Top 100 NES/Famicom Games List #79-70

Arguably the most beloved console of all time, the Nintendo Entertainment System, commonly abbreviated as NES, is now well over 25 years old. With over two thousand games produced worldwide for the legendary hardware, the NES, despite it age, has an eternal staying power. As retro gaming continues to grow in popularity, more and more gamers flock to Nintendo’s first home console to get their gaming fix.

Welcome to part two of a ten part special looking back on the top 100 NES and Famicom games ever produced.

Since many NES games can be a real test of player’s patience and skill, I am ranking every game on its overall difficulty using a simple scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is brain dead easy and 10 is….well,  Battletoads. A 5 on this scale means it’s average difficulty with perhaps some challenging elements, but nothing the average gamer should get stuck on for too long.

I’m also including many links to videos and other online information sources. Links are indicated by orange words. Please open these links in a new tap/window so you don’t have to navigate away from this article.

Previous entries:

part 1, #100-90

part 2, #89-80

So without further ado, I hope you will enjoy the Top 100 NES/Famicom Games List!


Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll
Price range: $4-6
Difficulty: 8

It’s a race to the moon for the two snakes, Rattle and Roll! As Rattle or Roll, eat as many balls (called Nibbley Pibblies apparently) as you can to grow longer and heavier. Once you’re heavy enough, make your way to the scales and escape out the exit door. Can you make it all the way to the moon? The game offers a two player co-op mode.

Why you should play it

One of the most beloved NES Rare games, Snake Rattle ‘n Roll continues the Rare tradition – the game looks amazing with a huge attention to the way sprites animate, but smooth controls and a reasonable challenge are secondary traits the developer never really got around to. Indeed, Snake Rattle ‘n’ Roll suffers from what can only be described as slippery controls and difficulty spikes that can be called unfair and raise the level of frustration beyond many retro gamer’s limits.  Even still, I really do like Snake Rattle ‘n Roll. Those who stick with it will find Rare’s isometric action game where snakes eat balls and attack random enemies (like feet, fungi and toilet seats just to name a few) to be one worth a look at. If you’re frustrated easily, tread carefully. Or use GameGenie. Games like this just aren’t made anymore.

Fun Fact

Snake Rattle ‘n Roll was later ported to the Sega MegaDrive in Europe only. The concept of the game originated from Rare’s small programming team who set out to try and make their next hit using the smallest ROM chips they could get away with. Due to clever tile recycling and other techniques to reduce file size, Snake Rattle ‘n Roll, released to critical acclaim in 1989, used only two 256 kilobit (as in, 32 KB) ROM chips, no doubt ensuring maximum profits condescending the low manufacturing costs.


Golgo 13 The Mafat Conspiracy
Vic Tokai
Price range: $4-6

March, 1990. After a highly advanced, experimental American Strategic Defense satellite crashes into the alps, threatening letters are sent to Washington and the Kremlin, signed by a terrorist organization known as the Mafat Revolutionary Group. The Mafat organization claims to possess an important top western scientist as a hostage, as well as technology to bring both the United States and the Soviet Union to their knees.

After demanding the US provide a nuclear armed submarine and the Soviet Union turn over research on the military application of electromagnetic waves, the  CIA seeks out the legendary assassin Duke Togo, aka Golgo 13. The CIA hire Golgo 13 to eliminate the leaders of the Mafat organization, rescue the kidnapped scientist, and destroy the Mafat’s super weapon. All in a day’s work for the world’s greatest sharpshooter.

 Why you should play it

The sequel to Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode, The Mafat Conspiracy is an improvement in nearly every aspect. Most of the same game elements from Top Secret Episode are still present – platforming stages, 3D mazes, sniping missions and more, but nearly all of it feels tighter and better executed. Instead of the vaguely terrible shump sections and difficult first person encounters, there are now driving sections that play akin to Rad Racer and less frustrating 3D mazes.

