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The NES' main console competition was with the Master System (along with other PC games, but they had their own competitions to deal with). But the NES proved most famous of its gen and though it may not have specs like the Master System's, its library is far better, thanks to colossal 3rd party support. The old console wars has long died down, and you should try both if you can!
If you're a real collector, get an NES 101 (the toploader), seen here as it plays PAL NES games, and has a port that makes it compatible with the Famicom Disk System! However IT DOES NOT PLAY FAMICOM GAMES due to the pin difference, you'll have to get a top loading Game Genie or a converter to play them.

The List

Title Genre Description Title Screen Screenshot
1943 Shoot 'Em Up An excellent Capcom shmup that's fairly easy on beginners to the genre, but still proves to be a worthy challenge after a few stages. Unlike the arcade game, you upgrade your weapons and energy permanently over time. WWII themed, of course, except for the lasers. 267-1943 1943 - The Battle of Midway (U) 003
A Boy and His Blob Platformer/Puzzle One of the oft-forgot classics of the NES, A Boy and His Blob is a cute, imaginative tale about a boy who meets an alien blob. The boy is a very normal boy, but the Blob has the ability to change into many different objects with the simple act of feeding him a jelly bean. Each flavor of jelly bean turns the Blob into a different object, which solves many obstacles and puzzles in very fun and interesting ways. The game can be a bit hard, but it leaves a really good feeling when you finish. Definitely recommended. The sequel on Gameboy arguably imrpoves gameplay, and the reimagining on Wii is one of the current gen's best platformers. 266-a-boy-and-his-blob Boy and His Blob, A - Trouble on Blobolonia (U) 003
Abadox Shoot 'Em Up Fuck yeah, Abadox! Natsume was really good at making NES action games, and Abadox is a great example.You're Second Lieutenant Nazal, a badass in a mech that has to defeat the entire planet of Abadox, a world that was infected by an alien species called Parasitis and became a living entity of evil. WAIT WAIT WAIT, before you say anything, yes the concept is ripped straight from Life Force, but you know what? Abadox did it better! Seriously! Good old shmuppin' action with awesome 8-bit graphics and sound, plus both horizontal scrolling levels as well as vertical levels that scroll DOWN, plus tighter controls and a more consistent theme. 166-abadox Abadox (U) 002
Astérix Platformer A rather unknown PAL exclusive. One of those typical but good, short, rather easy and fun platformers like you would find many on the system. Not an extraordinary game but good for some short and simple fun. Don't forget to set your emulator to PAL! Asterix (E) 002 Asterix (E) 003
Adventure Island Platformer/Arcade Control Master Higgins and kill some dinos. This is a classic platformer series, and pretty much every entry is good and follows this sort of formula: Find weapons, eat to live, and even shred through stages on a skateboard. This one in particular is a bit tough though, since control takes some getting used to. Be sure to find Hachisuke (the Hudson mascot bee) to let you continue after a game over! Hudson's Adventure Island (U) 003 Hudson's Adventure Island (U) 002
Adventure Island II Platformer/Arcade Even more Adventure Island goodness. Introduces dinosaur buddies to utilize, each of which have different skills. Stages are less lengthy, but greater in number, which makes it easier to continue after dying. Hachisuke is no longer needed to be found, either. As a big step up from the first, there's no excuse not to have it. Hudson's Adventure Island II (U) 004 Hudson's Adventure Island II (U) 001
Adventure Island III Platformer/Adventure This one lacks the arcade-ish quality of the first two, but it becomes better for it. The best one of the three NES platformers. Hudson's Adventure Island III (U) 002 Hudson's Adventure Island III (U) 001
Adventure of Lolo Puzzle A classic puzzle game. Push blocks around and get to the exit. Of course, it's not nearly as simple as that, which is why the series became well-loved. Adventures of Lolo (U) -!- 001 Adventures of Lolo (U) -!- 002
Adventure of Lolo 2 Puzzle Pretty much the same thing as its prequel, but with new levels. Adventures of Lolo 2 (U) 001 Adventures of Lolo 2 (U) 003
Adventure of Lolo 3 Puzzle Pretty much the same thing as its prequels, but with new levels. Adventures of Lolo 3 (U) 001 Adventures of Lolo 3 (U) 002
Adventures of Rad Gravity, The Action/Adventure
This is, in essence, a Zelda in space with some healthy amount of humour (such as Rad looks a lot like Bruce Campbell with his mighty chin). You roam space and choose from several planets in different star systems to land on, fight different enemy types with a variety of weapons and items, solve some puzzles, and find treasures to help you advance in the game. Some planets require newer power-ups and several visits to find everything. There are also NPC creatures that help you along the way.

Even though you can get health powerups and your trusty computer helps you along the way, the game provides a steady challenge, with decent controls. Be aware of the Castlevania-like damage system: get hit and you'll fly back a little, although it's not as unforgiving.

14-rad-gravity 74-rad-gravity
Barker Bill's Trick Shooting Light Gun / Minigame Got a Zapper? Want something a little more substantial than Duck Hunt or Hogan's Alley? This rather unknown Nintendo-developed light gun game has 3 distinct shooting games and 3 mini-games. Good graphics, bunnygirl, plus a cameo appearance of the Duck Hunt dog whom you can shoot!**(You lose a life, but the dog had it coming.) BarkerBillsTrickShooting BarkerBillsTrickShooting2
Battle Kid: Fortress of Peril Metroidvania/ Don't fucking DIE! An NES game that was released in 2009!? Go figure. It's homebrewed, but it has a legit cartridge. This game is a take on the game, "I Wanna Be The Guy!" It even has the same sprite. The only difference is that it is more Metroidvania like and you get power-ups. Not quite as hard as IWBTG, but still rather difficult. Battle-Kid-Header Battlekid5802
Battletoads Beat 'Em Up A great beat 'em up from a little studio called 'Rare'. It's one of the later NES titles, so not only does it look great, it's a pretty awesome game in its own right. Don't play 2-player unless you're both damn good, because friendly fire is most definitely on, and there's a glitch in a late-game stage that makes it hard to get past in 2-player. Curiously, the Famicom version fixes it and a few other difficult segments to be not as hard (so try that one out). Some versions on other consoles make segments easier as well, especially Turbo Tunnel. That said, for this version in particular:This game is truly the GOD OF MOTHER FUCKING HARD GAMES. Beating this game without cheats (which still makes it hard) makes you one godly gamer. Battletoads (U) 001revised Battletoads (U) 001
Battletoads & Double Dragon: The Ultimate Team Beat 'Em Up Two awesome forces combine to succeed awesomeness. The three 'Toads are finally reunited and get help from the brothers Bimmy Billy and Jimmy Lee. Besides the inclusion of DD heroes and enemies, this is basically Battletoads 2. The sequel improves its visuals, controls, and co-op play without sacrificing any of the series' legendary difficulty.This game was later ported to the SNES, Mega Drive, and Game Boy. Battletoads & Double Dragon - The Ultimate Team (U) 001 Battletoads & Double Dragon - The Ultimate Team (U) 002
Batman: The Video Game Action/Platformer A very challenging Sunsoft platformer based around the 1989 Batman movie. Excellent graphics and art direction especially for 1989. Includes a walljump that you WILL need to master. Feels Ninja Gaiden-ish, but make no mistake, it is one of the better games in that 'genre'. Batman NES ScreenShot1 Batman (U) 001
Batman: Return of the Joker Shooter/Platformer Batman sheds his ninja skills from the first game in favor of FIREPOWER. The game is notably more frustrating due to many beginners' traps and seemingly-unavoidable hits. Minor gripes aside, this is one of the most visually and audibly impressive titles on the NES, and never stops being dark or full of action.

This game was ported to the Sega Mega Drive and SNES (although canceled before release), but those versions are considered inferior.

Batman - Return of the Joker (U) 001 Batman - Return of the Joker (U) 002
Bionic Commando Platformer/Shooter Fantastic platformer in which you are unable to jump and must instead rely on your TOTALLY AWESOME BIONIC ARM to navigate levels. It's like an entire game of using a really primitive Worms grappling hook. Basic level up system, multiple weapons, kill Nazis, etc. Has an infamous cutscene where Adolf Hitler's head fucking explodes. Bionic Commando Rearmed is an epic remake for most modern consoles and PC, and channels the original in fantastic new HD graphics, great 3D models, and balls-to-the-wall attitude. However, playing the original is always suggested before taking on the remake, just to see the evolution. Bionic commando Bionic Commando (U) -!- 001
Blaster Master Platformer/Shooter Another Sunsoft game, Blaster Master has you drive a tank in search of your pet frog, fuck yeah. Very open-ended and difficult, combines driving stages with exploring on foot AND platforming and overhead action.

Had a remix on GBC and a spiritual successor on WiiWare, both of which kick ass. The other BM entries? Uh... not so much.

146-blaster-master Blaster Master (U) 009
Blades of Steel Sports A Konami Ice-hockey game that isn't so much about the hockey as it is about FIGHTING and PUNCHING PEOPLE TO THE FACE. Endless fun. 145 Blades of Steel (U) 002
Bubble Bobble Platformer/Arcade/Puzzle You're a dragon who vomits bubbles. What more needs to be said? Also, good multiplayer puzzlan. Preferred over Halo by 6/10 gamers. 143-bubble-bobble Bubble Bobble (U) 001
Bucky O'Hare Platformer Based on the comic and cartoon series. A Mega Man-esque game by Konami, this game is surprisingly solid. You can switch between characters and utilize their abilities. The arcade game is a beat 'em up, but also made by Konami. Give both a shot, whether you know of the source material or not (The comic is better though). 140-bucky-o-hare Boh
Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout Platformer Bugs has a sweet birthday shindig to get to, but carrot-shaped bricks, walking hammers, and his asshole friends are in his way. Deep shit, man. This rather lame sounding Kemco title is surprisingly solid, with a solid 22 levels with bosses and some pretty decent platforming, and mallet-swinging action. Not to be confused with the Crazy Castle games. Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout Bugs Bunnys Birthday Blowout NES ScreenShot4
Castlevania Platformer The first in a line of many, many games has you, Simon Belmont, take on Dracula to fulfill your legacy. Whippan gaems. It is extremely difficult. The Japanese version has an easier difficulty that was removed from the American release. This game is cash; it is required playing if you own an NES/emulator. 124-castlevania 136-castlevania
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest Platformer/Adventure Often considered the "black sheep" of the series, Castlevania's sequel relates more to Zelda II's style of gameplay. Unexplained requirements to proceed through key areas and (intentionally) lying townsfolk often deter a player from progress. The game still carries the addictive action, music, and scenery of the Castlevania name and is worth a playthrough - even if it means opening a player's guide occasionally. Castlevania II - Simon's Quest (U) 001 Castlevania II - Simon's Quest (U) 002
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse Platformer An overall improvement on the first game. Multiple paths and characters, as well as some seriously experimental music. It is also extremely difficult. The Japanese version had a special sound chip that enabled higher-quality audio, and was overall easier than the American version. If the thought of dealing with moon runes on a few screens scares you, there's even a fan translation of it that brings the best aspects of the Japanese game into English. 137-castlevania-3 138-castlevania-3
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers Platformer Fuck yeah, Chip 'n Dale, good little platformer. Great for co-op. Based on the series (obviously), and features its antagonists as bosses and enemies. The second game isn't as good and the co-op is weaker than this one. Disregard that, I suck cocks. 139-chip-n-dale Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (U) -!- 001
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers 2 Platformer More of the above but with greater artwork, greater boss battles, darker atmosphere and whatnot. Great for co-op. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2 (U) 002
Clash at Demonhead Action/Platformer Vic Tokai, makers of this game, weren't really known for putting out "great" games (because most were hard to the point of ridiculousness). In fact, their gaming division was eventually shutdown. However, a few of these games remain real classics with great gameplay, and Clash at Demonhead is one of them. A solid action platformer with great gameplay, plenty of powers to get, and some anime influence, it's one of the system's overlooked classics. Clash At Demonhead-1 Clash at Demonhead (U) 001
Cobra Triangle Racing/Shooter Another great game by Rare. You control a speed boat which can fly, shoot, fire missiles and wreck havoc all around. Your goal in this game vary from level to level. There are racing missions, collect bonus stages, protect people levels, etc. So you won't find yourself bored by this game. Cobra20Triangle Cobra Triangle NES ScreenShot2

