Nintendo Entertainment System / Famicom Recommendations

Adventures of Lolo

Refia – Pretty fun game and about as fun as I remember it!! Wow!!!!!! I like how the game teaches you to play it by gradually introducing new stuff or requiring you to use a concept you might not have figured out on your own in a fairly simple stage before mashing the ideas together in more complicated stages. There’s a few mostly-action stages, but overall you just need to think stuff through to beat this game, it doesn’t usually demand a ton of your reflexes and that’s why I think it makes a pretty good puzzle/action hybrid. The challenge is there on the action side, but nothing really insane to worry about.

Akumajou Densetsu

Refia – Japanese version specifically cause the music is way better and Grant isn’t reduced to being a piece of shit. Epic game I gotta say and probably one of the best on the Famicom/NES ever made and frankly I feel it holds up extremely well. It’s challenging and fair, there are a good number of hard parts to it but it’s just really satisfying to play and has a great atmosphere.

Blaster Master

Refia – WHAT A GAME!!!!! The new remake is better I feel like in a lot of ways due to being more modern but I had a lot of fun. The power level system was pretty great for its time and it’s not too hard but not too easy. Good music, good platforming, and good all around. This game made Sunsoft somewhat popular at the time, and it’s easy to see why.

Bucky O’Hare

Apple – One of the best games on the system. This is another one of those games on the NES that has character swapping on the fly which makes for a nice varied gameplay. This is a very fast paced run and gun game with loads of interesting screens and mechanics. The bosses are good, the stage variety is good and the platforming is good and it all comes with that great NES era Konami soundtrack as well. It offers legitimate challenge but the checkpoint system with unlimited continues will keep any skill level interested. Highly recommended!

Choujin Sentai Jetman

gamma – The stages are a bit too short, especially on Easy. But the game has Normal, Hard, and Very Hard difficulties which is a great feature. Music is pretty good on all stages, with the last few standing out the most to me. I guess it’s cool that you can choose different characters but it’s not really necessary until Hard or Very Hard because they basically function as lives at that point. The boss fights are atrocious and are the main reason that my rating is what it is. It’s sad too since aside from that there is some solid action platforming that reminds me of a slower version of Ninja Gaiden, and there are no issues with the music as I said before. Overall, I think the game was worth playing

Refia – Jetman is a short game but I find the whole thing fun! The only major complaint I have is that Hard and Very Hard are pretty similar and I would have enjoyed a harder but not one-shot level difficulty. Who knows though, maybe I’ll do very hard eventually. The different weapons make for different gameplay styles but I picked Black Condor every time because he’s a ladies’ man, beats people up and rides a motorcycle. So if you really think about it, he’s way cooler than everyone else anyway. A very cool game for a very cool show and you get to be a giant robot. What more could you ask for??? It’s not the best game ever but it’s a unique and dang solid title if you ask me!

Don Doko Don 2

Apple – Time to clobber some freaks with an over-sized mallet!!! Become a bearded dwarf and destroy idiots who are trying to stop the kingdom from being happy. It’s a weird platformer where you can smash enemies to flatten them and then toss them aside. It also has interesting bosses and the main character is a dang old guy dwarf dude! If you like 2D Platformers this is worth a look. There is a lot to collect and a lot to explore in each of the stages but there are only 5 stages and there isn’t a ton of challenge. So relax, sit back with that dogbone and let’s smash some stuff.

Ghosts ‘n Goblins

prg – NES port of Ghosts and Goblins isn’t as bad as people say but it’s not really that good either. Be aware that a certain level of masochism on the player’s part is recommended to get through this


gamblor – My favorite parts were the ones made to trick you into dying, like running through 3 conveyor belt rooms just to go flying into a water pit. great music too, and smart ai for the nes. I like how the tooth guy in the last level only attacks you if you hit the birds.

gamma – Great music and graphics for an NES game, but it also came out very late in the NES’ life, so this is how it should be. It’s unique because your normal and only attack/move is throwing a star that takes a few seconds to charge up and is unable to be thrown forward in a straight line so you need to make sure you are done with Physics class and are very patient. There are times when you can take advantage of the star by riding on it but the excitement for that is very short-lived and there are barely good moments for it except for at the end of Stage 3 and 2 other parts in Stages 5 and 6 that are very difficult to pull off so that most speedrunners I’ve seen for the game don’t even do it every time. After jumping it is very slippery and you need to either stop completely or hold back on the D-Pad to correct it. You will mostly die due to the controls or not jumping correctly as there aren’t many enemies in this game. But, the replayability is fairly good due to the challenge and the secret items to collect. Overall, it’s pretty cute and unique, but it’s not amazing and definitely not worth more than about $10. Try it just to say you’ve beaten/heard of this game for internet points.

Refia – Probably the be-all-end-all of platformers for me. This game holds up great, has physics in a Famicom game, and is one of the most satisfying games to play for me. Getting the good ending feels like you really earned it, and the game is pretty fair overall with very few artificial difficulty moments if any. The control system is truly unique and this puts it above many others for me.

