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Nintendo Entertainment System Classics

Sep 13, 2008
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the best-selling console of its time. The 8-bit video game console was brought into our lives in 1985. By 1990 it had outsold all previously released consoles worldwide. This dominance waned in the 1990s as renewed competition from Sega facilitated the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES generation of games saw some of the most imaginative and playable titles ever released, including:

Super Mario Bros

This game was bundled with the console and signalled the beginning of the NES's five years of gaming domination. To date, it is the best selling video game of all time, selling over 40 million copies worldwide. Many hours were spent guiding the Italian plumbers around Mushroom Kingdom, aiding them in their search for Princess Peach.

Mushroom Kingdom consisted of eight fun-filled worlds, each containing three challenging sub-levels and a castle. At the end of each level gamers assisted Mario, or Luigi, in navigating their way through the castle and would have to defeat one of Bowser's minions to make it to the next level. Simple gameplay and catchy music made this an absolute classic.

Duck Hunt

Duck Hunt utilised the NES's light gun. The game involved shooting ducks or clay pigeons in mid-flight to gain points and progress to the next level. As the rounds progressed the ducks increased their speed and you had to hit more to make the next level. Anyone who played the game will remember the chuckling dog that appears after you had missed a shot. Unfortunately, this was one of very few games that the light gun was used for.


Golf was one of the first sports simulations for the NES, released in 1985. Although the golfer resembles Mario, the mustached man is actually a character named Ossan. There was the option to play either stroke play or match play before players made their way to tee off.

This was the first golf game to feature the power/accuracy bar for swinging the golf club. This method has been replicated in nearly all golf games since. There was a full range of clubs available and when taking aim it was important to take the wind into consideration or you might have ended up out of bounds. Interestingly, nine out of these eighteen holes have been recreated in 3D for Nintendo's Wii Sports golf game.

World Cup

This game was released in 1990 and was based on a six a-side football game. Each team consisted of a goalkeeper, two defenders, a midfielder and two attackers. The best part is there were no offside or fouls and players could perform advanced moved, such as overhead kicks, diving headers and headbutts. If a player was fouled a number of times he would pass out until the ball next went out of play!

The short-legged, big-headed characters with varied faces were also able to perform 'super shots'. These powerful shots, often making the ball swerve or move oddly, were utilised whenever a player connected using one of their advanced moves, such as the overhead kick. This was a totally funny, addictive and strangely surreal game.

Super Mario Bros 3

This was released on the NES in 1991. After the disappointing Mario 2, this game introduced a number of advances in the series, including a map screen, minigames, new power-ups, enemies and level types. Mario 3 holds the title of the best-selling single video game that was not originally bundled with a console, with eighteen million copies sold.

In this game, Mario and Luigi are on a mission to rescue the seven kings of the seven worlds which neighbor the Mushroom Kingdom. While Mario and Luigi are rescuing the kings, Bowser swoops to kidnap Princess Peach again. There were eight worlds, each with 8-10 playable levels.

The game allowed users to carry items around while they travel throughout the Mushroom Kingdom, such as mushrooms, super leaves and starmans. Other suits included the frog suit that allows mario more controlled and faster movement in water but impairs his running capabilities on land, and the Hammer Bros. suit that allows mario to throw hammers that can kill almost every enemy in the game. Possibly the best game of all time. Definitely the best product of the NES.
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