Saturday, April 23, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite NES Games

Today's list should prove a little less surprising, if equally as inflammatory as the the last. I'm sure if you took a poll of the Top NES games of all time, you'd see the usual suspects sweep the podium. Zelda is great, Mario is great (Except the second one), Metroid is great. We all know this.

The thing about children though is that they don't always like the things they are supposed to like. You can't tell them that they should love a game just because it's popular and well respected. Kids are brutally honest in that regard, and utterly without pretensions. They like what they like and nobody is going to tell them different. With that in mind, here are the 5 NES games I loved most.

#5. Micro Machines

No surprises here. You can read my earlier article on this one. Alone or with a friend, Micro Machines was always a great time. The best thing about it though would have to be the sound it makes when you score a point against the other player. Like a chorus of angels. The sound of pure, unadulterated victory.

#4. Little Ninja Brothers

What kid didn't love ninjas? My brother and I would play the hell out of this game. Then we'd watch Three Ninjas on VHS and pretend that we were ninja brothers. Simpler times those were. This game was a strange mix of RPG and beat-em-up, with catchy music and a lot of personality. Definitely an under-rated gem of the NES library.

#3. Mega Man 2

The best Mega Man game to date. This game pretty much established the template that the later Mega Mans would follow. To me this game maintained the perfect balance of fun and frustration. There was no sliding and no charged shot, but you didn't need them anyway. I was never able to beat Dr. Wily's castle so my older brother had to do it for me. I didn't mind though, fighting the robot masters was the best part. I didn't really give a shit about Dr. Wily.

#2. Super Mario 3

Maybe the reason I disliked Mario 2 so much was because it completely and utterly paled in comparison to this fucking behemoth of awesomeness. It's like God himself on the 7th day created the most incredible, sublime, dick shittingly, fun-fuckingly fabulous Nintendo game in the history of the universe. So great in fact, that it had it's own movie starring Fred Savage. Times change, people come and go, but Mario 3 will always be awesome.

#1. Guerrilla War

Hail the heroes of the revolution! This one probably isn't a big surprise. Sure there are more polished, more technically impressive games on the NES. But more fun? I seriously doubt it. This game defines couch co-op. Just you and a buddy plowing through waves of enemies, fighting over power-ups and trying not to shoot hostages. Guerrilla War is complete chaos from start to finish. Beautiful, wonderful chaos. It might not stand out as a single player game, but as a bonding experience it's hard to top. Now I know how the real Guevara and Castro must have felt.

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