News Article

Vote: Pick Your Favourite NES Games

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

We hadn't forgotten

A little while ago the Nintendo Life team voted for its favourite NES games, which included plenty of classics and closely-fought tied positions. Our ultimate winner was Super Mario Bros. 3, and at the end of the feature we promised that you, the community, would have the chance to vote for your own top 10 NES games.

We initially said we'd get back to you within a few days, by which we really meant weeks, but the time has now come. You can choose your 10 favourite NES games and email that list to right now. There are very few rules, but bear these points in mind:

  • Only vote for 10 games and clearly mark them from number 1 (your favourite) down to number 10. If your list isn't marked clearly, your votes can't be counted.
  • There are no limits on multiple games per franchise, though obviously only one vote per individual game.
  • You can only vote for games released on and licensed for the NES; this means no mods or homebrew projects.
  • Only votes received by email will be counted.
  • Votes close at 11:59 UK time on Thursday 18th April, which is 18:59 Eastern, 15:59 Pacific.

And that's it! The results will be published this weekend, so remember to email your clearly marked list to to have your say in the Nintendo Life community's NES favourites list.

From the web

User Comments (106)



TomJ said:

The Legend of Zelda
Super Mario Bros. 3
Donkey Kong
First Comment



Giygas_95 said:

@BlackSpy I've never heard of that last game!

From what few NES games I've played:

1) Blaster Master
2) The Legend of Zelda
3) SMB 3
4) Metroid
5) SMB The Lost Levels
6) SMB 2 (US version)
7) Kirby's Adventure
8) SMB
9) Clu Clu Land
10) Donkey Kong



EvilLucario said:

For me, its:

1. Super Mario Bros.
2. Contra
3. Metroid
4. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
5. Blaster Master



ThomasBW84 said:

Remember guys, I'm only going to count email votes (to avoid duplicates). By all means share them here for a bit of chat, but remember to email them to if you want your picks to count in the final ten



Giygas_95 said:

@ThomasBW84 I just sent my list. It has a lot of obvious choices. If you guys haven't already done it, do you think we could do a favorite SNES games list some time in the future?



CowLaunch said:

'First Comment' was by far and away the best game on the NES. It really was the beginning of the NES gaming era, and quite a statement of intent by Nintendo.



Idroy said:

Mail sent!

1. The Legend of Zelda
2. Super Mario Bros 3
3. Solstice
4. Mega Man 2
5. Earthbound
6. Super Mario Bros.
7. Snake Rattle & Roll
8. The Adventures of Bayou Billy
9. Paperboy
10. Punch-Out



schizor said:

1. Megaman 3
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
3. Megaman 5
4. Kirby's Adventure
5. River City Ransom
6. Power Blade
7. TMNT 2
8. The Legend of Zelda
9. Rescue Rangers
10. Ninja Gaiden



Gold_Ranger said:

1- CaveMan Games
2- TigerHeli
3- Mario Bros.
4- Super Mario Bros. 3
5- Super Mario Bros.
6- Super Mario Bros. 2
7- DuckTales
8- MegaMan
those are the ones I LOVED as a kid.
those are also the only ones I can remember actually playing all the time when I was a kid.
These next two are now personal favorites:
9- Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
10- The Legend of Zelda



UnseatingKDawg said:

@ThomasBW84: Thanks for the info!
This is my list so far. I just need to narrow it down (since there's more than 10) and actually rank whichever 10 I pick:

Donkey Kong
Kid Icarus
Kirby's Adventure
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
The Legend of Zelda



Mystemo said:

Really hard to decide, there are so many great nes games. My list changes a bit from time to time but this is how it looks right now
1. Ducktales 2
2. Castlevania 3
3. Ninja Gaiden
4. Little Samson
5. Shatterhand
6. Castlevania
7. Maniac Mansion
8. The legend of Zelda
9. Super Mario Bros 3
10. The Flintstones: The Rescue of Dino & Hoppy



SteveW said:

Why only licensed games? some of my favorites are not licensed, Micro Machines, Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy, Crystal Mines, etc...



LeonChamp said:

1. Super Mario Bros 3
2. Super Mario Bros 2
3. eliminator Boat Duel (I bet not many pick this little gem of a game!!!!!)
4. Punchout
5. Ducktales
7. Megaman 3
8. Megaman 5
9. River city ransom



Tasuki said:

So I guess that means no Tengen games than since they weren't licensed.



