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The Top 7 Classic NES Games With The Most Replay Value!

Posted by: on Apr 30, 2015 | No Comments

Today this article will take a look back in time to review the top 7 classic Nintendo Entertainment System games that have the most replay value of all time. These games could be played over and over again without ever becoming boring or monotonous. This isn’t a complete list but a short overview of the top 7 classic games that I played many times  as a young lad and had hours of fun. These games do not appear in any order or ranking on the list. With all that said…Drum roll…

Super Mario Bros.

Let’s start the list with a fan favorite. I decided to mention all the Super Mario Bros. games under one listing as an honorable mention because 99% of all Mario games are fun and positively great for replay value. However, the game I had in my head for this replay list is the classic version developed by Nintendo R&D4 in 1985. That game is the NES Super Mario Bros. game. In Super Mario Bros., the player controlled Mario and in a two-player game, a second player controls Mario’s brother Luigi as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist Bowser. My first experience with Super Mario Bros. came by way of the arcade game in 1984 if I recall correctly. This was a few years before I was gifted my first NES in December 25, 1985. I wasn’t lucky to get my Mario game until a few months later in 1986, however, when I did finally get my hands on the game it was love at first sight. The gameplay is easy, fast and challenging plus the graphics were very good. Where are my manners, how can I forget about the cool classic music theme! The music is known the world over with it’s catchy tunes and happy piano melody. As Mario or Luigi your goal was to rescue the Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser. Simple enough task right? Not really, Bower’s henchmen such as Goomba’s and Koopa Troopa are out to stop Mario from rescuing the Princess. The game world has coins scattered around it for Mario to collect, and special bricks marked with a question mark (“?”), which when hit from below by Mario, may reveal more coins or a special item. The game had a total of 8 worlds and few hidden worlds that made the replay value go through the roof. I can safely state that I played Mario Bros. a few thousand times from 1986 to 2014. No Super Mario Bros. play in 2015 as of yet.  Super Mario Bros. is a game that never gets boring or old because of the many levels and challenges as the game becomes harder after you complete the entire game. Even my kids enjoy playing Super Mario Bros. titles today and that’s a testament to the creators of the game. I’m sure we have all the new Mario games for the Wii and Wii U. I tip my hat to Mr. Shigeru Miyamoto and Mr. Takashi Tezukafor giving us the wonderful world of Super Mario Bros. The game has sold a record breaking 40 million copies to date and the legacy of the game will live forever among gamers.


The next game on my list is truly one of my favorite games from the Nintendo Entertainment System. Who hasn’t played Contra a thousand times! Like Mario Bros. I played Contra from the time it was released in 1988 by Konami. With Contra as player you could play a single campaign or partner up with a friend to take down the evil alien invaders. You had an option to play as blue guy or red guy (Mad Dog and Scorpion) in the game with many cool power up weapons. Like any enthusiast of the game my favorite weapons were the machine gun and the spray gun. I tried to avoid the laser gun like the plague. The NES version consist of eight levels and the game levels were different for the NES from the arcade version. Contra provide hours of entertaining gameplay and awesome music. Before we continue, who can forget our favorite cheat code, the Konami Cheat Code gave us rookies 30 lives to complete the game until we got better to beat the game with 3 lives. Just for old time geek memories here is the Konami cheat code:

Press the following at the title menu: 30 Lives – Highlight the number of players, and then press UP, UP, DOWN, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT, B, A, START. Sound Test (Japanese version only) – Hold A and B while pressing START.

I think Contra will remain one of my favorite run and shoot games from that generation of console gaming. I could seriously stop writing this article right now and play Contra and have the time of my life. It’s rare to find a game with so much gameplay value 27 years after the fact. The sequels were fun but did not live up to the addictive gameplay of the original NES game. Contra came in 12th place on IGN’s top 100 NES games of all time and who doesn’t like an 8-bit shooter where we can shoot aliens and live to see another day! Hooray for Contra!

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda is a high fantasy themed action-adventure series created by Japanese game designers Shigeru Miyamoto, Takashi Tezuka and Eiji Aonuma. It was developed and published by Nintendo in 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember this game like it was yesterday. I received my gold cartridge version on October 17, 1986 on my birthday. From the first time I seen the commercial on TV I was hooked and let’s not over look how cool the gold cartridge looked as a hook and sinker marketing ploy for a teenage kid. I spent hours searching the fantasy world of Hyrule for weapons, killing enemies and searching for underground labyrinth. Link is searching for the pieces of the Triforces of Wisdom that he must recovery if he can  defeat Ganon (Ganondorf). The original Legend of Zelda was the first console game with a save function that enabled players to stop playing and then resume later. This feature was indeed helpful, because you had to make time for sleep, eating and school in 1986. The gameplay was challenging and the music was great for long gameplay sections. Based on reports the Zelda series has sold around 67 million copies.