Contra [NTSC]
Probotector [PAL]

Platformer/Shooter The ultimate in run 'n gun gaming, Contra is hard. Good hard. Use your twitch reflexes and spread gun to prevent that asshole Red Falcon from taking over the world. Great for co-op. Released as Probotector in PAL territories, where characters are hilariously replaced as robots. This became a canon(!) in-joke for years to come. 148-contra 152-contra
Cowboy Kid Platformer Basically controls a lot like the first few Ganbare Goemon games, but in the Ol' West, pardner. Despite the boxart by Romstar, you're just a deputy kid, so you gotta work your way up from your Bowie Knife-er to a Gunslinger (even then you have to FIND the gun). Lacks Goemon's zany humor and is a wee bit repetitive early on, but still keeps true to the series it homages/rips off, and gets better when you fight bosses. A second player can help simultaneously as your Native American brother-in-arms. Cowboy kid title Cowboy kid screen
Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge Sports Track and Field: Hardass Edition. Involves marathon running and swimming, fight contests, building hopping, and hammer toss golf. Hope you've got fast fingers. Play with another person, because the CPU is a cheating asshole. Has a DS spiritual sequel: River City Super Sports Challenge . Crash 'n the Boys - Street Challenge Title Crash 'n the Boys - Street Challenge Gameplay
Crystalis Adventure/RPG This is basically SNK's attempt at a Zelda clone, and somehow, they did fucking better (SNK not making a fighter or run 'n gun?). A really fun game that plays like Zelda, but faster and your hero levels up like in an RPG. The game should last you a while; it's definitely one of the better games on the console. There's a GBC port, but it sucks dick. 147-crystalis Crystalis (U) 002
Darkwing Duck Action/Platformer Another classic Disney title made by Capcom. While not as famous as Duck Tales or Chip'n'Dales, it's still a fucking great game. It's also more challenging than those. It kinda plays like Mega Man except with slightly more platforming involved and it's a bit more linear in boss fights. Darkwing Duck (U) 003 Darkwing Duck (U) 002
Defender Of The Crown Strategy
Most of the game is based on a classic strategy game gameplay but you also have some knight tournament and other such events which are rather unique. Defender of the Crown (U) 002 Defender of the Crown (U) 003
Déja Vu Point and click
A point and click adventure game. Revolves around clearing your alibi after being set up for a murder you didn't do. Kick ass film noir style, although not without humor as you can be eaten by crocs living in sewers (!) among other humorous game-overs. Has a sequel available on other systems, and packed with the first on GBC. Deja Vu (U) 001 Deja Vu (U) 002
Double Dragon Beat-em-up Classic beat 'em up game, street punks have taken your girlfriend and it's up to you, Billy Lee, to teach them a lesson. If you like spin-kicking chicks with chains, sparring with giant bald men, and arrows telling you when and where to "Go!", this game is for you. 149-double-dragon Double Dragon (U) 001
Double Dragon II: The Revenge Beat-em-up Superior to the first game because of the epic Co-Op play. Snatch up a buddy and rid the streets of crime, martial arts style. Has an odd button choice where you can hit in-front of or behind you, but you'll get used to it soon enough. 150-double-dragon-2 Double Dragon 2 - The Revenge (U) 001
Dr. Mario Puzzle (DISCLAIMER: Mario is not a real doctor. Do not let him touch you in a way or in a place that makes you feel uncomfortable). Mario Cures Cancer. Create combinations of pills to make viruses explode. Puzzle game similar to Puyo Puyo. The 2-player game develops into an exciting race for the last virus. Dr. Mario (JU) 002 Dr. Mario (JU) 001
Dragon Warrior RPG A.K.A. Dragon Quest, the definitive JRPG. Still pretty fun, and more fair than Final Fantasy NES (which has dem insta-kills man). Takes inspiration from Wizardry and Ultima. No parties here, you're all alone. Prepare for some hefty grind, both for levels and weapons. If you aren't tough and patient enough for this bad boy, consider trying the easier GBC or SNES version, both of which come with Dragon Quest II. Dragon Warrior Dragon Warrior (U) (PRG1) 001
Dragon Warrior IV RPG You control different characters in different chapters, and they all band together in the last (which is longer than all the others combined). Despite having a great DS remake, some people also like this version, some even find it superior. You may feel differently, but why not give it a try? For an NES game, it is pretty damn impressive to say the least and there is a good handful of differences to warrant playing both versions.
For extra nostalgia, consider using the official guide, found as a .pdf HERE.
Dw4-scr Dw4nes 007
Duck Tales Platformer A cartoon game that felt Capcom's love. They had a knack for producing good licensed titles, and this is one of them. You are Scrooge McDuck on a 2D platforming quest for more money. If it looks and feels like Mega Man, that's no coincidence, they were done by the same team. Duck Tales NES ScreenShot1 Duck Tales (U) 001
Duck Tales 2 Platformer Everybody knows Duck Tales, but few have played the sequel. Developed by a different team, and while sharing the same engine and basic gameplay, it is considered by most people to be worse than its prequel. That said, the songs aren't as catchy, but are moody, fit the themes of the stages, and set a great atmosphere. Graphics are more detailed than in the first one. The level design is more intricate and holds many more secrets, the placement of enemy is better thought, and the hit detection, which was a bit clunky in the original, was fixed. Whichever title of the two you think is best, chances are that if you like one of them, you'll also enjoy the other. Duck Tales 2 (U) 001 Duck Tales 2 (U) 002
Excitebike Racing A true classic. Simple but awesome motorbike racing, really needs no introduction. You can even make your own tracks. Unfortunately there's no battery to save them.
The FDS version (and the American Wii version) has this save function intact. It was left in the NES version when NoA had plans to bring the disk system over, but ultimately ditched the project.
Excitebike Title Excitebike Gameplay
Faria: A World of Mystery And Danger! Action/Rpg This plays like a cross between Zelda 1 and Dragon Quest 1. Like Zelda, there are dungeons with puzzles, secrets, and treasure, along with real time monster fighting. Like DQ, you level up, there's an overworld and you buy gear and items from towns. Random battles take place on the overworld, but they play out like Zelda's fighting system (so essentially it's like Crystalis, but they came out the same year, so no one copied anyone) No, I mean they actually are random. You take a step or five, the screen goes black, BAM, random battle in a mini-arena. Not bad if you've got the patience to get past the early difficulty spike; however, as a slight spoiler, be sure to name your character something gender ambiguous. Faria (U) 200911152128451 Faria (U) 001
Felix The Cat Platformer One of those typical but good, short, rather easy and fun platformers like you would find on the system. Not an extraordinary game, but good for some short and simple fun. Maybe it's because the power-up transformations are just too cool? Beats me, but it was made by Hudson, who you should know from above. Felix the Cat (U) 001 Felix the Cat (U) 002
Final Fantasy I RPG The classic JRPG by Square. Make a party of 4 characters from 6 different jobs. Mix and match these six choices, even choosing more than one of the same job. If that wasn't enough, at a certain story point, ALL of your 4 allies promote to better classes. This has a rather epic storyline that to this day, still requires a long window of time to beat. FF1 got remade and ported to a number of systems, said remakes added and altered a number of things to be more in line with later FF games. The GBA and PSP versions are the easiest. The GBA version may not look or sound as pretty as the PSP version, but the action flows faster and also comes with Final Fantasy II's remake. Finalfantasy Final Fantasy (U) -!- 001
Fire'n Ice Puzzle/Platform A great puzzle platformer based around... fire and ice. It plays a lot like Solomon's Key, which makes sense, given that it's the same hero, only younger. Difficulty is very progressive so you have time to learn step by step. Fire 'n Ice (U) 001 Fire 'n Ice (U) 002
Gargoyle's Quest II Platformer/RPG A sequel to a Gameboy game on the NES. Gargoyle's Quest II is a fantastic Platformer/RPG hybrid by Capcom starring Red Arremer/Firebrand, everyone's favorite red asshole from Ghosts 'N Goblins. The platforming gameplay is extremely solid, the RPG elements are well placed, the action is great, and this is easily one of the NES' best looking games. The biggest fault is that's it way too damn short! The first game is highly recommended, but it doesn't matter if you play them in order because the stories aren't connected. The third game in this trilogy is also unrelated story-wise, and is one of the SNES' best platformers (that game being Demon's Crest). Gargoyle's Quest II - The Demon Darkness (U) 002 Gargoyle's Quest II - The Demon Darkness (U) 001
Ghosts 'n Goblins Platformer One of the hardest games ever made. You are Arthur, a noble knight trying to save Princess Prin-Prin from Satan. You are very slow, all the enemies are very fast, there's a timer, and 2 hits and you die. You must complete the game twice to get the true ending. Thankfully, there's a cheat code to level select. As you can guess, it's pretty much RAGEQUIT: The Game. Oh, and there's sequels, which can be even harder at times. 170-ghosts-n-goblins Ghosts'n Goblins (U) -!- 002
Ghoul School Action/Platformer Ghoul School places you in the role of a dude who has to rescue his girlfriend from Admiral Aorta, located somewhere inside the school. Oh yeah, the school has been taken over by aliens and ghosts, so you better start finding weapons and shoes to beat them with. Very nice music too. Ghoul School Ghoul School (2)
G.I. Joe Action/Platformer An action game based on the G.I Joe universe. You have several characters to choose from, each with different abilities. You can switch between three in each stage, power them up, find hidden vehicles to mow enemies down (just like in Low G Man or Metal Slug), and counter terrorists with terrorism by planting bombs in their bases. There are two additional quests where checkpoints are moved around and then outright hidden. G.I. Joe (U) 001 G.I. Joe (U) 003
G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor Action/Platformer Another action/platformer based on the G.I. Joe universe. This one is usually considered to be worse than the first one (there are no vehicles), but still a pretty good game nonetheless (there are more characters and you can choose your path). G.I. Joe - The Atlantis Factor (U) 001 G.I. Joe - The Atlantis Factor (U) 002
Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode Action/Adventure DUKE TOGO, MOTHERFUCKERS! One of the more mature games for the NES. Sex, drug use, and graphic violence, it's all there (although uncensored it was rather toned down from the Japan version). You fight Nazis (or rather you would if you played Japan's version). Kind of bland at times, and kind of weird at others (killing people earns health?!) and the music sucks, but it's still somehow pretty good. Note: The anime/manga is damn good too. Golgo13nes-1 Golgo 13-sex1
