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The Best NES Characters

Updated June 28, 2019 4k votes 470 voters 5.8k 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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  • 1
    174
    64

    Mario

    Super Mario Bros.
  • 2
    175
    75

    Link

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
  • 3
    123
    52

    Donkey Kong

    Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario Strikers
  • 4
    131
    55

    Kirby

    Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros.
  • 5
    129
    56

    Luigi

    Super Mario Strikers, Super Mario Kart
  • 6
    144
    69

    Samus Aran

    Metroid: Other M, Metroid II: Return of Samus
  • 7
    113
    47

    Yoshi

    Super Mario World, Super Mario Strikers
  • 8
    136
    71

    Mega Man

    Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Mega Man 10
  • 9
    118
    50
  • 10
    94
    57

    Princess Zelda

    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • 11
    82
    42

    Little Mac

    Captain Rainbow, Punch-Out!!
  • 12
    93
    62

    Simon Belmont

    Castlevania
  • 13
    87
    62

    Princess Peach

    Super Mario World, Super Mario Strikers
  • 14
    75
    45

    Toad

    Super Mario Strikers, Mario Kart Wii
  • 15
    72
    46

    Kid Icarus

    Kid Icarus
  • 16
    78
    53

    Solid Snake

    Metal Gear
  • 17
    77
    62

    Dog

    Duck Hunt
  • 18
    35
    59

    Bub and Bob

  • 19
    46
    58

    Dr. Mario

    Dr. Mario 64, Dr. Mario Online Rx
  • 20
    25
    32

    Ness

    EarthBound, Super Smash Bros. Brawl
  • 21
    32
    67

    Glass Joe

    Punch-Out!!
  • 22
    31
    63

    King Hippo

    Punch-Out!!
  • 23
    25
    32

    Donkey Kong Jr.

    Animal Crossing

    Donkey Kong Jr.

  • 24
    21
    72

    Mickey Mouse

    Kingdom Hearts, Epic Mickey
  • 25
    19
    59

    Leon

    Final Fantasy II