Geonjaha said:

I haven't played enough NES games unfortunately but...
1) Mega Man 3
2) Castlevania
3) Dragon Warrior 3
4) Super Mario Bros. 3
5) Dragon Warrior 4
6) Mega Man 2
7) Mega Man
8) The Legend of Zelda
9) Super Mario Bros. 2
10) Balloon Fight about a good rough list of what I can remember.



SirQuincealot said:

the problem with this is can teven remember what half the games i had were called.

1-super mario bros
2- duck hunt (almost forgot this one)
3-super mario bros 3
4- balloon fight, got this on the ambassodor program, great game,
5- cant remember the name it was a horizontal version of twin bee
6- whicever mega man i owned
7- zelda II
8- kid icarus, just got this having some fun
9- there was this overhead rts type game, where you controled a tank along with some other units (i believe) i thought it was a command and conquer game, but that doesnt exist so Anyone got any ideas, (im pretty sure it was mostly green and black colours wise)
10-cant think of a tenth one, Galaga i guess even though i ownly had it for psp



Zeldalover said:

1. Super Mario Bros. 3
2. Mega Man 3
3. Mega Man 2
4. Contra
5. Kirby's Adventure
6. Mega Man 4
7. Metroid
8. Ninja Gaiden
9. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse
10. Super C



Nintenjoe64 said:

Didn't have many NES games of my own.

10# Double Dragon
Silent Service 2*
Mario 2
Megaman 3
Megaman 2*
Chip n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Mario/Duck Hunt*
1# Mario 3

  • = I actually owned it


Zeldalover said:

Forgot to mention Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project!
I've never played Dragon Warrior btw (think it will be good)



Deathgaze said:

10. Wizards and Warriors III (Least favourite)
9. Mega Man 2
8. The Legend of Zelda
7. Castlevania III
6. Battletoads
5. Super Mario Bros.
4. Contra/Probotector
3. Punch Out!!
2. The Legend of Zelda II: Link's Adventure
1. Super Mario Bros. 3 (Favourite)



LavaTwilight said:

If the staff are still reading please make a note of the obscure titles, maybe surprising ones or ones long-forgotten. It'll be kool to see the randomness of some of them



placidcasual said:

Here's the list I emailed in, figured mario would get enough votes and If it was a top 12 Ducktales and Chip n Dale Rescue Rangers would get in...Was weirdly obsessed with playing a boy and his blob when I was younger by the way...

1. Kidicarus
2. A boy and his blob
3. Little Nemo the dream master
4. Castlevania 3
5. Bubble Bobble
6. Zelda 2
7. Turles
8. Kickle Cubicle
9. Megaman 2
10. Snake Rattle & Roll



CountEkkiM said:

1.castlevania 3
2.mega man 3
3.mega man 2
4.castlevania 2
6 smb 3
7.::. mega man 6
8.mega man 4
9. batman
10. castlevania

5. mega man 5



Whopper744 said:

1. The Legend of Zelda
2. Super Mario Bros 3
3. Super Mario Bros 2
4. Super Mario Bros
5. Kid Icarus
6. Punch Out!!!
7. Kirby's Adventure
8. Zelda 2 : The Adventure of Link
9. Donkey Kong (Yes, the port of the arcade)
10. Golf

(Phew that was tough...I know I forgot some good stuff..I was in a hurry)



MikeDanger said:

No one's gonna mention Metal Gear because it's a port. I put it in my top 10 because I actually played the Nes back in the day, and I never knew about the original one.



Kirbic said:

For me personally, it goes...

1: Kirby's Adventure
2: Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link
3: Mega Man 3
4: Punch Out
5: Super Mario Bros 3
6: Mega Man 2
7: Castlevania 3: Dracula's Curse
8: Balloon Fight
9: Metroid
10: Super Mario Bros 2: The Lost Levels (Kid Icarus instead if Japan only games don't count)

While on the subject of NES games, has anyone else from Europe noticed that the 3 NES Ambassador Titles that were going to support download play have been updated now? Yoshi's a bit meh, but I killed a lot of time with Ice Climber and Balloon Fight recently with my mates.



