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Top 15 Best 8-Bit Games on the NES Classic Edition

Mini Nintendo Entertainment System

The best of the retro.

Super Mario Bros (1987) on the NES

What better way to experience Nintendo’s iconic era of gaming than the series many consider pioneered the platforming genre? As the first Super Mario Bros game in the franchise, players control everyone’s favourite plumber as they run, jump and circumvent obstacles on their journey to save the esteemed Princess Peach.

 

Super Mario Bros 3 (1991) on the NES

With a host of new abilities, including the legendary racoon power-up, this third entry to the Super Mario Bros series expands the world further and gave players new areas to levels to explore within the Mushroom Kingdom. Prepare to delve once more into the magical world of Mario as Nintendo prove they can craft a game which retains the core mechanics of its predecessors while simultaneously improving upon them in every way.

 

The Legend of Zelda (1987) on the NES

Step into the shoes of Nintendo’s green-clad mascot Link, a hero thrust into situation which sees the land of Hyrule engulfed in chaos. To restore peace to Hyrule, you’ll have to master the sword and shield, collect the fragmented pieces of the Triforce, and save Princess Zelda. With its compelling narrative, top down approach to exploration and outstanding gameplay, The Legend of Zelda has earned its place in video game history.

 

Donkey Kong (1986) on the NES

This series catapulted Nintendo’s Mario into the spotlight and his platforming debut saw him leaping over obstacles as he attempts to overthrow the oversized ape Donkey Kong. This title not only laid the foundation for the platforming genre, but it still manages to hold up today in all its pixelated glory.

 

Metroid (1988) on the NES

Explore the galaxy and traverse dangerous alien worlds in Metroid, a series which embraces the mystery of its extra-terrestrial science fiction setting. Players control Samus Aran, the fearless heroine, as you try to survive its twisting 2D levels, collecting power-ups and firing at any hostile creatures. With its eclectic blend of action and adventure, Metroid succeeded in bringing another unforgettable series to the Nintendo Entertainment System.

 

Kirby’s Adventure (1993)

The gluttonous pink creature known as Kirby arrived on the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993 and swiftly proceeded to swallow anything in his path. This amusing pink creature demonstrated a range of powers which captured the imagination of players in this 8-bit platformer. What made Kirby so special, was his ability to emulate the abilities of any enemy he swallowed, and, depending on how peckish Kirby felt, this number could increase exponentially.

 

Punch Out (1990) on the NES

This virtual boxing simulator saw players work their way up the ladder towards the enigmatic championship spot. As Little Mike, a miniature boxer with a sizable punch, players had to master bobbing and weaving around opponents to succeed; utilizing a combination of offence and defence, players worked towards the knockout punch in Nintendo’s strategic boxing simulator.

 

Kid Icarus (1986) on the NES

Kid Icarus gave players a crash course in archery as they drew their bow and fired arrows at any opponent in their path. Marking the debut of Pit, Nintendo’s winged protagonist who bears a striking resemblance to Cupid, Kid Icarus paints rich narrative rich which draws from Greek Mythology. This entertaining introduction to the series saw players embark on a quest to strike back at the snake-haired Medusa rescue the goddess Palutena in this colorful platformer.

 

Ice Climber (1985) on the NES

Players will traverse to colossal heights in this glacial game which sees you defending yourself against all manner of wild animals on you ascend to the top. Nintendo’s inventive level design coupled with unpredictable weather conditions culminated in a harrowing vertical adventure which aims to test your wits as you journey to the summit.

 

Double Dragon II: The Revenge (1988)

This classic side scrolling beat ‘em up returns in all its retro glory to challenge players as they fight their way through its deadly levels. As you navigate this 2D plane, you’ll fight gangs, ninjas and all manner of riff raff as you undertake a perilous quest for revenge. With an array of attacks on offer, including weapons at your disposal, you’ll fight off waves of enemies as they attempt to impede your progress in this engaging beat ‘em up.

 

Final Fantasy (1987)

The original entry to the ground-breaking Final Fantasy franchise comes packaged with the Nintendo Entertainment System Mini and offers players the classic role playing experience the series is known for. Whether engaging in battles, exploring dungeons or chatting to local citizens in towns, here is one of the most influential role playing games which established the tropes we still see today.

 

Ghosts ‘n Goblins (1986)

Challenging doesn’t even begin to explain the stiff difficulty of Ghost ‘n Goblins as control the noble King Arthur on his quest to save the princess. Infused with a supernatural element this mesmerizing adventure will see you facing off against an onslaught of undead creatures in a game which will test your ability as a player.

 

Mega Man 2 (1988)

The robotic hero Mega Man returns, with his sophomore offering the series expands upon the scope of the original and sees the titular hero amassing an expanded arsenal of abilities. Players will fight against hordes of robotic enemies and use the games tight controls to also conquer tricky platforming sections. These elements come together in a cohesive package which elevates the Mega Man series and makes this retro sequel a must play.

 

Ninja Gaiden (1988)

Become the shadow warrior Ryu as you journey on a quest for vengeance in this side scrolling platformer. Using ancient ninja techniques you’ll defeat enemies across several levels. Ninja Gaiden also features beautiful cut scene’s which serve to deliver the narrative in this compelling adventure.

 

Pac Man (1980)

As the energetic yellow skinned video game icon, you’ll chomp your way through winding mazes in one of the most recognisable video games ever created. Bundled as part of the Nintendo Entertainment System collection, players can relive the 80’s with this arcade classic. Captured in its original form, Nintendo presents this pellet-popping, ghost-guzzling hero in all his old-school glory.

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