All 30 NES Mini Games Ranked From Least To Greatest

When the NES Mini launches in November I'm sure your first impulse will be to click around for a bit, play each game for a couple minutes, and then settle on Super Mario Bros. for the evening. There's nothing wrong with doing that, but in case you're wanting a clear mind going in on what's most worth your time and what isn't, check out this list for the pros, cons, and a breakdown of all 30 NES Mini games...

30- Bubble Bobble

2 Player Game

Description: You're a creature who shoots bubbles out of his mouth. For some reason, that turns them into food. You've played a version of this game before as it's playstyle is cloned quite often in online flash games. You're not going to spend hours on this one...honestly probably not more than one unless you're trying to make a point.

29- Ice Climbers

2 Player Game

Description: I don't want to say these characters got some unjustified love in Super Smash Bros Melee...but God this game is pretty bad. Is climbing a mountain fun in real life? It's even less fun when the jump mechanic is a bit wonky and you get halfway through a level only to be dropped by a Polar Bear in swim shorts.

28- Excitebike

1 player game

Description: You race on motorbikes in a straight line. Sometimes you hit hills, mud pits, or your bike overheats. The game isn't bad for what it is, but the lack of any multiplayer aspect makes the competitive aspect of this one wear down quick. I'm wholly convinced the only time Excitebike is fun is when you play it for free...which I have on two Nintendo consoles prior to this and I still don't like it.

27- Balloon Fight

2 player game

Description: In Balloon Fight you attack birds and try to score as many points as possible before losing all your balloons. With a friend this gets infinitely more fun as you compete for points or actively try to kill each other. Balloon Fight is not at all a bad game, and pretty damn fun with 2 players. It's ranked so low on this list because everything from here on out is a good game...and there have to be some lesser games. This is really the worst of the best though so take solace in that.

26-Dr. Mario

2 Player game

Description- If you can't play Tetris on the NES Mini, you might as well settle for this. Dr. Mario is nowhere as complicated as Tetris, but it is fun for what it is. Plus you can't beat that music!

25- Donkey Kong

2 Player game

Description: You know Donkey Kong. You could probably play the entire game right now in your head if you tried. No, it's not a bad game, but it's another one of those "oh hey look Donkey Kong" and then you're over it in under 20 minutes. You're no Steve Wiebe, and you won't be setting any records anytime soon so put that foolish notion out of your head.

24- Pac-Man

2 Player game

Description: Is Pac-Man a classic? Without question. Is it a classic on the NES? I don't think so. I'm of the opinion that Pac-Man doesn't feel like Pac-Man unless you have the joystick experience. The game is still fun to play, but there's just little differences in this version that make it less iconic and more mandatory than anything.

23- Zelda II: The Adventure Of Link

1 Player Game

Description: Yeah I snubbed a big franchise name so what? Are you really going to sit here and deny that this wasn't one of the worst Zelda titles of all time?! Even Nintendo can stumble and fall from time to time and this game was a prime example. It's a good thing they returned to their classic formula in Link to the Past...All that aside it's not a bad game. Even the worst Zelda game is still pretty decent.

22- Kid Icarus

1 Player Game

Description: If you're looking to rip your hair out this is your game. Kid Icarus handles well but is by far the most difficult NES game I've ever played. The guy playing it in the video clearly has some practice because my angel looks drunk in comparison. If you like a challenge play it, but if you'd rather not walk away from a game pissed off avoid it.

21-Startropics

1 player game

Description: You're on vacation and need to rescue someone. Startropics is essentially a Zelda but not Zelda type of game. There are definitely some similarities, but not quite the same experience. One positive is the music and the close-up shots of people's faces when you talk to them!

20- Double Dragon 2: The Revenge

2 Player Game

Description: When I first saw this video I thought "that can't be right" and realized I played the arcade version more. This version is fine, but it's not the arcade version that's for damn sure.

19-Donkey Kong Jr.

2 Player game

Description: If you're trying to get a younger kid into NES show them this game. It's time we start recognizing Donkey Kong Jr. as the superior game between the two. The colors are brighter, the animations more engaging, and it's just more fun overall. You may not like it, but accept it.

