Every Single NES Game, Ranked From Best to Worst

Over 26.4K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Every Single NES Game, Ranked From Best to Worst

If you’re collecting all Nintendo Entertainment System games ever made, you’re going to need this list of all NES games. The original Nintendo NES console was released in 1983 and was the most popular game systems of all time. One interesting aspect of the NES was that games were produced by hundreds of Nintendo Entertainment System game developers, both licensed and unlicensed.

Fortunately for retro game lovers everywhere, Nintendo recently announced they will be selling a miniature version of the original console in November 2016. The console will come with 30 games pre-loaded on the system, including Mega Man 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, and more.

The Nintendo Entertainment System now has a cult following amongst classic game collectors. For that reason, many of the games mentioned below will be hard to find outside of collections and may require you to spend hours searching online classified. For that reason, it is best to start with the best Nintendo NES games as they are the most common. Otherwise, happy hunting for the rare NES games below!

It was a time when game developers could still get around the NES’ authentication system in order to publish games not approved by Nintendo. This list of all Nintendo Entertainment System games includes both licensed and unlicensed games.

Most divisive: The Simpsons: Bart vs. the Space Mutants
Ranked by
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
    9,572 votes

    Immersive as it is exuberant, Super Mario Bros. 3 finds our beloved plumber traversing eight diverse worlds to once again save Princess Toadstool from wicked Bowser. The tantalizing power-up mechanics, intricate level design, and the inclusion of an overworld map were mind-blowers for their time. This bright and breezy adventure revolutionized platform gaming, making it a veritable icon of the 8-bit era.

  • The Legend of Zelda
    9,180 votes

    A masterclass in non-linear storytelling, The Legend of Zelda has heroic Link embarking on a perilous quest to recover the Triforce parts and rescue Princess Zelda from evil Ganon’s claws. Uniquely open-world gameplay, replete with secret dungeons, challenging puzzles, and a plethora of heart-pounding combat, sets this game apart from its contemporaries. The Legend of Zelda not just set the gold-standard for adventure video games, it created an enduring franchise that inspires awe even today.

  • Super Mario Bros.
    7,263 votes

    Pack your plumber’s outfit as you hop and bop your way through the Mushroom Kingdom in Super Mario Bros., on a mission to save Princess Peach from the dastardly Bowser. This hallmark of side-scrolling platformers combines simple controls with engaging gameplay, peppered with hidden warp pipes and power-up mushrooms. This game single-handedly pulled the video game industry out of the 80s slump, spawning countless sequels and setting the benchmark for all platformers.

  • Contra
    6,895 votes
    Jan 01 1987

    Dodging aliens and blasting baddies, Contra's set of hardened commandos birthed the phrase "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start" into every NES junkie's lexicon. Running and gunning took on a new meaning as its fast-paced action-orientated gameplay and tough-as-nails difficulty set it apart. Contra made co-op gaming a household term and the Konami code a piece of pop culture trivia.

  • Mega Man 2
    5,391 votes
    Jul 10 1989

    Roll up your sleeves as you steer Mega Man through eight robot master stages in Mega Man 2, to thwart Dr. Wily’s nefarious schemes. This action platformer with its unique weapon-stealing mechanic, challenging platforming sections, and memorable soundtrack is a cult classic. Widely considered the best in the series, Mega Man 2 solidified the Blue Bomber's legendary status in video game history.

  • Punch-Out!!
    6,110 votes

    Lace up your gloves as you throw jabs and crosses in Punch-Out!!, to guide underdog Little Mac to championship glory. Its quirky cast of opponents, rhythm-based combat, and David versus Goliath narrative created a truly standout arcade-style boxing game. Punch-Out!! represented the sport in a fun, approachable fashion, truly punching above its weight in gaming circles.