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411 Games Top 5 2.01.14: Top 5 NES Games
Posted by Sean Garmer on 02.01.2014



Hello everyone, I hope it has been a good week for all the readers out there. Let's go back in time to when the Nintendo Entertainment System ruled the world.


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 photo NESGames_zpsc29ba002.jpg



This week, the 411 staff were asked to give out lists for their Top 5 Best NES Games


* Robert Cooper and Daniel Anderson's lists were edited in Saturday morning *





Todd Vote (Games Zone Reviewer, Regular Contributor to Four Player Co-op)


HM:Tetris, Double Dribble, Blades of Steel, Basewars, Skate or Die


5.Double Dragon - I was a big fan of this game. It is absolutely one of my favorites from the NES era. Took me forever to beat it too. Never actually did until a friend showed me a bit of a cheap way to build up my hearts to get the newer more powerful moves. Talk about grinding out levels..



4.RC Pro Am - One of my first racing games outside of Pole Position. RC Pro Am was fun, had a variety of vehicle classes and races to choose from, and offered some quick paced racing. This is also one of the first racers I remember playing that offered powerups that could help you and hinder your fellow racers... Just a fun experience.

3.Hogan's Alley - Based on a shooting range at a Special Police Camp in Fort Perry, this game featured cardboard cut outs for you to shoot at. There were criminals, and civilians, and you had to choose which ones were which and shoot accordingly. It wasn't quite Duck Hunt, but for some reason I found myself enjoying it. Fun Fact: Apparently 3 years after the release of the game, the FBI Accademy opened a training facility in Quantico, VA called Hogans Alley.



2.Tetris - Tetris is THE puzzle game, and it always will be. Sure there are variations out there, but Tetris has to be considered the granddaddy of them all, right?

1. Super Mario 3 - I went back and forth over which Mario game to feature here, but I suppose it is a no brainer when you think about it. Super Mario Brothers might be the most important video game on the NES, but Super Mario 3 is by far the superior playing experience.





John Cash (Reader Voice, Occasionally Contributes to Four Player Co-op)


Note: I also decided to only allow one entry per series.



5. Disney's Adventures in the Magic Kingdom: This game had it all; platforming (Haunted Mansion/Pirates of the Caribbean), QTEs (Space Mountain/Big Mountain Thunder, a driving segment (Autopia), and even a little bit of trivia (those horribly outdated questions you had to guess at to be directed to which ride Pluto went towards.) It really made it feel like you were getting a lot of stuff piled in to one cartridge. Now there are some infamous parts, but I think over-all it's just a fun game that also had it's hand in the "nintendo hard" cookie jar.





4. World Cup: I was quite young when I started playing this, maybe four or five, so a lot of my early enjoyment with this game came from when guys would get knocked down or watching the goalie get annihilated by the special kick super ball. Another thing World Cup did was teach me geography, as there were definitely some countries I'd never heard of before, and luckily my baby-sitter and parents would always teach me how to say them and took the time to show me on a map where they were. It gets pretty frustrating (rightly so) when you get closer to the finals. And I think everybody would share a deep sigh or loud groan with me as I fondly remember the "ice level".

3. Excitebike: As a launch game it was pretty simple, but that lends to its charm and is a driving force in its continued popularity I think. It was always so nerve-racking, getting into first place, and seeing those other computer racers just at the edge of the screen waiting for you to screw up. Of course, there's always the great times had making a course (WHOA) with only those super jump ramps and you had to hit them just right or you'd have to drive through grass or a bunch of rough patches. It's the kind of game that when I was playing (read: spending half the day on) Animal Crossing on the GameCube, and I received Excitebike as a gift, there were times where I'd start playing Excitebike and forget I was even playing on the GameCube, much less in Animal Crossing.





2. Ghosts N Goblins: This was one of the last games I got to play before skipping forward to the N64 (my best friend had a Genesis, so it was many years before I ever got to sit down and play a SNES game on an actual SNES.) For me, this game is the definition of "nintendo hard", and I imagine many other people see it that way too. The most memorable thing for me was the double jump, I just couldn't wrap my head around that as a kid, and why couldn't Mario double jump too. The music is obviously legendary, and the twist at the end is very much like playing basketball with someone who is really good, thinking you are winning just by the skin of your teeth, and then they say "Okay, now that we're warmed up, let's start keeping score."





1. Super Mario Bros. 3: I would not be surprised if everyone has this or The Legend of Zelda at number one. I personally didn't get to play Zelda until I was in high school, so I have left it off the list for the sake of not being able to have much of a first-hand opinion on it rather than going by hype. Super Mario Bros. 3, to me, is still the best 2D platformer of all time. There's just so much to do, and so much variety. The soundtrack is catchy and memorable (I imagine most people who played if for at least an hour can hum the entire overworld 1 theme from memory.) If I were to even try to come up with a complaint about this game, it would most likely be something like "It's too short, there's not enough, GIVE ME MORE."




