The Nintendo Entertainment System Edition of the Totes Mathematical Top Ten Game List for Every Console Ever!

This entry is part 4 of 19 in the series Console Lists

Hello, The Chaotic Neutral! I see you there. Embracing true freedom. Unencumbered by society.

Recently, I used my mad Excel Exskillz to make an algorithm, to help me make a list of the top NES video games. It was originally just for me, but I thought, “Why should I keep this to myself?” Plus, what’s neat about Excel is that you can keep what programs you make and apply them to other functions. So what I’ll do is take my top ten NES games list algorithm program and apply it to EVERY DAMN VIDEO GAME SYSTEM EVAR!!1

I started with the NES because I wanted the top ten list to be vetted. After doing some tests with a control group, I think I have a way to balance game sales, professional critic scores, and everyday player scores into something resembling a balanced system of greatness. So share and enjoy! Hop on Steam and play! And if you disagree with what the program determined? There’s plenty of room in the comments section. Of course, the NES list is easy. Wait til we get to the Neo Geo! Or the Sega Saturn! The TurboGrafx-16! We’re doing every commercial system ever, so get ready!

…But first a little history.

The Nintendo Entertainment System
Released: 1983 (1985 in the USA)
Generation of Home Consoles: Third
Color Depth: 8 Bit
Rating: Awesome.

So Rad...

So Rad…

Released by Nintendo and called the Family Computer in Japan, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) came into the market with surprisingly little fan fare. Toy stores wanted nothing to do with the thing because of the famed Video Game Crash of 1983 and because Nintendo was a notorious pain the butt to toy stores across North America. (Long story and it mostly boiled down to cultural differences between America and Japan.) But Nintendo knew they had an awesome product and put a LOT of effort into marketing and re-branding what a video game console was. They marketed the thing as a toy for children. Thus R.O.B. the robot and the long standing tradition of not allowing too much graphic violence in their games. Thirty years they’ve been censoring things for an American audience and people still flip out about it. In any case, although the toy stores were skeptical, the games were solid and Nintendo turned into THE powerhouse of the Third Generation.

So let’s take a look at some of these solid games!

I used a weighted system, which includes game sales, user reviews, and professional reviews. So to explain, game sales are a factor, but not nearly as much as how well a game is reviewed by users. Copacetic?
Here’s what the algorithm spit out!

10. Ducktales. 1989. (Capcom)Duck-Tales – Treasure! And lots of it! Released in 1989, by Capcom and using the Mega Man engine, this platform game was a true delight to fans of the show and gamers in general. You play as Scrooge McDuck and you sort of bounce around like a madman trying to get gems. The game featured a non linear level system, which was both unique and dope for the time. The goal of the game is to collect enough treasure to become the world’s richest duck. Quack Quack. It was great, and I’m glad my algorithm got it into the top ten. It makes me feel the thing works. Admittedly, the game has a lot of nostalgia, but was a bit on the short side. A rare thing in a Nintendo game and probably programmed with younger kids in mind, and thus easier. Which is insane. My friend’s kid Max is like 8 and can dominate me in Call of Duty. I digress. For the first game of my first article on this long journey. I’m thrilled that Ducktales made the cut. Woo-Ooo!

9. Mega Man 3. 1990. (Capcom) Mega Man 3 – Shockingly, this was also made with the Mega Man Engine. Released in 1990, this was really the first Mega Man game where I think Capcom really figured out who their protagonist was, and what one could do with the concept. You play as Mega Man, a robot who beats down other robots and steals their powers. In the first two games of the series, Capcom was sort of working out the kinks of their eight robot version of paper rock scissors. In this one they got much more creative with the concept and introduced Rush! Your faithful robot dog! The game is tight as hell is what I’m saying. You all know what Mega Man is. This was the game when Capcom truly figured out who Mega Man was as well.

8. Ghosts ‘n Goblins. 1985. (Capcom) GhostsNGoblins – Have you ever heard the term “Nintendo Hard”? Because this game is a solid enough representation of the concept. You are Sir Arthur in your side scrolling quest, which was released in 1986 by…you guessed it…Capcom. You battle all sorts of demons and dragons and dead guys and the dark lord Satan. After defeating Satan, you have to play the whole thing again except with all of the enemies moving faster. And the game was already insanely hard. But hey. Credit where credit is due. The game was a technical miracle at the time and is fondly remembered by MANY a gamer.

7. Punch-Out!!. 1987. (Nintendo)PunchOut – Released originally as Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out in 1987, the game was a port of the popular arcade version developed by Nintendo. Nintendo wanted an extra bit of zazz, so they put the future heavyweight champion’s likeness into the game and paid the man $50,000 dollars to do so. (Can you imagine? That seems like a hell of a deal for Nintendo. But it was the eighties. We were all young and nobody knew that video games were going to balloon into the multi-billion dollar thing that it is today.) In any case, you were Little Mac, a boxer that fought a number of racist caricatures until you finally get to the hardest boss character in a game I’ve ever played. All while plowing through Indians, Spaniards, Japanese dudes, Russians and etc. (They made the easiest guy French. Lol.)