Zodiak13 said:

1. Dragon Warrior 4
2. Dragon Warrior 2
3. Dragon Warrior
4.Dragon Warrior 3
5.Final Fantasy
6. Super Mario Bros. 3
7. The Legend of Zelda
9. The Punisher
10. Ninja Gaiden



Scarhino89 said:

  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Final Fantasy
  • Kirby's Adventure
  • Faxanadu
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II
  • Castlevania III
  • Metroid


younglink1990 said:

1. Super mario bros.
2. Kirby's adventure
3 . Ice hockey
4.Teenage mutant ninja turtles
5. Zelda II
6. Super mario 3
8 anticipation
9 marble madness
10 paperboy



nik1470 said:

I've voted but ultimatley Super Mario Bros 3 is a masterpiece and will probably win again. Its deserves the top spot too, best of luck to all games though any 8-bit love is mostwelcome



tom_q said:

1. DuckTales
2. Super Mario Bros
3. The Legend of Zelda 2: Adventures of Link
4. Punch-out!!
5. Gargoyle's Quest 2
6. The Legend of Zelda
7. Super Mario Bros 3
8. Megaman 2
9. Pinbot
10. Duck Hunt



Jellitoe said:

1. Legend of Zelda
2. Dragon Warrior 2
3. Bandit Kings of Ancient China
4. Destiny Warriors
5. Super Mario Bros
6. Contra
7. Life Force
8. Super Mario Bros 3.
9. Commando
10. Gyromite

Honorable Mentions
Xardian and Guardian Legend



QBertFarnsworth said:

Wow, I'm seeing no love for some games on my list.
1. Tecmo Super Bowl
2. Battletoads
3. Super Mario 3
4. Mike Tyson's Punchout
5. RC Pro AM
6. Mega Man 2
7. Legend of Zelda
8. Maniac Mansion
9. Super Mario Bros. 2
10. TMNT 2: The Arcade Game

I ranked based on how much I loved them at the time. Historically, I would rank Super Mario Bros in the top 10 NES games, but as a kid, I viewed it as "it's a free game, it's not that good."



RetrogamerFan said:

@BlackSpy did you miss Spy vs Spy from your list? i not played NES Version, but did have it on Sega Master System and ZX Spectrum, a really fun 2 player game.
1. Super mario bros 3
2. Super mario bros 2 [not lost levels]
3. Solar Jetman
4. Legend of Zelda
5. Pinbot
6. Donkey Kong
7. Super Mario Bros
8. Mega Man 2
9. Golf
10. Donkey Kong Jr



thedefalcos said:

Here’s my pick for top 10 NES games:

10. Punch Out! Featuring Mike Tyson
9. Tecmo Bowl
8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
7. Double Dragon 2
6. Gauntlet
5. Super Mario Bros 3
4. Castlevania 3
3. Bionic Commando
2. Super C
1. The Legend of Zelda

And just a fun bonus, my honorary mentions:

Blades of Steel
Double Dribble
Baseball Stars
Castlevania 1
T & C Surf Design
Skate or Die



Eisenbolan said:

1 Star Tropics
2 Metroid
3 Legend of Zelda
4 Guardian Legend
5 Super Mario 1
6 Dragon Warrior 3
7 Dragon Warrior 4
8 Final Fantasy 1
9 Romance of the Three Kingdoms 2
10 Uncharted Waters



Freelance said:

The first five games in my list are the ones I spent probably the most time on. The last five games are the ones that I liked a lot.

01. Contra
02. Super C
03. Rampage
04. Star Soldier
05. Spy Vs. Spy
06. Bubble Bobble
07. Dr. Mario
08. Life Force
09. Shadowgate
10. 1943



Lalivero said:

@PvtOttobot You can still vote; The NES may have been around before your time but that wouldn't stop you from being able to purchase one to play through some classics you probably haven't tried before. It's really something you should try at some point!

@DarkCoolEdge I wanted to ask the same thing.



PopeReal said:

This changes all the time but here we go....