Double Dragon

My first interaction with Double Dragon came from daily trips to the local store and bowling alley. My crew and I would spend all day in the bowling alley playing arcade games with money we made from cutting yards around the neighborhood. I spent most of my quarters on Super Mario Bros, Mortal Kombat and Double Dragon (Shinobi was a close fourth). So you can imagine my excitement when Double Dragon was released on the NES in 1988. The game was ported to the NES by Tradewest in 1988. I begged my mom to spend $50 freaking bucks for the game at our local Wal-Mart. She wasn’t too happy to spend that type of money on a game but she finally gave in for my birthday in October 1988. I couldn’t wait to get home and crush some skulls. The home version of the game did have a few issues such as attack moves were different, for example the elbow wasn’t a move you could start the game with like the arcade. Nevertheless, the gameplay was still fun minus a few changes made to  the game support the NES hardware at the time. Some of the characters had minor changes and didn’t have the full detail of the arcade but that still didn’t stop me from playing this game. A few years ago bought Double Dragon for my Wii system and the kid came out again, great times! Even still today Double Dragon gameplay is extremely fun for a fairly simple fighting game created several decades ago. A true classic!


What NES list isn’t complete without one of the greatest action-adventure video game to ever grace the video game world. I can’t even remember how I came to be in possession of my Metroid. I’m sure it came from a NES game trade. Once I completed a game or had no more interest in the title I would trade the game with a friend for a new game. If I was lucky, I would sometime get a 2 for 1 or a 3 for 1 type deal based on the games that were being traded. Metroid hit Nintendo Entertainment System in North America in August 1987. I can’t really tell you how many times I played Metroid. It was one of my favorite games in my collection. The gameplay was great, cool music and mind-breaking puzzler to play. From my perspective I truly enjoyed the exploration of the planet Zebes. Metroid was a never ending adventure with great power up attacks and weapons. Among the power-ups that are in the game are the Morph Ball, which allows Samus to curl into a ball to roll into tunnels and use the Bomb weapon, and the Screw Attack, a somersaulting move that destroys enemies in its path. Metroid is one of the first games to have five different endings. Depending on how fast you completed the game the player would get access to 1 of the 5 endings. The nemesis of the Metroid game was the insane Mother Brain. I learned through research for this article that the original design for the Mother Brain by Toru Osawa, took the appearance of “old lady living in his apartment complex.” This design was altered by Tomomi Yamane, who gave her an overall more monstrous appearance. She is a large brain that sits in a large jar, from which she controls the Space Pirates on Zebes. Metroid is certainly a fan favorite with over 2.7 million copies sold worldwide.


Mike Tyson Punch-Out!!

What list of the top 7 games with the most replay value of all time would be complete without my favorite game Mike Tyson Punch-Out!! (1987). Mike Tyson Punch-Out!! ranked number seven on IGN’s top NES games of all time list. From the time you turn this game on it was nothing but pure fun. You play as Little Mac an up and coming boxer trying to fight his way up the professional boxing circuits. His journey takes him on a series of boxing matches fighting colorful and funny boxers that stand in Mac’s way of becoming a World Heavyweight Champion. If Little Mac succeeds he will get the opportunity to face the World Heavyweight Champion, which is Mike Tyson in the original version and Mr. Dream in the later version. With help of his trainer “Doc”, Little Mac is ready for any of his wacky opponents such as King Hippo, The Great Tiger, Bald Bull, Mr. Sandman and Super Macho Man. I still play Punch-Out when I get a few minutes on the weekend. This game still has massive replay value and I like all the games on this list Mike Tyson Punch-Out!! will stand the test of time among gamers around the world.
R.C. Pro-Am

This pick was really a hard choice over the fan popular Rad Racer and Excitebike games. R.C. Pro-Am was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Nintendo in North America in 1987. I had hours of fun with this game  but I also had  hours of frustration with this NEs classic. You race around a series of tracks to qualify for the next race by placing among the top three racers. You collected items to improve performance but must avoid hazards such as rain puddles and oil slicks. I really loved shooting missing or deploying bombs to take out other vehicles on the track. The opposing racers I hated were the racers that could zip around the track in a matter of seconds or my vehicle being derailed by oil slicks. The thrill of the game was definitely driving across the speed boost arrows on the road that transformed your car into the Flash for a few seconds. Great times, great times! I haven’t played this game in years but if I can get my hands on a virtual copy I would be indulged to play again.

Honorable Mention titles: Mega Man (Doesn’t matter what title), Bionic Commando, Duck Tales, Excitebike, and Tecmo Bowl just to name a few that didn’t make the core list. So what do you think? Great list or not so great list? Let me know in the comments!


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