Top 100 NES/Famicom Games List #1

Top 100 NES & Famicom Games

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’s 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 the final entry of my personal picks looking back on the greatest games to grace the NES and Famicom. This has been a long time coming, and I want to thank you, my readers, for all of your support so far.

Now then, as always, I am ranking the 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 tab/window so you don’t have to navigate away from this article.

Previous entries:

part 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, #19-11
Final top 10: #10
Final top 10: #9
Final top 10: #8
Final top 10: #7
Final top 10: #6
Final top 10: #5
Final top 10: #4
Final top 10: #3
Final top 10: #2

So finally, here is the #1 best overall game for the NES and Famicom!

#1Action 52
1991
Active Enterprises
Multiple Genres
Price range: $80-120
Difficulty: 5
Region: North America Only

Why you should play it

You all have been waiting patiently for the #1 entry, and here it finally is! What could possibly be better than getting 52 games in a single cartridge? Action 52 runs the gambit from space shooters to weird platformers and arcade-style action games to even more space shooters! 52 games at your fingertips!

Before you even put the game into the NES, you have to first marvel at the cartridge itself. As you can clearly see, it’s completely transparent! Unlike other Nintendo games, Action 52 has nothing to hide! Peering into Action 52, one can see its four 512 KB mask ROMs which act together to make Action 52 the biggest NES game ever at a massive 2 MB! Best part? This game was made in the USA! Active Enterprises sure were believers in American patriotism!

Of course, you probably want to see what awesome games Action 52 contains, right? Here is just a few examples of some of the radical games that Action 52 has to offer:

Haunted Halls is an action horror game where you play as a busty yet daring dudette exploring a creepy cavern under a spooky hill. Armed with an endless supply of crucifixes, she must fight and destroy an army of totally bogus ghosts and googlies. Can our fine fem fighter make it out safely? Only you can decide!

In TimeWarp, guide a pair of giant disembodied fingers across a checkerboard filled with random shapes and floating doors. Flick a finger to defeat your foes! When anything dies, you’ll be presented with “Time?”. It’s almost like the game is making commentary on how easily we flick away our problems. That’s real deep there, Action 52.

In Ninja Assault, you control one bad ninja out to stop crime one fist a time. The graphics are extra special, and the action is totally intense! When you defeat enemies, they explode in a bloody mess! There’s even digitized speech when you attack your foes! It’s like Double Dragon, but with more enemy exploding punches and 100% more action! Action 52, that is!

Now I know what you’re thinking – you’ve seen these kinds of games before. Sure, getting so many in one package is dope, but you want to play some games unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, right? Action 52 delivers! Just take but one example of Action 52, look at Non-Human!

Now that you’ve gotten a small taste of what Action 52 offers, it’s time to learn what makes them all so super special – most of the games employ a very interesting jumping mechanic where you need to jump and THEN push directions with the d-pad! This totally original approach revolutionizes gaming on the NES, and puts everything else to shame. If you disagree, then you be trippin’, fool.

Of course, even the most impressive of collections needs a star, and that star for Action 52 is The Cheetahmen. This crowning achievement in game design will have you entertained for literally minutes at a time. The evil Dr. Morbis has created three failed expirements, Aries! Apollo! and Hercules! Together they are the Cheetahmen, and together they will fight the evil Dr. Morbis and his army of super mutants!

Most of the games in Action 52, aren’t too hot when it comes to music, but all that changes with the star of the show, The Cheetahmen! In fact, The Cheetahmen Main theme is probably one of the best songs in gaming history! It’s so good, it’s been remixed countless times. There’s even an orchestrated version of this classic tune! I implore you to check it out!

[The author would like to apologize for the early 90’s slang used throughout the above mock review. Those responsible for creating those terms have been sacked. Thank you.]

Fun Fact

Action 52 was created by a small Florida based developer named Active Enterprises, whose goal was to produce a legal [but unlicensed] multi-cart game for the Nintendo that kids could enjoy. By 1991, workarounds for Nintendo’s lockout chip had been established, and Action 52 was well on its way to stardom. With an MSRP of $199, Action 52 promised gamers fun at less than $4 a game. Since it was so expensive, it didn’t sell many copies, and is now among the rarest games in the North American NES library.

