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Is NES the Top-Rated Console of All Time?

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is widely regarded as one of the most iconic and influential gaming consoles of all time. It was first released in Japan in 1983, under the name Famicom, and later in North America in 1985, where it revolutionized the gaming industry and set the standard for consoles to come. However, the question remains: is the NES the best console of all time? In this blog, we will delve deeper into the history and impact of the NES, its library of games, and its lasting legacy to answer this question.

History and Impact

The NES was Nintendo’s first console release in North America, and it quickly became a cultural phenomenon. It introduced a new era of gaming, with classic titles such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, and Metroid. The NES allowed players to enjoy these games from the comfort of their own homes, without having to spend quarters at an arcade.

The success of the NES paved the way for other consoles to enter the market, including the Sega Genesis, the PlayStation, and the Xbox. These consoles all built on the foundation laid by the NES, and without it, the gaming industry would not be where it is today. The NES introduced the concept of a home console, and it changed the way we interact with video games forever.

One of the NES’s most significant impacts was its contribution to the revival of the gaming industry, which had experienced a crash in 1983. Prior to the NES’s release, the market was oversaturated with poorly made games and consoles, and the industry was struggling to attract consumers. However, the NES’s release helped to reinvigorate the industry by offering high-quality games that were both fun and challenging. The NES’s success was a turning point for the industry, and it set the stage for the gaming industry’s growth in the years to come.

Library of Games

The NES has a vast library of games, with over 700 titles released in North America alone. Here are just a few examples of some of the most popular and influential games on the system:

  1. Super Mario Bros.: This game needs no introduction. Super Mario Bros. was a groundbreaking platformer that introduced many of the mechanics and tropes that we associate with platformers today. It’s still fun to play today, and its influence can be seen in countless other games.
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Another iconic Nintendo franchise got its start on the NES with The Legend of Zelda. This action-adventure game was a massive hit and helped establish the genre.
  3. Metroid: Metroid was another influential NES game that helped popularize the metroidvania genre. Its combination of exploration, shooting, and puzzle-solving was a hit with players and paved the way for games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
  4. Mega Man 2: The Mega Man series was a staple on the NES, and Mega Man 2 is widely regarded as one of the best games in the series. Its challenging gameplay, catchy music, and memorable bosses have made it a fan favorite.
  5. Castlevania: The original Castlevania was a challenging action-platformer that helped establish the series as a mainstay on Nintendo consoles. Its gothic horror theme, tight controls, and challenging difficulty have made it a classic.
  6. Final Fantasy: The NES was home to several classic RPGs, and Final Fantasy was one of the most popular. Its epic story, memorable characters, and deep gameplay helped establish the series as a beloved franchise that continues to this day.
  7. Contra: Contra was a classic run-and-gun shooter that was known for its intense difficulty and co-op gameplay. Its iconic spread gun and Konami code (which gave players 30 lives) have become part of gaming lore.
  8. Duck Hunt: Duck Hunt was a simple but addictive game that used the NES’s light gun accessory. Players had to shoot ducks as they flew across the screen, and the game’s catchy music and charming graphics have made it a classic.
  9. Punch-Out!!: Punch-Out!! was a boxing game that featured memorable characters like Little Mac, Glass Joe, and King Hippo. Its intuitive controls, challenging difficulty, and colorful graphics made it a hit with players.
  10. Tetris: While Tetris was released on many different platforms, it was the NES version that helped popularize the game in North America. Its addictive gameplay and catchy Russian music have made it a classic that still holds up today.

These are just a few examples of the many great games on the NES. From classic platformers and RPGs to shooters and sports games, the NES had something for everyone, and its library of games helped establish many of the genres and mechanics that we still see in games today.


The NES has a lasting legacy that is still felt in the gaming industry today. It introduced us to some of the most beloved and recognizable characters in gaming history, and it set the standard for home consoles. The NES also helped to establish Nintendo as a dominant force in the gaming industry,

which it continues to be to this day. Nintendo’s subsequent consoles, including the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), the Nintendo 64, and the Nintendo Switch, all built on the foundation laid by the NES, and they continue to feature many of the same classic games and characters that were first introduced on the NES.

The NES’s legacy also extends beyond Nintendo and into the gaming industry as a whole. The console’s success helped to establish video games as a legitimate form of entertainment, and it paved the way for other consoles to enter the market. The NES also played a significant role in the development of video game culture, inspiring fan communities, cosplay, and other forms of fan expression.

In recent years, the NES has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to the rise of retro gaming. Many of the console’s classic games have been re-released on modern platforms, including the Nintendo Switch Online service, which allows players to access a library of classic NES games on their Switch consoles. The NES Classic Edition, a miniature replica of the original console that includes 30 pre-installed games, was also released in 2016 to critical acclaim.


So, is the NES the best console of all time? While it’s certainly one of the most important and influential consoles in gaming history, it’s difficult to say definitively whether it’s the best. There have been many great consoles over the years, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

However, there’s no denying that the NES played a significant role in the development of the gaming industry and continues to be a beloved and iconic console to this day. Its library of games, its impact on the industry, and its lasting legacy are all testaments to its importance in gaming history.

Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the NES or simply appreciate its contributions to gaming, there’s no denying that it holds a special place in the hearts of many gamers around the world. The NES is a reminder of the power of video games to inspire, entertain, and bring people together, and it will continue to be remembered and celebrated for years to come.

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