The little plumber that could

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System's North American debut, and we're celebrating in style. This week, you can look forward to a menagerie of features that hearken back to the olden days of 8-bit glory.

Twenty-five years ago today, every New Yorker sensed something magic in the air. Droves of them confusedly checked their calendars to make sure that Christmas had not come early, and only a portion could semi-accurately attribute the curiously joyous feeling to that day being their birthday. Yet this was something more momentous than a holiday. It felt more like a revolution – as if the Trojan Horse himself had rolled into town while they slumbered, this time bringing not marauding attackers but happiness and love. But this was no horse. It was, instead, a small gray box. It was the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Well, at least that's how we imagine it went. This was the system's limited test launch – the rest of the nation would get their hands on the system the following February. Europe and Australia would see the system appear on their shelves throughout 1986 and 1987.

Today is also the 25th anniversary of the platform's original 18 launch titles, available in such a large quantity thanks to the fact that the system had been available in Japan for a few years already. These titles were 10 Yard Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Duck Hunt, Excitebike, Golf, Gyromite, Hogan's Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Mach Rider, Pinball, Stack-Up, Super Mario Bros., Tennis, Wild Gunman and Wrecking Crew.

Why not begin your own personal celebration with some of the above titles that Nintendo has made available on the Virtual Console? You also couldn't go wrong with revisiting this episode of the Nintendo Life podcast, a segment of which is devoted to discussing 8-bit goodness, or watching the extremely creepy NES ad below.

Stay tuned for some great content in the coming week as we celebrate the little gray box that changed everything.