A few years later, a version of Action 52 for the Sega Genesis was produced with completely new and different games. This collection was also pretty pricy and has since become equally rare. Even more strangely, Active Enterprises had designs to make a sequel to their allustrious CheetahmenCheetahmen II would have had a 1992 release, and was going to be a platformer rather than a beat ’em up like the first Cheetahmen. Near completion however, the game was scrapped, and Active Enterprises dissipated. Luckily for retro gaming fans, in 1996 1,500 copies of the game were located in a warehouse in Florida, and then were sold off to NES collectors. Today, these incomplete prototype copies are highly prized for their rarity. It even uses the same Cheetahmen theme song!

Action 52 Commercial

For some fun fan art of Action 52, check out Action Fiftytoons. It’s pretty great.

So there you have it. My top 100 NES/Famicom games list is finally complete! Hopefully you’ve found a number of NES gems you’ve never played, or are revisiting them again after a long time! 

In particular, I hope you guys are happy with this final entry, as Action 52 deserves the top of not only this list, but the top spot of ANY list! Thanks for all your support everyone!

What’s that? You guys want the real number one entry? But I already gave it to you! Action 52 is awesome!

Oh, alright. The best NES game of all time is Wall Street Kid! In this business simulator, your favorite uncle has tragically passed away, and you are pretty pleased about this news, especially when you realize he has left you $500,000 as you are his sole air! But first you must invest in the stock market, buy a 1 million dollar home, please your girlfriend, and do all sorts of other fun business tasks in this exciting business game!

What’s that? I’m still not on the real number #1? I guess you’re right. Okay. No more fooling around. 

The REAL number one NES/Famicom game to place all your money on is…

The Real #1Gimmick!
1992
Sunsoft
Platformer
Price range: $250+
Difficulty: 8
Region: Japan Only (basically)

Today is a special day for a little girl – it’s her birthday. After blowing out her Birthday candles, she receives a present from her parents, a green plush doll with wide, cute eyes named Yumetarō , or Mr. Gimmick. Taken by the adorable doll, she quickly grows especially fond of Mr. Gimmick and ignores her other toys. That night after the girl falls to sleep, the other, jealous toys band together and kidnap the girl, taking her to the mystical dimension of toys. After this happens, Yumetarō springs to life and enters the world of toys to save her.

Why you should play it

I was obviously joking with Action 52 or Wall Street Kid as #1 games, but here I definitely am not. Gimmick is the most elaborate, best planned and most technically impressive game to ever hit the Famicom, but the reason its unquestionably the #1 game on this list is because of its incredible mixture of unsurpassed visuals, audio and gameplay combined.

Visually, Gimmick leaves even the most impressive of NES games like Kirby’s Adventure and Little Samson far behind in its wake. Sunsoft had a long history making visually and technically impressive games on the Famicom such as Batman, Blaster Master, and Super Spy Hunter just to name a few. Having such experience with the hardware and knowing the capabilities and limitations so well, they alone were able to stretch the limited Famicom hardware unlike anyone else.

Like the equally impressive Shantae a decade later, Gimmick puts many games on superior hardware to shame in both visual quality and general excellence. You wouldn’t ever mistake Gimmick for a Super NES game, but it’s still incredible visually impressive. Absolutely everything is lush and beautiful in Gimmick – the sprites are silky smooth in their animation, absolutely everything has a distinctive look to it, and Sunsoft manages to make such brilliant use of colors that you’ll easily be fooled into thinking you’re seeing more than twice the total number of colors the hardware is capable of producing simultaneously. It almost looks like a Sega Master System title.

In addition, to that, it is truly astounding how many sprites there are in this one game. The levels are completely linear, yet there are literally dozens of enemies you’ll encounter just a single time and are never reused. Even reoccurring enemies, such as the black blobs, reappear wearing different suits of armor or with various weapons, making each new encounter as unique as the first.

