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447 voters

The Best NES Characters

Updated June 28, 2019 3.9k votes 447 voters 5.5k views31 items

List RulesVote up your favorite characters from Nintendo Games

You'll never forget your first, and for many, the Nintendo Entertainment System was their first encounter with console gaming. The first time taking the controller, leaning back and playing games in a way you just can't do with a Commodore 64. And so began the launch of countless series that have become household names. With this list, we take a look at the best characters from the original Nintendo!

From the original Super Mario Bros., with Mario and Luigi, to the beginning of the Metal Gear series and our life-long love of Solid Snake, the Nintendo has been the starting point for a number of famous characters that have gone on to major AAA titles, and even films (of... let's say varying quality) with a theatrical release! We even had the first female protagonist in a video ever with Samus taking charge of the original Metroid! There are so many different characters that got their start right here with the NES. 

So take a look at our list, rerank and vote for your favorites! Is King Hippo the best from Mike Tyson's Punch Out!!? Or is Simon Belmont the best vampire killer of all time? It's all up to you, so let us know what you think -- and don't forget to check out our many other console character lists to see what else you might want to rank!
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  • Mario1
    181
    59

    Mario

    Super Mario Bros.
  • Link2
    173
    71

    Link

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • Samus Aran3
    147
    65

    Samus Aran

    Metroid: Other M, Metroid II: Return of Samus
  • Donkey Kong4
    124
    49

    Donkey Kong

    Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Strikers
  • Kirby5
    134
    51

    Kirby

    Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros.
  • Yoshi6
    116
    44

    Yoshi

    Super Mario World, Super Mario Strikers
  • Luigi7
    126
    55

    Luigi

    Super Mario Strikers, Super Mario Kart
  • Mega Man8
    134
    69

    Mega Man

    Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Mega Man 10
  • Bowser9
    118
    49
  • Little Mac10
    83
    38

    Little Mac

    Captain Rainbow, Punch-Out!!
  • Simon Belmont11
    98
    57

    Simon Belmont

    Castlevania
  • Princess Zelda12
    92
    55

    Princess Zelda

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Princess Peach13
    94
    60

    Princess Peach

    Super Mario World, Super Mario Strikers
  • Toad14
    77
    43

    Toad

    Super Mario Strikers, Mario Kart Wii
  • Kid Icarus15
    73
    42

    Kid Icarus

    Kid Icarus
  • Solid Snake16
    80
    50

    Solid Snake

    Metal Gear
  • Dog17
    77
    62

    Dog

    Duck Hunt
  • Bub and Bob18
    38
    56

    Bub and Bob

  • Dr. Mario19
    49
    55

    Dr. Mario

    Dr. Mario 64, Dr. Mario Online Rx
  • Ness20
    25
    31

    Ness

    EarthBound, Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Glass Joe21
    35
    67

    Glass Joe

    Punch-Out!!
  • King Hippo22
    33
    63

    King Hippo

    Punch-Out!!
  • Donkey Kong Jr.23
    23
    33

    Donkey Kong Jr.

    Animal Crossing

    Donkey Kong Jr.

  • Mickey Mouse24
    22
    72

    Mickey Mouse

    Kingdom Hearts, Epic Mickey
  • 25
    17
    57

    Garland

    Final Fantasy I