On the other hand, don’t expect this game to be anywhere close to easy. the 3D mazes absolutely require maps (found in either the manual or on gamefaqs) and the sniping this time around is made considerably harder as the player needs to account for wind speed and direction when lining up their shots. The game doesn’t explain how to do this, and even the manual is vague about it. If you’re interested in this game but just can’t get the hang of how to snipe in Mafat Conspiracy, check out the video below. Be warned, the person explaining it spoils the ending in his rant, so only watch if you either already know what happens or  don’t care.

Fun Fact

At the time the game was released, the world was still heavily seeped in the Cold War, which would end only a matter of months later with the beginnings of the collapse of the Soviet Union. When that happened, The Mafat Conspiracy began to be discounted in many retailers who worried the game’s appeal would quickly dwindle. By the end of the NES era, both Top Secret Episode and the Mafat Conspiracy could be found anywhere that sold NES games new for $19.99 or less.  Even now amongst Cold War era collectables, complete copies of either Golgo 13 NES games can found for around that $20 price.

How to get past the sniper levels

#77Bonk’s Adventure
Action Platformer
Price range: $50-100
Difficulty: 6

Join Bonk on his all-new adventures as he travels through the savage Dinosaur Land in search of the beautiful Moon Princess Za, who was kidnapped by Bonk’s old nemesis King Drool. Now Bonk has to use his head (literally) to save the princess and the kingdom. Use powerful head-butts to blast King Drool’s fools off of the map. Spring off the local wild flowers to gain altitude on your enemies. Knock heads with nasty beasts and strange critters to prove who’s king of the jungle! Explore an incredible realm filled with monsters, traps and the toughest kid from prehistoric times, Bonk!
Why you should play it
A very late NES release, Bonk’s Adventure is a backport of one of TurboGrfx 16’s biggest hits. The NES version obviously couldn’t produce the same level of details the powerful NEC hardware could, but the port is incredibly well done nevertheless. What first appears to be an average platformer, Bonk’s Adventure’s gimmick is that Bonk bashes his foes using his forehead as Mario uses his boots. The visual presentation is top-notch amongst NES platformers and the music is pleasant and enjoyable. The game allows you to simply pick up from where you died if you loose all your health, which is very handy indeed. If you want a copy, be prepared to shell out some major cash. Because of its rarity, loose, cart only copies typically sell for over $100. If you just want to give it a try, I suggest Retrozone’s Powerpak. Check out my review for more info.
Fun Fact
Bonk was originally created as a comic character named PC Caveman(Genjin), in Japanese magazine ads for the PC Engine. So many people liked the character that there were talks held on giving him a game of his own. In addition to this, many people even mistook him for an upcoming game character even before his game was in development, because of his frequent appearances in ads of upcoming games.
Original Commercial (TG-16 version)

#76Super Mario World
Hummer Team
Price range: ?
Difficulty: 6

While on holiday to Yoshi’s Island, once again, the evil Bowser has captured Princess Toadstool. It’s up to Mario to save her. To aid him in his quest, Mario must use the flying ability of the feather to get him to places hard to reach. But what’s even more important is his new friend, the dinosaur Yoshi, who Mario can ride through each level and eat the enemies.

Why you should play it

This is a pirated Famicom conversion of Super Mario World released out of Hong Kong sometime in the mid 90s. With a total of 28 stages, it’s easily one of the longest pirated platformers out there. As you can tell from the screenshots above, it’s also completely gorgeous. Although everything was taken from the 16-bit version, this pirate is a benchmark for how good pirated games can look. It’s not perfect, as there’s a nasty problem with the game’s engine that if Mario jumps from full speed he will suddenly slow down to a walking pace. This can easily be corrected using the GameGenie code YUSUPLAZ. Check out the gameplay video below to see this pirated gem in action.

Fun Fact

Although it is highly sought after, this pirate is extremely rare. I’ve only had the opportunity to play it in emulator, and given that it’s a mapper 90 Chinese pirate, a reproduction is out of the question because of its exclusive mapper. If anyone has or knows of the full version, please contact me. This is one I really want to buy.

