What can one even say about the NES? It was the quintessential game system of the 80s, single-handedly reviving a dying console market thanks to its colorful high-resolution graphics, tight controls and high-quality titles. And now, after many years of scouring game shops, thrift stores and the giant internet game shop/thrift store known as eBay, I think I can at last declare my collection complete. So in celebration, I'm going to be giving a shout-out to all of my picks for the platform's best titles.
For the purposes of list, I've imposed only two rules: The games must still be fun to play today, and only games which were commercially released during the NES's heyday are considered. That means no pirates, ROM hacks, bootlegs of unreleased titles or contemporary homebrews are eligible.
101. Gyromite (Nintendo, 1985)
peripheral that came with it - one ROB (Robotic Operating Buddy), who would be used in a roundabout way to operate a second controller in order to raise and lower barriers in the maze. Basically, the player would send signals by pressing Start and then a button, and ROB would respond by turning left or right and opening or moving his hands. By doing that, you'd manipulate him into operating a spinner and dropping it atop a lever that would press a button on the controller, in turn opening or closing the barriers in the game. All as part of a scheme to get the NES marketed as a "toy" rather than a gaming system, as the Atari ruined the market for such things a couple years prior. While this gimmick wasn't a system-seller for almost anyone (taking a backseat to the much more successful Super Mario Bros.), it was nevertheless an interesting experiment that led to a pretty decent puzzler. And if you can't find ROB, hey, you can always just operate controller 2 yourself, or play with a non-robotic operating buddy.
100. Casino Kid/Casino Kid 2 (Sofel, 1989/1993)
99. Marble Madness (Atari/Rare, 1989)
98. Binary Land (Hudson Soft, 1985 in Japan)
97. Pooyan (Konami, 1985 in Japan)
96. Duck Hunt (Nintendo, 1985)
95. Zanac (Compile, 1987)
94. Dragon Warrior (Chunsoft, 1989)
93. Devil World (Nintendo, 1984 in Japan, 1987 in Europe)
92. VS Excitebike (Nintendo, 1988 in Japan, FDS)
peripheral that allowed it was never brought over and Nintendo never implemented an alternate option). I did consider including it on the list, but after playing the Famicom Disk System exclusive VS. Excitebike, I can't do it in good conscience. The quality contrast between the two versions is night and day - VS Excitebike includes a more exciting single-player mode (having to qualify time in a solo run before you're allowed to run a race against the CPU) two player competitive play, music during gameplay, and the ability to save custom tracks directly to the disk. It's criminal that this version was never localized until the Wii U rolled around, as it makes the original game look terrible by comparison!
91. Klax (Atari, 1990)
The title screen of this one proudly proclaims that "it is the nineties and there is time for Klax!" Well, the nineties are long gone, but Klax is still around and just as fun to play as ever. A clever little tile-matching puzzle game in the vein of Dr. Mario, but with a slight twist - instead of simply clearing tiles from the screen, you're given objectives to fulfill - survive a set number of tiles, get a set number of Klaxes or diagonal Klaxes, earn a certain number of points, and so on. All while trying to manage space on a small 5x5 playing field and maintaining a stack of up to five tiles on your paddle; drop three or fill up the field without a match, and your game is over. It starts out simple enough, but managing the chaos and staying alive quickly becomes a challenge. Better get good at matching up those diagonal Klaxes and setting up combos!