6. Metroid. 1986. (Nintendo)Metroid Mother Brain and Space Pirate busting fun! Released by Nintendo in 1987, this sci-fi platformer follows the story of the only lady on our top ten list, Samus Aran. The game features a huge open-ended world of rooms connected by doors and elevators. It was one of the first games for the NES where you could travel back to places you’ve been before and in fact, to beat the game, you needed to do so. It was large enough that Nintendo incorporated a password system in order for you to be able to continue the game with whatever power ups you had found and which you needed in order to defeat the aforementioned brain. It was awesome and to this day, remains in my heart as one of the best side scrollers to ever be developed.

5. R.C. Pro-Am. 1987. (Rare)RC Pro Am – A surprising, to me, entry onto the list. Especially since it’s my list? Though really it’s the algorithm’s list and I’m just reporting my findings. In any case it’s R.C. Pro-Am! Developed by Rare and released in 1987, the game was a simple racing game in which the player controlled a wee car. And the wee car had wee missiles and weapons. Which, to my knowledge, hadn’t really been done a lot in the past. And now they ALL do it. Blue shells (And small Kart racing in general) and let us never forget Twisted Metal’s weapons. They all owe a small debt to this. Plus they followed the rules. Simple controls, fun game play, and great graphics. Like I said, I was surprised by its position, but it totes deserves its spot.

4. The Legend of Zelda. 1986. (Nintendo)LegendOfZelda – This game, however, did not surprise me for being on the top ten list. Nintendo knew damned well they had something special here. Special enough that it was one of the main launch titles for the Famicom Disk System in Japan. They brought it to North America in 1997, coated it in gold and then proceeded to sell all the copies. It was a wonderfully hard game where you, Link, the protagonist must vanquish all sorts of bad guys, in order to find pieces of the Triforce, defeat Gannon and save the Princess Zelda. The game spawned a metric ton of sequels and usually gets a new game on every system which Nintendo has ever put out. Me and my friends thought it was quite corking! And you and your friends thought the same god damned thing.

3. Dragon Warrior 3. 1988. (Chunsoft/Enix)Dragon Warrior 3 – Also known as Dragon Quest 3 around the world, this epic little number, released by Enix in 1998, is the first true and only RPG on the list. You play as Erdrick, a warrior of no renown. Because while it’s the third game it was sort of a prequel to the events of the first two games. There was a lot of grinding, a lot of customization of your group, and a lot of rampant destruction of slimes, caterpillars and Axe-men. In the U.S., Dragon Warrior as a series never caught on with the zeitgeist it had in Japan, but there’s still a solid market and the people who do like it, LOVE it. I wasn’t a huge fan as a child, but I played the HELL out of these games when I got older and was able to play on Emulators. Or whatever it is I bought that time. The Ouya. Remember that? Anyway, the game is aces.

2. Tetris. 1989. (Alexey Pajitnov) tetris – From Russia with Fun! Developed by like…one guy. Alexey Pajitnov, who made no money from the game because the U.S.S.R didn’t like that sort of thing. The game was insanely popular and will probably also make the Game Boy list as well. You sort of drop blocks from the sky and have them fall, and stack them into lines. But dude. You know what Tetris is. They haven’t changed the game to any real degree since its inception. The simplicity is part of its charm. And the Music! All classical and frenetic. Much like the gameplay. It’s universal, everyone can play it, and you can play it on every computer, game system, and graphing calculator ever invented. It’s spot on the list is well deserved both for the game itself and the legacy that it helped create.

And that’s the top nine. So now a person who needs absolutely NO introduction, I present to you the obvious number 1.

1. Super Mario Bros. 3. 1990. (Nintendo)

SMB 3Because what else could it be? Number 1! On this list and a million other top ten NES games. Also number one on a number top ten lists of games for all time.

Released in 1990 in the U.S. this game took everything that was amazing about the first Mario Game, and amped them up. Then it took the things that weren’t great about the first game and fixed the hell out of them. Added maps, added new powerups, the ability to save those powerups, added boss fights, a wonderfully bizarre story, mixed them all up and put it in a yellow box.

The game is the second best selling NES game of all time, and the only reason it’s not number one of all time is because Super Mario Bros. 1 came packaged with the NES. 17 Million copies! That makes it one of the best selling video games of all time. No big surprises here. The game is great and the algorithm knows it. I know it, you know it, Adam know it, Nintendo know it. The entire god damned world know it.

So that’s it! Hope you had fun. Something left off? Something didn’t make the top ten? Were you upset that Excitebike only came in at 16 and Final Fantasy at 13, so they didn’t get a description? Let me know in the comments. Then go out and play some games!

Series Navigation<< The 3DO Edition of the Totes Mathematical Top Ten Game List for Every Console Ever!The Super Nintendo Edition of the Totes Mathematical Top Ten Game List for Every Console Ever! >>

About Philippe L.

When not out exploring the stars with his good friend Hotblack Desiato, he makes his living here on Earth keeping other people's money safe from the hands of thieves and spinning the occasional yarn. He enjoys beer and coffee very much, but unfortunately he can't eat shellfish or tomatoes.


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