While Gimmick might seem like just another cutesy, simple platformer like so many Taito games towards the end of the NES era, it is actually one of the most complex and astonishingly difficult games on the platform. The Famicom version only gives you three lives, so it’s important to kill as many enemies as possible to gain points for  extra lives. Gimmick employs what can only be described as a physics engine – momentum, vectors, and gravity all play a key role in Gimmick’s gameplay.

You see, Yumetarō doesn’t attack enemies himself – he generates a star much like Megaman charges his Mega Buster. The star is then tossed at enemies, but thanks to the physics engine, it interacts with the environment it is introduced to, bouncing to and fro in a realistic manner. Yumetarō can even stand on his star before it dissipates after a few seconds.

There are some extremely tricky jump puzzles that take advantage of this unique mechanic, requiring Yumetarō to jump on his star and then jump off it to reach areas he normally wouldn’t be able to jump to. Most of these tricky jumps are simply required to find the hidden items scattered throughout the stages. At first, it seems all collecting the items does is grant you points for extra lives, but in actuality you need them all to unlock the game’s true ending.

In addition to the standard star attack, there are several one time use items such as flash bombs, fireballs, and health restoring potions. You can carry up to three items at once, and careful rationing of them is the key to success.

Another key component in Gimmick’s cap is the soundtrack composed by Sunsoft’s resident master composer Masashi Kageyama. Every one of the songs are extremely well composed, catchy and memorable, but what makes the soundtrack so damn special is the expansion sound chip present.

The Japanese release of Gimmick had a special version of the AY-3-8910 sound chip, also used in the Amstrad CPC and Atari ST computers, embedded in the MMC chip to help the regular Famicom sound chip with the music. The AY-3-8910 worked much like Konami’s VRC6 sound chip by producing extra sound channels for the game, thereby allowing for a much more vibrant sound. The resulting additional channels are used for harmony and percussion almost exclusively, and strangely, only three of the five available additional channels are used. It’s somewhat puzzling. Check out this example of the game’s outstanding soundtrack.

Given all it has going for it, Gimmick is truly one of the best videogames ever produced and leaves everything else on the Famicom far, far behind. If you’ve been looking for the best hidden gem on the platform, you just found it.

Fun fact

Although Gimmick received only a somewhat limited release in Japan, it did manage to get a PAL NES release only in Scandinavia, of all places. Just like the North American NES, the European NES does not have pins wired up correctly on the cartridge connector for external sound chips. As a result, the Scandinavian version’s soundtrack is reworked to only use the internal 2A03 sound chip of the system itself.

Unlike Castlevania III and Akumajou Densetsu however, the audio differences are slight, given that the AY-3-8910 was only ever used for added harmony and percussion.

It is also worth noting that the Scandinavian release, like most of Sunsoft’s PAL releases, is optimized for 50hz PAL, and the entire game as well as its music will play 17% faster if loaded on an NTSC NES. Not only will the music run faster, the digitized drums and DPCM sounds are garbled, and there will be severe screen tearing glitches. Late in the Playstation’s life, Sunsoft began porting several of the Famicom classics to the Playstation in double pack compilations called the Sunsoft Memorial Series only in Japan. Their sixth and final release bundled Battle Formula (Super Spy Hunter) along with Gimmick. Although the game wasn’t released in limited quantities, it nevertheless fetches well over $100 on ebay today.

Even given the issues with it, prices for even loose copies of the Scandinavian release often exceed $1000 in the secondary used market. Luckily, Retrozone offers an apparent US prototype that is based on the Scandinavian version, but runs completely like the Japanese Famicom original, but starts the player with seven lives instead of three. Given the hundreds of dollars both the Japanese and Scandinavian versions command or the high cost of the Japanese Playstation port, Retrozone’s Mr. Gimmick reproduction is money well spent not only for NES collectors, but anyone wanting to get their hands on one of the finest retro games ever made.

Gimmick is the only game known to be developed by Authentic Entertainment. Some similarities are seen in the GameBoy game Trip World, but the staff credits are not the same. Even so, if you like the sound of Gimmick, look up Trip World. It’s extremely rare and pricy as well, but it’s almost as much fun as Gimmick is.