The Goonies II Action/Platformer Classic side-scrolling action based on the hit 80s movie The Goonies. Switch between side-scrolling and point-and-click mechanics to explore the Fratelli hideout to find your friends and items. Think Metroid but with yo-yos and spring shoes. Much to everyone's surprise, you also save a mermaid. The Goonies II Title The Goonies II Gameplay
Gradius Shoot 'Em Up Gradius, one of the most classic and recognizable SHMUPs ever made. Shoot the core! Gradius Title Gradius (U) 002
The Guardian Legend Shoot 'Em Up / Action-RPG You play as Alyssa, a cyborg-warrior-jet-person who explores a massive space station. Along the way, you find power-ups and weapons to get stronger as you encounter various traps and mutated monsters.
BUT NOT SO FAST! This is more than an adventure game! You also must travel into deep space through extensive shoot 'em up sections and take on huge and powerful monstrosities in jet mode! The power ups and weapons you find in both modes carry over between the two as well! Thus, in addition to other great elements, this lovely melting of the two modes is why this game is so highly regarded by fans of both genres. Definitely give it a try!
Guardian legend Guardian legend screen
Gun.Smoke Shooter A classic top-down shooter with a western setting. The most casual of you will need to activate the turbo button for this one. Gun.Smoke (U) 001 Gun.Smoke (U) 004
Heavy Barrel Shooter See the top down stages in Super C? Well, this game is all about that. Even the weapons are reminiscent of Contra. A good game for fans of the genre, and great for co-op. Heavy Barrel (U) 004 Heavy Barrel (U) 001
Hogan's Alley Shooter It's FUCKING HOGAN'S ALLEY! What else do you need to know? If you can't tell by the screenshots, it's one of the first games to utilize the light gun. Shoot dem bad guys and not them dames and you'll be fine (that is if your light gun still works). Hogan's Alley Hogans Alley NES ScreenShot3
Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors II Action/Platformer The second game, Ironsword, is more or less the same except for shopping and gambling. You have to stop some wizard that controls all four elements. Ironsword - Wizards & Warriors II (U) Ironsword - Wizards & Warriors II (U)2
Jackal Shooter A top-down shooter with a military settings. You control jeeps, you can shoot and throw grenades. Great for co-op. May possibly get a Wii version, but no new news has been announced since 2009... Jackal (U) 001 Jackal (U) 006
Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu Action/Platformer YOU PLAY AS MOTHERFUCKING JACKIE CHAN. Great music, great controls, great everything. Did I mention you play as Jackie Chan? Can YOU name ten great things that aren't Jackie Chan? I didn't think so. Go play this shit right now. Also ported to Turbografx-16. Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu Title Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu Gameplay
Journey to Silius Platformer/Shooter This game pretty much plays like a mix between Mega Man and Contra. Excellent sound (being the first Sunsoft game to have their legendary bass synth) and visuals, this was originally a Terminator game, but the license was canceled. The game presents a decent amount of challenge, and is certainly one of of the better games of it's ilk. 172-journey-to-silius 176-journey-to-silius
Jurassic Park Action/Shooter A top view action game. You go around levels collecting eggs and keycards, shooting dinos on your way. A bit challenging and repetitive, but with a really good graphic style and great tunes. Jurassic Park (U) 007 Jurassic Park (U) 008
Kabuki Quantum Fighter Action/Platformer A fun action-platformer in which you fight with your hair. You also enter a computer. Some good platforming also involved. This game sounds pretty weird, but it's kick-ass. Like Ninja Gaiden in robot-world where you have a mop of hair instead of a sword. Kabuki - Quantum Fighter (U) 001 Kabuki - Quantum Fighter (U) 002
Kid Icarus Platformer/Arcade/Adventure This plays similar to Metroid. In fact, it was made by the same guy, Gunpei Yokoi. You play as Pit, an angel-in-training, who must defeat Medusa to save the Angel Land mentioned in the title. It's like a blending of elements found in Metroid, Super Mario Bros, and Zelda. You can upgrade Pit's gear, find secret shops and passages, and there's fortresses and bosses to conquer. It's been noted for its difficulty, but after the first stage and an upgrade or two, it isn't as bad as some make it out to be. This is definitely worth a try, along with its Game Boy sequel port, which improves a number of elements from this game, and has more challenges to face. 180-kid-icarus 193-kid-icarus
Kick Master Platformer/Action Cool game by Taito. This game plays similar to Castlevania. You are a martial artist who has to rescue a princess and avenge the death of his brother. You don't have any weapons to fight the armies of monsters, you just kick 'em; you also learn new kicks along the way. The game also uses basic RPG elements, such as earning EXP from monsters, as well as the use of magic. Kick Master-1 Kick Master (U) 001
Kickle Cubicle Puzzle/Action This game is Irem's answer to Lolo. The puzzler stars an Eskimo named Kickle who is out to save the citizens of four childhood-themed lands from the Wizard King's winter chill. Kickle fights frost with frost, using his breath to crystallize foes and to solidify the watery gaps that surround the uncomfortably-bagged hostages. Controls are fluent and the difficulty ramps steadily - it is friendly to newcomers and develops into a ball-busting challenger towards even the most seasoned puzzle gamers. Kickle Cubicle (U) 001 Kickle Cubicle (U) 002
Kirby's Adventure Platformer A game that gets the most out of the NES hardware, the pink blob's first console adventure is insanely charming. This is where Kirby's "copy" ability comes into play. Eating certain enemies gives him new abilities. You can only have one ability at a time, but you can get abilities from enemies scattered all over the place. Info on these and the Kirby series in general can be found here! Note: This game also had a GBA remake in the form of Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land Kirby's Adventure (U) (PRG1) -!- 002 Kirby's Adventure (U) (PRG1) -!- 001
Kiwi Kraze Platformer Also known as, "The New Zealand Story." Some asshole walrus stole your Kiwi friends. Navigate through several scrolling-maze like levels while avoiding enemy fire and spikes. Take control of the cute Kiwi and use arrows, bombs, fireballs, and LASERS. Definitely give this a try, it's really overlooked. KiwiKraze1 KiwiKraze2
The Legend of Zelda Adventure/Puzzle It's dangerous to go alone, take this. Collect all eight pieces of the shattered triforce, defeat Ganon, and save princess Zelda in a huge, open-ended world filled to the brim with dangerous dungeons. Bitches don't know 'bout my Magic Shield. Classic, must-play, etc. 208-legend-of-zelda-the Legend of Zelda, The (U) (PRG1) 001
Life Force (NTSC)/Salamander (NTSC-J) Shoot 'Em Up You're thinking, "wait, didn't you already tell us Abadox was a better Life Force than... Life Force?" Well, yes, and no. They're both worth playing, and while Abadox has much better stage design and gameplay, Life Force also has some of it's own quirks, including multiplayer, so there's no reason just to skip out on one over the other. Grab a buddy and blast your way through space with this awesomely fun game. Konami NES quality stuff. 155-life-force 165-life-force
Little Nemo: The Dream Master Platformer See Duck Tales for the magic Capcom could do with licenses. While the cartoon movie is all but forgotten, this little gem of a game has a childlike atmosphere but the difficulty of a lunar landing. Feed candy to animals and WEAR THEIR SKIN to get new powers. Little Nemo - The Dream Master (U) 002 Little Nemo - The Dream Master (U) 001
Little Samson Platformer An excellent platformer, completely forgotten because it went out really late for the NES in 1992. But still a beautiful one with different characters to control with different abilities, each of whom team up in the last chapter. Be warned: if you must have a hard copy, Little Samson is expensive, regularly reaching prices over $100, and while being a good game, is not worth that much. Emulate. Little Samson (U) 006 Little Samson (U) 002
Lode Runner Platformer/Puzzle/Arcade The object of this game is to find all the treasure and escape while avoiding the goons out to get you. For an early title, this one's really classic, and became a short-lived phenomenon in Japan. This game even has a map/level editor so you can try and challenge your friends to your own maps. Great, great stuff. There's a version on the TG-16 that has multiplayer as well. Lode Runner (U) 003 Lode Runner (U) 002
The Mafat Conspitacy Action/Adventure This game is the sequel to "Golgo 13 - Top Secret Episode" It has great graphics, cool cutscenes, good story and a lot of variety. It's much, much better than the first game. It has a really long-ass intro though.
M.C. Kids Platformer Don't let the Angry Video Game Nerd's review of this fool you, it's actually a pretty well-made game, albeit derivative. The goal of each level is to find and pick up cards to get whatever McDonald's character you're currently helping to send you on to the next area. There are some interesting ideas, such as twirlers that spin you around and reverse gravity. All in all, not terrible, but don't expect something the likes of a Mario either. M.C. Kids Title M.C. Kids Gameplay
The Magic of Scheherazade Adventure/RPG Good adventure/RPG game from Culture Brain. Along with real-time overworld battles and adventuring, there are also traditional turn-based battles like in an RPG. Loved for its interesting themes such as time-travel, weather manipulation, and so on, but also its great soundtrack, which is actually different from the Japanese original! Magic of Scheherazade, The Title Magic of Scheherazade, The Gameplay
Maniac Mansion Point 'n' Click/Adventure A LucasArts classic. Hilarious and somewhat spooky adventure game with a stellar reputation for all the right reasons. After playing through the game, you'll definitely feel rewarded, it's that good. Also available on the PC with far less censorship. Though this one is still worth playing, ya tunahead. ManiacMansionTitle Maniac Mansion (U) 001
Mega Man Action/Platformer Yeah, you fucking heard me, MEGA MAN! Not quite as good as 2 or 3, less polished, but still great. It's so hard it will make you cry. For those not in the know, Mega Man starts off with a simple arm cannon with unlimited ammo, but after beating a "robot master", one of the bosses you select, he obtains that boss's weapon, which he always has from then on. Bosses are also weak against certain weapons from other bosses Unfortunately, these gained weapons DO run on ammo, but you can find weapon refill items in different places and enemies also drop them. Note that the first Mega Man does NOT have a password function, so you must beat it in one go. The PSP remake can make things harder or easier, depending on your difficulty settings. 197-mega-man Mega Man (U) 001
Mega Man 2 Action/Platformer The refinement of the first game, Mega Man 2 has it all. Great soundtrack, spot-on controls and, above all, just great fun. This entry is like the previous one in formula, except that it has passwords as well. In addition, this game introduced "E-tanks" which let you refill your energy from the weapon select menu, and Item-[#] "weapons", which are platforms that you can ride on top of with additional effects that depend on the number (such as jetting forward, floating up, and scaling walls).