Guerrilla War

Refia – Guerrilla War is an excellent shooter on the NES, and it’s not too long so it never really gets too boring. You get bombs, tanks, flamethrowers, and the action ramps up very well over the different stages. You’d have to be nuts to beat it on one continue, though, but it’s still a fun shooter to pick up and beat in an afternoon. The level and sound design are really good, although ultimately if you continue you probably don’t care about score which makes saving the hostages kind of pointless to even bother with.

Journey to Silius

Apple – SunSoft doing what SunSoft knows best and that’s jamming out on the NES – amazin’ tracks on this one right here! You can definitely tell the game was originally going to be a Terminator game especially the final boss which is kind of cool in its own right. It’s a fast paced run and gun action platformer with a nice amount of weapon variety and enemies. Be prepared to shoot up giant metal things because you’re gonna wanna when you’re jammin to the epic tunes of Journey to Silius.

Kirby’s Adventure

Apple – The music and the art style are both great. Lots of fun power-ups which ended up becoming what Kirby is known for today and is standard in all his games now. Fun bosses for the most part, especially the final two bosses – fun! Lots of memories playing this as a wee little dick so that bumps it up! Levels are pretty damn short and mostly ran through without thought. There are a load of secrets which makes the level design very good it played at a slower pace. In the end it’s the most relaxing platformer on the system all around!

Refia – One of the best nes games IMO, what can I say? Kirby’s adventure is a nice easy game to chill out and relax to while you save dream land. Classic gameplay, cool enemies and powers, UFO kirby, it’s all here. Easily my second favorite Kirby game.

Little Nemo: The Dream Master

Apple – What a cool game! It’s got it all! Great music, art and gameplay! You play as Nemo who is asked to travel to Slumberland! The kid is equipped with candy that he can throw at certain enemies and then use their powers! This means added attacks or abilities. Very cool central mechanic to the game. The difficulty picks up towards the end so it has a very good sense of progression. If you feel up to trying this thing out you might just love it! You might ask yourself: “Am I Dreaming? Is This Game Really This Good?”

Little Samson

Apple – Often overhyped as the MOST RARE AND INSANELY HARD TO FIND GAME EVER for the NES it is actually a fantastic platformer filled with character swapping and loads of boss fights. Each character you play as has their own unique skills which makes things very interesting! Would have been nice if they took a little more time on music variety but if you can handle the same 4 songs you are in for one HECK of a time.

The Magic of Scheherazade

Refia – WOW what a long title in multiple ways!!!! Well, for the NES anyway! That’s right, it’s an action RPG folks!!!! Set in Arabia, you have to save Princess Scheherazade, who got her name when they put somebody’s cat on the keyboard and then just ran with it!!! It’s both real-time and turn-based and quite a unique title!!

Mega Man 2

togemet2 – A classic and a must-have Capcom title for any NES collectors. It is essentially an updated version of the original Mega Man, but this time with juiced up music, graphics, and characters. Instead of the boring old boss clear from the first game, you can now gain power abilities from each Robot Master that you defeat! These powers can then be used on other bosses and enemies in the game to advance forward with ease. If you’ve never given this game a play, you’re missing out!

Mega Man 3

Refia – WOW what a game!!! This is maybe my third or fourth time through and it’s still just as fun. There are some annoying stages but nothing anyone can’t beat if they use the right strategies. Most of it is just straight up fun classic mega man! And you can slide, what more do you want?????

titiln – great stage design, great robot masters and great music

Metal Storm

Apple – A very unique NES action/platformer that focuses on the idea of flipping the gravity either up or down. Though relatively short this game packs a nice punch and executes the idea of reversing gravity very well! Something in your way? Better walk on the ceiling and blast through the mounted turrets overhead to get through. A very cool game that is extremely hard to not recommend! Be prepared to be challenged but very fairly so.

Nekketsu Kakutou Densetsu

osama_bin_lader – NKD is a beat ’em up game for the NES in which you play as either a Brawler, Martial Artist, Kung-fu fighter or Judo Master in 7 deadly stages with various hazards such as, spikes, ice, moving platforms, electric walls and more. There are 16( 18 if bosses are included) characters in total and each one has at its disposal various techniques. The player can also choose to creat his/her own character, describing date of birth, blood type and name and receive a character with stats and moves based on what was typed. The game can be played in Story Mode with maximum 2 players (either AI or human player) or in a Battle Royale mode for up to 4 players, again AI or human players. The game is a blast to play; it’s very fast paced and every stage you play in has it’s unique gems to crush your opponents with!

Ninja Gaiden

Refia – No platformer can really do what this game does for me. It’s flawed in that the last part is way too hard, but overall it has a fast feeling to it that’s hard to describe once you master it. Most enemies except bosses and like 2 of the regular enemies die in one hit, which means most of the time you’re killing things at the same time you’re moving forward once you have a level down, and it feels really good.