Better than any commercial, I leave you with Frank Cifaldi’s excellent annotated playthrough of Gimmick. Keep in mind he’s using an emulator to play the game at a quarter of it’s normal speed – the game isn’t as easy as he makes it look.

So there you have it everyone – 100 of my favorite NES and Famicom games. The NES era is behind us now, and many things have changed and evolved – including Nintendo.As a lifelong fan of the experiences Nintendo’s 8-bit machine produced, I am especially excited about future homebrew development that continues the legacy of simple fun expressions of creativity. As long as I am a gamer, I will remain a fan of the NES. As long as there are cartridges, I will play my NES. As long as there is NES homebrew, the NES will eternally be live. Long live the NES and Famicom!

Thank you for reading my top 100 NES/Famicom Game list! If you want a behind-the-scenes look at how this list came to be and also learn a bit about my outlook on gaming in general, please listen to the full hour interview with JewWario. A direct link can be found by clicking here.

44 Responses to “Top 100 NES/Famicom Games List #1”

  1. gimmick is frustrating I usually play it for a bit and then put it down to play something else

  2. StarDust Says:

    I thought you were nuts when you mentioned Action 52. Anywhoo, I’ve never really taken a detailed look at Mr Gimmick before. I’ve been looking at the cart on RetroZone for some time now, and I finally plunked down the money and ordered it. I have quite a collection of RetroZone carts now, but my favorite moment has got to be shooting the dog in VS DuckHunt, LOL! (refer to game #100 for more info on that)

  3. moleplayingrough Says:

    Gimmick has excellent physics, graphics, and music. But #1??

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Without a doubt #1.

      • moleplayingrough Says:

        Well, credit to you for a unique list. But how could you omit Kid Icarus, Lolo, Fire Emblem, all the Dragon Warriors, Downtown Special, or yes, even Battletoads… in favor of Popeye or the execrable Bio Force Ape??

      • basiliskfang Says:

        even i was pissed he snubbed dragon warrior.

      • satoshimatrix Says:

        can’t make everyone happy.

      • StarDust Says:

        I believe everyone is going to have some small disagreement about the list / ordering of items / omissions. There were a total of I think 769 games in the N.A. NES library, based on data from NintendoAge. This list obviously does not include Famicom, pirates, hacks, or home-brew. I believe Satoshi has listed a wonderful assortment of games, many of them hidden gems. Sure, I would question the ordering of certain items, such as placing Duck Hunt at #100, or the fact I believe Donkey Kong NES, despite the missing cement level, is a better game than Popeye, but was omitted from the list. Also the fact that Satoshi ranked Super Mario Brothers 3 as a harder difficulty than Megaman 2.

        But any list composed entirely by a single individual is by nature going to be highly subjective. You wouldn’t want a “top 100” list composed entirely by popular vote either, as it would be dominated mostly by common games, even if some of them were lackluster, with a sprinkling of super-rares. This is by far one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve ever seen, and credit goes to Satoshi for making it happen over the past several months, and I can tell by the reviews that he did a lot of research and played every one of them! 😉

  4. ACTION 52!?!? I’ve been following this list for weeks upon weeks and now you…

    Oh, I see what you did there 🙂

  5. strangely, only three of the five available additional channels are used. It’s somewhat puzzling

    Actually, the AY soundchip was only a 3 channel chip so I would only have used 3 channels.

    Anyway, its been a fun journey and I’ve come across many games I’ve never come across before!

  6. LittleGreen Says:

    At first I was like..
    U MAD BRO?. ONE DOES NOT SIMPLY PUT ACTION 52 # 1?
    But veeeery good list, thanks a lot! :3

  7. This was a great list of games, I too was hoping you were joking about the Action 52 cart. It did not even escape the Angry Video Game Nerd’s radar!