Robert Cooper (Music Zone Reviewer, Writer of the Metal Hammer of Doom News Report, Regular Contributor to "Cooperative Multiplayer" The Official 411 Games Podcast, Regular Contributor to Music Zone Top 5)



Honorable Mentions


Battletoads-Has anyone ever beaten this game?

Ninja Gaiden-I've not played much of it, but what I have played has beaten my ass.

Final Fantasy- Does a damn good job of being a great RPG, and started the awesome Final Fantasy series.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out-I can't believe it took Mike Tyson over 20 years to actually play the game, and he lost to Glass Joe.




5. Castlevania: Ah, the original Castlevania, while it (along with another entry later in my list) is one of games that I have only VERY recently gotten into, the quality shows even through the still control system. This is one of those games that was hard and as a rock and would kick your ass but after every difficult section you get through, you always find yourself wanting more. I never beat the game, but I made it a few levels in and was satisfied with my experience enough to put it on my neverending "to do" list.




4. Metroid: Adventure and atmosphere are great, and Metroid has both elements stockpiled for the winter. The game feels so bleak and lonely, but I love it and keep wanting to play more. I have the GBA version of this and am going to keep chipping away at it between Pokemon sessions.





3. The Legend of Zelda: SPEAKING of adventure, here is one of the games that is most famous for it, The Legend of Zelda. While I grew up on the N64 and didn't play Ocarina until I was 12, I always knew and had a healthy respect for the original game. So I finally went and played it, and what do you know? It's actually as good as advertised. There are some really difficult sessions and secrets that I never seem to find, but overall I find the game to be exciting and plenty of fun.

2. Super Mario Bros: I know 3 should be on this list, but I haven't actually played it, so yeah...next best thing is the first one. I got this game for the Game Boy Color when I was a wee lad and I played it endlessly until I finally got to world 8. So when I got to world 8, my playing tapered off because it got frustratingly hard, especially the damn water level. So I get to world 8-3, and stop because of damn Bullet Bill, and take a break from the game. Fast forward a year or so and a kid on my schoolbus told me he'll trade me Pokemon Pinball for any of my games, so I meant to give him this shitting Lego game, but in my infinite wisdom, I forgot I had Mario in my pocket and traded him a good game for a good game. Oh well, it sucks to have lost the game, but Pokemon Pinball is pretty damn great.




1. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse: What do you know, another Castlevania game! Just like how Mario 3 was to the Super Mario series (or at least that's what they tell me), Castlevania 3 is to the Castlevania series. It came off a release that wasn't the same as the first, and thus not as loved as the other two. But it still manages to take what the first game did and improve it greatly. While the controls are still a bit still, you now can choose between other characters as you progress throughout the game. The one that I remember the most is Alucard, which is the same Alucrad from Symphony of the Night, even if he looks nothing like him. This is like the original Castlevania, but bigger, longer, and uncut. Out of all of the NES titles, I find this one to be my favorite of all time (though I never grew up with the system, so I've missed some of the classics, for sure).



Daniel Anderson (Games Zone Reviewer, Games Fact or Fiction Organizer, Regular Contributor to "Cooperative Multiplayer" The Official 411 Games Podcast)


5.Ducktales - This is one of those games that got played more because I was a fan of the show then I knew what was a good game. Looking back though, I realize how lucky I was to get play a good licensed game. I loved playing this game and remembered how frustrating it could be, but it never stopped being fun. Just thinking about it has the theme playing in my head.



4.Legend of Zelda - I did not play this game as much as some people because I was young when it came out. It ended up sitting on my shelf for a while until I aged a bit. When I sat down to try it again I finally understood what everyone was talking about when they said it was a good game. I spent one summer playing it all day long. My parents were not happy seeing me sitting in the same spot as I was when they left for work.

3.Mega Man 2 - I never owned this game, but I loved it all the same. Remember when you would rent a game and only have the weekend to beat it so you would play it almost nonstop? This was the first game I stayed up real late playing. I loved this game. I had a book that told me the suggested pattern to beat the bosses and it took me several hours to play it, but I remembered the sense of accomplishment for beating this game. Another game that was tough, but fun.



