Top Ten Stoner NES Games
Well its finally here the top ten stoner NES games. The NES is iconic whether you started playing games before, during or after the era of this legend, Nintendo provided plenty of laughs, jokes, joy and of course frustration. How did we pick the games? We had two conditions: they had to be fun, and they had to be fun. Whether or not the game was a blast to play is how we decided the order of our beloved NES games. So don’t be surprised if you see some of your favorite games missing. These are games we all loved to play over and over and over again. Enjoy!
Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 & 3
Super Mario Bros might be the most important Nintendo game of all time but Super Mario Bros 3 is not only your favorite NES platform but it’s your best NES game of all time.
Arguably it is the game that influences the modern Mario games more than any other as it was the first to introduce the Koopalings, Bowser’s minions who were named after famous musicians. Beat Ludwig, Lemmy and Iggy and you’d face Bowser at the climax of this magical platformer.
Throw in the memorable Tanooki Suit plus the brilliant Frog Suit and you’ve got a game that was more fun than anything that had gone before it.
Super Mario World added the World Map (with all its hidden exits) and Yoshi but fans still argue about what is the greatest Mario platform to this day. Is it Super Mario World or Super Mario Bros 3?
The Legend of Zelda
There’s little more praise to heap onto Legend of Zelda that hasn’t already been heaped onto it. Its mix of complexity, open-world design, and timeless graphics make it an adventure for every stoner.
Taking the dungeon-exploration trappings and item collection that was already becoming popular in RPGs but making it more inclusive than ever, Zelda introduced players to a world bigger than many thought possible on the system. The gameplay and fantastical setting work just as well now as it did then, and only ranks slightly lower on this list because later 2D Zeldas perfected the formula, while later sequels of our first two entries basically never topped them…
Oh, Battletoads. Though it was essentially a weird, off-brand rip-off of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it was still amazing for its time. The gameplay was awesome, the visuals were amazing, and the music was some of the best around… but that’s not what you remember it for.
Battletoads is the cult favorite popular among prank callers for one reason: the difficulty. The painful, brutal difficulty could tear down even the strongest player’s resolve once the damn hoverbike level appeared. However, while it’s true that parts of Battletoads can be difficult to the point of tears, we still had fun playing, and that’s really all that matters, right?
Mega Man 2
There’s no doubt the Mega Man franchise hasn’t shined brighter that it did on the NES, and Mega Man 2 is the pinnacle of those 8-bit years. There’s barely anything to complain about: The controls are dead-on, the level designs are immensely distinct, and the glorious music has drilled its way into our collective hearts. To shun Mega Man 2 is to deny everything that makes games fun.
But why honor this Mega Man over all the rest? None of the other games get as close to perfection as this one does. The other NES entries have at least one or two minor issues that can’t be ignored. Here, every boss design is amazing, the challenge is just right, and Mega Man has just enough weapons without cluttering the experience. Capcom has tried to recapture what made Mega Man 2 great, but we have a feeling it will remain forever unmatched.
Despite later versions improving on it exponentially, the original Metroid was fantastic for its time. Sure, its gameplay feels a little clunky in a post-Super Metroid world, but out of all the games that hit the NES, few were as uniquely engrossing as this first game.
Introducing Samus, one of the few female leads in gaming, the desolate sci-fi setting and open-ended gameplay were a revelation. Collecting items, exploring every corner of the map, and slowly realizing just how dense the world was kept us coming back to the NES (and our password sheet) over and over again.
Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse
The original Castlevania was a great (if punishingly difficult) platformer from early in the NES’s lifetime, while Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest focused more on exploration and RPG elements, but stretched the gameplay too thin. Castlevania III returned to the original’s platforming roots, but featured a surprisingly open number of options.
Dracula’s Curse might have been a return to form, but it also shook things up with branching paths that demanded replaying, something we did happily. The third game took the series to new heights, and defined many of the concepts used in future games
Years after playing Bomberman for the first time, we’re still not entirely sure what the hell is going on. A man dressed in white is trying to demolish his way through a handful of areas with giant bombs as living balloons, onions, and other strange enemies stand in his way. It’s not something we can easily explain, but back in those days it didn’t matter; Bomberman is a really fun romp of destruction, and that’s why we like it so much.
The coolest part of Bomberman was getting as many power-ups as we could and setting off massive chain reactions that filled the entire screen with fire. The worst part of Bomberman was preparing that chain reaction, realizing that we stopped somewhere where we couldn’t get out of the line of fire, and then waiting for our inevitable death. It happened a lot, but it was still cool to watch all of the bombs go off.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Double Dragon II may be the first time a game has ever made us feel a real sense of loss and grief. After fighting through legions of gang members to save Marian in the first game, the second one begins with her getting shot dead right in front of us. After all of that work, she just eats it?! It’s not Aerith getting a Masamune to the gut, but that didn’t make us any less upset.
Even if that plot twist hadn’t happened, Double Dragon II exceeds its predecessor in every possible way. New moves in combat, a new and better control scheme, and the addition of two-player co-op allowed us to kick butt in new and exciting ways, this time with a friend. Double Dragon II pulled us in with a crazy story twist, but it offered enough fresh ideas to make exacting The Revenge worth it.
For those of us who grew up during the ’80s when Contra debuted, it was basically Commando, Terminator, and Predator rolled into one super-action spectacular. Contra is quite simply the epitome of the “men with guns who shoot things while running left to right, and occasionally from back to front” genre. It pretty much defined the language of future sidescrolling run ‘n’ gun games — it’s the reason why gamers now instinctively understand concepts like the Spread Gun, or the “Special” power-up, or the Konami Code, or why it’s better to have two guys with guns shooting aliens instead of just one.
Ghosts N’ Goblins
One of the all-time arcade platforming classics, from a time when developers thought the more difficult the game play was the better the game. Its certainly fun but the graphics are a big step down from the arcade original, and the whole thing can be very unforgiving and frustrating. Sadly these days most people probably wouldn’t have the required patience to enjoy it.
- Z = A button
- X = B button
- Enter = Start
- Arrow Keys to move