#75Bionic Commando
Price range: $6-8
Difficulty: 6

Many years ago, an enormous war was held between two great powers. The first one was the evil Empire “The Badds”, who wanted nothing else than to take over the world and rule it with strong dictatorship. Against them was the Federation, an organization who fought for peace and democracy, and did all they could to stop the Empire’s plans. Eventually, after a long battle, the Federation won, and the Empire was put back for a while, reforming their battle units.Recently, some top secret Badd Empire plans were found by the Federation. The plans described a very detailed construction process of a terrifying and deadly new super weapon flying fortress called “The Albatross”. However, the plans were scrapped when the person with the key knowledge, Master-D, was killed.Now, the Empire’s new leader, general Killt, reformed his army and the Badds are once again a threat to world peace. Killt also started top secret research projects in order to finish The Albatross. Although the chances for these plans to succeed looked slim, the Federation didn’t take any risks. If The Albatross was ever to be completed, chaos would rise in the world. They sent out one of their best soldiers, Super Joe, to infiltrate the Badds’ mainland, and stop the Empire’s plans.Unfortunately, the Federation lost contact with Super Joe. Presumed to be alive  but captive, and held captive the Federation decided to send out one of their best new soldiers Rad Spenser. Trained in solo operations and equipped with a cybernetic bionic arm, Spenser sets out on the battlefield.

Why you should play it

Bionic Commando is a game that broke molds. It was a platformer you couldn’t jump in. It had areas where you weren’t suppose to shoot the bad guys. Shooting itself was only secondary to actions preformed with your bionic arm. In all of these ways Bionic Commando stands as a unique gem. The plot of the game as you can tell is rather ridiculous, but its wholly enjoyable. From the way your bionic arm controls your movement to the weapon upgrades and amazing music, this one truly stands the test of time. If you know the game only from its current gen remake Bionic Command Rearmed, give the NES version a shot. Likewise, if you only know the NES version, give Rearmed a shot. Both are amazing.

Fun Fact

Instead of the silly censored plot the US version of the game carries, the Japanese version clearly states the Badds to be the Nazis and the Federation to be the Allied Nations. The Nazi plot is to complete the albatross and revive Hitler. In fact, regardless of what his name is in-game, in both the Japanese and US releases, the final boss is Hitler himself. Not particularity shocking today, this was a rare move for a videogame to do at the time and is yet another reason why Bionic Commando stands out amongst so many others of its day.


Dig Dug
Price range: $4-12
Difficulty: 5

Create your own maze as you tunnel fearlessly through the earth. Your goal: Reap tasty vegetables worth healthy points. Your enemies: ghosts who want to bury you alive, fierce fire-breathing dragons, and mean balloon-like bullies! Can you dig it? Here’s the exciting home version of the celebrated coin-op original!

Why you should play it

Another perfect example of how well arcade games of its era could be ported to the Famicom, Namco’s Dig Dug is a truly excellent retro game that stands up wonderfully even to this day. Strangely released only in Japan, there is no official NES counterpart of the original Dig Dug, but like most early Famicom games, the Famicom Dig Dug can frequently be found on just about any NES multicart out there. I recommend tracking down a physical cart if possible as well as this is one of the best home console versions of the classic bike pump murderer classic out there.

Batshit insane Arcade version Commerical

Fun Fact

You can track your level progression by looking at the flowers on the surface at the top of the screen. Small flowers represent the ones, and the big flowers are the tens. I’m not actually sure what happens when you exceed level 99. I wonder if there’s a kill screen like in Duck Hunt? I’d love to find out someday!