  8. Did you really use a Preston comic? Jesus have you seen the utter crap that man spews? His comic is worse than CAD and that speaks volumes.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Perhaps so, but this particular comic I felt was funny and had a valid point regarding the reasons people look back on classic Nintendo so fondly, and why the NES is still the king of gaming consoles above anything that has come forth since.

  9. Ummmm…. Where’s Dragon Quest?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Dragon Quest is a honorable mention, but doesn’t fit into the top 100 NES/Famicom games that still matter today. There are much better versions of Dragon Quest 1, most notably on the GameBoy Color.

  10. was going through the list and was baffled i couldn’t find gimmick in 100-2 although you seemed to know what you were talking about by the choice of games. so well played sir, gimmick is the best game for the famicom in my opinion, too. hard to find, though. i own it with box and manual, and played through it many, many times and it never gets boring. visuals, sound, controls and detail, everything about this game is perfection imo.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Ah, lucky…I only have Retrozone’s reproduction of the prototype NTSC NES version that lacks the sound chip Sunsoft used. To own an original copy of Gimmick is my ultimate Famicom goal.. someday.

      Glad you liked my list. I poured so much work into it and I’m so glad that people are still enjoying it. Next up from me will be an expansion of my first list – the NES’s spiritual successor the GB/GBC. Expect a top 100 GB/GBC games list to start in the near-ish future in the same style as the NES list.

  11. […] And finally #1 Digg This Post Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share with Stumblers Share on Twitter Thanks for visiting YCPT! Subscribe to new videos via RSS and follow me on Twitter for site updates. /* Get Tickets HERE MAGFest @ January 3-6th 2013 http://magfest.org/ 24 hour Birthday Charity Drive @April 10-11th 2013 http://www.twitch.tv/jewwario Support […]

  12. Pretty solid list and I won’t go into the whole “you left out such and such game” too much but I was surprised that “Kid Icarus” didn’t even get a mention. Pretty influential game in some ways, I think and a good play. Why was that?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Thanks for your input. I thought about Kid Icarus (in fact, name almost any game that’s not on the list and I considered it) but I just don’t feel like Kid Icarus is of a high enough quality to justify a place among the top 100 games for the system. I don’t usually score games, but I think at best, it’s a 6/10 game. Everything else on the list I chose is what I’d call at least a 7/10 game to a 10/10. If you listen to the interview I had with JewWario, one of problems I had when making the NES/Famicom list was trimming the fat, and Kid Icarus was one of the casualties.

      The other big concern people have is the lack of Dragon Quest games. The reason why Dragon Quest games aren’t on the list is because they don’t hold up nearly well as their remakes do, and while I can play the PSP remake of Final Fantasy 1 and then go back and enjoy FF1 on NES just fine, I can’t do the same for Dragon Warrior 1, 2, 3, or 4 on NES. It’s not that I don’t like Enix’s classic RPG series, it’s just that these are the 100 games I think that hold up best today looking back on the system’s library as a whole.

      • Fair enough. I’m not a huge fan of Kid Icarus (in fact, I only played it via emulation a few years ago) and I can actually see your point. It is an influential game in many ways but not exactly a stand out game.

        I never even played the Dragon Warrior games. I heard they were “meh” in some circles! Great list and I enjoyed reading it.

      • I’m still baffled by the inclusion of Bio Force Ape.

      • satoshimatrix Says:

        Well I explained my reasoning right in my post. I feel Bio Force Ape is an amazing achievement on the NES. Seta really created something unique with that and the game may be an unreleased prototype, but it’s still fully playable and quite enjoyable. I included it sort of an aside as I had intended this list to cover everything including prototypes and pirates.

  13. Ryan Raze Says:

    I’m surprised by the lack of Metal Gear, Castlevania 3, or Castlevania 2. I think more so Metal Gear and Castlevania 2. Metal Gear was a first of it’s kind type game, as was Castlevania 2. Going back, are there any games you wish you would have added but did not?
    While I know you can’t defend every choice, was there anything specific that bumped those two titles out of contention?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Akumajou Densetsu (Castlevania 3) is on the list. Please re-read it. As for the other two, the list contains the top 100 games I feel hold up the best today and can easily be enjoyed by today’s gamers as well as retro fans. Castlevania 2 is a deeply flawed game with obtuse puzzles and NPCs that outright lie to you. While I don’t think it’s as bad as say Jame Rolfe’s AVGN character makes it out to be, I’d rank it probably in the top #150’s, not anywhere in the top 100. That was no oversight.