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos

Gamblor – Tight controls, catchy music, cinematic cutscenes, wind. My god, the wind. Ninja Gaiden 2 is platforming perfection that tops the already amazing Ninja Gaiden 1, mainly because it lets you climb up and down walls making it feel a little smoother.

Panic restaurant

Apple – One heck of a fun and cute platformer with food that comes to life and tries to stop you from reclaiming your restaurant. Very fun game to sit down with and smash through in one sitting. The NES is full of fun platformers similar to this but the cute artstyle and craziness of the enemies make this one stand out a bit more.

Rockin’ Kats

Apple – This game is rockin’!!1!!! You can punch with your ultrahand boxing glove but that’s only the beginning! You can punch in all directions or use it to grapple and even “rocket jump” using it which is really cool stuff! I was very surprised at how versatile the main attack was and how much it added to movement instead of being solely an attack. This game is a fun romp and PROVES that cats are better than dogs. One of the better games on the system.

The Smurfs

Apple – It really might not shock you in terms of gameplay but it definitely isn’t bad in that regard. It’s standard 2d platforming fun, but the game really blows me away because of the music! This never came out here in America or even the Famicom so the music was made for the slower 50hz EU markets. But boy does this thing jam out on a 60hz machine! Turn this thing on and jam out as you hop and bop your way to the end! A fun little endeavor worth having a nice little play session with.

See Also: A Bit of Good Music – The Smurfs

Snake’s Revenge

Refia – YEAH I WENT THERE!!!!!! WHAT???? Known informally and in some gaming media at the time of its release as Metal Gear 2: Snake’s Revenge, this game is actually not bad at all and it has a very good soundtrack. It’s far better than the botched port of Metal Gear 1, and it has a lot of improvements to the gameplay. It’s still got stealth in it, but action is a decent component as well. People hate on this game but I don’t think they ever tried it just cause it’s non-canon and made fun of, but a fun fact is that Kojima only even made the real Metal Gear 2 for MSX and the rest of the series because this game existed and inspired him to follow up with a sequel that had his spin on it. He didn’t even think it was that bad so there!!!! It’s pretty reminiscent of Konami’s other work around that era which is to say it’s DANG GOOD considering!!!

Splatterhouse: Wanpaku Graffiti

Apple – Ever sitting there wishing you could be playing a spooky game AND watching classic spooky films? Well this is the ultimate spooky platformer movie parody video game! The game references Thriller, Alien, The Fly, Jaws, Friday the 13th and a whole lot others! It doesn’t hurt that it’s a pretty competent game to boot! Definitely worth a play especially during the holidays!!!! ooooaAAOOHAAOOAA (That’s a ghost noise.)

Super Mario Bros. 3

Gamblor – What more can be said about this masterpiece? Mario’s fat adorable face pokes out of an equally adorable green boot as he hops around crushing harmless critters

Sweet Home

Refia – What a game!!!! There’s some clunky stuff for sure, but the fact that you can save anywhere takes most of the pain away from the game. Sweet Home was way ahead of its time, with a fully fledged RPG battle system, well thought out horror mechanics that will force you to split your team up more than you’d probably like, and a good story to boot! It’s easy to see how this was the precursor to Resident Evil. It even has tons of inventory management, probably more than any Resident Evil game, since you control five characters with their own separate inventories. Often the hardest decisions you’ll make will be what tool to leave behind or take with you, as you have very limited space and find a lot of useful stuff. Still one of my favorite NES games after a replay.

Ufouria: The Saga

Apple – At first this game seems odd and you really have no idea what to do… Then you realize its one of the earliest Metroidvania styled games and bam the appreciation is through the roof. The four characters are cute and have lots of charm. They all join the party slowly and their individual abilities act as the tools or items needed to access previously unreachable parts of the map. The music is solid and the gameplay is spot on. If it weren’t for the Bosses being so lacking and some of the ambiguity being over the top this game would be perfect. It really is the single best Metroidvania styled game on the system and a lot of fans of the genre might be surprised by how much there is to see in this game!

Yume Penguin Monogatari

Apple – A game that doesn’t allow you to complete it unless you’re in shape! No fatties can win here. You play as a penguin who is attempting to rescue his girlfriend penguin in a cutesy fun colorful world. The bad penguin who has her captive is tossing fattening foods at you along the way. As you platform through the game trying to avoid enemies you most importantly must avoid the food! You are encouraged to go after the diet drinks to drop some pounds mid-level. If you become too fat you become slower and you eventually die. If you do end up completing the game while fat and not skinny… well I can’t reveal it all! A must play for the laughs!

Zoda’s Revenge: StarTropics II

Apple – A weirder sequel to the already pretty weird StarTropics game. The game’s big difference from the first game is the added diagonal directional movement which many people wanted in the first game. It also has you zipping all over not just places but time itself!! Holy cow! Meeting Cleopatra or Sherlock Holmes is what you can expect from this nutty adventure. The pacing is amazing and the combat is quick and nimble. A very satisfying experience the whole way through.

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