by Dan Moore
A few days ago, Nintendo announced the death of the company’s president and CEO, Satoru Iwata suddenly at the age of 55. A true legend in the gaming world, his passing demands some reflection on the classics in the Nintendo cannon. I first played the NES back in 1986 at my friend Greg's house. The first game I ever played was Super Mario Bros. And it was GLORIOUS. The second game was Popeye which wasn't so great but still awesome because it's still a fucking video game. Without further ado, here are the best games from the very first generation of Nintendo's gaming system family.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: This is definitely the hardest list I've had to do. Narrowing this down to 9 is near impossible. Some faves that didn't make the cut: Castlevania, ExciteBike, Double Dragon, Bases Loaded and RBI Baseball
WITH THE PASS! The number of times I heard that muffled, digitized voice is a little bit over infinity. There was single game play and the awesome tourney play for the Cup. Flying around the ice holding onto Lord Stanley's chalice was quite a thrill for 10 year old me. I played this game so goddamn much I would see the little hockey men skating in circles in my dreams. My beautiful, 8-bit dreams.
Blocks falling from the sky to make lines. Yeah, that was an idea for a video game. One of the most successful video games of all time. The classic Game Boy version is really where this game spiked in popularity. My favorite Tetris memory is watching my father about to beat Mode B level 9-5 one morning after returning from his night job...and promptly falling asleep two lines away from the finish. Good work, Pop.
6. Mega Man 2
Easily the best in the never ending Mega Man saga. Beating all the evil robots and then using their abilities to beat them again was, and still is, cool as shit. The little blue hero with the big gun arm holds a special place in my heart.
5. Super Mario Bros.
The original. The classic. Probably the first game the majority of youngsters played in the 80s. It took me years to beat this game. YEARS. Adding insult to injury, the girl down the street, Tina Douglas, could beat this game in like 12 minutes by flying through all the warp zones. God I hated her (Not really, I had a major thing for her. Heeeeeeey Tina!).
4. Mike Tyson's Punch Out
Many frustrating hours were wasted trying to beat the cheatingist, cheapest, hardest final boss in video game history. Fucking Tyson with his smug winking and unstoppable uppercuts led to many a thrown controller across the room. Then you finally beat him and...you fight the same people again. Such a letdown.
Let's be honest. None of us would've seen a frame of this game past the waterfall stage without the help of the Konami Code. You needed 30 guys to beat this game or else you'd wanna burn your house down in aggravation after being blasted by the goddamn aliens over and over again. Plus the spread gun was and still is the best power up gun ever invented in the history of video gaming. Whenever you had spread and then died in the game, a little piece of your soul died as well.
You knew there was something special about this game when you opened it up and saw the solid gold cartridge. That's how you knew you were a rich little kid. It was the Rolls Royce of the child world. The first RPG I ever played was such a unique game. I had never played anything like it and I loved it. And the added bonus of a completely different adventure after beating the game was incredible. It was like two games in one.
Probably the most anticipated video game of all time when it was released, thanks in part to it being the main plot point in the terrible video game movie 'The Wizard'. When commercials of that flick came on showing the footage of the new game, 11-year-old me got a strange sensation in my peeing parts. The game was completely different from part 1 & 2. The new map layout, the new enemies and the new flying powers completely changed the world of Mario games forever. To this day, its influence can still be felt on all Mario games. It changed everything when it came out, and that's why it's number one.