Discover Some of the Best NES Games of All Time

During the early 80s, video gaming went into a massive dip in quality. People were having less fun playing video games, but it wasn't until Nintendo brought the big guns with the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES.

The NES reinvigorated the entire video game industry with the likes of Super Mario Bros and many other popular games. These games further solidified Nintendo as one of the big players in the industry.


These games have made a cultural impact and have influenced how games are being developed and played to this very day. With that in mind, here are some of the best NES games of all time.

Discover Some of the Best NES Games of All Time
Image Source: The Commissioners Thoughts 

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

Castlevania was a unique action platformer in the game. It offered gritty graphics and solid gameplay that takes it apart from other platform games. When Castlevania II rolled in, the game became truly popular, but it wasn't until Castlevania III was released that the entire series reached its peak.

The decision to return to its action-adventure platform gameplay solidified an already stable and interesting game. Castlevania III offers longer game time by extending the levels and difficulty of the game. The game also lets you play three different characters which ultimately meant different progression for the game.


Combine the non-linear progression as well as the well-rounded characters, and you have yourself a legendary game with high replay value than most games have today.

The Legend of Zelda

None is more iconic to Nintendo apart from the legendary Super Mario than Legend of Zelda. The game follows the adventures of Link who tries to save princess Zelda. Released in 1986, the game was released in gold-plated cartridges which were something unique during the time.

Zelda was an action-adventure RPG before the age of the internet. People were playing and experiencing the game through their lens and gathered together to discuss different ways of playing the game.


This, in turn, made a community out of the millions who have played the game. There were even a time players calling Nintendo's hotline or had to run the pages of gaming magazines to find the most effective way of playing the game.

The Legend of Zelda became one of Nintendo's staple games since it was first released. Up to this day, the franchise continues to thrive with a different take of the game and remakes of the original game.

Discover Some of the Best NES Games of All Time
Image Source: Time Magazine

Super Mario Bros. 3

The Nintendo Entertainment System truly reached its pinnacle of success upon the release of Super Mario Bros. 3. While the previous versions of the game still stand on their own and can even rival this upgrade, Super Mario Bros. 3 was the peak of creativity. 

Certain additions to the game such as the Raccoon Suit allowed Mario to soar and glide above the terrain. The game also features a lot of unique levels and environments, thus making the game even more interesting for the players.

Each world has a unique tone to it, making it very tantalizing for the eyes. There is so much to explore within the world of Super Mario Bros. 3. The game pushes the limits of the NES and does everything perfectly well. Everyone can call it the best NES game of all time.

Mega Man 2

What makes Mega Man 2 and the entire franchise truly unique is its non-linear gameplay. The game was probably the first franchise to allow players to choose which level they want to play first. This was also the only Mega Man game to benefit from a difficulty setting.

The difficulty setting made the game even more challenging for veteran players allowing for more fun when playing. The bright and colorful world and aesthetic of the game makes for some very amazing characters and enjoyable gameplay.

Mega Man 2 is an action-platformer that is often replicated by many others but fails in comparison to what the game has brought during that time. Even though it was just released within a year after the original game, Mega Man 2 still brought something fresh and new to the table, making it one of the best NES games.

Duck Hunt

No list can be complete without the inclusion of Duck Hunt. This iconic shooter game will be forever etched in history as one of the best NES games. The game includes a light gun called the Zapper.

The Zapper is used in combination with the NES into a bundle when purchasing the game. While Duck Hunt's point and shoot gameplay may be quite simple by today's standards, the fact that this was the first time that players got to hold a toy gun and shoot some ducks on the screen was quite exciting.

Duck Hunt's innovation and humor - yes, including the dog with the mocking laughter after missing your shot is what makes the game very charming. No other game at that time was able to capture the pure magic of shooting ducks on your television set.


During a time when the internet was just about to explode, the NES took over and created a worldwide sensation with these games. Not only were they very unique, but they also offered amazing gameplay, interesting characters, colorful settings, and a thriving community that was ready to share these best NES games with the world.