46. Pro Wrestling (NES)

Pro Wrestling (NES)Pro Wrestling (NES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 1st Mar 1987 (USA) / 15th Sep 1987 (UK/EU)

"A WINNER IS YOU." This game is worth playing at least once just to see that iconic meme phrase in its original context. It's a simple interpretation of professional wrestling with a slim roster, but it's charged with nostalgia and personality, and given the sorry state of the genre in recent years (Fire Pro Wrestling notwithstanding), you could do much worse than returning to Pro Wrestling for a bout.

45. Wrecking Crew (NES)

Wrecking Crew (NES)Wrecking Crew (NES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Release Date: 18th Oct 1985 (USA) / 15th Oct 1987 (UK/EU)

Wrecking Crew isn't something we'd recommend spending vast sums on, but it's definitely worth checking out as part of the Nintendo Switch Online package of NES games. It can be a frustrating experience and it lacks the control finesse players would come to expect from later Nintendo efforts, but as an early 8-bit Mario puzzle-platformer, it certainly warrants investigation.

44. Yoshi (NES)

Yoshi (NES)Yoshi (NES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Game Freak
Release Date: 1st Jun 1992 (USA) / 10th Dec 1992 (UK/EU)

Known as Mario & Yoshi in Europe and Yoshi's Egg in Japan, Yoshi is hardly the most scintillating of puzzlers, but we've played worse tile-matching games in our time and it does have a relatively unique plate/column switching mechanic. We'd recommend firing it up for a moment or two to see if the concept catches on. If so, great! If not, move along.

43. Donkey Kong 3 (NES)

Donkey Kong 3 (NES)Donkey Kong 3 (NES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Release Date: 14th Jul 2008 (USA) / 9th Jan 2009 (UK/EU)

Perhaps most notable for introducing Stanley the Bugman into the Nintendo canon, Donkey Kong 3 is an odd departure from the previous entries in the series from back when sequels didn't mean rinsing and repeating the concept from the previous game ad infinitum. It's certainly not up to the standard of the arcade original but it's still a fascinating slice of Nintendo history and worth firing up at least once.

42. Solomon's Key (NES)

Solomon's Key (NES)Solomon's Key (NES)
Publisher: Tecmo / Developer: Tecmo
Release Date: Jul 1987 (USA) / 30th Mar 1990 (UK/EU)

A challenging game with imprecise controls that you'll be pleased to have the rewind function for, Solomon’s Key is nonetheless an enjoyable action-puzzler from Tecmo that's worth playing today - provided you've got the patience for it.

41. Ice Climber (NES)

Ice Climber (NES)Ice Climber (NES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D1
Release Date: 30th Jan 1985 (USA) / 1st Sep 1986 (UK/EU)

Ice Climber is a solid concept let down by finicky controls. Scaling its mountains can offer diversion if you can overcome how awkward it feels in a modern context, but anyone checking this out on the strength of the characters' inclusion in Smash Bros. best prepare themselves for a cold shower.

40. S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team (NES)

S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team (NES)S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team (NES)
Publisher: Natsume / Developer: Natsume
Release Date: Jun 1991 (USA) / 1992 (UK/EU)

S.C.A.T.: Special Cybernetic Attack Team is a short title but it provides a decent challenge, and should you be able to arrange a ceasefire with the alien forces there's some good music to be heard. Throw in a fun two-player mode and S.C.A.T. should provide you with plenty of entertainment for an evening.

39. Nightshade (NES)

Nightshade (NES)Nightshade (NES)
Publisher: Ultra Games / Developer: Beam Software
Release Date: 1992 (USA)

An action-adventure title with point-and-click gameplay elements, Beam Software's Nightshade offered an odd mixture of gangland action on the mean streets of Metro City with an intriguing system which monitored the main character's popularity of the eponymous vigilante crimefighter. Intriguing, but ultimately unsuccessful, this late NES title (it released in 1992) is perhaps best remembered as the precursor to the much better Shadowrun on SNES.

38. Journey To Silius (NES)

Journey To Silius (NES)Journey To Silius (NES)
Publisher: Sunsoft / Developer: Sunsoft
Release Date: Sep 1990 (USA) / 1990 (UK/EU)

This run-and-gunner was originally a Terminator tie-in until Sunsoft ran into issues getting the license. The developer retooled it and released it as Journey to Silius, although remnants of its former life are easy enough to pick out. It's a cracking game with excellent music that would be high on our personal lists of NES titles to check out. If you never got around to playing this in the past, there's no time like the present.

37. Super Dodge Ball (NES)

Super Dodge Ball (NES)Super Dodge Ball (NES)
Publisher: Aksys Games / Developer: Technōs Japan
Release Date: Jun 1989 (USA) / 13th Mar 2014 (UK/EU)

A game in the Kunio-kun canon (him of River City Ransom in North America or Street Gangs in Europe), Super Dodge Ball is a silly, shallow little nostalgia trip that's well worth playing, especially for Kunio fans. It won't keep you entertained for hours, but it's a charming, humorous little sports title best enjoyed with a friend.

36. NES Open Tournament Golf (NES)

NES Open Tournament Golf (NES)NES Open Tournament Golf (NES)
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo R&D2
Release Date: 29th Sep 1991 (USA) / 18th Jun 1992 (UK/EU)

As with nearly all of the games in the NES library, the formative systems and mechanics put down in games of the '80s have advanced a lot in the interim. However, while NES Open Tournament Golf might lack the bells, whistles and frills we've come to expect from our golf games these days, the core gameplay here is as solid as ever. Eighteen holes might be pushing it, but a swift walk round the back nine will do nicely.

35. Vice: Project Doom (NES)

Vice: Project Doom (NES)Vice: Project Doom (NES)
Publisher: Sammy Corporation / Developer: Aicom
Release Date: 15th Nov 1991 (USA) / 1st Aug 2019 (UK/EU)

Vice: Project Doom is a good-looking action platformer from Aicom with overhead driving sections which feel more like a vertical shooter. If you haven't heard of it, we'd recommend checking it out; decent controls and a mix of projectile weapons with a melee 'laser whip' for close quarters combat make it an interesting, though not essential, 8-bit experience.