60. Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985)
The original Mario Bros. one gets a lot of flak from retro and modern gamers alike, and I'm really not sure why. Sure, it hasn't aged quite as well as the legendary sidescrolling platformers that succeeded it, but it's still a pretty entertaining game in its own right. Bump enemies, dodge fireballs and icy floors, collect coins, shove player two into that enraged shellcreeper coming for your blood, rush for the panic POW block when things get too crazy... what's not to love here? It's easily among the best of the black box era games, if nothing else. Hell, it even spawned a pretty fun little two-player competitive minigame in Super Mario Bros. 3, so it must be good!
59. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (Konami, 1988)
lackluster translation that made a number of essential clues much more difficult to decipher. Still, those who could persevere through that found a game with a lot to offer- the same high-quality presentation that became a series trademark, a number of dungeons to explore, a couple of big bosses to fight, and a lot of creative upgrades and sub-weapons to unlock throughout. It may not be regarded as one of the franchise's best by many of its fans, but it's certainly worth a look for fans of action-adventure titles.
(Fans of ROM hacks may also want to check out "Castlevania II Redaction", which addresses several criticized elements of the game - notably speeding up the text and day/night transitions and rewriting much of the dialog to provide useful clues.)
58. Gradius II: Gofer no Yabou (Konami, 1988 in Japan)
57. Super C (Konami, 1990)
56. Summer Carnival '92: Recca (Naxatsoft, 1992)
55. Mega Man 6 (Capcom, 1993)
Considered one of the weaker entries on the platform by a lot of fans, Mega Man 6 certainly showed signs of being rushed; it came out late in the system's life and Nintendo, in the role of producing this title, was clearly banking on it being a send-off game; the level quality and challenge definitely suffered as a result. However, it did also have some unique quirks to set it apart. Instead of calling in Rush, you now morph with him into two forms - Rush Power (which can smash through walls and deal damage with short-ranged punches) and Rush Jet (serving as a jetpack that allows flight for short distances). It also had some great music as per series norm, proving that if nothing else, Capcom was striving to make it memorable if not one of the best. It's a ton of fun to play in spite of its faults, and hey, classic Mega Man at his weakest is still better than most game franchises at their best.
54. Willow (Capcom, 1989)
53. Dr. Mario (Nintendo, 1988)
While I'm not a huge player of competitive puzzle games, there's no denying that Dr. Mario has that good old addictive charm to it. There's a true sense of frantic challenge as you try to clear an entire screen of colored viruses, trying not to let your pills fall in the wrong place and create obstacles that will take a significant amount of time and effort to clear (and probably gum up your efforts even more as you do so). Hell, there was even a two-player competitive mode, which couldn't be said for Nintendo's version of Tetris. I also both praise and curse it for having one of the catchiest tunes in all of gaming; I first played this game over twenty years ago and I still have that Fever tune stuck in my head...
52. Blaster Master (Sunsoft, 1988)
51. Final Fantasy III (Square, 1990 in Japan)