With the exception of a few rocky sections, this is one of the easier and more beloved games in the series. It is recommended that players new to the series start here. Hint: the Metal Blade is amazing.

194-mega-man-2 Mega Man 2 (U) 001
Mega Man 3 Action/Platformer The darker sequel to part 2 - and just what the series needed. Introduces Proto Man, a rival character with plot relevance and Rush, a transforming robot dog who replaces the Item-[#]s of MM2, while having similar functions to them. MM3 allows more E-tanks, but it is also one of the longest Mega Man classic games, as it has more stages and bosses. This also added the slide action, which lets Mega Man quickly move forward a brief distance at a lower height, which not only helps with traveling faster, but is handy for dodging attacks as well. 196-mega-man-3 Mega Man 3 (U) -!- 001
Mega Man 4 Action/Platformer Yes, there are six Mega Man games. Mega Man 2 and 3 are really the ones people remember. Capcom, king of direct sequels, got started on the NES. Still, Mega Man 4 through 6 are all fantastic games that you should play if you like the series. Capcom perfected the formula with MM4, and only made minor adjustments from then on. These games are all very consistent in terms of difficulty, level design, and quality. 4 gave Mega Man the ability to charge his Mega Buster. The other weapons are also fantastic and well-balanced. It introduced a new antagonist, the Russian roboticist, Dr. Cossack, but of course Dr. Wily is behind it again. This was the first game to have two castles, a feature which would become the series standard until the end of the NES games. Mega Man 4 (U) 001 Mega Man 4 (U) 002
Mega Man 5 Action/Platformer In Mega Man 5, the charged Mega Buster is quite powerful and your main asset through the game. Unfortunately, the weapons aren't as awesome as in Mega Man 4. This time, Proto Man appears to be the main antagonist, kidnapping Dr. Light in the game's opening. This game also has letters placed in tricky locations in the game's stages to unlock a robotic bird named Beat, who is quite helpful and powerful.
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Mega Man 6 Action/Platformer Ignore the haters, this game is great. By this time, Capcom had gotten quite good at making Mega Man games, and the swan song of NES Mega Man games is fantastic. It has one of the best soundtracks in the series. In this one, you fight robots from all over the world, and some of them are archaic stereotypes, but hey. This game has a unique mechanic where you can use a Rush adaptor to get a jetpack or rocket fist. The best thing is, they have unlimited ammo, so you can use them as much as you want. The stages fork often as well, and are full of secrets. Some of the stages have two different boss chambers, and only by going the more difficult path each time can you collect the letters you need to assemble Beat. Mega Man 6 (U) 001 Mega Man 6 (U) 002
Metal Storm Platformer/Shooter Control a mech and fight through levels. You can change the direction of the gravitational pull to walk on ceilings and shit and the levels and bosses make good use of this feature. Pretty fun game overall and the controls are very tight. Be warned though, this game can have frustratingly punishing levels of difficulty! (And then there's 2nd Quest Mode, which would make Ryu Hayabusa piss his pajamas.) 198-metal-storm Metal Storm (U) 001
Metroid Platformer/Adventure Space pirates and life-sucking metroids are out to ruin your shit while you explore the planet Zebes in your trusty powersuit. Said power suit can be upgraded with multiple enhancements scattered throughout the game. Many love it, while others find it overrated compared to later games in the franchise. End-game tweest: Samus is a girl! Every Nintendo platform has a Metroid game (except the N64), and it has half a genre named after it: Metroidvania. 202-metroid Metroid (U) -!- 002
Mickey Mousecapade Platformer In this NES romp you play as Mickey and Minnie, traversing through a Funhouse-world to save Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) who just so happens to have been captured by Pete (what a douche). Minnie follows you around and cannot be hurt (like Ice Climbers in Smash Bros.) and is invincible to physical attacks. However, if she falls off a ledge you lose a life, and if she gets kidnapped you have to rescue her, which makes for an interesting experience. Overall a great title. Mickey Mousecapade NES title Mickey Mousecapade (U) 002
Mighty Final Fight Beat-em-up A cartoon-looking Final Fight game exclusive to the system. It is rather easy and short but it is a lot of fun. You are given the choice between three characters who all have their own style and moves. The art direction is very beautiful, the music style and soundchip used are reminiscent of Mega Man 5 (except better). Shamefully, it does not have a co-op mode. Mighty Final Fight (U) 001 Mighty Final Fight (U) 002
Mission Impossible Action/Adventure This game plays a lot like Metal Gear, except more action based. Contrary to the NES port of Metal Gear, Mission Impossible is actually great. Be warned though, this game is extremely difficult, maybe even... impossible?! Mission Impossible (U) 001 Mission Impossible (U) 002
Monster In My Pocket Action/Platformer Yet another simple, short, easy but extremely fun action/platformer on the system. On a side note this franchise is the reason Pokemon isn't "Pocket Monsters". It's still great for co-op, though. Monster in My Pocket (U) 001 Monster in My Pocket (U) 002
Monster Party Platformer Your name is Mark. You're on your way home from a little-league baseball game when you are convinced to save a planet of monster people by a creepy gargoyle alien named Bert. It's kind of a typical platformer. you can attack with your bat, or fuse(!?) with Bert by taking pills (!?), which then enables you to fly and shoot lasers for a limited period of time. This game is weird as fuck. This is seriously one of the better platformers on the system, and is often overlooked. Easy to come by and cheap, there's no reason not to own this game. Surprisingly, it was never released in Japan. Monster Party Monster Party (U) 001
Mr. Gimmick (PAL)/Gimmick! (NTSC-J) Platformer Mr. Gimmick is one of the most rare, expensive, overlooked and underrated game on the NES. Outside of Japan, it was only released in Scandinavia. You play as some kind of green Kirby-ish looking character using stars as weapons. Gameplay, music, level design and atmosphere are all excellent. The game is also rather challenging especially if you want the real ending. The AI of the enemies will blow your mind (for a NES game, it also features one of the best bass sound on the NES (partly due to it's unique chip), along side Journey To Silius and Gremlins 2 (all three games are some of Sunsoft's finest - go figure!). It is highly recommended to play the FAMICOM version over the PAL NES one for additional sounds which add a LOT to the music. The only other difference is that you have more lives (30) in the PAL version. Mr. Gimmick (E) -!- 001 Mr. Gimmick (E) -!- 002
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out Sports/Fighting You are Little Mac, pint-sized Rocky wannabe boxing your way to the top. Fight champs from around the world, ending with Mike Tyson himself to claim the World Title. Easily the best sports game on the system, in existence ever, and even people aren't fond of older games can still have a blast with this title. There is an alternate version simply titled Punch-Out. It is exactly the same except Mike Tyson is replaced with a Mr. Dream sprite swap (His contract with Nintendo expired, and they decided not to renew it as he had lost the belt, despite what people claim.) This is acceptable if you simply can't find Mike Tyson's version, but who doesn't wanna take on Iron Mike? Also had a killer Wii remix, which stays faithful in spirit but has a number of interesting changes and challenges. Also, voices! Punch-Out!! (U) 002 Punch-Out!! (U) 001
North & South Strategy/Action Off-shoot of a Belgian comic centered around the American Civil War. Simplified turn-based strategy that works surprisingly very well with the controller. Major under-looked gem. Now considered to be one of the most underrated games on the system, and is likely highly influential. North & South North & South (2)
Ninja Gaiden [NTSC] Action/Platformer Different from the original "arcade hit" beat 'em up, this is actually a platformer! A very difficult and fun classic where you play as a ninja slicing fools up. Features amazing cutscenes for the NES. It was later ported to the Turbografx, some argue that the port is superior. Most disagree due to the inferior music and slight differences. Not to be confused with the Master System and Game Gear games, which are both different, but also quite solid in their own right. The early series is also known as Shadow Warriors in PAL territories and Ninja Ryuukenden in Japan, but nowadays, everyone knows the Ninja Gaiden name! (And it's guyden, not gayden!) Ninja Gaiden NES ScreenShot1 Ninja Gaiden (U) 001
Ninja Gaiden II [NTSC] Action/Platformer Similar to the first, but better, partly due to the fact you can climb up any wall. However, there's some new challenges thanks to weather elements in stages. Ninja Gaiden 2 NES ScreenShot1 Ninja Gaiden 2 - The Dark Sword of Chaos (U) 001
Ninja Gaiden III [NTSC-U] Action/Platformer Similar to its prequels. The NTSC-U and PAL versions were made MUCH harder, which is why you might want to play the FAMICOM version. Hell, here's a quote from "Most significantly, the amount of damage Ryu received from being hit by enemies was doubled in the North American version. Also, the Japanese version boasted a password save feature, unlimited continues, and would restart players within areas after losing lives, rather than returning them to the beginning of areas as in the North American version." Ninja Gaiden 3 - The Ancient Ship of Doom (U) 001 Ninja Gaiden 3 - The Ancient Ship of Doom (U) 002
Nightshade Point and Click/Adventure/Fighting A rather unique adventure game with a lot of humour. Also involves some fighting. A rather difficult game, mostly due to the fact there's no saves (you had to outsmart Sukteh's deathtraps to continue... but he gets fed up after five and just ices you), so use save states. Did you know this game was intended to have sequels, but never did? Did you know that instead of making a direct sequel, the basis of this game was used to develop Shadowrun? Now you know! Nightshade (U) 001 Nightshade (U) 002
Over Horizon Shoot 'Em Up Only released in Europe and in Japan, Over Horizon is a good sidecrolling shooter reminiscent of Life Force. Don't forget to set your emulator to PAL! Over Horizon (E) -!- 001 Over Horizon (E) -!- 002
Paperboy Job Vandalism Simulator You are a lowly paperboy, tasked with delivering newspapers to your customers in a timely and safe manner. Turns out the job isn't as easy as it seems, since kids in big wheels, dogs, bees, the grim reaper, and other hazards want to make your life a living hell. Like it or not, you have a job to do and you have to do it well if you want to make it to the end of the week. Are you a bad enough dude to deliver papers? Paperboy Title Paperboy Gameplay
Power Blade Action/Platformer Power Blade is one of the best action platformers on the NES right up there in the leagues of Ninja Gaiden, Shatterhand, and Mega Man. Originally a somewhat crap Japanese game known as Power Blazer, the translation 'team' (Captain F'N Nintendo) went and made it better by making the cutesy anime protagonist into an action hero badass, as well as expanding the levels in size as well as with branching paths, overall better graphics, and seriously tightening up the controls. In Power Blade you can choose which level you wish to play in whatever order (like Mega Man), and then you beat your way through the level with a robotic-boomerang thing. A must have NES title. Power Blade (U) -!- 002 Power Blade (U) -!- 001
Power Blade 2 Action/Platformer A sequel to the first game. This game is mostly linear, and easier at times with all the specialized suit areas, but still fair in difficulty throughout. Power Blade 2 (U) 001 Power Blade 2 (U) 002
R.C. Pro-Am Racing Balls-to-the-wall awesome R.C. racing game. Collect upgrades on the tracks to improve your little racer and attack the other cars with rockets and oil spills. Also, it was made by a little company called Rare. Beware of THAT FUCKING YELLOW CAR! If you want more multi-player, the sequel supported FOUR drivers. R.C. Pro-Am Title R.C. Pro-Am Gameplay
Rampage Platformer/Arcade Go around punching buildings, tanks, helicopters, and whatnot as either a giant lizard or gorilla. The Werewolf is gone and you only get to attack America. Rampage (U) 003 Rampage (U) 002
River City Ransom [NTSC] Beat-em-up Double Dragon meets an RPG. It hasn't aged particularly well, not enjoyable at all. Just look at that flat orange background, that's pretty much the whole game. DISREGARD THAT I SUCK COCKS. This game fucking rules. It's one of the best beat 'em ups on the NES. You increase your stats by eating food, learn skills by reading books, and you can use nearly anything you find as a weapon, even your enemies, or stick with your bare knuckles. You can even save some food as life-saving snacks and equip certain items. You can even team up with a second player. This game had a few spin-offs and sequels. Some of which drop or change up the RPG formula, but are just as action packed and enjoyable. The characters also show up in a number of sports game spinoffs, often under different names until recent years. River City Ransom (U) 002 River City Ransom (U) 001
Rockin' Kats Platformer In this game you play as a cat. You use a kind of hookshot/glove to hit your enemies and reach higher places in stages. Yes, it's indeed done by Atlus. they make non-Megaten stuff, too! Rockin' Kats (U) -!- 001 Rockin' Kats (U) -!- 002
Rygar Adventure/Platformer This game is interesting because it's like a mix of Zelda and Metroid. It's very fun and challenging to collect all the items you need to defeat certain enemies and solve certain puzzles in a platforming environment in a fantasy world. The only problem is there's no fucking saves or passwords which is just god-damn ridiculous, so kids back in the day would leave their NES on for days or even weeks to play this game, simply pausing and shutting their TVs off when they needed to go to school or sleep. Recommended in ROM format for savestates. The PS2 remake inspired God of War. Rygar Rygar (U) 002

