stats from the current game season. More than three decades and games is still alive and updated, that’s dedication.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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15. Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy nes coverThe most popular RPG of all time had its humble beginning in 1990. Even after three decades this game never stopped to amaze. It still has the mind-bending storyline that is unique to the franchise. In the 1990s, Final Fantasy had advanced gameplay with its many challenging adventures as compared to the other role-playing games at that time.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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