Original Nintendo Games We Still Love
Photo: GamesMaster Magazine (Getty Images)
In the mid-eighties, the video game industry was slowly dying. People felt that video games had nothing else to offer and it could have been the end of the industry as we know it today, had it not been for Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). When it was released in 1986, along with its 17 unique titles, it reignited people’s love for games and started a whole new era. In honor of that important thing Sony did for the gaming world, here a short look at all the original Nintendo games that came out that day in 1986. See how many you can recognize.
First up is the 10-Yard Fight, a football game that many call the true predecessor of modern NFL games. Played from a top-down perspective, the game was simple but fun. There were quarterback runs, long passes, punts, and much more. Even the graphics were somewhat groundbreaking for that time.
Then there’s Baseball, another attempt at a sports game, though not as successful as 10-Yard Fight. Either way, one of the most important characteristics of Baseball was the fact that it supported two-player games, making it a fun, friendly experience.
Clu Clu Land
Now, Clu Clu Land is a simple arcade game where you play as Bubbles, a fish-like creature going through various mazes in order to find all the golden Ingots. The weird name, in Japanese, actually refers to the sound something makes when it spins. In Clu Clu Land, it’s Bubbles who has to spin constantly to find her way through the maze.
Duck Hunt is probably one of those old NES games every gamer remembers fondly. In this static shooter, you play as a duck hunter, trying to hit all the flying ducks on the screen. You’re accompanied by your faithful dog who retrieves the dead birds or, sometimes, sneers at you when you miss. Of course, the most important part is the fact that the controller was actually a plastic gun you could aim at your TV screen.
Here’s another gem from the past – Excitebike. In this delightful, 2d motocross game, you control the red motorbike and race around a track filled with various obstacles, trying to beat other drivers. You had to watch your speed, temperature of the bike, and crashing into your opponents. The fun part was the fact that you could just knock them down purposefully.
The third sports game that was released on NES was Golf. While you could say there was nothing special about it, one thing certainly stands out. Golf was the first game that introduced the power bar, which was used in hundreds of games from then on.
Then there was Gyromite, which had an actual story, unlike most of the original Nintendo games so far. In Gyromite, you help out two professors Hector and Vector as they try to maneuver the dangerous surroundings filled with explosives and hostile bird-like creatures. Depending on the game mode, the player controls only the gate-moving robot or both him and the professor.
Yet another fondly-remembered shooter from NES, Hogan’s Alley was a game that placed you in a shooting range. Various cardboard cutouts appear and you need to choose the right person to shoot as quickly as possible (for example, a bandit and not an innocent bystander). The game used at the time new technology like the famous light gun.
The Ice Climber was a two-player game where you control either Popo or Nana as they climb the icy tower, breaking through obstacles and fighting various enemies. Of course, not all bricks are breakable and not all of them act the same upon the impact, making the game an interesting, competitive experience.
Martial Arts were all the rage back in the 80s, which is why it’s no surprise that NES also released a fighting game called Kung-Fu Master. It was supposed to tie into a Jackie Chen film, but it ended up being a straightforward fighting game where Thomas, the main character who also happens to be a Kung-Fu master, fights his way to his kidnapped girlfriend, Sylvia.
There’s nothing new you could say about Pinball, really. Despite the fact that this game was one of the original Nintendo games, it was pretty basic. You control two pedals as the ball bounces around. Besides that, Pinball also had another game mode where you controlled a Mario character, holding a girder. It was basically a Breakout imitation.
Pretty much every console system features a soccer game and NES was no different. You really couldn’t say that this particular Soccer game was of high-quality as the game was slow and graphics weren’t that impressive. Despite that, people who owned NES enjoyed playing it.
We got to see professor Hector and his mighty machine called R. O. B. once more in this collection of original Nintendo games. Stack-Up had a number of different modes but they all basically came down to organizing various blocks. It’s a fun little game, but nothing too interesting.
The last one of the sports games in this list is the simply named Tennis. It’s a basic game with the only twist being that the referee is Mario, reminding everyone that it’s, in fact, a Nintendo game. You could play it yourself or with a friend, including single and double matches, which were always fun and chaotic.
At the time, the light gun technology was truly something new and exciting, which is something Nintendo knew all too well. In Wild Gunman, you get to have a shoot out with numerous Wild West bandits using this special gun. Even today, Wild Gunman remains one of the best original Nintendo games of all time.
Yet another game featuring Mario, Wrecking Crew was a simple concept designed by Yoshio Sakamoto, one of Nintendo’s most prolific employees. You play either as Mario or (his less popular brother) Luigi, attempting to destroy a specific object in every level. You character carries a huge hammer that prevents him from jumping, so you need to think of the right way to reach the object.
The Greatest of the Original Nintendo Games: Super Mario Bros.
You could say it’s debatable whether Super Mario Bros. is the best video game on the Nintendo Entertainment System, but it’s certainly among the most influential. It is a sequel to the original Mario game and is one of the best selling games in the world. What could we say about Super Mario that everybody doesn’t already know?
What is your favorite among these 17 original Nintendo Games? For us, it will always be the Excitebike.