1 Tecmo Super Bowl
2. Punchout!!! Featuring Mike Tyson
3. Dragon Warrior IV
4. Super Mario Bros 3
5. Super Mario Bros 2
6. 1943
7. Gunsmoke
8. Contra
9. Jackal
10. Bionic Commando

Honorable mention (just because this is hard): Castlevania, Castlevania III, Life Force, Gradius, Blades of Steel, Ice Hockey, Super Mario Bros, Track & Field, Baseball Simulator 1.000, Track & Field II, Metroid, Double Dragon, Double Dragon II, Battletoads, Ninja Gaiden, Ninja Gaiden II, Ninja Gaiden III, R.C. Pro-Am, Batman, Ducktales, Chip N Dales Rescue Rangers, Adventures of LOLO (all 3), Kid Icarus, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II, Maniac Mansion, Gauntlet, Tetris, Tecmo Bowl, and many more that I am sure I am missing.

EDIT: How could I forget Blaster Master and Spyhunter!!! Nintendolife give Blaster Master some bonus points!



Kirk said:

Super Mario Bros 3
Mega Man 2
Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros 2

Hmmm, I'm working on it...

Edit: I'm just not sure I've played enough NES games enough times, especially ones that I still think are genuinely great (like I still do with pretty much all my favorite SNES games), to make a proper top 10 list to be honest



PopeReal said:

^^glad to see some Gunsmoke love! and I see someone else above picked Tecmo Super Bowl as number one!!!



hYdeks said:

Ohh man, I have ton of NES favourite's, but I guess I would go with

1/ Super Mario Bros. 3
2/ Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers
3/ TMNT II: Arcade Game
4/ DuckTales
5/ Contra
6/ CastleVania
7/ Double Dragon II
8/ StarTropics
9/ Super Mario Bros.
10/ Final Fantasy

I think I could have easily made a Top 30 list lol I was a kid when the NES wa around, I love that system



Freelance said:

All I did was go to GFAQs and look at the US NES games list. I look at all the names and say, "Oh yeah! I remember that game! It was good!" and write it on my list.



SteveW said:

@Nintendojuenger - Yes, I got it from Australia, only took 6 months to actually find someone in Australia that was willing to sell it to someone in the USA... had to pay someone like 4 times the price just to get it... just wait until those guys want some of our USA exclusives!



JAPBOO said:

1- Castlevania 3
2- Castlevania
3- Super C
4- Contra
5- Super Mario Bros
6- Super Mario Bros 3
7- Adventure Island 2
8- Adventure Island 3
9- Duck Tales
10- Chip & Dale



Kevin said:

1. The Legend of Zelda
2. Super Mario Bros.
3. Super Mario Bros. 3
4. Contra
5. Punch-Out!!
6. The Guardian Legend
7. Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
8. Dragon Warrior III
9. Metroid
10. Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse



vikingscool said:

1. Super Mario Bros. 3
2. Super Mario Bros.
3. Mega Man 3
4. Mega Man 2
5..River City Ransom
6. Duck Tales
7. Little Nemo: The Dream Master
8. Kirby Adventure
9. Punch-out!!
10. Zelda II: Adventure Of Link



SteveW said:

you guys know that the voting isn't here right? you have to e-mail it...



CanisWolfred said:

My honorable mentions:

11) Contra
12) Kid Icarus
13) Metroid
14) Kirby's Adventure
15) River City Ransom
16) Castlevania 3
17) Super Mario Bros. 3

EDIT: I can't believe I brainfarted and forgot to include Castlevania...instead I voted for Final Fantasy...too late, now...



Freelance said:

Doesn't look like any of my choices will win, aside from Contra and maybe Super C.



Undead_terror said:

Not in any order:
punch out
legend of zelda
kirby's adventure
super c
Donkey kong (original edition)
Gargoyles quest 2 (looks like it would be one of my favs)
Balloon fight
(could be more but I forget)



WaveGhoul said:

1. Super Mario Bros. 2
2. Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
3. Kid Icarus
4. Mega Man 2
5. TMNT II: The Arcade Game
6. Contra
7. Ninja Gaiden
8. Super Mario Bros. 3
9. DuckTales
10. Super Mario Bros.

Wish i could make more room for

The Legend of Zelda, Kickle Cubicle, Metroid, StarTropics, Double Dragon, Castlevania I & III, Chip 'n Dale, Zelda II, T & C Surf and Shadow Gate.



dcast2 said:

1. Super Mario Bros

2. Super Mario Bros 3

3. Mike Tyson's Punch Out

4. Super Mario Bros 2

5. Super Tecmo Bowl

6. Blades of Steel

7. Double Drible

8. The Legend of Zelda

9. Baseball Stars

10. Double Dragon



ouroborous said:

you have to email them? well thats most likely going to shorten the list of applicable responses to this thread. just posting it here makes alot more sense (although probably makes for a really really long thread).