S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team

Shoot 'Em Up A very good side-scroller shoot'em up which plays like Abadox and was made by the same developers. Great for co-op. Just be careful how you research it... SCAT - Special Cybernetic Attack Team (U) 001 SCAT - Special Cybernetic Attack Team (U) 002
Section-Z Shoot 'Em Up An oft-forgotten Capcom shmup. Section Z has you playing as a guy in a space/mech suit, going into a planet and destroying fucking everything. Again, the Life Force/Abadox premise, but in this one the planet isn't alive (besides, this was a year before Life Force came out). The gameplay itself is smooth shmuppin, and everything is of Capcom NES quality. Be on the look out, this game is cheap and easy to find, and EXTREMELY worth it. Also available as part of the Capcom Classics Collection (PS2). Section Z NES title Section Z (U) 001
Sky Kid Shoot 'Em Up Simple, but good shmup from Namco, but with a TWEEST! YOU FLY LEFT. Play as a badass bird in a biplane while you shoot down other planes and pick up bombs. Has some great music (just listen to the stage theme, shit's so cash) and features a co-op mode, which was very rare for the time. Oh yeah, if you get shot down, just mash that A button to stay alive and flying. The B button lets you avoid enemy fire by doing a loop in the air. Available on the Wii Virtual Console if you can't find a cart or don't want to emulate. Sky Kid Title Sky Kid Gameplay
Shadow of the Ninja (NTSC) Action/Platformer Natsume was really good at making NES action games, and Shadow of the Ninja is certainly no exception. As it stands, this one's a bit of a cult classic. Shadow of the Ninja does feel like a bit of a Ninja Gaiden clone, but it does play a bit differently as well as including multiplayer, so there's nothing wrong here. Amusingly, Tecmo bought the rights to this and made a spinoff on the Gameboy as Ninja Gaiden Shadow! It lacked the multiplayer, however, which is for many the defining feature. Pick this up if you ever get the chance, it's a worthy addition next to your Ninja Gaiden games. Also known as Blue Shadow in PAL territories and Kage in Japan. Shadow of the Ninja Shadow of the Ninja (U) 001
Shadowgate Point 'n' Click Adventure A classic point 'n' click game originally on Mac with tons of fucking tough puzzles, plenty of exploring, some great humor, great tunes, and fantastic atmosphere. You will DIE A LOT. Spawned two sequels (on TG16 and N64, respectively). There's also a Gameboy Color port, which changes a bit of text, but has everything more or less intact. The Japanese version text is first-person(?!) and RIDICULOUS AS FUCK. Shadowgate Shadowgate (U) 001
Shatterhand Platformer/Beat 'Em Up Natsume was really good at making NES action games, and Shatterhand is the prime example. 2D action game that involves lots of punching. Punching enemies, punching gates down, punching bullets, and so on. You can also pick up Alpha and Beta icons that give you a robot helper with a weapon depending on a 3-icon combination. Great music and graphics. (Hint: Collect the same combination twice with your robot still functional to wreck shit like God Hand, NES edition.)
The Famicom version of this game, called Tokkyū Shirei Soruburein, was based on a TV show, and is different in a few ways. It is a lot easier. The character and robot sprites are different. A stage and boss is exclusive to each version. The intro is different. But because it is easier, it is also a lot less fun Therefore, it's recommended to play the Japanese equivalent after having completed Shatterhand.


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The Smurfs Platformer A rather unknown PAL exclusive. One of those typical but good, short, rather easy and fun platformers like you would find many on the system. Not an extraordinary game but good for some short and simple fun. Don't forget to set your emulator to PAL if you don't have a top loading NES! Smurfs, The (E) -!- 001 Smurfs, The (E) -!- 002
Snake Rattle 'n' Roll Platformer A classic, fun and original platformer. Control snake heads in an isometric world where each level is a slice of the world map (you can see to the other levels near the edges of the play area). Eat your enemies to grow a longer tail for your snakes to allow the weight scale open the level exit. Pick power ups and find secret areas and level shortcuts. Provides a steady challenge for a long time. Get a co-op partner and start slithering. Snake Rattle'n Roll (U) 001 Snake Rattle'n Roll (U) 002
Snake's Revenge Stealth/Action The non-canonical version of Metal Gear, but still fun regardless. Unlike the other Metal Gear, this one is not a piece of crap. Has the same fun stealth action as the MSX version with some new side-scrolling action (might be rage-inducing). Just because the plot of this isn't tied in with the actual Metal Gear timeline doesn't mean it deserved the hate it got. After all, this game inspired Kojima to make the true sequel to the series. Snake's Revenge Snake's Revenge (2)
Snow Brothers Puzzle/Platformer Join Nick and Tom on their 50 floor quest for their girlfriends and red potions. shoot Ice at your enemies and turn them into cool bowling balls. Despite being an arcade port, the game is relatively easy specially with the unlimited continues, the real challenge lies in getting a "Strike" in every level. It's quite similar to Bubble Bobble, and arguably better. Snow Bros Title Snow Bros Gameplay
Solar Jetman Shoot 'em Up/Adventure Basically Metroid meets Asteroids with gravity. You control a ship (which has a surprisingly satisfying sense of momentum for a game on the NES) whose objective is to explore 12 different planets (and one hidden one), collecting ship parts, fuel, and various upgrades along the way. It's kind of like Master Blaster in that you control both a ship and its pilot, but unlike Blaster Master, they both control almost identically and your ship has to blow up before you control the pilot. It's a bit slow-paced starting out, but it's surprisingly addictive and difficult. Solarjetman-title Solarjetman-game
Solomon's Key Puzzle/Platformer VERY HARD puzzle platformer with plenty of arcade qualities. Always cited for being extremely fun but brutally tough, especially if you manage to get past stage three. Most people can't. If you really like the gameplay in this, try Fire'n Ice (it's also easier).