#73Mechanized Attack
Price range: $6-8
Difficulty: 6

At first, it looked like just another revolution. But reports have come in that the rebel forces are backed by an unusual array of high-tech weaponry – and that the rebel soldiers may actually be a fearsome new breed of fighting robots! If this revolution succeeds, the safety of the entire world may be threatened… And that’s where you come in. You must attempt to infiltrate the island base of the rebel forces. But before you even reach the shore, you’ll have to contend with enemy gunboats, frogmen, choppers, and destroyers. If you make it to the island, you’ll find it patrolled by enemy soldiers armed with machine guns, daggers and grenades; vicious attack dogs; and lethal airborne probes, programmed to destroy intruders on sight. Other unknown dangers lie in wait as well. You haven’t got a minute to waste. Pick up your controller or Zapper or both – it’s time to launch your MECHANIZED ATTACK!

Why you should play it

Although Mechanized Attack may seem similar to Taito’s Operation Wolf, this game is much, much better. When you first shoot at many of the games’ enemies, their skins will fall out revealing them to be Terminator like robots that are a hell of a lot more fun to shoot than random soldiers. While the arcade version of Mechanized Attack had a miniature machine gun replica for the player to use, this NES adaptation attempts to reproduce the feel by allowing the player to hold down the Zapper trigger for automatic fire or simply use the controller. Either way works amazingly well. Unlike Operation Wolf where ammo was in constant short supply, extra ammo in Mechanized Attack is plentiful. The best way to play the game is to hold the Zapper in one hand with your other hand to the controller to throw grenades or missiles as needed. This is easily the best zapper game on the system.

Fun Fact

SNK, one of the industry’s major powerhouses in arcade game hardware, produced several NES games before striking out on their own with their incredibly powerful Neo-Geo Multi Video System and Advanced Entertainment System hardware. Many of their NES ports were top-notch, and Mechanized Attack is no exception. This is perhaps the developer’s best lightgun game.


Air Fortress
HAL Laboratories
Shoot ’em Up/Platformer
Price range: $2-6
Difficulty: 5

The inhabitants of the planet Farmel have long lived in peace. They have traveled all around the galaxy in their advanced spacecrafts called lightships. Then one day the peace was disturbed with the arrival of mysterious fortresses built upon asteroids. These fortresses appeared to be alive and began destroying all other civilizations.The Federation of intergalactic powers organized defense forces immediately, but were no math for the superior defenses of the Air Fortress armada. With the next target being the peaceful planet Farmel itself, the Federation decided to select a specially trained soldier, ID2592 named Hal Bailman to infiltrate and destroy each fortress from within. Now Hal departs to destroy the Air Fortresses and save Farmel.
Why you should play it

As I stated in my ReviewAir Fortress is one of the most unique games on the NES and is one that every retro gamer should check out. Perhaps one could even say it was ahead of its time as no other game ever copied and perfected the design. Even though it wasn’t extremely successful, HAL was brave to try something different and that is why I feel it is worth a second look now. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Air Fortress is one blend of Retro awesomeness you should try at least once.

Original Commerical

#71Bomberman 2
Price range: $40-60
Difficulty: 5

Explosive action spotlights this riveting game of split-second timing and really short fuses! Bomberman’s back – this time with new power-up items that enhance this classic seek-and-destroy adventure! It’s all-out fun for the whole family as you hunt monsters (or each other) in a non-stop bomb-dropping frenzy! The one-player mode has over 50 levels of intense gameplay! Find the right strategy and blow the mangy critters to smithereens! You can also take on one or two of your friends in heated competition to see who among you can earn the title of Supreme Bomberman! Secret Bonus Rounds add mega-points and extra lives to your score! Uncover hidden bonus items for super bombs and fantastic firepower!
Why you should play it
Bomberman II is very similar to the original Bomberman, but with much improved graphics, audio and yes, even gameplay.If you’ve ever played Bomberman, you know what to expect. You’re in a maze filled with breakable blocks that you explode to gain power ups, kill enemies, and expose the exit door. If you’re good enough to not die as you play, you can eventually become ridiculously powerful, which makes the game a blast to play, no pun intended!
Fun Fact
Bomberman II is one of the few NES games that supports the FourScore adapter, a multitap that allows up to four controllers be plugged into an NES at once. Nevertheless, likely due to hardware limitations, only up to three players can play at once, with a fourth player needing to switch after every match. The game’s somewhat rare so if you come across it, make sure you don’t pass on it!
#70Journey to Silius
Price range: $8-12
Difficulty: 7