18- Gradius

2 player game

Description: To be honest this game shouldn't be ranked as high as it is. That said it's really the only of it's kind on this bundle and these space shooters are fun so I'll allow it.

17- Ghosts N' Goblins

2 Player Game

Description: This game is hard. I'm of the opinion that it's hard because it's poorly designed, but I'm sure many people would fight me on that. This game is for the Dark Souls Crowd that needs a challenge and likely no one else. You can try to beat it but you won't.

16- Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest

1 Player Game

Description: Sorry Castlevania II. Your mistake was being bundled with your first game.

15: Galaga

2 Player Game

Description: Where Pac-Man may lose some experience in nixing the joystick Galaga is honestly better without it. You can't move either direction other than left or right anyway...

14- Punch Out! Featuring Mr. Dream

1 Player Game

Description: Mike Tyson will never see another cent from Nintendo apparently. Punch Out is a really fun game without a doubt...but once you learn the patterns of fighters it loses its appeal. That said, I still have yet to get close to Mr. Dream.

13- Tecmo Bowl

2 Player Game

Description: It's Football without the trademarks. You still know which team is your team so quit griping. Honestly, this game is my favorite multiplayer experience on the NES. I see this one getting a lot of play time.

12- Ninja Gaiden

1 Player Game

Description: Hands down most polished side-scrolling fighter on the NES. It's quick, fun, and you feel like you're kicking ass the whole way through.

11- Super Mario Bros

2 Player Game

Description: Yeah I left it out of the top 10. Grow up. You've played this game 1001 times and yes it's fun but theres other things to enjoy in life.

10- Final Fantasy

1 Player Game

Description- This is the game that started it all and introduced RPG's to a Western audience. Obviously, it left a lasting impression and it's still pretty fun to play!

9-Super Contra

2 Player Game

Description: The Konami Code is still a thing for a reason. Running around and shooting things with a seemingly endless supply of bullets is still a commonly used game mechanic for a reason. Contra still gets released every couple of years for a reason.

8- Super Mario Bros 2

2 Player Game

Description: Did you know Super Mario Bros 2 was originally a different game? Yeah everyone knows that and if they don't they don't care. The game is still fun despite not being the traditional Mario adventure and truthfully is more similar to the current "New Super Mario Bros" than the original.

7- Mario Bros

2 Player Game

Description: Yeah hate all you want. This game is awesome and I know I'm going to get s*** for putting it so high on the list but if you want to see two men settle a dispute using nothing but their wits and endurance you put this game on and let the cards fall where they may. It's a classic, quick, simple and fun and that's the bottom line.

6- Mega Man 2

1 Player Game

Description: The music, the gameplay, the difficulty. This is Mega Man at his peak...which is why the series hasn't really changed in several decades.

5- Castlevania

1 Player Game

Description: If you've never played Castlevania this game will spoil you. Obviously, the original is a good jump off point to get into any franchise but that couldn't be more true than with this one.

4-Metroid

1 Player Game

Description: Every person who gets an NES mini will try to beat this game at least once. Some will be successful, others will jam out to the soundtrack and not care that they did. Even if you can't beat it this one is always fun to play.

3-Kirby's Adventure

1 Player Game

Description: Honestly, my top pick for games on the NES. I know that's an unpopular opinion to most so I didn't put it at number one, but I love this game so much. The animation is great, the music is better, and the gameplay is exactly the same as it is now. Truly an awesome game.

2- The Legend Of Zelda

1 Player Game

Description: What more needs to be said? This is the game that started a lot of people's gaming careers. It was the first major step in game storytelling. It is art and should be experienced as such.

1- Super Mario Bros 3

2 player game

Description: Was there ever any doubt this would be number 1? It's Super Mario Bros with more style, polish, and a lot more pizazz. We all talk about how Super Mario Bros was the classic, but many of the era prefer this game to the former.

 

I already know you disagree with many of my choices. I'm cool with it. Rant below.

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