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Solstice Puzzle/Platformer A classic, but difficult, isometric puzzle platformer with a great atmosphere. Had an SNES sequel called Equinox, where you play as the hero's son, and a spinoff called Altered Space where you play as an astronaut. All 3 are made by the same company, and have involvement from the legendary Follin brothers! Solstice (U) 001 Solstice (U) 002
Spelunker Platformer An interesting platformer that only consists of one REALLY big level. Gather all the treasure you can and head to the exit! Starts off pretty easy, but gets increasingly more and more hard, eventually becoming tough for a NES game, which is saying a lot, since 8-bit generation is the definition of hard games. You'll either love or fucking hate this game, no exceptions. Fun Fact: This had huge success in Japan and basically started their speed-run craze as Metroid did for us (some of them can beat this game in half a minute, but it's gonna take YOU hours). Inspired Spelunky. It also has a spiritual successor on the PS3, which is FUCKING AWESOME. 215-spelunker 224-spelunker
Sqoon Shoot 'Em Up One of the better 'undiscovered' games on the NES, Sqoon is a solid horizontal shmup with interesting ideas that other games of it's ilk don't offer, including hostage rescue and fuel refilling. It's also notable for being about a pink submarine in submerged earth, instantly making it more interesting than every other shmup which was a plane or a space-plane. If you have the option, go for the Famicom version because the cartridge has an LED on it that lights up when you play, which is really cool. Made by Irem (the R-Type guys) Sqoon Sqoon (U) 002
StarTropics Adventure/Puzzle This game is an under-appreciated gem on all accounts. Made by the same Nintendo team who did Punch-Out, the game StarTropics was a love letter from Nintendo to the West. Not released in Japan, StarTropics is a funny, engaging, Zelda-style adventure played out through interesting puzzles and tropical locales. Combat is tile-based, but smooth and gameplay is like Zelda but with jumping. Possibly the best game on the system. 229-startropics Startropics (U) 003
Super C / Probotector II: Return of the Evil Forces Platformer/Run 'N Gun The sequel to Contra. The indoor stages are now top-down stages, but otherwise a similar game. Expect to die a lot. Great for co-op, just like the first! 231-super-c Super C (U) -!- 001
Super Dodgeball Sports After kicking ass in River City Ransom, the characters changed their names and took up dodgeball. Has planning, strategizing and over-the-top "super throws" to mix things up. And yeah, they're supposed to be flickering. At least, sequels fixed this, along with generally being better. Still, a solid start for a fun series. Try playing Beanball with a pal when not taking on the normal game. Superdodgeball Super Dodge Ball NES ScreenShot2
Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt Platformer/Light-gun Probably doesn't need much introduction. The very first game for probably just about every gamer born on or after 1985, thanks to the pack-in. In place of the Zapper, most emulators accept mouse input. (And still lets Player II control the ducks!) 248-super-mario-bros-duck-hunt Super Mario Bros. Duck Hunt (U) 001
Super Mario Bros. 2 Platformer Herp derp, not the real Mario 2 (yes, it was Nintendo remixing Doki Doki Panic - a sign of things to come, perhaps?). Still an extremely fun platformer for what it is. Many of the elements found here, such as player characteristics and abilities, enemies, keys, and throwing of enemies later made their way into more traditional Mario games. Even though it was made from DDP, it's improved, SO IT'S NOT THE SAME GAME. Assholes. 235-super-mario-bros-2 Super Mario Bros. 2 (U) (PRG0) -!- 001
Super Mario Bros. 3 Platformer The biggest and best platformer on the NES, and often regarded as the best game ever, full-stop. 239-super-mario-bros-3 Super Mario Bros. 3 (U) (PRG1) -!- 002
T&C Surf Design Sports Yes, you read that correctly, this game is made by the infamous LJN. Wait! Don't scroll past it just yet! This is actually a fun game. Well, the skateboarding part is, anyway. There's no end to this game, so the goal is to rack up as many points as possible before time runs out. T&C Surf Design Title T&C Surf Design Gameplay
Tecmo Super Bowl Sports Don't dismiss this game just because it's a sports title, it's fun as hell and if you have a friend to play with, it's even better. Real NFL teams with real NFL players (in 1991), each rated "realistically." Play as San Francisco to rape with passing or Oakland/Detroit to run all over the place. This game is a classic. Tecmo Super Bowl Title Tecmo Super Bowl Gameplay
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: Arcade Beat-em-up Konami finally got the Turtles right in this NES port of the arcade beat 'em up. This also features some stage alterations and additions as well, all of which make it worth playing even if you've played the original. Great for co-op, just don't be a pizza-stealing jerk! 205 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 (U) 002
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project Beat-em-up Using the same engine as TMNT2, this one however is an exclusive to the console. Each Turtle has a unique special attack and you can now throw your enemies around. If you like TMNT2, you should like this one as well and vice-versa. Great for co-op, unless you're still a pizza-stealing jerk. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III - The Manhattan Project (U) 001 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III - The Manhattan Project (U) 002
Tetris Puzzle It's fucking Tetris. There are two versions of Tetris on the NES, the Tengen label and Nintendo's version. The Tengen label has better gameplay and is arguably the better port, but more people still go for the Nintendo label to nostalgia in the recognizable music and fap to seeing the Nintendo characters on the win screen. 206-tetris Tetris (U) -!- 003
Tiny Toon Adventures Platformer Tiny Toon Adventures is a short but fun, well executed platformer like you would find many on the NES, and it is also one of the better ones. It does take some inspiration from Mario in the way running and jumping works, but goes farther by adding a slide-boost jump system which is not mandatory, but extremely fun once you've mastered it. Great for 30-60 minutes of classic NES platforming action once in a while. Tiny Toon Adventures (U) 005 Tiny Toon Adventures (U) 006
Tombs & Treasure Adventure/RPG A very neat Adventure RPG, set in the Mayan times. Plays like any Adventure game, but action is all RPG. Solve puzzles and interact with objects to discover the secret mysteries of the Mayans. Be warned! It can be pretty damn brutal at times. Tombs and Treasure Tombs and Treasure (2)
Ufouria: The Saga (Eur) Platformer Another overlooked game that was only released in Japan and in Europe. The art and sound direction is reminiscent of Mr. Gimmick (same developer). Rather non-linear platformer, and refered to by some as a "Metroid-lite". though that's hardly a bad thing. There are four different characters you can get after you beat them as bosses, each with their own abilities. Available on Virtual Console in US and Europe, so be a pal and support Sunsoft! Known as Hebereke in Japan. Ufouria (E) 001 Ufouria (E) 002
Ultima III: Exodus RPG Ultima is an RPG, like Wizardry, that gives you alot of customization. Unlike Wizardry, it is a bit more open-ended letting you explore all over and fight anyone in tactical-styled battles (even old grannies!). Kind of tough, and not as easy to get into compared to some RPGs on NES, but when you do, you'll find the only thing that's aged are the graphics and the use of "ye olde English". Ultima exodus Ultima screenshot
Uninvited Point and Click/Adventure Another point and click adventure, in the same vein as Déja Vu and Shadowgate. Also has spells and curious horror-themed items, some of which are useful, and others... Well, we'll let you find that out. Here's a hint though: Talk with the parasol holding woman in the hallway. DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. Uninvited (U) 001 Uninvited (U) 002
Vice: Project Doom Run 'N Gun/Platformer/FPS Often cited as a Ninja Gaiden "clone", Vice: Project Doom in every way improves upon the formula and also throws in vertical shooter, racing, and first person shooter segments (that amazingly don't suck). It even packs in some nice cutscenes. If you're a fan of the Shatterhand and Ninja Gaiden formula, it's impossible to not instantly love this. ViceProjectDoom Vice - Project Doom (U) 001
Wario's Woods Puzzle Wario has done something bad in what are presumably his woods, and it's up to Toad to sort him out by matching 3 of the same enemy (blocks) in a row and survive his opponent until he stops Wario. Gameplay is the typical match-3-while-trying-to-live-longer-than-your-opponent kind, but there are are tons of different enemies which makes sorting them out challenging, and the game is pretty fun. Found in Animal Crossing as an NES game, so check it out if you've got a copy of it. This is last official NES game in North America. Also on the SNES, but the differences between both make them both worth playing. 249-warios-woods Wario's Woods (U) -!- 001
Wizardry 1, 2, 3 RPG, First Person Welcome to the motherfucking world of Wizardry, a game that popularized a genre of hardcore first person RPGs. Absolutely brutal with traps, unfair deaths (teleporting into walls?!), and swarms of enemies. However, it is well done in character building and customization and if you beat it, you are one rad badass. Only true hardcores need apply, and even then, prepare to die. ALOT. Most versions you find are translated, but patches aren't hard to find if you don't get one that's pre-patched. There's always the PC originals...
Fun Fact: In Japan, it has its own loyal fanbase and some exclusive games over there. Check some other pages here for examples, specifically DS and PSP (Class of Heroes is actually a Wizardry-owned spinoff!).
Wizardry title Wizardry screenshot
Wizards & Warriors Action/Platformer A trilogy of games involving a knight in various adventures. In the first you save damsels by fighting bosses. You collect weapons, items, gems, and keys to help you on that quest. The Second is known as IronSword. Wizards&warriorsnes-1 Wizards & Warriors (2)
Wizards and Warriors III - Kuros: Visons of Power Action/Platformer Third, Kuros: Visions of Power allows different classes plus the game has no contines making this game MUCH HARDER. Wizards & Warriors 3 NES ScreenShot1 Wizards & Warriors 3 NES ScreenShot3
Wrath of the Black Manta Action/Platformer Not as fantastic as the classics such as Shinobi or Ninja Gaiden, but is a great ninja game, regardless. You can still kick some drug dealer ass with some very interesting ninja-arts such as cloning yourself and shit. You owe it to yourself to give this a try if you like the Shinobi series especially. Wrath of the Black Manta (E) Wrath-of-the-black-manta-flying-ninja
Xevious Shoot 'Em Up /Arcade One of the first shmups stands as one of the best on the NES. This is, for it's time, really colorful and nice, and the gameplay is solid old school shmuppin'. The music is a tad irritating. Had a few remixes, sequels, and spinoffs, but everyone loves the classic. Hope into your Solvalou and get blastin'! 259-xevious Xevious (U) 002
Zanac Shoot 'Em Up A shmup from the makers of the famed Aleste series, Compile. Utilizes an AI that gives you enemy varieties and patterns based on what weapon you have, rather than relying on the same wave pattern each time you play. The visuals can be annoyingly repetitive but is still worth playing. Zanac Title Zanac Gameplay
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link Adventure/Platformer/RPG The "black sheep" of the Zelda series. It's actually a pretty good game on its own. The only lame thing is the monster encounter system, otherwise, actual combat is pretty good. Unlike the first, it started off a trend of having people to talk to and side-quests for them. That said, this is HARD AS BALLS, and not always in a satisfying way. You will cry, and you will die often. PROTIP: Pause the game during an action section and press Up+A on the second controller to bring up the save menu. Even though it's not the best of its kind, it inspired numerous companies to make their own takes, with various degrees of success among them. 265-zelda-2 Zelda II - The Adventure of Link (U) 001
Zoda's Revenge: Startropics II Adventure/Puzzle Funny that this game falls under Zelda II, because it has the same problem that the Zelda series did: the second game ain't as good as the first. Startropics II was developed by an American team (under Nintendo's banner) who brought some interesting ideas to the table (including psychic powers and time travel). The control has been altered for more of an action-style and fighting has been improved; but, it's overall weaker due to less inspired graphics, enemies, puzzles, and music (VERY base-breaking on the last aspect though, as many love it). Some find certain aspects to be an improvement, though others agree that the first was generally better for the puzzles, atmosphere, and creative mix of sci-fi and tropic nature elements. Play it and deciding for yourself! Zodas Revenge Startropics 2 - Zoda's Revenge (U) 001


These are the games that didn't quite make it out West, but are still worth checking out. Whether you own a clone system, an actual Famicom, a converter for your NES, or maybe just looking for ROMs, here's the list for you.

[* Denotes the game only came out on the Famicom Disk System]

