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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
    148
    64

    Samus Aran

    Metroid: Other M, Metroid II: Return of Samus
  • Donkey Kong4
    125
    49

    Donkey Kong

    Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Strikers
  • Kirby5
    133
    52

    Kirby

    Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros.
  • Yoshi6
    115
    45

    Yoshi

    Super Mario World, Super Mario Strikers
  • Bowser7
    118
    49
  • Mega Man8
    134
    69

    Mega Man

    Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Mega Man 10
  • Luigi9
    125
    56

    Luigi

    Super Mario Strikers, Super Mario Kart
  • Little Mac10
    84
    38

    Little Mac

    Captain Rainbow, Punch-Out!!
  • Simon Belmont11
    98
    58

    Simon Belmont

    Castlevania
  • Princess Zelda12
    93
    55

    Princess Zelda

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Princess Peach13
    93
    61

    Princess Peach

    Super Mario World, Super Mario Strikers
  • Toad14
    76
    44

    Toad

    Super Mario Strikers, Mario Kart Wii
  • Solid Snake15
    80
    51

    Solid Snake

    Metal Gear
  • Dog16
    78
    61

    Dog

    Duck Hunt
  • Kid Icarus17
    72
    43

    Kid Icarus

    Kid Icarus
  • Bub and Bob18
    39
    56

    Bub and Bob

  • Dr. Mario19
    49
    54

    Dr. Mario

    Dr. Mario 64, Dr. Mario Online Rx
  • Ness20
    24
    30

    Ness

    EarthBound, Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • Glass Joe21
    34
    66

    Glass Joe

    Punch-Out!!
  • King Hippo22
    33
    62

    King Hippo

    Punch-Out!!
  • Mickey Mouse23
    22
    71

    Mickey Mouse

    Kingdom Hearts, Epic Mickey
  • Donkey Kong Jr.24
    23
    32

    Donkey Kong Jr.

    Animal Crossing

    Donkey Kong Jr.

  • Great Tiger25
    16
    52

    Great Tiger

    Super Punch-Out!!