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.
So without further ado, I hope you will enjoy the Top 100 NES/Famicom Games List!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
Price range: $6-8
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!
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.
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.
As I stated in my Review, Air 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.
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.
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.