The List

Title Genre Description Title Screen Screenshot
Adventure Island IV/
Takahashi Meijin no Bōken Jima IV
Platformer/Adventure This is not only the last NES/Famicom Adventure Island game, but in fact, was the last official game released for the Famicom. This one is different from the last 3, as it adds adventure elements of the later Metroid-esque Monster World series. Despite that, this is just as good as the third one, but can get pretty tough at times. Has an English translation patch for the ROM. Takahashi Meijin no Boukenjima 4 (J) 002 Takahashi Meijin no Boukenjima 4 (J) 001
Almana no Kiseki* Platformer/Adventure A game by Konami starring "NOT" Indiana Jones that has some of the best gameplay on the Famicom. Very Castlevania-ish, and even has some multi-directional whipslinging and hanging later seen in SC4. It's a real shame this wasn't ported over here (probably because of Jones copyright issues) because it's such a damn fine game. Available only on the Famicom Disk System, unfortunately, but there is little to no Japanese knowledge required really so give this gem a try! Almana no Kiseki (1987)(Konami) 002 Almana-1
Ai Senshi Nicol* Action/Adventure A Zelda-esque game by Konami that only came out in Japan on the Famicom Disk System. Another damn fine example of an excellent Konami game lost in the past. This one's entirely in English, including the cut-scenes and dialogue, so there's absolutely no barrier for the English crowd. Excellent graphics for 1987. Ai Senshi Nicol FDS title Ai Senshi Nicol (Unl) -p1- 001
Akumajou Special: Boku Dracula-kun Platformer Did you ever want to play Alucard, from Castlevania, as a cartoony kid? Well now you can! An extremely fun platformer goofing off on the Castlevania franchise, you play as "Dracula-kun" aka Alucard in a classic platforming romp. The gameplay is like a smoother 'vania, with a Megaman 4-like charge shot. Has a translation patch for the ROM, but it won't make much sense anyways. Curiously, the final boss cameo'd in Symphony of the Night as a boss! A version of this was also localized for Gameboy as Kid Dracula. Akumajou Special - Boku Dracula Kun (J) 001 Akumajou Special - Boku Dracula Kun (J) 003
Armadillo Platformer The gimmick of this platformer is that your character can turn into a ball at will to kill monsters or to use the ball bouncing physics to reach secret places or simply jump to the next platform. It takes a little while to get used to the controls and physics of the ball but it's worth it. Armadillo (J) 001 Armadillo (J) 002
Battle City Arcade/Combat Maybe, it's the best co-op game on FAMICOM. You are a tank. And you should destroy enemy tanks which respawn like bitches over and over again. And if they destroy you base(Yeah, that eagle at the bottom of the screen IS your base) you are a deadman. There a lot of levels and you can do your own levels too! Lots of endless fun with your friend. Had something of a western cult fanbase in the day because versions of this would sometimes pop up in those 50-in-1 NES pirate carts. Also known as Tank 1990 in Poland, on the motherfucking Pegasus console. Bs Images (1)
Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa Platformer This is a great platformer game by Konami where you play as a baby. So much fun it hurts sometimes. This was actually slated for a US release in 1989, but didn't make it over here because Howard Lincoln is a dick. Released on the Wii's virtual console for 600 points, if you'd rather go that route. Bio-miracle title screen Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (J) 001
Captain Tsubasa II: Super Striker RPG/Sports You might have heard of this game from the anime series or the blandly translated prequel). This game mixes soccer with an RPG. You run around the field as you would in a normal soccer game, but when you want to pass or shoot you have to call a menu with commands (such as shoot, pass, dribble, super shots, etc). You also have MP (Guts), something you have to watch carefully seeing as every action consumes MP (even running) The game starts pretty easy but gets incredibly difficult incredibly fast. You start with only one player who has super shots, but eventually more super players join your team (that's when the game gets really fun). You don't really have to know moonspeak to play this game, after playing for 10 minutes you'll have it figured out OR you could download the translation from here: Captain Tsubasa Vol 2 - Super Striker - Japan Captain Tsubasa Vol 2 - Super Striker (J) 002
Chaos World RPG Chaos World is one of the better and most underrated RPG on the system made by Natsume. Some cool features are how you choose how your main character grows in terms of class and abilities and another is that you can send off allies from guilds to do jobs, and they'll return with gold and gear as rewards. A translation patch for the ROM can be found here and it also includes the fucked up original patch for hilarity's sake. The new one is legit, but the original has notable errors, mostly in the menu, along with a weird one that has an NPC spout machine code, then attack you as an army of powerful soldiers for no reason. Chaos World (J) 001 Chaos World (J) 002
Choujin Sentai Jetman Action/Platformer Yet another short, easy, but fun action platformer for the system. Some characters have a sword, some others a gun. This game seems to share the same or an earlier engine of Shatterhand. Even though this is solid it's not quite as good as Shatterhand. The TV show it's based on ain't half bad either. Choujin Sentai - Jetman (J) 001 Choujin Sentai - Jetman (J) 002
Cocoron Platformer A very unique platformer with customizable characters, great graphics, great music, and overall a great game to own. You can give your character different body parts and weapons, which affects their stamina, power, speed, and jumping ability, among other factors. Neat worlds, weird bosses, and a nonsensical narrative. There's a translation patch for the ROM as well. Cocoron 001 Cocoron 002
Crisis Force Shmup Simply said, one of the best shmups on the system. The graphics and sound are wonderful, but the real kicker is the gameplay. You can change the shape of your ship at any moment (3 shapes different) to shoot different types of missiles. It's also great for 2-player co-op, as you can experiment with different support formations and the ships can fuse for a short while and kick extra ass.
Crisis Force (J) 001
Crisis Force (J) 002
Devil World Arcade Miyamoto's take on Pac-Man, basically. You're a dragon who has to kill the Devil by collecting bibles in hell and destroying skull boxes. Awesome. It doesn't really differ too much from Pac-Man other than the screen moving whenever the dickhead of a Devil points his fingers. It's definitely a challenge since the screen movement can smash you against the walls and the enemies like to be sneaky and stalk you into a corner. Not only that but the game gets faster and faster with each stage. Thankfully though, by getting a cross or bible, you can shoot out "HOLY FIRE" to make enemies retreat. Was released in Europe, but that version suffers from the old PAL issues. Devil World (J) 003 Devil World (J) 002
Dig Dug Arcade Sadly, the most faithful port of the original Dig Dug never even made it out west! Definitely worth picking up by any means, it shouldn't even cost a lot. Dig Dug (1990)(Namco Ltd.) 001 Dig Dug (J)
Downtown Special: Kunio-kun no Jidaigeki Dayo Zenin Shuugou! Beat 'Em Up The true "sequel" to River City Ransom, this time the action takes place in a very scenic feudal japan with Kunio/Alex's ancestor, Kunimasa. You still take on rival gangs, but the exploration is more non-linear. Getting stronger depends on a few new factors in addition to the old, but easy to re-figure out. As you can see to the right, you always have a buddy helping you, even in single player. Very "sugoi", so to say. There is a translated ROM available Downtown-special-kunio-kun-no-jidaigeki-dayo-zen-in-shuugou.1 Downtown-special-kunio-kun-no-jidaigeki-dayo-zen-in-shuugou.2
Dragon Ball Z Kyoushuu! Saiyajin RPG It's a pretty interesting rpg with a weird card-based battle system. The low point is that battles are REALLY FUCKING SLOW, wich becomes really tedious since the bosses are ridicously strong and you are forced to grind a lot, but this problem can be easily solved when playing on an emulator. The game follows the story of the manga/anime, starting the moment you fight Radditz and it ends with the battle against Vegeta. There is a translated ROM available image image
Dragon Ball Z II Gekigami Freeza! RPG Same as the first game, this time the story picks up right after the battle against Vegeta. You have to travel to planet Namek and collect the dragon balls to revive all thew people who died. (Are they still on Namek?!) There is a translated ROM available image image
Dragon Ball Z III Ressen Jinzou Ningen RPG Now it's the time to fight Cooler, the androids and motherfucking Cell. image image
Dragon Ball Z Gaiden Saiyajin Zetsumetsu Keikaku RPG This time the card battle system has been changed a bit and the battles seem to flow faster. Also the story has nothing to do with the anime/manga. image image
Final Fantasy II RPG Haters gonna hate, but its still worth a play. Quite different from most Final Fantasy games. Has a pretty enjoyable story and mythos like most FFs, -BUT- It has many curious elements such as the "password", where you learn secret info to progress, and "stat progression" systems, where you get stronger based on your actions in battle. There are some ROM patches that fix the stat system and make it more balanced. This growth style was first perfected in Square's later SaGa series on Game Boy, also known as the Final Fantasy Legend series. So if you like this, be sure to check that out. There is a translated ROM available. Also on GBA with FF1 and PSP. Both have a cool extra story, "Dawn of Souls", which contains spoilers, but is very damn cool (and hard!). Final Fantasy II Final fantasy ii passwords
Final Fantasy III RPG This game needs not be introduced. One of the best RPGs on the system, and the first to bring the Job System full swing vs FF1, where you just chose a party to stick with until the end credits. Different in some subtle, but notable ways from its remake on DS. As a result, you may like one over the other, but both are quite solid. There is a translated ROM available. Ff3 Final Fantasy III (J) -T-Eng5.4 AkilLa- 001
Fire Emblem Tactics RPG The very first. MANY things are different from later entries. No weapon triangle, limited jobs, and some jobs can't promote! But, it's still a GOOD game with a lot of content. Oddly, due to the lack of some elements, it can be exploited to become rather easy. An English translation patch is available for the ROM. Has an SFC remake with a second story, both of which have DS remakes which bring the gameplay to that of modern entries and are the best ways to experience the stories, now fleshed out for a much richer experience. Fun Fact: Sakurai of Kirby and Smash Bros. fame is a huge fan of the series. Fe1 title Fe1 screen
Fire Emblem Gaiden Tactics RPG The "black sheep" of the FE series. It plays quite differently than all other entries, even the first. A number of elements were added that were used in later entries though. It feels like a traditional RPG, but with a tactics control-system. Despite that, it still has the series spirit, remains an entertaining and surprisingly long and in-depth game, and is one of the few Japanese-only FEs with a full fan-translation. This is NOT the game to get into the series with (most prefer FE7 on the GBA), but it is still worth playing whether or not you've beaten any of the others. Fiahemblum Fire Emblem Gaiden (J) -T Eng97b2 J2e- 001
Fuzzical Fighter Shooter/RPG A shmup with many RPG elements. There is experience, etc but also a small overworld in top down view where you control your character and where you get to go to an INN, a shop, etc. All of this happening in a medieval fantasy setting. There is a translated ROM available. Fuzzical Fighter (J) -T-Eng1.0b- 001 Fuzzical Fighter (J) -T-Eng1.0b- 004
Getsufuu Maden Action/Adventure A good action/adventure game. The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game was based on the engine of this game, except this game is made much more sensibly. It plays kind of like a cross between Castlevania and Gargoyle's Quest. There is a translated ROM available. Getsufuu Maden (J) 001 Getsufuu Maden (J) 002
Herakles no Eikou 2 - Titan no Metsubou/
Glory of Heracles II: Titans' Downfall
RPG The first Glory of Heracles game to see a translation and the first to resemble its later sequels. You're a mortal Greek soldier who must find the hero, Heracles, so he can prevent the Titans from resurrecting. Along the way you meet a centaur and sentient statue who join you and also meet some mythological figures as NPCs and enemies. Plays like a Greek cross between Dragon Quest 2 and 3, but without the annoying OPEN DOOR and CLIMB STAIRS of the NES era. Pretty hard early on, but there's a few neat elements to this that make it worth finishing. There is a translated ROM available. Goh2 Herakles no Eikou 2 - Titan no Metsubou (J) -T-Eng SpoonyBard- 001
Kyattou Ninden Teyandē/
Samurai Pizza Cats
Platformer A platformer based on the Samurai Pizza Cats anime. Another one of those typical good, short, rather easy, and simply fun platformer on the console. You have to switch different characters who all have their own abitilies. CATNIN 001 CATNIN 002
Holy Diver Platformer/Adventure A total Castlevania rip-off/clone that is inspired and sponsored by 80's heavy metal act Dio, based on his hit song 'Holy Diver'. What a fucking priceless game. While hilarious in concept, the game is actually really good, and is definitely a must-own. The only problem is, finding it proves to be extremely hard. Even if you're just looking for the rom you'll find yourself googling for quite a while. So imagine how hard it is to come by the cart. Made by irem, the guys behind R-Type. HolyDiver Holy Diver (J) 001
Joy Mech Fight Fighting This game is weird. Imagine Vectorman-like characters fighting on the Famicom. Yup, a fighting game with robots on Famicom. I guess that says everything. A lot of fun, just strange. Made by Nintendo themselves. Joy Mech Fight (J) -T Eng100% AlanMidas- 001 Joy Mech Fight (J) -T Eng100% AlanMidas- 007
Lagrange Point RPG Konami's sci-fi adventure puts you in the shoes of Jean, an upstart pilot that investigates the reason behind a space-station assault. The fighting system is comparable to Dragon Quest's first-person view. This game utilizes the unique VRC7 co-processor which grants the Famicom soundboard 6 FM-synth channels - making the audio comparable to the Sega Mega Drive! The translation is currently underway by Aeon Genesis, with progress at 60% as of March '10. While the project continues, feel free to play around with the game to enjoy its intoxicating soundtrack and chop through some battles. Lagrange Point (J) 001 Lagrange Point (J) 002
Magical Doropie Platformer Feels like... holy shit you're playing Mega Man. Vic Tokai, makers of Clash at Demonhead and Decap Attack made this for anyone who wanted to play classic Mega Man with a witch-girl (who can actually shoot upward!). This game was released stateside as The Krion Conquest, but stay fucking far away from it. The US game's difficulty is punishing due to weird gimps, the story is nonexistent, and there are other unnecessary changes to be found. This version is going to be hard to find physically, but the ROM has been dumped AND translated, so no worries there. Magical Doropie-Famicom Magical Doropie (J) 001
Moai Kun Puzzle A puzzle-platformer by Konami. This game is pretty much the Adventure of Lolo sidescrolling version. You have to go around pick up your friends while solving little puzzles with the help of your headbutt and bombs. You can headbutt enemies too but be careful not to trap yourself by destroying the wrong blocks! Moai Kun (J) 004 Moai Kun (J) 003
Moon Crystal Platformer A pleasant and colorful Prince of Persia-like with an actual plot (told through Ninja Gaiden-esque cutscenes) and fluid sprite work. The action is deliberately slow-paced and never unfair, but some bosses can be hair-tearingly cheap. (Hint: the best strategy is usually to get there with full hearts and wail on them.) Nonetheless, it's short enough to be worth seeing to the end. Very cinematic! It has been fan translated. Moon Crystal (J) 001 Moon Crystal (J) 002
Earth Bound (Prototype)
RPG If you can read moonspeak, you really owe it to yourself to play the game that started Earthbound/Mother. It's different from its two sequels, but it's still quite amazing. (If you're only looking for a rom, there is a dump of the English prototype that was never released. It's usually labeled Earthbound Zero; if you want an authentic experience,this website sells reproduction copies). Earthbound Zero differs from the original, but is pretty much better. It was even used as the basis for the remix in Mother 1+2 for GBA. Mother (J) 002 Mother (J) 001
Nazo no Murasamejō* Action/Adventure Nazo no Murasamejō is the black sheep little brother of Zelda and Startropics. The second game released for the Disk System, you play as Takamaru, a samurai who must save his ancient Japanese land from an alien demon that has corrupted all the local daimyo. He must traverse the land to the castle Muramase and annihilate the evil force once and for all. It plays like Zelda, but is totally linear and fast paced, entirely based on action instead of exploring. You have a limited number of powerups, and enemies come from all sides, making the game's difficulty soar the fucking roof. A real gem though, shame we didn't see anymore, it had great series potential. A homage mode to this can be found in Samurai Warriors 3 on Wii, which is localized, so we finally get to see Takamaru overseas. Nazo no Murasamejō title 1
Otocky* Shoot 'Em Up/Rhythm Otocky can be described as a musical side-scrolling shoot 'em up. The player's spaceship has a ball for a weapon, which can be fired in eight directions; each direction corresponds to a different musical note. The note plays when the player presses the fire button, and is also quantized in time so that it matches the beat playing in the background. By using the weapon selectively the player can improvise music while playing. The ball is used to destroy enemies by touching them, and also to catch various types of objects: Musical Notes which must be collected to finish the level, letter 'A's which change the musical instrument sound produced by the ball, and letter 'B's which provide a secondary weapon. The ball gets smaller when the player is touched by an enemy, until the player loses a life. Finishing the game unlocks a music editor which makes it possible for the player to freely compose their own melodies. Otocky (1987)(SEDIC) 002 Otocky - Famicom Disk System
Popeye Platform One of the first three games to be released for the Famicom, and although the arcade game looks way better than all the others, this is the best port. Nobody knows why, but the stage theme is oddly catchy. image image