      Metal Gear is an example of a bad port. Compared to the original MSX version, the NES/Famicom release is completely lackluster and really not that special. I considered it, but everything else on the list I consider superior titles to it, so out it went. It is an honorable mention though.

  14. I have to say thank you for making this website…I am getting back into nes/snes games after a 15 year absence.
    No M.UL.E.? or Monster Party?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      I do like M.U.L.E and think it’s a game that people should check out, but I don’t consider it within the top 100 games for the Famicom, no. Monster Party on the other hand, is a mess. It’s extremely strange non sequitur dialogue and wacky enemies can’t make up for confusing and near broken level designs, especially the mazes after the first stage. If the game were good, it would have been in the list. There are a few games I would have liked to have in the list looking back, but Monster Party isn’t among them.

      • yeah Monster Party was very odd maybe thats why I liked it. M.U.L.E. was one of those games my brother got me playing..kinda reminds me of the stock market. since I only play maybe 25-35 games on nes I have started a list…these so many I never knew about…I would love to see a list/review about like 15 games that didn’t make it…I wish I had all those Mega Man games as a kid…only had and play the 3rd game…and that 2nd controller cheat my brother found out about was odd….double dragon 2&3, Lolo, Zen, mario bros 1,2,3, ski or die,mad max,empire strikes back…are a few I remember…I had no idea there were Star Trek games on nes as a kid(would have love to play them) Again thank you for making this website.

  15. Awesome list!

    I’m a mexican reader and my English is not so well but i really enjoy this list with all his “fun facts”. Some of the games that i recently played were from your list like Bucky O’Hare, Gun-Nac, Xexyz and Duck Tales so i have to say, thank you.

    Also i want to ask you about some games like Tiny Toons Adventures, Felix the cat, Battletoads & double dragon: The ultimate team (the first Battletoads is impossible to beat but this is very good) and Clu-Clu Land, what is your opinion about these games? did you consider for the list?

    Well, that’s all, thank you again for your great list, grettings.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Yes, I considered many more games for this list including all the games you mentioned. Please listen to the full hour interview by JewWario. There’s a link on my main blog page. In the interview I mention my lengthy process to come to these top 100.

      There are many hundreds of games worth playing for the NES and Famicom, many more than a mere one hundred as I ranked here. I like every game you specifically mentioned, but I don’t feel any of them are top 100 material, except for Felix the Cat. That was one that was just on the cutting floor. Just because a game didn’t make my top 100 doesn’t mean I don’t like it. You must remember, the NES and Famicom libraries worldwide combined consistent nearly 3,000 games. 100 out of 3000 is around 3% of all the games ever made.

  16. Lentzquest Says:

    I love the list and realize it’s your opinion, but I find it kind of funny that there are almost no sports games included other than Super Tecmo Bowl. The NES had some of the greats such as Blades of Steel, The RBI Baseball series, Baseball Stars, Ice Hockey, Super Dodgeball, etc. I understand though that retro sports games are an aquired taste, but still. I’m by no means a sports fanatic, but even I still have a great love for many of the competitive games from the 8-bit era.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Yeah, in many ways this is “The top 100 NES/Famicom games that aren’t sports titles.” I simply feel that most sports are better played in real life than in videogame format. Retro or not doesn’t matter – if this were a PS3 top 100, you’d again see probably next to no sports titles. They simple don’t appeal to me.

      That being said, I do acknowledge that the NES has some true classics from the excellent Blades of Steel to Cyber Stadium Base Wars and NES Open Golf. In fact, are many games that I adore that didn’t make this list such as Deja Vu, Arkista’s Ring, TIny Toons, Rollergames and many, many more. As I’ve said, the NES and Famicom libraries worldwide combined consistent nearly 3,000 games. 100 out of 3000 is around 3% of all the games ever made. That leaves a huge number of good games that aren’t covered on this list. Perhaps it’s a pipedream, but I’d like to eventually have reviews up for all NES games I deem worthy of your time – a taks that would drawf this list tenfold at least.