2.Battletoads - This was another weekend long playfest for me. I am fairly stubborn (as my family would be happy to tell you), and I really wanted to beat this game. I had Nintendo Power at the time, and I had the Battletoads issue where it gave you a map of each level (this really helped on the race type levels). I remember pausing the game repeatedly on the Sunday before the game had to go back to the video store each time I got past an obstacle to see what I had to do to get past the next. A lot of people will complain, but using that guide, I was able to beat the game and count it as one of my greater video game accomplishments to date.



1. Super Mario 3 - This is not to say the first (or the second one for that matter) Mario game was bad. Far from it. It basically defined the NES for years. Super Mario 3, took that good, but basic, game and turned the dial from 10 to 100. I was such a massive leap in graphics and gameplay I was blown away (I mean being able to fly through a level!!!!). This game is one of my all-time favorites and I steal play it today when I want something light, but challenging. It is also the only NES game that I have purchased several times so I can keep playing it on whatever handheld system I have.



Sean Garmer (Games Zone Reviewer, Games Top 5 Organizer, Regular Contributor to "Cooperative Multiplayer" The Official 411 Games Podcast, WWE Roundtable Organizer)



5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game: This was just fun and it stars the Ninja Turtles as well. I remember taking turns with friends trying to get through levels and dying so many times in the process. One of the best beat-em-ups to come out on the system and the best Ninja Turtles game to come out on the NES as well, I think anyway.






4. Tecmo Bowl: The first sports game I ever played and still one of my favorites that I play to this day. Bo Jackson was the s*** in this game, but you already knew that. This was really a landmark for sports games on a video game system. I just loved tricking the difference and running right through them all day long.

3. Final Fantasy 1: Yes, I know FF 2 is better, but we didn't get that here in the states. Instead, we had this, which was my first foray into RPG's without me really knowing it. As a kid, I thought this game was boring and to be honest it is still pretty simple by today's standards. In College, when I decided to go back and play all the Final Fantasy games I played this first and wound up having a much deeper appreciation for what Squaresoft tried to do. I think it still holds up today as a decent RPG on its own and I feel better having beat it and being able to get over by younger version saying "all you do is walk around, fight monsters, and gain levels." Little that I know RPG's would become my favorite kind of game.




2. Legend of Zelda: One of the greatest games ever made that I truly didn't get to appreciate until I was in college because I always thought "Zelda's just not for me." I think it can be difficult for a lot of people to get into today because honestly without some kind of map to navigate the game it can get nauseatingly difficult to figure out where the hell you are. But if you battle through it, the game is deeply rewarding and I wound up gaining a new love for Adventure Games after beating the first Link game.



1. Super Mario Bros. 3: This game is just awesome and may be the best game ever made on the NES. I find myself still playing this game at least once every few weeks because it is just that fun. I still think it is my favorite Mario game of all-time and I actually have never beaten the game completely. Maybe I need to make that a mission at some point soon.



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Fun Links To Checkout



Wrestling 2 the MAX Podcast. Go listen to episode 75 and tell us what you think at wrestling2themax@gmail.com this week, we reviewed WWE Royal Rumble 2014 PPV and reviewed RAW, TNA Genesis Part 2, and NXT with special guest Chris Lemchi. We also discussed how what happened at the Royal Rumble affects Wrestlemania 30.




We also had our second W2M Extra that we recorded Friday morning discussing CM Punk quitting WWE, Macho Man Randy Savage not being in the Hall of Fame, Japanese stars possibly headed to WWE, and MVP's debut in TNA as well.




If you are a fan of W2M make sure to listen live on Monday Nights at Midnight ET on Spreaker.com And you can always call-in at (972)-591-8620 And make sure you join our ever growing facebook group as well. W2M Facebook

You might want to visit the W2M facebook page this month as every week we will ask a new trivia question and the first five to answer correctly will be entered into a random drawing that takes place on February 23rd after Elmination Chamber ends. The person selected in the draw will win a six month subscription to the launch day edition of the WWE NETWORK! On us. So, don't miss out.

The Trivia Question this week is: How many wrestlers on the active roster have won The Royal Rumble match. You must also post the year they won and if they won twice that must also be noted in your response as well. Have fun and always live life to the MAX!!!


If you don't listen to the Official 411 Games Podcast "Cooperative Multiplayer" you should because Stephen Randle hosts a panel of 411 Games Zone staffers (usually including myself, Robert Cooper, Daniel Anderson, and possibly a few others) discussing games they've played, the gaming news of the week, and just having a lot of fun too. Here is this week's episode…





Games Coming Out the Week of 02/02/14




Bravely Default (Nintendo 3DS)



The Wolf Among Us Episode 2: Smoke And Mirrors (Xbox 360, PC, MAC, PS3)



The Lego Movie Video Game (All Systems)



Fable Anniversary (Xbox 360)




Jazz Punk (PC, MAC, Linux)







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