SparkOfSpirit said:

I emailed mine. I stayed away from the obvious picks and highlighted some underrated titles like Little Samson, Rockin' Kats, and TMNT3 that never get appreciated despite being classics.



R-Comeau said:

My Top 10 NES List Is As Follows:

1. Final Fantasy
2. Dragon Warrior 3
3. Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Edition
4. Super Mario Brothers 3
5. Bible Adventures
6. Mega Man 6
7. Mission: Impossible
8. The Rocketeer
9. The Three Stooges
10. Willow



niner said:

1. Bionic Commando
2. Duck Tales
3. Contra
4. Mega Man 3
5. Mike Tyson's Punch Out
6. Contra
7. Metal Storm
8. Baseball Stars
9. Super Mario Brothers
10. Super Mario Brothers 3

Honorable mentions:
Ninja Gaiden 2
Wizard & Warriors
Dr. Mario



timp29 said:

1. Super Mario Bros 3
2. Super Mario Bros
3. Zelda II: The Adventures of Link
4. Ninja Gaiden
5. Super C
6. Wizards & Warriors
7. Double Dragon II
8. Ninja Gaiden II
9. Tetris
10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The arcade game

Wow so many memories. Also so many notable mentions. I can't list them all




10 Punch out!!!!

9 Super mario bros. 3

8 Contra

7 Kid Icarus

6 Gargoyle's quest 2

5 Batman

4 Castlevania

3 Super C

2 Megaman 3

1 Mother

The mother trilogy will always be my favorite games ever!!!!!!



LeonChamp said:

Lol I knew no one else would mention Eliminator Boat Duel!!
It's getting quite rare now!! I ask you guys to give it a whirl on emulator (just to see how good it was for a 1980's game ) it's a bit like Micro machines



Arckadius said:

10) Faxanadu
9) Trog
8) Super Mario Bros.2 (Doki Doki Panic)
7) Rad Racer
6) Super Mario Bros 3
5) Earthbound Zero (Mother 1)
4) Final Fantasy
3) Zelda II: the Adventures of Link
2) The Legend of Zelda
1) Final Fantasy III



FabioSMASH said:

My "honest" list:

1. Tetris
2. Super Mario Bros. 3
3. Mega Man 2
4. Donkey Kong
5. Super Mario Bros.
6. Donkey Kong Jr.
7. Blades of Steel
8. Battletoads
9. Duck Hunt
10. Double Dragon

Honorable Mention:



JMDS said:

1. Shatterhand
2. Castlevania
3. Duck Hunt
4. Gauntlet
5. Super Mario Bros. 3
6. Gradius
7. Power Blade
8. Sword Master
9. Gyruss
10. Punch-Out!!



EvaAdorable said:

I know I'm kinda late but I couldn't resist. <3

1. Crystalis
2. Star Tropics
3. Super Mario Brothers 3
4. Snake's Revenge
5. The Legend of Zelda
6. Solar Jetman
7. Maniac Mansion
8. Metroid
9. Contra
10. Ninja Gaiden



Poketendo said:

I think they forgot, but I hope they will remember this soon. I wanna know the results. I want to know whether my votes won. Super Mario Bros? Double Dragon? Excitebike? Donkey Kong? Who won!? Come on Nintendolife, we wanna know!



superives3 said:

1.Super Mario Bros.3
2.Super Mario Bros.
3.The Legend of Zelda
4.Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!
5.Super Mario Bros.2
6.Zelda 2;The Adventures of Link
8.Mega Man 2
9.Catlevania 3;Dracula's Curse



superives3 said:

11.Dr. Mario
13.Code Name;Viper
14.Final Fantasy
15.Dragon Warrior
16.Duck Hunt
18.Castlevania 2;Simon's Quest
19.Baseball Stars
20.The Black Bass

Honorable Mentions



Giygas_95 said:

It's official...they're never gonna release the results (maybe by saying this I'll spur them to do it).



Poketendo said:

...All hope has been lost. They'll never tell us. And I wanted to know so bad, even though my favourites list has changed in the meanwhile (only shows how long it has been)...

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...