Radia Senki: Reimeihen

Action RPG Surprisingly good narrative from Tecmo (!), with a real-time RPG gameplay that's like a mix of Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger. Your party grows to 5 members, but only the MC is player-controlled and the rest are AI. You can give 'em commands and tactics via menus, and they can also be told to cast spells once they learn them with scrolls. If you position them well, you can gang-up on an enemy and beat the shit out of it. The MC never learns magic, but his sword-arm is strong and he's the only one who can use items and items which have magic-like effects. The aesthetics of this game are just lovely. There is a translated ROM available. ChrnRad 200911152124491 0.png
Summer Carnival '92: RECCA Shoot 'Em Up If you thought you knew ANYTHING about shmups before playing this masterpiece, then you're clearly mistaken. Recca is not only one of the best Famicom shmups, but probably makes the list of top five shmups ever. This game is hard, and fast, and has little to no slowdown or clipping. It's a fucking technical achievement for a Famicom game, and an achievement in game-design. The game is easily the best space shooter on the NES/Famicom, however, it's extremely hard to come by in cart form, and is thus, expensive. Rom is easy to find. Perhaps the first bullet hell shooter. A must play! Recca Summer Carnival '92 - Recca (J) 008
SonSon Arcade/Platformer/Run 'N Gun If you ever wondered where the monkey girl from MVC2 came from this... isn't it. Actually, this game stars her grandfather, the eponymous Son Son. A fun Run 'N Gun-esque sort of cute game (so instead of a Cute 'Em Up, would that make it a Fun 'N Gun?). Gets surprisingly addicting, especially with two players.

It is available as part of the Capcom Classics Collection (PS2), and is also on the Wii Virtual Console.

Son Son (J) 001
Son Son (J) 003
Spartan X 2 Beat 'Em Up A simple but fun beat'em up. The game is basically a straight line, you can only go forward or backward (you can jump, but you can't go up or down). Most enemies only take one hit to die but there are WAVES of them. Difficulty is very progressive. Some good tunes. By the way, you're playing as Jackie Chan. One of his characters, anyway. Spartan X 2 (J) 007 Spartan X 2 (J) 004
Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti Beat 'Em Up/Arcade A chibi style Splatterhouse game exclusive to the Famicom. I shit you not. This spin-off is just as fun as the other games while being three times more fucking hilarious (because it's still violent/gory despite the cute look). It is however a lot less difficult than the other games in the series and was the first Splatterhouse game to make it to home consoles. It's technically a spin-off, but the in-game story presents itself as a prequel... still not canon, though. This game is a must-own. SplatterhouseWanpaku
Splatter House - Wanpaku Graffiti (J) 002
Super Mario Bros. 2* Platformer The real Super Mario Bros. 2, but was later released as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels in different compilations. this game is balls hard compared to the other three SMB games on the system. This time around, Mario and Luigi actually have different control styles. Play as Mario for that classic feel, or play as Luigi if you enjoy gratuitous amounts of momentum and high jumpan. This game is kinda lazy in that it looks way too much like the original, but it's great if you like a challenge and have already mastered SMB1. The later levels in this must have been designed by a fucking troll though. Also, POISON MUSHROOMS. SMB2 Japan 274-super-mario-bros-2
Sweet Home RPG Sweet Home for the Famicom is easily one of the best RPGs for the system. Actually a game tie-in for a low-budget horror film, Sweet Home is one of those rare examples where the game is better than the movie. Follows many typical RPG formula standards, but has many of it's own interesting elements as well (each member of your party only has ONE ITEM, and you can't take everybody at once, so you'll have to decide which items you'll need at one point). Horror themed obviously, the atmosphere in this game is stellar. This game was the inspiration for Resident Evil. There is a translated ROM available. Sweet Home (J) -T Eng1.00 Gaijin Suicidal- 001 Sweet Home (J) -T Eng1.00 Gaijin Suicidal- 002
Wai Wai World Platformer A konami platformer that features some of their early game characters including: Konami Man and Konami Lady, King Kong, Mikey Walsh (Goonies), Goemon, Simon Belmont, Twinbee, Moai, Vic Viper, Pentarou and Fuma. You can swap out between characters once you find them. The last level is oddly inspired by Twinbee, despite pretty much everything else being a platformer. image image
Wai Wai World 2 Platformer Sequel to the above. Less characters arguably better music and graphics, with much improved gameplay. Playable characters include: Simon, Bill Rizer, Upa, Goemon, Fuma, Vic Viper, Twinbee, and Rickle the new robot exclusive to this game. image image
Yume Penguin Monogatari Platformer The third game in the Penguin Adventure series. It's a sidescroller unlike the last two games, and it has a unique gimmick: lose as much weight as possible for your girlfriend. You will have to dodge all foods (even the ones that look healthy) except for slim shakes to shape up and get faster. Has a really rad soundtrack and nice visuals. image image

ROM Hacks

In this section, we recommend ROM Hacks that we consider worth checking out.

Links to the patches -and NOT to patched ROMs- should be provided in the description whenever possible.

How to play

You will need ROMs of the original games. Sometimes you need a specific version of the said ROM but it's usually told in the readme file. For example you may need to use "awesomegame (U).nes" while it may not work with "awesomegame (U) [!] [b1].nes".

You will also need a ROM patcher such as Lunar IPS, which you can download here

Of course, you will need the patches that turn the original ROMs into the hacked ones. Links should be provided in the descriptions. Most of them should be avalaible at and/or at

Finally, run the patched ROMs in your emulator of choice (or put them on your expensive Powerpak to play them on a real console, but that's only if you're a rich bastard). If nothing happens, or if something odd happens, then you probably applied the patch on a wrong version of the ROM of the game.

The List

Original Game Name of the Hack Description Title Screen Screenshot
Adventure Island III The Lost Isles

All the levels were changed, except for 4-4.

Hudson's Adventure Island III - The Lost Isles (U) 001 Hudson's Adventure Island III - The Lost Isles (U) 003
Adventure Of Lolo Challenging Lolo

You've beat Lolo 1,2 and 3 and you're still asking for more ?
.... REALLY ?!

Well, your wish has been fullfilled.
50 new levels. It gets really hard.

Adventures of Lolo - Challenging Lolo (U) -!- 001 Adventures of Lolo - Challenging Lolo (U) -!- 002
Adventure Of Lolo 2 Challenging Lolo 2

If you've beat the 3 original games and the first hack, and are still begging for more, try this one.

54 new levels. Like the first one, it's HARD.

Adventures of Lolo 2 - Challenging Lolo 2 (U) 001 Adventures of Lolo 2 - Challenging Lolo 2 (U) 003
Castlevania Blood Moon A hack which changes all the levels, and also gives some good looking art (especially for the monsters).
It gets rather difficult past some point.
Castlevania - Blood moon (U) (PRG1) 001 Castlevania - Blood moon (U) (PRG1) 004
Castlevania Remix

The best thing about this hack is its art direction. Most it is was made using a grey/black tone that fits really well.

The layout of most levels have also been changed.
Some of the musics were changed, sometimes it's good but it's sometimes it's a bit ridiculous.

Worth checking for the art alone.

Castlevania - Remix (U) (PRG1) 006 Castlevania - Remix (U) (PRG1) 003
Final Fantasy Final Fantasy ++

Final Fantasy ++ is a “re-imagining” of the very first Final Fantasy game. Pretty much EVERYTHING has been redone, EVERYTHING! Graphics, monsters, equipment, spells, maps, towns, class system and there are even some new dungeons. .

Final Fantasy Final Fantasy ++ World of Chaos

This is an expansion pack for final fantasy ++.

It includes adaptations of various dungeons from FFs 3, 4, 5, & 6, SaGa 2, Dragon Quest 5 along with a couple of new ones.

It is is quite harder to beat than FF++ !!!

Mega Man IV Gadget Master

The layout of all the stages were changed to give a whole new MMIV.

A lot palette colors were changed, but there are no new graphics except at the end, no new bosses and no new weapons.
This is exactly why I love this hack: as a consequence it feels new and classic at the same time and it focuses on level design instead of on useless fancy tricks.

It was made by Schwa who also made Chaos Control for SMB3.

Mega Man 4 - Gadget Master(U) 001 Mega Man 4 - Gadget Master(U) 005
Mega Man IV Maverick Revenge

Changes some levels but not all of them (because it freezes against a boss in the Wily stages and the game "ends" there)

Some art was changed, replaced by art from other NES Mega Man games.

Not as good as Gadget Master but still worth at least a play through.

Mega Man 4 - Maverick Revenge (U) 001 Mega Man 4 - Maverick Revenge (U) 003
Rockman 2 Rockman No Constancy

A Rockman hack with the typical somewhat bumped up difficulty. However, MANY elements of the game were changed. New graphics, altered bosses +weapons, and all new levels.Most of all, THE SOUNDTRACK OH GOD. It's 8bit audio bliss featuring many songs from other games and series.


Rnrtitle Constancy
Rockman V Endless

Like the Endless mode in Mega Man 9, except in Mega Man 5.
It mixes already existing rooms with new ones. Some new rooms are unfair (especially those with the lasers) but most of them have a very good design.

Requires a ROM of Rockman V and will not work with a NTSC-U or PAL version.

460titlescreen 460screenshot2
Rush'n Attack G

All the levels were changed.

Rather difficult.

Rush'n Attack - G (U) 002 Rush'n Attack - G (U) 001
Super Mario Bros. Extra Mario Bros.

Mario meets Super Metroid. It's as good as it sounds. The look adds pseudo SNES-sprites and the soundtrack is cool too. Just remember that it runs on SMB1 physics, so jumping and bouncing work kind of weird here.

Extra mario bros Extra mario bros screen
Super Mario Bros 2 Legend Of The Blob Bros 2

This hack offers completely new levels, a new story and a lotof new graphics.
It succeeds in offering new cool stuffs (the new sprites for characters and monsters are some of the bests I've seen in Hacks of NES games) while having a smart level design taking into consideration all the things that make the gameplay of SMB2 unique.

It's more difficult than the original game at least in the sense that the number of coins is more limited.

Super Mario Bros. 2 - Blob Bros 2 (U) (PRG0) -!- 012 Super Mario Bros. 2 - Blob Bros 2 (U) (PRG0) -!- 003
Super Mario Bros 3 Chaos Control

This one is my favourite SMB3 hack. Like many others it replaces all the levels by new ones, but this one succeeds in retaining a classic feel, a classic level design, while being just challenging enough and while never being unfair.

As a consequence, it sure is more difficult than the original game, but it's never too fancy and it's just how it should be: it feels like rediscovering SMB3 again and the replay value is high.

It was made by Schwa who also made Gadget Master for Mega Man IV.

Super Mario Bros. 3 - Chaos Control (U) (PRG1) -!- 003 Super Mario Bros. 3 - Chaos Control (U) (PRG1) -!- 001
Super Mario Bros 3 Mario Adventure

Considered to be one of the bests hack of SMB3.

All the levels were changed. You can even choose in which world you want to go.

A lot of new features, such as a random weather.

Super Mario Bros. 3 - Mario Adventure (U) (PRG1) -!- 001 Super Mario Bros. 3 - Mario Adventure (U) (PRG1) -!- 003
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