Friday, July 1, 2011

Top 10 games from the original NES

And speaking of lists.....

Video games are not my area of expertise. I am not a gamer and would be completely lost holding a modern day controller. I only have so many fingers and go into sensory overload when I see the way the screens move nowadays. I know. I’m one of the oldest young people alive today.


I did enjoy video games once upon a time. In fact, I have quite fond memories of staying up all night at friends houses trying to finally beat whatever game it was that was our current obsession. I never had enough “sit still” in me to be a serious gamer even then, but I did a fair amount of button pushing in the 80’s and early 90’s. This was the era of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. This is still the greatest video gaming system of all time. I should know. I have one still and occasionally hook it up for a few days of rollicking good times. No good times are quite so rollicking as those spent with the good old original NES.

So this is where the list part comes in. I am going to provide you fine readers with a list of the 10 greatest games on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. I could not get science to back me up on this list because all of the scientist were busy playing World of Warcraft today. So this one is just my opinion and is not scientifically verifiable. However, since I’ve played most of these games more recently than any of you have, I feel it is a fairly trustworthy list. Feel free to disagree.

10. Tetris

Come on now, who doesn’t love Tetris? Hours of mindless fun and hand/eye coordination.

9. Metroid

This game blew my mind when it came out. You could go anywhere! It was all about exploring the world and trying to figure it all out. It was way ahead of it’s time and set a standard for many games that followed. It really didn’t get much better than this. Well.... it only got better than this 8 times.

8. Castlevania

I have always liked horror movies, so a “scary” video game was right up my alley. I also was a big fan of Indiana Jones, so I thought it was pretty great that the hero used a whip. Kill the vampires before they turn into sparkly woman stealers!

7. Contra

Contra was one of the greatest mulit-player shooting games ever. Me and my buddies even named one of our many impressive trampoline tricks a “Contra” due to it’s resembling the dying back flip from the game.

6. Final Fantasy

This game derived much of its format from a higher ranked game on my list, but it had some fantastic features of its own. Getting to form a team was really fun and created all kinds of new strategizing in the Role Playing Game world of video games. I’m a big fan of non-linear, “roam the world and try to figure it out” video games, and Final Fantasy fits that bill to a T. Good times here.

5. Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!!

One of the original Point Of View games. King Hippo trying to hold up his pants. Don’s inability to handle the 1-2 punch. The Bull Charge. The Tiger Punch. Punchout is all about pattern recognition and hoping that Doc can coach you to Iron Mike. LOVE THIS GAME!

4. Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros was included with most NES consoles when you purchased them in the mid 80’s. Everyone played this game. Everyone wanted to save the princess. Mine came as a split game of Super Mario Bros and Duckhunt, so we got a double bonus, along with the lesser known Gyromite robot. I can still play Mario Bros for hours on end and find new secret beanstalks and coinbricks. And besides all of that, how many sequels and spin offs can one game have? One of the best!

3. The Legend of Zelda

Fake Gold Plating on the game cartridge. How amazing is that? I’ll answer that question for you. Pretty Dang Amazing!! I remember the excitement when finding a new secret cave after many random bombings or a stairway under a burning a tree. Beating this game took a village of friends sharing secrets. It was simply spectacular. I might just have to go home and play after work today.

2. Tecmo Super Bowl

Sorry Madden. This is the greatest football video game of all time. College would have been much, much duller without our ongoing football seasons and the shenanigannery associated with them. If I could go back and apply all the hours spent playing this game to something constructive, like learning to play the violin, I would be in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra now.

1. Dragon Warrior

The Greatest Role Playing Game of all time. This game pre-dates Final Fantasy and many of the other RPG’s that followed. Dragon Warrior required patience, attention to detail, and methodically searching the world over for the equipment needed to win the game. No fast victories here. The sequels to this game were also great, but the classic original is my number one video game of all time.

So there you have it. Come on over some time and we’ll dust off the old NES console and blow in the back of the game cartridge (along with a dozen other tricks to get the games to work right) and spend a Saturday together. I should warn you though, I am pretty dominant in video game controllers only having two buttons.


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