While systems that preceded the 8 bit era will always hold a fond, warming spot in my heart, it was this generation right here that really hooked me into this hobby. I grew up a Nintendo kid, mostly because my dad refused to purchase the Sega Master System bundle with the 3D glasses that I was so fond of. Looking back at the overall quality of the SMS line up, I’m guessing his decision was sound. Nevertheless, this is my list of my Top 25 8 Bit Games. It will more or less be dominated by NES titles, though there’s an exception in there. Had I spent more time with the SMS and played a list of games that didn’t completely underwhelm me, the list might have ended up less one sided.
But enough with the pleasantries – here are my Top 25 8 Bit Games (#20 – 16)
The definition of a classic, Super Mario Bros. introduced gamers to 2D platforming on the NES. The stage themes are still being used today as ringtones for phones around the world, and Mario himself is still going strong over two dozen years later. Just about everyone who has owned an NES has played Super Mario Bros., and if you haven’t, you probably should go and give it a run through!
The genre on a console doesn’t get much more archaic than this. Square’s “final fantasy” was a leap of faith that saw its successes and helped an otherwise suffering company live on. From the visuals, to the music, to even the storyline, there’s definitely a lack of flair all around, though it still provided its share of entertainment and is an excellent piece to study if you want to understand how far the franchise has come (and in some respects, gone.)
I know I’ll get some flak for putting this one so low on the list, though the line up of stellar titles overall should be a main reason. Mega Man 2 is a classic formula in one of its finest forms. Outside a few titles after it, none have been able to reach its quality in music, bosses and worlds. I know there’s been a Mega Man collection released on the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube, but I’d definitely would pony up at least $5 for an Xbox Live Arcade release of the NES version, and I know there are others that would as well!
What was once to be a video game tie in to the first Terminator movie, Journey to Silius lost the licensing to the franchise, yet released the game anyway. Sunsoft, the developer behind Journey to Silius, was also at the helm for another blockbuster movie tie in, Batman, and like Batman, both have little allegiance towards the movies they were tied to, but both were beyond stellar. Though Journey to Silius can be down right difficult at times, there’s no doubt that everything geld together and provided one of the best non movie tie in releases I can recall.
Double Dragon 2 had just about everything going for it. Two player simultaneous gameplay, a high but bearable difficulty, a rather strong visual presence for its time, and more. Much like Double Dragon on the NES, the sequel was not a direct arcade port, but that didn’t stop it from being one of the best two player titles on the NES. Even if it’s a lone wolf session, the fulfilling combat and challenges that await are more than worthy of its place on this list.