  17. While I don’t completely agree with how some of the games rank on here, I aknowledge the fact that the only way I would ever be completely happy with any list is if I made it myself. For a one man job this is one hell of an amazing, comprehensive list with info out the wazoo! Great job and thank you, you have brought many games to my attention just when I thought I had played them all. I grew up with the NES, and it will always hold a special place with me and will ALWAYS be fun. Truely a timeless classic, and this definitely makes a fine arguement in favor of that.

  18. whaaaat? MOTHER is not even on this list
    T__________T

  19. I forgot all about revisiting your NES list years ago after you posted your complete list. I was reevaluating my own list with my brother and I wanted to add some minor additions. You already addressed it but I think Super Mario 2 was rewarded for reaching out but Castlevania 2 was cast aside on the list. I would certainly put it far above at least 10 of those titles on fun factor and replay likability alone. I am a Castlevania fan, so it goes way up on my own list. Also, two other titles I would want you to consider for this list is Solar Jetman for the uniqueness, physics, and difficulty requiring finesse and patience; and Ultima: Exodus for the innovative gameplay for its time, challenging dungeon crawling without the maps, and party complexity. I could say more about these titles but those 3 I think are much more deserving of a spot. Let me know what your thoughts are on that if you see this. Thanks.

  20. Missing Battletoads, Castlevania 2, and Solar Jetman. I forgot to come back here after I saw your top 10. What do you think?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment so long after I wrote this.

      Well, I’ll say the same thign I say to everyone. I’m not “missing” anything. The games chosen for this editorial were selected based not just on their overall quality, but also how playable they are, and well they hold up today. That is why for example, none of the Dragon Quests made it onto my list. There are simply superior versions of those games on every other platform you turn. Once you play the GBC version of DQ1&2 for example, it makes playing the original versions nearly impossible, let alone recommendable.

      Battletoads is quite simply not a very well made game. The later MegaDrive version addressed many of the issues, but strictly talking about the Famiocm/NES version, it was one of the first popular games I tossed away quite deliberately as it failed to meet the critera I was going for.

      Castlevania 2 is another game that suffers obtuse game design flaws. I don’t hate it like certain famous internet retro gamers do, and I acknowledge it still has a number of good traits such as its excellent soundtrack. It certainly has it’s place in the top 500 games for the console, maybe even top 200. Just not in the top 100.

      Solar Jetman is a game with an interesting concept, but I feel like it’s kind of mediocre in it’s execution. Everything about it from the controls to the premise itself is awkward with haphazard design choices slewed throughout. It’s a game I liked when I was a kid, but I liked a lot of games I would consider bad nowadays.

      I still stand by my 2011 top 100, but there would be some games I would shuffle around now that I’ve had a chance to play some rarer Famicom games I couldn’t find back when wrote this. but rare games don’t necessarily mean better. Take Power Blade 2 for example. Ultra expensive now, but Power Blade 1 is a much better game.

      • I suppose missed is wrong word choice. Those are in my list above many of those titles but everyone has their preference. I also love Ultima Exodus.

    • Stardust4Ever Says:

      Castlevania II is not a good game. I have I and III, little to no desire to own the second in the series.

  21. Stardust4Ever Says:

    Satoshi, since you are still replying to comments on this blog, I’d like to ask you if you ever planned on finishing the top 100 Game Boy list. To my knowledge, ranks 1-70 were never revealed. I would like to know the top 70 games on your list even if you never get around to doing a formal writeup.

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      I plan to transfer the GB editorial into a video review series on my youtube channel. This will be a totally new top 100 focused just on the DMG/SGB and not the GBC. That will possibly be a future, separate list. I’m in preplanning of it now, with production starting up in about a month.

      I’m not a graphic artist though, so I’m not sure how I’ll do title cards and an intro.

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