It is the year 0373 New Space Age (NSA). Earth’s overpopulation crisis has led to demand for space colonies across all of known space. Jay McCray, son of a prolific colony scientist, has decided to move to Silius Space Colony #428 when his father is appointed leader of the colony and it’s future development. However, when reports of strange robots appearing all over the Silius station is quickly followed by a massive explosion that nearly destroys the colony, Jay’s world is shattered. His father was killed in the blast leaving few clues and the media to report the explosion as a mere accident.
Searching for answers on Earth, Jay find’s a floppy disk in his father’s room. Examining the contents, Jay discovers the disk not only contains his father’s complete plans for the future development of the future colonies, but also a personal message to Jay written by his father in case of his death. “Terrorists are plotting to destroy the colony development. If anything  happens to me, you must complete the project.” In order to protect the remaining people of Silius colony #428 and avenge his father’s death, Jay McCray suits up and arms himself for battle  on his solo journey to Silius.
Why you should play it
Journey to Silius is an incredible game in many respects. Made by Sunsoft, the audio/visual presentation is unbelievably high – Journey to Silius is probably in the top 10 best looking NES games ever. From the varied and colorful locales to the huge imposing bosses, everything that you see in the game is simply stunning. As great as the visuals are though, not enough can ever be said on how incredible the music. Instead of just including a gameplay video, please watch this incredible remix collection produced by the very talented Dj Axis, circa 2007 when he was on ScrewAttack’s Retro Remix.
As far as gameplay goes, most of the platforming is simple and straightforward, but the ability to change your weapons on the fly is helpful and makes the game less boring. Not that you’ll have the opportunity to be bored – as you would expect from an NES Sunsoft game, Journey to Silius is quite difficult. I recommend the use of a turbo controller to help deal with some of the game’s dicier areas filled with enemies.
Fun Fact

Originally, Journey to Silius was intended to be a Terminator themed game, hence the robots, the environments and the moody music. When they were not able to obtain the license however, Sunsoft changes slight elements, created an original sci-fi story and green lit the project. The North American version, released after the Japanese one, uses a main sprite actually used in the original beta. When Journey to Silius was released in Europe, the correct sprite was used, making the US version the odd one out.

DJ Axis’ Amazing Journey to Silius Retro Remix
This concludes part 3 of my look back at the Top 100 games for the NES/Famicom. Stay tuned for further installments as I count down the best of the best 8-bit Nintendo games out there. Feel free to drop a comment below regarding your own thoughts and memories regarding these ten picks.

8 Responses to “Top 100 NES/Famicom Games List #79-70”

  1. great list. i loved ‘snake rattle and roll’ as a kid, but it was so freakin’ hard!!

  2. You’ve got a great list of NES titles here. I’ve had trouble deciding what good games to collect/import. Review sites often bash a lot of the more unique titles or only review common games. I can’t wait to see what your #1-#69 titles are. Keep ’em coming 😉

  3. Now I have to play bionic commando again!

  4. I am loving this lis so far. I look forward to the rest. and i will also take a copy of the Super Mario World pirate, the demo or the full version.

  5. I like the US sprite of Journey to Silius better than the JP and EU one.

  6. Another worthy note about Mechanized Attack is that it occasionally gave you a choice of two paths. A single playthough would allow you to experience most of the levels but there would still be some levels that would require at least a 2nd playthough to experience. I remember actually beating the game enough times that I had all the levels mapped out as a kid. The game was very action packed.

  7. […] 1, #100-90 part 2, #89-80 part 3, #79-70 part 4, #69-60 part 5, #59-50 part 6, #49-40 part 7, #39-30 part 8, #29-20 part 9, […]

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